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AP US 2

AP US 2

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Published by Will Hinshaw
second summer essay
second summer essay

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Published by: Will Hinshaw on Aug 18, 2008
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06/16/2009

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Name:
Will Hinshaw
Date:
August 12, 2008
Class:
AP US History
Assignment:
2
nd
EssayIn the seventeen thirties, Governor Robert Walpole, the leader of the BritishWhigs, involuntarily instituted a new policy which would lead to an unwritten form of rule known as Salutary Neglect. Walpole convinced the two kings ruling during his timeas head of the Whigs (King George I and King George II) to take a more relaxedapproach towards defense and trade, rather than the overall affairs of the colonies.Additionally, to suit his own interests, Walpole bribed his associates with jobs on thecolonial board of trade, successfully swamping the board with incompetency andtherefore loosening their grip on American trade and affairs even more. Salutary neglecthelped the colonies to grow financially by providing trade opportunities, spiritually byallowing religious freedom, and politically as legislative assemblies enjoyedunprecedented power over their colonies.England’s new policy of salutary neglect provided America with opportunities innearly every field, trade and commerce being the most affected. In the dawning of colonial American trade, the empire’s main goal was to secure English trade routes and to
 
bring money to England. Up until the late 1720’s, colonial trade was carried on in justsuch a way, obeying trade edicts instead of making a joke of them. As the new era of salutary neglect dawned, Americans began to seize opportunities, and instead of lookingout for English trade interests, they started to look for opportunities for themselves,turning substantial profits as a result. In the process, colonial traders and merchantssecured the majority of export routes from England and most trade between the coloniesand the West Indies. Profits from the new trade filled American coffers, no longer thoseof England.To accomplish their trade and economic goals, Americans needed to ignoreEnglish laws. These included the Navigation Act, Molasses Act, the Woolen Act, and thelater Iron Act. Acts like these would have prevented millions of dollars of profits, butwhen ignored, would not impede them in any way. Americans began to sell all over theworld, to the Dutch (who ignored navigation acts to get into American ports), the French,and oddly enough, to Britain itself. In no time, because of the weak hold that England hadover the colonies, they slowly resolved themselves into self-governing politically heldregions that were primarily connected to one another by trade. They became soindependent of England that ten of the colonies created their own forms of currencystemming from colonial banks, and all under the nose of the British monarchy.Up to around 1700, there were primarily two religious disciplines in the colonies.They were Anglican (because of extended English rule) and Puritan, because of a mass
 
exodus from England sparked by King James I. When the 1730’s rolled around, a new erabegan. It is now known as “The Enlightenment” and “The Great Awakening.” It is fittingto say that it was a religious renaissance of the new world. The Enlightenment was amovement that “emphasized the power of human reason.” This movement encouragedpeople to think for themselves, and explore their feelings about religion. In England, sucha movement would be quashed abruptly, but with salutary neglect, no such thing was tohappen. The new religious and intellectual movement was born of the openness of salutary neglect, and continued to the point that the new America would begin gaining itsidentity of freedom as a result of it.The very leaders of America were leaders of the movement, such as BenjaminFranklin, who pondered questions such that weren’t frequently asked. Questions relatingto the morality of slavery, and even the morality of British rule over the colonies that hadbecome so much their own, with the British doing nothing more than imposing taxes onpeople who they did not help or encourage. Franklin became a Deist like many others,which was essentially someone who believed that god was a tinkerer, someone whowould help us along, but ultimately leave our fate to reasoning and our own decisions.That kind of religious freedom was overlooked, for the state of the colonies was not to beworried about too much by religious leaders back in Europe. America was able to createits own religious identity in independence as a result of being overlooked, which was aresult of salutary neglect.

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