Sugar Act-Educational

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A description of the Sugar Act for grades 7 through 12 History class

Vocal Characteristics



Voice Age

Middle Aged (35-54)


North American (General)


Note: Transcripts are generated using speech recognition software and may contain errors.
The Sugar Act was passed by Parliament on April 5th, 17 64 and it arrived in the colonies at a time of severe economic depression. People didn't have much money, merchants were out of business, and farms had no crops to bring to the market. The French and Indian War had called many young men toe arms, forcing them to leave their forms and their businesses without anyone running them. With no one running them, there was no money to come back to. Although this was the main reason for the poor economy. Communists, especially those affected directly by the tax, such as merchants and shippers blame the new tax program is the main issue. As protests against the Shadrack developed, it was the economic impact, as well as the issue of taxation without representation, that was the main focus for the communists. What exactly was the Sugar Act? Attacks on every form of sugar, including molasses. It meant that every time sugar was brought into the colonies, the merchants have to pay a tax on it every gallon of molasses. And what was molasses used for? Molasses was the main ingredient in rum, Boston's biggest export. The tax was three pence a gallon, which wasn't a huge amount, but they still didn't want to pay it. With the presence of this new act, a new market came to the colonies. Shores smuggling. Smuggling is the act of shipping a good or product from one country to another, illegally without pain, the normal taxes on the items. This meant that colonists would import items from the Caribbean and Africa without paying the tax to the British. Smuggling made more money than selling things legally. For example, in 17 56 and 17 57 over 400 chests of tea were imported into Philadelphia, but only 16 were sold legally. 3/4 or more of the T consumed by Americans was illegal. In 17 63 the British government estimated the value of items smuggled into the colonies at £700,000 annually, which is worth an estimated $2 billion today. When the Sugar Act was put into place, there was also a major push against smuggling. The Sugar Act had 46 separate rules and laws for merchants to follow. The rules, however, were unfair, and almost every vessel would probably be guilty of some violation or other. Even when the merchant didn't mean to commit the crime, the Sugar Act actively accused merchants of smuggling. If the owner of a vessel was accused of smuggling, he had to pay the cost of his trial in advance or lose everything. Even if he was found innocent, the owner would not be paid back for the cost of his trial. To make matters worse, the government did not have to present evidence of the accused smuggling. The owner was presumed guilty and then had to prove his innocence. Although the Sugar Act was just a small tax on sugar, it had a large impact on the colonies. Molasses, a sugar, was a big part of Boston's rum economy and made the bad economic situation even worse. Eventually, the Sugar Act was repealed. But England's refusal to listen to the colonies was the first spark of the colonial protest against British rule.