The Rosetta Stone to the US Code: A New History of Taxation
4. The Middle Ages
Adams speaks of how sad he is for law to have turned from a profession into a simple craft with advertising and politics. He also opposes the medical system. It killed several family members.
Lady Godiva’s naked ride on her horse was a protest over taxes. Ship money for war ships was collected in Britain even though there was then no war.
Spain instituted a hated tax called the alcabala, a ten percent tax on the transfer of all real and personal property. It was unfortunately a productive revenue generator. By flight of Spanish taxpayers and fraud of disclosure, the Spaniards struggled to avoid heavy taxes. International law stated that no sovereign would aid another sovereign in collecting taxes. OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) changed that, requiring banks to provide burdensome pages of information, driving Americans from foreign banking systems.
Cortez and the conquest of Mexico and Pizarro and the conquest of Peru were astounding stories about taxes being the chink in the armor of the Aztec and Inca Rulers.
The tax revolt that created modern Germany was inspired by Hans the Piper. Martin Luther first supported the peasants, but withdrew that support when he saw how destructive the uprisings were.
Frederick proclaimed himself King of the Poor, but he couldn’t lower taxes. Low taxes were not possible in a world dominated by military operations.
The Ancien Regime was the monarchic, aristocratic, social and political system established in France from about the 15th century until the later 18th century. Most tax investigators and collectors were slaughtered during the French Revolution.
Lecture 4 of 10 from Charles Adams' The Rosetta Stone to the US Code: A New History of Taxation.