Feudalism placed a large number of economic receipts directly in the hands of the rulers. These receipts were generally sufficient for the dischargeof the customary public activities. It is a mistake, therefore,to search for taxes proper in the period of the supremacy of feudalism; that is, from the capitulary of Charles the Bald, 877, to the end of the thirteenth century. Taxes begin to emerge with the transformation of feudal rights and dues, the commutation of obligatory military services, and the like into payments in kind or in money. Greek and Roman forms of taxation had even less influence on modern systems of taxation than Greek and Roman forms of expenditure on modern spending. For the study of Roman law and the traditions of the glory of the Roman Empire determined many State activities that involved the spending of public wealth. But new methods of obtaining the funds were devised. Information concerning the taxes of the period from the fall of Rome to the capitulary of Charles the Bald is rather meagre and too vague to be of much value.

The first taxes to emerge from the darkness of this period are a number of fee-like contributions of the nature of commuted feudal services, or directly connected with feudal rights, certain market dues and customs duties, tolls for protection to travellers, for the use of roads, bridges and ferries, and two forms of property taxes, land taxes and family taxes. The land taxes of this period are just emerging from the character of rent payments and acquire only by degrees the features of pure taxes. Even in the case of land left to the original possessors after conquest, the payments demanded are more of the character of rents than of taxes. But the combination of these charges with hearth or family taxes leads to the formation of a sort of mixed property and personal taxes. The fact that land is practically the only kind of revenue yielding property and that no considerable earnings are made without the use of land makes this tax sufficiently universal for the demands of justice.

Direct taxes are in this period, as in classical times, never paid by the freeman. They are regarded as derogatory and as the badge of a servile position. The freeman could give his services to the State, he could risk his life for it, but he would regard it as a deadly insult if he were asked to pay taxes. Indirectly, of course, he was taxed, as, for example, when he bought merchandise, for permission to sell which the trader was taxed.

As soon, however, as industry began to develop, as soon as the crafts sprang up in the cities which clustered around the market-places, and classes which had lived in part from industrial pursuits found it possible to obtain so wide a market that they could live entirely from their industry, then, there arose such a differentiation of the sources of wealth that the old forms of taxation were insufficient. Taxation had, therefore, to be extended to meet the new forms of wealth. The first methodsof taxing these were dictated solely by expediency and the desire of obtaining as large revenues as possible, rather than by any definite ideas of justice, and were mainly indirect in character and partly an extension of the older market dues, excises, customs, and tolls, together with new taxes of the same kind.

Of old Roman taxes none can be strictly said to have survived the conquest. Some lasted throughout the Merovingian period in a greatly changed form. Finally they were merged into various feudal payments, and took on the nature of rents. A few relatively insignificant market dues and fees constitute the only taxes which regularly formed a part of the revenues of the State or of the State's officers, the feudal lords. The regular feudal burdens, while economic in character and not fiscal, really fill the place of the later direct taxes. In proportion to the prosperity of the peoplethey were certainly as heavy as any modern systems of taxes. The rapid disintegration

of the German Empire into smaller territorial lordships after the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, rendered the question of imperial taxation at once less pressing and more complicated. On some eleven different occasions, according to Wagner, between 1427 and 1550 the Empire as such stood in need of extra revenues, for purposes so clearly of common benefit as to justify a demand for common contributions.Such an instance is that of the Hussite and Turkish wars. The tax used was the "common penny." This direct imperial tax was a mixture of poll and personal taxes with income and property taxes. We find very similar taxes in France and England. It fell upon all imperial subjects, whether holding from the crown or not, provided they held property. The rate was an irregular regressive one, being smaller for all above a certain amount of property. It was very badly administered and not universally collected.1

In the German principalities that were formed out of the German Empire the first direct taxes were the bedes. These were extra payments, similar in form to the existing feudal contributions. They were made by those already paying such dues and were measured in somewhat similar ways. The basis was generally landed property. The first bedes were more or less voluntary, private contributions for the support of the Vogt, count, or lord for some recognised public purpose.

1 Cf. "Wagner, Schőnberg's Handbuch, 3d ed., III., 184.

By contracts entered into between the contributors and the lords, they became compulsory and formed part of the regular income of the lords, who then in extraordinary cases of need would again come forward with the demand for extra or "necessity" bedes. This was frequently done in times of war. Hence, these bedes were often called " army bedes." Some of these in turn became customary or fixed. With the rise of the idea of public life and public needs, the bedes easily became compulsory public contributions, and were regarded as distinct from the feudal dues, which by virtue of longer standing and the absence of a recognised public purpose were treated as the private revenues of the prince. A peculiarity of the earlier assessments of the bedes was the method of apportionment to, or assumption by, the different orders or cities of a certain lump sum, which was then distributed by their own rulers among the different members, according to some measure agreed upon. Prelates, clergy, and knights were exempt from the ordinary bedes. They sometimes rendered similar contributions, hedging themselves in with all sorts of reserves and precautions, to prevent the payments becoming regular. These were called "donative monies."

It was in the cities that retained a large degree of political independence that the highest development of the fiscal system was to be found in the middle ages. This is owing to the fact that they were in advance of the rest of the country in their economic development. Long before the principalities were able to abandon paymentsin kind and services, the cities were collecting taxes in money, making some use of public credit and developing regular fiscal offices. " The art of taxation," says Wagner,1 " the use of public credit, and the practical organisation of the financial administration in the cities had been an important part of public institutions for centuries before the territorial State had even recognised the need of such." This field has, however, not yet received the attention of historical investigators sufficiently to allow us to draw conclusions as to the generally prevailing forms.2