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Author » Charles Adams

Charles Adams, the world’s leading scholar on the history of taxation, is the author of For Good and Evil: The Impact of Taxes on the Course of Civilization, 2nd edition, 1999, from which this article was derived. He was the winner of the 2000 Paradigm Book Award for his book on the Civil War, When in the Course of Human Events.

Latest from Charles Adams

“Bad Money Drives Out Good”

This is what has been called Gresham’s Law. It was formulated by Sir Thomas Gresham to explain to Queen Elizabeth I what was happening to the English shilling. Her father, Henry VIII, had been adulterating the English shilling, the ...

A Historian Looks at Tax Havens

The recent attack on tax havens by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has depicted about 20–30 countries, called tax havens, as destructive of the high tax systems of the world, ...

Lincoln Crossing the Rubicon

WHEN THE CIVIL WAR started in the Roman Republic, Julius Caesar defied the civil authority and crossed the River Rubicon in 49 B.C. This was a violation of the Roman constitution, for no army was ...

Slavery Reexamined, Part 2

Part 1 | Part 2 But the tax slavery vs. chattel slavery story is not over. The one place medieval serfdom did not take root was in Russia. Unlike the ...

Slavery Reexamined, Part 1

Part 1 | Part 2 Slavery is a powerful word, evoking ugly and horrifying memories in our society during the past centuries. We assume that our kind of slavery was the world's worst, and ...

A Warning from the Past

In A.D. 476 Odovacar, a German commander in the Roman army, sacked Rome and took over the imperial throne. That date is usually cited as the end of ...