IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 1502: To Tax or not to Tax?: The Adoption of Sales Taxes in 14th-Century Europe

Thursday 12 July 2007, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Organiser:António Castro Henriques, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York / Fundação para a Ciência & Tecnologia de Portugal, Lisboa
Moderator/Chair:Carolin M. Esser, Department of English, University of Winchester
Paper 1502-aSales Taxes by Stealth: The Crown and the Taxation of Consumption in Later Medieval England
(Language: English)
W. Mark Ormrod, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Index terms: Administration, Economics - Trade, Political Thought
Paper 1502-bA 'Burden Devoid of Reason' or a Lesser Evil?: Municipalities and Sales Taxes in 14th-Century Portugal
(Language: English)
António Castro Henriques, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York / Fundação para a Ciência & Tecnologia de Portugal, Lisboa
Index terms: Administration, Economics - Urban, Political Thought
Paper 1502-cLes sisas dans les villes de la Couronne d'Aragon pendant le bas Moyen Âge
(Language: Français)
Pere Verdés-Pijuan, Departamento de Estudios Medievales, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Barcelona
Index terms: Administration, Economics - Urban, Political Thought
Abstract

In 14th-century Europe there was a widespread tendency among states and urban authorities to adopt taxes on transactions and consumption. The lines of argument shared by ruled and rulers were similar to later-day economic theories: these taxes were both ‘more just’ for the former and ‘more efficient’ for the latter. In practice, however, the implementation of sales taxes was highly controversial and ended up by being far from universal. This session will compare the adoption or rejection of this type of taxation in three contrasting cases (Aragon, England and Portugal) by analysing the different relationships between administrative practicalities, private interests and political discourses.