Molasses Act of 1733
The North American and Caribbean territories of the English were overflowing with produce like sugar and its derivatives that brought in prosperity and wealth for its owners. In order to control the supply and distribution of these items, like rum and molasses, the English government formulated certain laws. This they did for many years, making amendments where necessary like the Navigation Acts. However, they also implemented the Molasses Act.
Molasses Act Definition
The names of the Acts gave a clear indication of their purpose. The former edict was more specific to the movement of ships from other nations like France, Spain and those also from the Dutch. However, the British tax on imported sugar and molasses governed and increasingly created a monopoly over the American economy and manufacturers of rum. This gave their English West Indian colonies a better chance of competing in the market against those of the Spanish, French and Dutch. Tensions grew as a result as the populace in America, by and large thought it unfair.
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Consequences of the Molasses Act
These British acts on the colonies did not go over well in America. The production of these sugar derivatives was an integral part of the economy and the people in New England. It caused remonstration because of the diminishing supply. If they depended solely on the British colonies, which they could not, this would cause devastating effects. The direct corollary of the implementation of this edict was a steep increase in the prices.
People surmised that the direct reason for putting forth the Molasses edict was to bring more profits to England; in addition to causing the negative undermining of the economy, by lessening its ability to sell to other countries. As such, many people and business owners did not adhere to the decree. They found ways to circumvent it, making it the least effective of the British edicts. There was a rise in unlawful activities as it was easier to bribe government officials and as such, there was an increase in French rum. The Sugar decree was a way to counter the effects, of the previous edict. This was the trigger for the American insurgency.
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