The Colonial Economy

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Why did the British allow salutary neglect?

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Salutary neglect was, in many respects, shaped by practical realities, given the technological limitations of the time. With an entire ocean separating England and the colonies, in a time period lacking modern communications and transportation, the sheer distance involved was too great to justify a particularly interventionist colonial policy. In many respects, the rewards wouldn't have been worth the costs. That being said, you'll find this calculus will start to change following the French and Indian War.

For an additional layer of context, I would add that colonization (as well as most expeditions which would have been global in scope) was inherently a high-risk proposition, and the English government tended to have a history of divesting itself of a significant amount of this burden. For example, if you were to look at the thirteen original colonies, what you'll find is that every one of them started out as either a proprietary or joint-stock company colony.

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