Topic: EconomicsTaxation

Last updated: April 2, 2019

In today’s society, taxation is just another expense for citizens globally.

For example, the Road tax (pictured) is applicable to everyone who owns a vehicle in Malaysia. However, unlike the grievances caused by the taxes in France during the late 1800s, the citizens of today generally do not make too much noise over these taxes as they are often justifiable and fair for all. This was not the case in France during the 18th century because the taxes were only compulsory for the commoners (Third estate) which is an unfair burden on them if you take their income into account.

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As for the others, they were either given an exemption or they could file for an exemption by using the parlements. As if it was not bad enough, personal taxes were implemented too. This time, the only party who were completely exempted from this tax were the nobles.

The rationale given to this was that as representatives of the military elite, they had already paid their taxes in full by contributing their blood and labor. The multiple attempts to reform the taxation system to make it more equal for everyone were promptly shut down by the parlement who blatantly shielded the interest of the nobility. After a while, it became clear that the taxation system was inefficient and faulty.

This would eventually lead to the Assembly of Notables when King Louis XVI failed to obtain ministers to help him with his debt.


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