In introducing a monopoly Bismarck intended and hoped not only to relieve the pressure of direct taxation, though this would have been a change sufficient in its magnitude and importance for most men, but proposed to use the very large sum which the Government would have at its disposal for the direct relief of the working classes.
No sooner, however, had the controversy with the mother country reached the acute revolutionary stage, than the forces which had been silently and unconsciously working toward democracy, found an opportunity for political expression. The spirit of resistance to what was regarded as unconstitutional taxation rapidly assumed the form of avowed opposition to the English Constitution itself.
As to the method of taxation to be employed there was some approach to agreement. Many of the old taxes were utterly condemned, at least in their old forms. The salt tax was to be equalized, if it were not entirely done away. The monopoly of tobacco, that "article of first necessity," was to receive the same treatment. Many demands were made concerning the excise on wine.
To have the rate of taxation increased upon this property, especially at that particular time, was to them a very serious matter, a matter which could not have any other effect than to intensify their bitterness and hostility towards the party in control of the State Government.
Cambyses' successor, Darius, was the first to introduce a regular system of taxation, in consequence of which he was nicknamed "the shopkeeper." Up to a much later period it still remained the duty of certain districts to send natural products to the court Herod. Xenoph. Anab.
It is quite true that "the great middle class" does not own the most valuable lots in New York and London; but I have the "chilled steel" hardihood to affirm that not only the bulk of the land but of the land values are in the possession of people who are poor as compared with the occupants of those sumptuous palaces which the George conspiracy for the further enrichment if Dives and the starvation of Lazaras would exempt from taxation.
"I have the satisfaction to state that the words which I said that day bore good fruit subsequently, for the Ayuntamiento of Burgos declined to vote any taxation for extraordinary expenses to commemorate the Duke of Montpensier's marriage."
The new budget provides for a lower level of taxation than has prevailed in preceding years. Six days ago individual income taxes were reduced and the excess profits tax expired. These tax reductions are justified only because of the substantial reductions we already have made and are making in governmental expenditures.
The news reached Amherst at New York; his brother, Lieutenant-Colonel Amherst, was sent to the scene of the mishap. St. John's was retaken, and its late conquerers were made prisoners of war. The financial condition of France was desperate. Her people were crushed with taxation; her debt grew apace; and her yearly expenditure was nearly double her revenue.
He assured them they ought not to be alarmed by impending expenses and consequent taxation; because the latter might be reduced, and the future expense would not be so great as the former had been; for less preparation is necessary for those engaged in self-defense than for those who design to attack others.