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In American history, salutary neglect was the 18th-century policy of the British Crown of avoiding the strict enforcement of parliamentary laws, especially trade laws, as long as British colonies remained loyal to the government and contributed to the economic growth of their parent country, England and then, after the Acts of Union 1707, Great Britain. The term was first used in 1775 by Edmund Burke.
Until the late 17th century, mercantilist ideas were gaining force in England and giving general shape to trade policy through a series of Navigation Acts. From the collapse of the centralized Dominion of New England in 1689 to 1763, salutary neglect was in effect. Afterwards, Britain began to try to enforce stricter rules and more direct management, which included the disallowment of laws to go into effect that were passed in colonial legislatures. This eventually led to the American Revolutionary War.
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