The Sugar Act was an act enforced by the British. It taxed sugar made in the colonies or any plantation in America, coffee, molasses, rum, and wines (except the wines made in France). This affected the colonist’s triangular trade. The Sugar Act was created to better secure and encourage trade of his Majesty’s sugar in America. This act benefitted the British economy the most because it ensured trade and created new jobs. It was also created as a source of money for Britain. The British taxed the colonists because they were faced with large debts due to the costs of the French and Indian War. The British wanted to safe guard their new territory and to pay their debt caused by the war. This act indicated that the British had an interest in the colonies affairs. Although the law actually lowered the tax on sugar it cracked down on the smugglers, which negatively impacted the colonists’ economy. It is also known as the American Revenue Act of 1764. The American Revenue Act of 1764 was a reformed sugar act. The expiration date for the Sugar Act was coming up so Britain came up with a solution. They were going to reform it or make it the American Revenue Act of 1764. This led to early colonial protests.

British island planters complained about the Sugar Act because they thought that American trade with the West Indies could demolish the British sugar industry. The colonists of America were so upset because they were claiming that the British West Indies could not meet their requests for molasses. They were also mad because they said that this act affected their normal business ways and it disrupted their everyday life. This act just one act of a series of trade and navigation acts that were passed in an effort to make the British Empire self-sustaining and to confirm the dependence of the colonies on Britain. The tax was lowered but smuggling still happened. The law needed to crackdown on this because it happened so often, especially in New England. Most of the colonists boycotted the products that were taxed by the British.

Source: google images british parliment arguing in 1764

Because the colonists went without many daily items, the British were losing money at a rapid rate. The British had relied on the income of money from the Sugar Act and without it their lives became more of a struggle. The British were also losing jobs because there was not enough money coming in, and people were losing jobs because the colonists were not using the sugar that they had already imported so they cannot bring anymore because they will not use it and furthermore lose even more money.

The colonist’s reaction to the sugar act affected them because they had to go without commonly used items that were not necessary to live in the colonies. Some of these items were molasses and rum. It affected both the smugglers and merchants business. They both lost customers and sales because no one was buying any sugar, molasses or rum and those were their items that they sold.


After the Sugar Act was repealed the Declaratory Act was created and after that the Townshend Act. The Townshend Act was created to show that the British could still create acts, tax the colonists and control them even when they repealed most acts. More acts were filed and created, and with each act the demands became more and more insane and ridicules. This just started to get on the colonists last nerves. So, technically this was the beginning of the war!

"Molasses Act." Encyclopedia Americana. Grolier Online, 2011. Web. 6 Dec. 2011.
“Molasses Act.” American History ABC-CLIO. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2011. <‌Search/‌Display/‌294987?terms=sugar+act>.
“The Sugar Act.” Massachusetts Historical Society. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Dec. 2011. <‌revolution/‌sugar.php>.
“Sugar Act (1764) .” American History ABC-Clio. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2011. <‌Search/‌Display/‌298837?terms=sugar+act>.