This section of the book is from the "Introduction To Public Finance" book, by Carl Copping Plehn.
Expenditure, like every other feature of Public Finance, changed radically in character and direction during the eighteenth century. Therefore, before proceeding to analyse present expenditure, we shall do well to take a brief survey of expenditure before this century. In the early stages of State life the forms of property were few, public life was identified with the family and with religious life. There was little call for definite public expenditure. The chief item was for religious observances, and for these purposes only was there a distinct public treasury. Foundations for the support of religious observances, as seen in Greece and Rome, are extremely old. The temples have their own groves, lands, mines, and flocks, receive contributions, and exact a tariff for their services. Materials for the study of this period are scant. Services of a public character are performed by all citizens as a matter of course. In war they are the warriors, they furnish their own arms. Their reward is in the success of their enterprise. By mutual effort, or the slave labour of conquered peoples, they build their fortress-cities, ships, roads, and temples. The simplicity of economic life forbids the rise of any proper system of public revenues. Taxes are levied on conquered peoples, but the free citizen is exempt. There is practically no division of labour in State matters which would call for a paid public service. Greece and Rome emerge from these primitive forms with a more complicated system of expenditure, but with relatively little advance in revenues.