Sugar act, 1764

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  • Sugar Act, 1764
    • Terms of Sugar Act
      • Reduced tax on imports of molasses from 6 to3p per gallon
        • Aim: incentivise traders to buy molasses from British colonies and pay customs rather than smuggle from foreign ones
      • Increased tax on foreign on Foreign refines sugar
        • To increase revenue and keep trade within British colonies
      • Importing foreign rum was banned
        • Keep trade wtihin colonies
      • Additional goods were subject to this tax and were only allowed to be traded within colonies
        • Increase in revenue keep trade within colony
    • Limited trade with foreign west indian colonies
      • Reducing amount of foreign coinage and maintain trade
    • Twenty Royal Navy ships allocated to track smugglers who were tried in vice admirality court
      • To strengthen and enforce the law and reduce smuggling
    • Colonists reaction to the Act
      • Were annoyed as it marked the end of salutary neglect (british leaving colonies to run themselves). Custom officers now working full time
      • Judges who decided outcome in vice admiralty courts received 5% of smuggled cargo- meant unlikely to get free trial
      • Being limited to use of coins made it difficult for some colonists to pay taxes, debt increase
    • Impact of Sugar Act
      • Tried to challenge act by protesting to government and setting up groups to challenge the trade laws. James Otis wrote a pamphlet articulating the colonist's objections, widely read and influential
      • Further strained colonist-British relations
      • Some colonists boycotted British goods
      • Smuggling of molasses largely remained until 1766 when duty was eventually reduced
      • Revenue was less than expected due to smuggling and oppostion
      • Trade  with foreign powers decreased.


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