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Chartism and the Income Tax

British Tax Review, Number 2, 2013

1 Pages Posted: 30 Jan 2014  

Stephen Utz

University of Connecticut School of Law

Date Written: March 1, 2013


Historians have devoted much attention to the Chartists’ advocacy of non-economic political rights. Almost nothing has been written about the movement’s articulate campaign for the revival of the British income tax. The intellectual content of this grass-roots support for the longest surviving of the world’s income tax regimes is important because, like constitutions of the same era, early income tax laws were skeletal legislative products, dependent for their meaning on prior public debate. The Chartists transformed slogans against heavy consumption taxation into a distinctive statement of the goals of the income tax, including those we now refer to as tax neutrality and vertical equity. Their views on these matters were without parallel in the public discussion before and immediately after Peel’s reintroduction of the income tax in 1842.

This material was first published by Thomson Reuters (Professional) UK Limited in Stephen Utz, Chartism and the Income Tax, British Tax Review [2013] No. 2, at page 192, and is reproduced by agreement with the Publishers.

Notes: Downloadable document is a Table of Contents only.

Keywords: Legal history, tax history, British income tax

JEL Classification: B12, B14, E62, H25, K34

Suggested Citation

Utz, Stephen, Chartism and the Income Tax (March 1, 2013). British Tax Review, Number 2, 2013. Available at SSRN: or

Stephen G. Utz (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut School of Law ( email )

65 Elizabeth Street
Hartford, CT 06105
United States
(860) 570-5235 (Phone)
(860) 570-5242 (Fax)


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