Stamp Duty, Propaganda and the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
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Stamp duty on newspapers was introduced somewhat controversially in 1712, in the reign of Queen Anne, as part of a raft of revenue raising measures aimed at meeting the exigencies of the war of the Spanish Succession. The circumstances of its introduction are the subject of an earlier paper. Despite initial enforcement difficulties and evidence of widespread evasion, the tax persisted, and over the course of the eighteenth century was subject to a number of modifications. The purpose of this paper is to explore developments in the newspaper stamp duty and associated taxes during the latter half of that century and early in the nineteenth century, the period following the French Revolution during which England was at war with France. When first introduced in 1712 it was primarily intended as a revenue raiser with censorship as a subsidiary, but not unintended, by product. The motivation for subsequent increases in stamp duty during the period under consideration is equally mixed, and difficult to discern.
The link to the book on publisher's website is : http://www.hartpub.co.uk/books/details.asp?isbn=9781841134734
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