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By Donald E. Ginter

Ginter makes a speciality of the years 1780 to 1832, a interval for which many land tax files live on and accurately while sleek kinds of political association started to emerge and while industrialization and enclosure are proposal to have altered the cloth of society and the economic system. via an exam of greater than 5,000 parishes in fifteen historic counties -- nearly one-third of britain -- he indicates that inequalities within the burden of nationwide taxation have been some distance more than somebody has predicted. Having researched either neighborhood and nationwide taxation approaches, he finds that, at the eve of the nineteenth-century "Revolution in Government," the tenantry and yeomanry have been administratively way more self reliant of parliamentary statute and in their neighborhood gentry and magistracy than has formerly been steered. Drawing on proof from the 3 ridings of Yorkshire, he discloses different difficulties linked to the land tax duplicates. whereas Ginter argues that the land tax duplicates are totally insufficient for the learn of the fortunes of the small yeoman and that the literature in this topic has to be essentially reconsidered, he unearths a style that may reliably make the most the land tax duplicates as a systemic documentation. He contends that the total power for stories established centrally at the land tax has scarcely all started to be explored.

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Extra info for A Measure of Wealth: The English Land Tax in Historical Analysis

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Valuations of landed property were popularly acceptable because land could be seen. It was open to public view, and there was much accurate local knowledge regarding its relative (if not its absolute or marketable) value. But to place a valuation on personal and moveable wealth required an inquisitional structure which smacked of French despotism, intruded on the rights of private enjoyment of property, and was abhorrent to the instincts of freeborn Englishmen. Nevertheless there were many notable exceptions to the evasion of personal property from land tax assessment.

Most believed that fundamental alterations had occurred in this distribution within the last one hundred years, culminating a longer historical process. In particular, an entire peasant culture based on small, independent family-owned farms and open commons was thought to have given way to an agricultural society characterized by large, capitalist market-oriented farmers and, consequently, that most of the land had become concentrated to an unprecedented degree into the hands of a landed elite and their larger dependent tenantry.

4 It is questionable whether such large tenant farmers should 17 Minor Problems find their way into counts of declining owner-occupiers. Owner-occupation was not their primary characteristic. Nor were they small holders, except (misleadingly) as proprietors. It is inevitable that landholding categories be employed in such studies, but the categories must be filled by line entry counts that take fully into account the complexities of the farming community. 5 Without elaborating any further examples, it is perhaps sufficiently clear that linking names within or between land tax duplicates poses procedural problems which are severe and which bear substantial consequences.

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