How Can You Define the Sugar Act for Kids?

The Sugar Act was a tax placed on the American colonies by the government in Great Britain on April 5, 1764. This act regulated the cost of many foreign goods, including sugar, wine, indigo and molasses.

After the end of the Seven Years' War, Great Britain's Parliament needed to find a way to pay off the cost of the war. They decided that because the war was partially an effort to defend the American colonists, the colonists must pitch in to help pay for the cost of the war.

The Sugar Act was introduced, placing a tax on products that were commonly used in the colonies. The tax on molasses was the most damaging because the New England colonies used molasses to produce rum, which they sold to the French, Dutch, Spanish and others. While the other colonies saw little problem with the tax, New England colonies protested because it almost enabled them from trading rum with other colonies.

Colonial leaders were also concerned about the Sugar Act because they feared that Britain was attempting to seize power from their own governments. Colonial leaders worried that if Britain exerted powers like the right to tax, they may attempt to control more of colonial government. These leaders wanted to continue to govern themselves and not fall under Britain's reign.