The abolition of taxes on knowledge
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When first introduced in 1712, and throughout the eighteenth century, thestamp duty on newspapers was primarily intended as a revenue raiser with censorshipas a subsidiary, but not Wlintended, by-product. In the nineteenth centurythe stamp duty became known more justifiably as a 'tax on knowledge'and it was increasingly criticised as being an overt form of statutory censorship.Efforts to have the tax repealed resulted in a compromise in 1836, witha significant reduction in the duty from 4d to 1d. The stamp duty was eventuallyrepealed in 1855, largely as a result of the activities of 'The NewspaperStamp Abolition Committee' and the findings of the 'Select Committee onNewspaper Stamps'. The purpose of the paper is to give a brief account of the history of the stamp duty up to 1836 and then to examine the events between 1836 and 1855.
The link to the book on publisher's website is : http://www.hartpub.co.uk/books/details.asp?isbn=9781841136776
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