1st Edition

Histories of Tax Evasion, Avoidance and Resistance

    282 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Tax evasion, tax avoidance and tax resistance are widespread phenomena in political, economic, social and fiscal history from antiquity through medieval, early modern and modern times. Histories of Tax Evasion, Avoidance and Resistance shows how different groups and individuals around the globe have succeeded or failed in not paying their due taxes, whether in kind or in cash, on their properties or on their crops.

    It analyses how, throughout history, wealthy and poor taxpayers have tried to avoid or reduce their tax burden by negotiating with tax authorities, through practices of legal or illegal tax evasion, by filing lawsuits, seeking armed resistance or by migration, and how state authorities have dealt with such acts of claim making, defiance, open resistance or elusion. It fills an important research gap in tax history, addressing questions of tax morale and fairness, and how social and political inequality was negotiated through taxation. It gives rich insights into the development of citizen-state relationships throughout the course of history. The book comprises case studies from Ancient Athens, Roman Egypt, Medieval Europe, Early Modern Mexico, the Ottoman Empire, Nigeria under British colonial rule, the United Kingdom of the early 20th century, Greece during the Second World War, as well as West Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and the United States in the 20th century, including transnational entanglements in the world of late-modern offshore finance and taxation. The authors are experts in fiscal, economic, financial, legal, social and/or cultural history.

    The book is intended for students, researchers and scholars of economic and financial history, social and world history and political economy.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 license.

    List of figures and tables

    List of contributors



    The Ability and Intention of Not Paying Taxes in History: Some Introductory Observations

    Korinna Schönhärl, Gisela Hürlimann, Dorothea Rohde

    Part 1: Negotiating Lower Taxes, or No Taxes at All

    Chap. 1: Tax Evaders in Classical Athens? Attacks and Strategies of Defence in Attic Oratory

    Lucia Cecchet

    Chap. 2: The Alcabala Sales Tax Administration in Colonial Mexico: Avoidance Strategies in Bourbon Colonial Mexico (1723-1754)

    Rodrigo Gordoa de la Huerta

    Chap. 3: Imperial Taxation and Local Agency: Tax Avoidance and Tax Resistance in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Germany (Saxony and Thuringia)

    Rachel Renault

    Part 2: Resisting and Opposing Taxes

    Chap. 4: Not Paying Taxes in Roman Egypt

    Kerstin Droß-Krüpe

    Chap. 5: "Taxing" the Tribes in the Ottoman Empire: The Case of the Tribes of Mutki (1839-1908)

    Yener Koç

    Chap. 6: Tax Evasion as Means of Resistance in Occupied Greece, 1941-1944

    Vasilis G. Manousakis

    Chap. 7: Women´s Protests against Colonial Taxation in the Eastern Provinces of Nigeria

    Daniel Olisa Iweze

    Part 3: Avoiding Tax Avoidance: Counter Strategies by State Authorities

    Chap. 8: Verbally Resisting Taxes in Medieval England: Arguments, Anger and the (In)Ability to Prevent Tax-Avoidance in the Reign of Henry III

    Christina Bröker

    Chap. 9: How to Create a Taxpaying Spirit: A Transnational Examination of a US American and a Western German Tax Education Film in and after World War II

    Korinna Schönhärl

    Chap. 10: "Exceptional" Tax Amnesties: A Common Swiss Way of Fighting Tax Fraud in the Twentieth Century

    Aniko Fehr, Sylvain Praz

    Part 4: Sparing the Rich and Companies from Taxation

    Chap. 11: "There is no wrongdoing in avoiding taxes." The Land Union’s Tax Resistance in Great Britain (1900–1930s)

    Anna Grotegut

    Chap. 12: Populist Ambivalence to Tax Evasion: The 1962 Campaign against Dividend and Interest Withholding in the US

    Steven A. Bank

    Chap. 13: "I am a professional tax evader". Multinationals, Business Groups and Tax Havens, 1950s to 1980s

    Boris Gehlen, Christian Marx

    Chap. 14: Tax System Credibility vs. Banking System Reputation? Tax Evasion from Sweden to Switzerland in the Early 1970s

    Thibaud Giddey, Mikael Wendschlag



    Korinna Schönhärl is the Heisenberg-Professor for Modern History at Paderborn University, Germany.

    Gisela Hürlimann is professor of history of technology and economic history at the Technical University (TU) Dresden, Germany.

    Dorothea Rohde is a lecturer of ancient history at the University of Bielefeld, Germany.