England established colonies in America to provide them with raw materials. England passed the Navigation Acts to enforce mercantilism. During the seventeen hundreds England was suffering from many hardships. England became preoccupied and could not enforce the Navigation Acts. This was known as a period of solitary neglect. Solitary neglect influenced the development of American society. Its influence can be seen in Americas legislative assemblies, commerce, and religion. By seventeen-fifty Colonial America was governed by the colonist.
Although England still owned the colonies, the colonist reacted to the colonial government rather than England. Many colonies in the New World passed acts, which allowed them to be self-governed. The pilgrims in Plymouth signed the Mayflower Compact, which said they would rule themselves although they are a colony of England. Virginia established the House of Burgesses and a representative democracy. A representative democracy means citizens vote on the person they want to represent them.
Connecticut wrote a document entitled The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. This reinforced self-government and the ideas of representative government. England had a mercantilist economy. Mercantilism means, governmental control is exercised over industry and trade in accordance with the theory that national strength is increased by a majority of exports over imports. They established colonies in America to provide England with raw materials. The mother country brought the raw materials from the colonies and manufactured them.
They then sold the new manufactured goods back to the colonies at a high price in order to create revenue. England passed the Navigation Acts to enforce mercantilism. Navigation acts were legislation passed by the English Parliament in the 17th and 18th centuries to promote and protect English industry and commerce against foreign competition. The Navigation acts consisted of three parts. The first part said trades two and from the colonies must be made on English or Colonial built ships.
The second said that all goods in imported into the colonies must go through England. The third part said that there were certain goods called enumerated goods that could be only exported to England. Eventually all colonial goods would be enumerated. Due to Englands neglect of enforcing the Navigation acts the colonist engaged in smuggling. In sixteen eighty-eight England established the Dominion of New England, which was lead by Edmund Andros. He was sent to the New World to enforce the Navigation Acts.
The Dominion of New England was abandoned when William and Mary overthrew King James II. Religious toleration became a major characteristic of colonial America. England failed to mandate the Anglican Religion in all colonies. As a result many religions developed. Moreover many colonies passed toleration acts such as Maryland, which passed an act that provided for religious freedom. Due to this people of many religions, such as Quakers and Roman Catholics, settled in the colonies. The middle colonies had the most diverse religious group.
This contributed to Americas distinct makeup and aided it in becoming more unlike England. In conclusion Englands Solitary neglect influenced the development of American society. Politically the colonies were given too much freedom by England to govern themselves. This eventually lead to the Americas resistance toward England. Economically Englands neglect of the Navigation acts allowed the colonist to illegally control trade to and from America. Religiously Americas religious toleration led to its distinct traits and made it more different from England.