Theories of Taxation in Ideas of Political Economy and the British System of Taxation, 1750-1816
My thesis will investigate the system of taxation in England and Scotland, economically, governmentally, and intellectually from 1750 to 1816. I would especially seek to contextualise the ideas of political economy and theories of taxation expressed by the likes of Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, Lord Kames, and Andrew Hamilton, as well as the effect these ideas had on state policy, including the logic behind the introduction of the income tax in 1799. I will also actively compare England and Scotland to provide further context to those debates. The economies of the two countries were extremely different and there is an intriguing analysis to be made about the imposition of an English fiscal policy, based on an increasingly commercial society, onto an agrarian Scotland with small and sparse communities.