The Sugar Act of 1764 disrupted trade between the American colonies and French markets and was one of the laws that hastened, and ended with, the American Revolution. The growing disconnect between the American colonies and other British holdings in tax compliance inspired greater enforcement by the British.Continue Reading
Officially known as The American Revenue Act of 1764, the so-called Sugar Act was a modification of the Sugar and Molasses Act of 1733, which had placed a tax on each gallon of imported foreign molasses. However, corrupt practices kept merchants in the colonies from having to pay the taxes. Instead, the colonial merchants would import cheaper molasses from the French West Indies. Even though the Sugar Act cut the molasses tax in half, the fact that it had largely been going unpaid meant that it was a new expense for many merchants.
As a result, trade dropped between the American colonies and French holdings in the Western Hemisphere, meaning that the colonial companies manufacturing lumber and producing cheese, flour and assorted farm products had fewer buyers. Exports went down, as did available cash for the purchase of manufactured goods from Great Britain. Along with the Currency Act, the Sugar Act spurred a degree of revolt that inspired the imposition of the Stamp Act, the Intolerable Acts and other reactionary laws from Great Britain, leading ultimately to the American Revolution.Learn more about US History