Spence, Thomas,1750–1814, English agrarian socialist. A forerunner of the single taxers (see single taxsingle tax,
any levy that serves as the government's only source of revenue. Generally, however, it is understood to mean a tax derived from economic rent and used as the sole source of public receipts.
..... Click the link for more information. ), he devised a scheme by which the parishes would assume ownership of the land and rent paid to the parish corporation would be the sole tax. He devoted much of his life to agitating for these principles and founded a society of Spenceans. He set forth his ideas in The Real Rights of Man (1775) and other pamphlets.
See study by O. D. Rudkin (1927, repr. 1966).
Born June 21,1750, in Newcastle-on-Tyne; died Sept. 8,1814, in London. English Utopian socialist and economist.
Spence was influenced by the theorists of natural law. In his pamphlet The Real Rights of Man (1775), he supported the abolition of private ownership and the transfer of land to church parishes for free rental to parishioners. He considered it thus possible to create a new social structure—a free association of self-governing communities. Spence was repeatedly subjected to repression. His teachings influenced R. Owen.
REFERENCESVolgin, V. P. Istoriia sotsialisticheskikh idei, part 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1928.
Cherniak, E. B. Massovoe dvizhenie v Anglii i Irlandii v kontse XVIII-nachaleXIX v. Moscow, 1962.
Rudkin, O. D. Thomas Spence. New York, 1927.