Taxation- Spain.doc

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Published on 6 Feb 2013
Department
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Spain
● Constant warfare was hugely expensive
●It would eventually lose its two biggest sources of
revenue: the Netherlands and the Indies
French property rights did not develop because France had strong and powerful governments.
Spain started off in a very strong position. It had control of the Netherlands. Netherlands were the main
source of Spanish revenue. The Spanish king didn't owe anyone anything. He was in a strong position.
He decided to go to dominate Europe politically and economically. He was also the defender of the
pope.
Netherlands were a huge source of revenue and he almost lost them, so he fought for it for over 80
years, causing military costs to go up drastically.
●Its third largest source of revenue was a tax on sheep. Major concessions were made to the shepherds'
guild to maintain this revenue source
– The sheep migrated through the year, moving from one foraging area to another. The shepherds were
held not to be responsible when the sheep trampled or ate farmers' crops
– Enclosure of communal land was prohibited
– Rental fees for grazing were fixed forever at their initial value, despite the fact that Spain
was experiencing ongoing inflation (quantity theory of money
Sheep were important source of revenue. Spanish recognized the value of sheep, because they could be
taxed on. He recognized their value and would give shepherds literally everything ( shepherds were
not held responsible for any harm of the farmers, they could cause all the chaos they wanted). The
farmer's had no property rights. No one wanted farmers to have enclosure of communal lands (building
up of large farms).
Essentially, farmers had not property rights. They could not even rent their land.
Spanish crisis of inflation was through the roof. (Exportation for gold and silver). Everything harmed
farmers in favour or shepherds.
– These measures inhibited the growth of agriculture.
– When wheat prices rose as a result of these policies, a price ceiling was imposed on wheat
Price control was put on wheat – once again, dependency of farmer's on king.
● The Moriscos (descendents of the Moors) were
expelled around 1600. They were some of Spain's
most capable farmers
● Desperation for revenue also led to the expulsion of
the Jews (1492), arbitrary confiscations from almost
everybody, massive crown borrowing that created
large interest obligations
– No effective property rights
– Being wealthy in Spain simply made you a
target of the government
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