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There is no denying that taxation without proper representation is what set the stage for the American Revolutionary War. When the British Parliament began taxing the colonists by passing laws (The Acts) to raise more money for Britain, this put a huge hardship on the new American colonies. If you are studying about the American Revolutionary War you will want your children to learn about the Acts that led up to the war actually happening. In this series, we will cover the 4 Acts that were the springboard for the colonists to begin fighting for their independence from Britain.
The first act we will be discussing is The Sugar Act.
The Sugar Act was passed on April 5, 1764. The old Sugar and Molasses Act of 1733 was about to expire, so the new Sugar Act reduced the tax on Molasses but added many more rules and items to be taxed! This act was very sneaky because it reduced the molasses tax to help to curb the smuggling of sugar and molasses into the colonies. By reducing the previous tax it now included many more foreign goods to be taxed which were sugar, certain wines, coffee, indigo fabric dye, and molasses.
This new act was also more strictly enforced than the old act. It would disrupt the colonial economy by reducing the amount of imported goods they could import because the taxes were just too high. This tax worried the colonial leaders that Britain could continue to pass more taxes and start to take the power away from the colonists!
Here are some great historical documents from the Massachusetts Historical Society that explain why the Sugar Act was so awful, with lesson plan questions:
An Act with Teeth
Our Trade is Most Grieviously Embarrassed
We Declare Our Just Expectations
The Exclusive Right of the People
Here are some great videos and songs to help you further learn about the Sugar Act and the beginning of the Revolution!
The Liberty’s Kids Collection is one of my absolute favorite resources for learning about The Revolutionary War! You can grab all 40 episodes for less than $7 on Amazon!