The salutary neglect was an unofficial policy of the British Crown towards American colonists. The initial idea was to make the regulations less strict.


The policy began to be in effect starting from 1607 and to 1763. The salutary neglect, in fact, contributed to the beginning of the increase in the autonomy of American colonists due to the ability to trade with non-British organizations, which eventually led to American independence.

However, there was a benefit for Britain, too – while America was prospering and dealing with various foreign suppliers and consumers, American colonists also spent their wealth on the goods made in Britain, simultaneously providing it with the materials for manufacturing. All of that contributed to the development of the British economy as well.

Nevertheless, the negative side of this policy for the British government is apparent. This loose hold caused by the salutary neglect gave America an opportunity to feel freedom and independence. After taking part in the Seven Years’ War, Britain had gained significant debts, although they also obtained new territories of North America.

It was probably one of the reasons why the British government decided to enforce more direct management and stricter rules. As a result, after George III and the ministers reinforced the rules again, America has already headed towards the revolution.

What is more, there were some acts proposed by the prime minister, such as Sugar, Stamp, and Currency Acts. All of these were targeted at increasing the profit from the colonies and the simultaneous rising of authority. However, it worked conversely, leading to the riots and violence aimed at British representatives among colonists. In addition, it was these acts that contributed as a primary reason for the future American Revolutionary War.