The Journal of Libertarian Studies

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The Great Depression Tax Revolts Revisited

  • The Journal of Libertarian Studies

Tags Taxes and SpendingU.S. HistoryMoney and Banking

David Beito did a great service for the scholarship of liberty and American history with his rediscovery of the Great Depression-era tax resistance movement. He uncovered evidence of widespread opposition to property taxes across America. However, the anti-tax rebellion declined as quickly as it started, a demise that he attributes to a lack of a “focused ideological program” that could capture the popular anti-tax sentiment of the time. Thus, Beito concludes, this tax resistance movement was a failure. While his contribution has been praised, questions have been raised concerning Beito’s explanation for the demise of the tax revolt.

In this paper, we argue that the anti-tax movement was a genuine success, and that this success is the reason the revolt ended.

Volume 15, Number 3 (2001)

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Thornton, Mark., and Chetley Weise. "The Great Depression Tax Revolts Revisited." Journal of Libertarian Studies 15, No. 3 (2001): 95–105.