SAT II US History : Representative Viewpoints in U.S. Economic History from Pre-Columbian to 1789

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT II US History

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Example Questions

Example Question #102 : U.S. Economic History

What is the name given to the policy employed by British governments in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries of not strictly enforcing laws in the colonies?

Possible Answers:

Navigation Acts

Virtual representation

Beneficial carelessness

Acts of Toleration

Salutary neglect

Correct answer:

Salutary neglect


Throughout the seventeenth century and the first half of the eighteenth century, the British government employed a policy of lax enforcement of Parliamentary laws. Many British politicians, most notably Prime Minister Robert Walpole, felt that the colonies would flourish if left to their own devices. Many ministers felt that enforcement of the Navigation Acts – which stated that the colonies should only trade with mainland British merchants – would ultimately cause economic stagnation in the colonies and that it was therefore in the best interest of the Empire as a whole to ignore many of the Parliamentary restrictions employed by previous administrations. This is referred to as the policy of salutary neglect.

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