Legislation, Historical

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

  • About

legislation, historical, covers the laws affecting the availability of sweets. Historically, the single most important law of this type has been the protective tariff on sugar. Tariffs and other trade protections have been enacted—and, notably, repealed—by virtually every major sugar-producing and sugar-consuming nation since at least the sixteenth century. Without tariff protection, large-scale plantation sugar production in the Caribbean and Pacific islands might never have developed, nor would the sugar-refining industries in Europe have had such phenomenal success. Ultimately, the steady increase in per capita sugar consumption in the modern period depended on trade policies that stimulated production and dramatically lowered the price of sweets. See plantations, sugar.