The Sugar Act, also known as the Revenue Act, diminished the percentage of tax on molasses from six pence to three pence per gallon, when Grenville took steps that the tax is strictly implemented. The Act as well itemized more foreign products that will be taxed, such as sugar, wines, coffee, pimiento, cambric, and printed calico, and also managed the exportation of lumber and iron.


The Sugar Act occurred when parliament decided to make a few adjustments to the trade regulations. It first tax on the American colonies established by the British Parliament. The parliament endorsed an updated version of the Sugar and Molasses Act (1733) on April 5, 1764, which was close to terminate. In terms of the Molasses Act, colonial traders were required to pay a tax of six pence per gallon on the import of international molasses.

However, due to corruption, they generally evaded the taxes and ventured the purpose of the tax — that the English goods would be cheaper than those from the French West Indies. As a result, it undermined the British West Indies trade in molasses and sugar and the need for rum, which the colonies were manufacturing in quantity with the cheaper French molasses.

The First Lord of the Treasury and Chancellor of the Exchequer Lord Grenville enhanced the Navy’s existence and ordered them to become more active in customs regulation.

The causes of the Sugar Act include the reduced tax on molasses from 6 pence to 3 pence, increased tax on imports of foreign processed sugar, and the prohibition on importing foreign rum. Moreover, additional goods were taxed and only between Britain and its colonies, as well as the limited train connections with West Indian Colonies. The British nearly doubled their national debt due to the Sugar Act as George Grenville assumed that the colonists were smuggling goods into the country.

Considering the effects of the Sugar Act, it led the incentivize traders to buy molasses from British colonies and pay customs instead of transferring goods illegally from foreign territories. Furthermore, the Sugar Act was an effort by the british parliament to increase revenue and maintain trade between the British Colonies. Ultimately, the Act reduced the number of foreign coins in British America and sustained a robust British trading relationship.

With that said, the Sugar Act significance assumes that it divided the duty equally on foreign-made molasses, assigned duties on certain imports, and, most importantly, it strengthened the enforcement of the law. The colonists discouraged the Act because it marked the end of salutary neglect, the restricted role of the British Government in the colonies’ functionality.

Customs officers were obliged to work full time and be permanently located in the colonies. The Americans also opposed to judges receiving 5% of the smuggled cargo, which withheld people from receiving a fair trial. In addition, being limited to the use of coins rather than notes complicated the process of paying taxes by increasing their debt.

The cumulative effect of the new duties of the Sugar Act on ports aimed at significantly lowering the trading with Madeira, the Azores, the Canary Islands, and the French West Indies (Guadeloupe, Martinique and Santo Domingo). These were all vital ports of shipment for lumber, flour, cheese, and various farm products.

Such a modification disarranged the colonial economy by reducing the marketplaces to which the colonies could sell, and the amount of currency at their disposal for the investment of British produced goods. Therefore, the Sugar Act summary, together with the Currency Act, implies that they both laid the foundation for the revolt at the imposition of the Stamp Act.