Sugar Act Explained — Section 19

April 5, 1764

Section 19 of the Sugar Act of 1764 explains that Ireland can only receive shipments of sugar directly from Great Britain.

Sugar Act, 1764, Date, Taxes, Reaction, Grenville Acts, AHC

George Grenville, Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer, was responsible for the Sugar Act of 1764, starting the movement in the 13 Colonies against Taxation Without Representation.

Understanding the Sugar Act of 1764

This entry is part of a series that explains the Sugar Act of 1764, including, rules, regulations, and penalties. To learn more, see History of the Sugar Act and Facts About the Sugar Act. Vocabulary, key people, and primary documents related to the Sugar Act are listed at the bottom of this article.

Section 19 — Restrictions on Importation of Sugar into Ireland

XIX. And it is hereby further enacted and declare by the authority aforesaid, That from and after the twenty ninth day of September, one thousand seven hundred and sixty four, nothing in the before-recited act made in the fifth year of the reign of his late majesty King George the Second, or any other act of parliament, shall extend, or be construed to extend, to give liberty to any person or persons whatsoever to import into the kingdom of Ireland any sort of sugars, but such only as shall be fairly and bona fide loaden and shipped in Great Britain, and carried directly from thence in ships navigated according to law. 


Section 19 of the Sugar Act of 1764 explains restrictions on the importation of sugar into Ireland. The key points are:

  1. Effective Date — Starting on September 29, 1764.
  2. Restriction on Sugar Imports to Ireland
    1. No previous act, including one made in the fifth year of King George II’s reign (1732), or any other act of Parliament, should be interpreted to allow the import of any sugar into Ireland.
    2. The only exception is sugar that is genuinely loaded and shipped from Great Britain directly to Ireland in ships that comply with navigation laws.


Although the Sugar Act was primarily directed at the American Colonies, it placed restrictions on other British territories, including Ireland. This was done to ensure compliance with the Navigations Acts and the Mercantile System.


These terms and definitions provide more context for students studying the Sugar Act. For more on the Sugar Act as it relates to the AP US History curriculum, see Sugar ACT APUSH Review.

  • Act — A written law passed by a legislative body.
  • Authority — The power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.
  • Bona Fide — Genuine or real.
  • Comply — To act in accordance with rules or laws.
  • Construed — Interpreted or understood.
  • Effective Date — The date when a law or regulation begins to apply (September 29, 1764).
  • Extend — To cover or apply to.
  • Ireland — A country west of Great Britain, part of the British Isles.
  • King George II — British monarch from 1727 to 1760.
  • Kingdom — Refers to Great Britain in this context.
  • Liberty — Freedom or permission.
  • Loaded — Placed onto a ship for transport.
  • Navigation Laws — Laws regulating the operation and management of ships.
  • Parliament — The highest legislative authority in Britain, consisting of the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the Sovereign.
  • Recited — Referred to or mentioned.
  • Restriction — A limitation or rule.
  • Shipped — Sent by sea or other transportation.
  • Sugar — A sweet crystalline substance obtained from various plants, used as a sweetener.

Key People

  • Samuel Adams — Adams helped lead opposition to the Sugar Act in Massachusetts. Went on to become a leader of the Boston Sons of Liberty and one of the most influential men behind the movement for independence.
  • George Grenville — Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer. Responsible for the design of the Sugar Act and introducing it to Parliament.
  • Stephen Hopkins — Governor of Rhode Island. Critic of the Sugar Act and its impact on the Rhode Island economy and colonial rights.
  • James Otis — Early advocate of the rights of Americans as British subjects. Argued against Writs of Assistance (1761) in the Paxton Case.

Primary Documents

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations, including APA Style, Chicago Style, and MLA Style.

  • Article Title Sugar Act Explained — Section 19
  • Date April 5, 1764
  • Author
  • Keywords Sugar Act, What did Section 19 of the Sugar Act do
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date June 21, 2024
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update June 8, 2024