How did we get from “Salutary Neglect” to the Revolutionary War?

Your mission: examine the events of the 18th century in the colonies and determine how America and Great Britain’s relationship transformed from friendly trade partners to adversarial, warring factions. You will be responsible for becoming an expert on your specific event and preparing a short presentation and visual to present to the class and create our ROAD to revolution.

In pairs, students will investigate a specific event and determine:

F                 What happened?

F                 Who was involved? Who was responsible?

F                 What was the motivation behind it?

F                 Did it change the way the colonies were perceived by the Americans? The Brits?


Navigation Acts

French & Indian War & Treaty of Paris                    

Pontiac’s Rebellion & Proclamation of 1763                    

      Sugar Act & Stamp Act                                              

      Townshend Acts                                                     

      Boston Massacre & Committees of Correspondence    

 Boston Tea Party

  Intolerable Acts & First Continental Congress

 Concord, Lexington & Paul Revere

 2nd Continental Congress

 Battle of Bunker Hill

 Olive Branch Petition                            


Salutary Neglect

During the reign of Queen Anne (1702-1714), England and Scotland agreed to an Act of Union (1707) that created the Kingdom of Great Britain. Subsequently, during the reigns of George I (1714-1727) and George II (1727-1760), royal bureaucrats relaxed their supervision of internal American affairs. They preferred to encourage the growth of trade with the colonies in tobacco, rice, and sugar. Two generations later, British political philosopher Edmund Burke praised this trade-based colonial policy as being one of “salutary [healthy] neglect.”

The American representative assemblies seized the opportunity created by lack of strict imperial controls to increase their own powers. In theory, royal and proprietary governors were the dominant political forces in the colonies. They commanded the provincial militia, and they could recommend members for the upper legislative body or council, approve land grants, and appoint judges, justices of the peace, and other legal officials. In reality, the governors had to share their power with the American assemblies. The colonial legislatures copied some of the methods used by English politicians to boost Parliament's authority such as insisting on controlling taxes and on being consulted on appointments to public office.

MSN Learning and Research. “History of Colonial America”. © 1993-2003 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Sept. 10, 2003. <