Sugar Act (1764)

The Sugar Act, properly known as the American Revenue Act, was enacted by Parliament on April 5, 1764. The goal of the act was to raise revenue to help defray the military costs of protecting the American colonies at a time Great Britain's economy was saddled with the huge national debt accumulated during the French and Indian War (aka Seven Years War). The focus of the Sugar Act was to discourage colonial merchants and manufacturers from smuggling non-British goods to avoid taxes imposed by Parliament. The Sugar Act successfully reduced smuggling, but it greatly disrupted the economy of the American colonies by increasing the cost of many imported items, and reducing exports to non-British markets. As a result, Americans protested the Sugar Act primarily because of its economic impact, but for some "no taxation without representation" became a rallying cry against Parliament's right to tax the colonies.

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