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an American history term that refers to an unofficial and long-term 17th & 18th-century British policy of avoiding strict enforcement of parliamentary laws meant to keep American colonies obedient to England. The term comes from Edmund Burke's "Speech on Conciliation with America" given in the House of Commons March 22, 1775. Salutary neglect occurred in three time periods. From 1607 to 1696, England had no coherent imperial policy regarding specific overseas possessions and their governance, although mercantilist ideas were gaining force and giving general shape to trade policy. From 1696 to 1763, England (and after 1707 the Kingdom of Great Britain) tried to form a coherent policy through the Navigation acts but did not enforce it. Lastly, from 1763 to 1775 Britain began to try to enforce stricter rules and more direct management, driven in part by the outcome of the Seven Years' War in which Britain had gained large swathes of new territory in North America at the Treaty of Paris in 1763. Successive British government passed a number of acts designed to regulate their American colonies including the Stamp Act and Quebec Act. Salutary neglect was a large contributing factor that led to the American Revolutionary War. Since the imperial authority did not assert the power that it had, the colonists were left to govern themselves. These essentially sovereign colonies soon became accustomed to the idea of self-control. They also realized that they were powerful enough to defeat the British (with help from France), and decided to revolt. The effects of such prolonged isolation eventually resulted in the emergence of a collective identity that considered itself separate from Great Britain.
(the Incident on King Street) was an incident on March 5, 1770, in which British Army soldiers killed five male civilians and injured six others. The incident was heavily propagandized by leading Patriots, such as Paul Revere and Samuel Adams, to fuel animosity toward the British authorities. British troops had been stationed in Boston, capital of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, since 1768 in order to protect and support crown-appointed colonial officials attempting to enforce unpopular Parliamentary legislation. Amid ongoing tense relations between the population and the soldiers, a mob formed around a British sentry, who was subjected to verbal abuse and harassment. He was eventually supported by eight additional soldiers, who were subjected to verbal threats and thrown objects. They fired into the crowd, without orders, instantly killing three people and wounding others. Two more people died later of wounds sustained in the incident. The crowd eventually dispersed after Acting Governor Thomas Hutchinson promised an inquiry, but reformed the next day, prompting the withdrawal of the troops to Castle Island. Eight soldiers, one officer, and four civilians were arrested and charged with murder. Defended by the lawyer and future American president, John Adams, six of the soldiers were acquitted, while the other two were convicted of manslaughter and given reduced sentences. The men found guilty of manslaughter were sentenced to branding on their hand. Depictions, reports, and propaganda about the event, notably the colored engraving produced by Paul Revere (shown at right), further heightened tensions throughout the Thirteen Colonies.
the armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen of its former North American colonies, which had declared themselves the independent United States of America. Early fighting took place primarily on the North American continent. In 1778 France, eager for revenge after its defeat in 1763, signed an alliance with the new nation. The conflict then escalated into a world war with Britain combating France, Spain, and the Netherlands. Contemporaneous fighting also broke out in India between the British East India Company and the French allied Kingdom of Mysore.
The war had its origins in the resistance of many Americans to taxes imposed by the British parliament, which they claimed were unconstitutional. Patriot protests escalated into boycotts and the destruction of a shipment of tea at the Boston Tea Party. The British government punished Massachusetts by closing the port of Boston and taking away self-government. The Patriots responded by setting up a shadow government which took control of the province outside of Boston. Twelve other colonies supported Massachusetts. In April 1775 fighting broke out between Massachusetts militia units and British regulars at Lexington and Concord. The Continental Congress appointed General George Washington to take charge of militia units besieging British forces in Boston, forcing them to evacuate the city in March 1776. In July 1776, the Continental Congress formally declared independence. The British were meanwhile mustering forces to suppress the revolt. The victory in the Battles of Saratoga encouraged France to enter the war in 1778, followed by its ally Spain in 1779. Washington took control of a Franco-American siege at Yorktown and captured the entire British force of over 7,000 men. The defeat at Yorktown finally turned the British Parliament against the war. The war at sea continued, and the British Navy scored key victories, especially the Battle of the Saintes in 1782. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris ended the war and recognized the sovereignty of the United States over the territory bounded roughly by what is now Canada to the north, Florida to the south, and the Mississippi River to the west.
the term Reconstruction Era has two senses: (1) covers the complete history of the entire country from 1865 to 1877 following the Civil War; (2) sense focuses on the transformation of the Southern United States from 1863 to 1877, as directed by Congress, with the reconstruction of state and society. Reconstruction encompassed three major initiatives: restoration of the Union, transformation of southern society, and enactment of progressive legislation favouring the rights of freed slaves. President Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction—issued in 1863, two years before the war even ended—mapped out the first of these initiatives, his Ten-Percent Plan. Under the plan, each southern state would be readmitted to the Union after 10 percent of its voting population had pledged future loyalty to the United States, and all Confederates except high-ranking government and military officials would be pardoned. The Radical Republicans also believed that southern society would have to be completely transformed to ensure that the South would not try to secede again. The Radicals therefore attempted to reshape the South by enfranchising blacks, putting Unionist and pro-Republican governments in southern legislatures, and punishing southern planter elites, whom many politicians held responsible for the Civil War. As "carpetbaggers" and "scalawags" streamed into the South, southerners denounced them as traitors and falsely accused many of corruption. Ultimately, the most important part of Reconstruction was the push to secure rights for former slaves. Radical Republicans, aware that newly freed slaves would face insidious racism, passed a series of progressive laws and amendments in Congress that protected blacks' rights under federal and constitutional law. The Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Fourteenth Amendment granted blacks citizenship, the Fifteenth Amendment gave black men the right to vote, and the Civil Rights Act of 1875 attempted to ban racial discrimination in public places. Reconstruction was a mixed success. By the end of the era, the North and South were once again reunited, and all southern state legislatures had abolished slavery in their constitutions. Reconstruction also laid to a rest the debate of states' rights vs. federalism, which had been a pressing issue since the late 1790s. But Reconstruction failed in most other ways.