What was the Sugar Act?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The Sugar Act was passed in 1764. It was a law that lowered taxes on molasses. The British were concerned that the colonists were smuggling molasses. To discourage this from continuing, this law lowered taxes on molasses. The British hoped that with lower taxes, the colonists would get the molasses from British sources. Even though the tax rate would be lower, it would allow Britain to get more tax revenue since more molasses would be bought from the British. The law also allowed for the British to conduct searches to see if any items were being illegally imported. The burden of proof of innocence was on the colonists, not on the British. This did not go over well with the colonists. The British wanted to increase revenue because the cost of running the colonies was rising. They believed the colonists should share in some of this cost. This was another law that the colonists disliked that eventually led to the Revolutionary War.

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