Gabelle

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Gabelle

 

a tax on salt in medieval France; before the 14th century it was also a tax on cloth, wine, and other products. The gabelle was introduced by the state, which monopolized the sale of salt under the ordinance of 1341, and after being repealed twice, the tax was finally confirmed in 1383. Either officials or numerous tax farmers collected the gabelle. The tax rate was not uniform for all provinces: there were some with a large gabelle and some with a small one. In the 16th century the regions of Paris, Orleans, Tours, Dijon, Rouen, and others paid the large gabelle, and some provinces were released from paying the gabelle. From the second half of the 15th century the provinces of Poitou, Saintonge, Guyenne, and others did not pay the gabelle. In 1548, an insurrection broke out in Guyenne over an attempt to introduce the gabelle. The tax was particularly onerous in the coastal regions, which used much salt to preserve fish. The gabelle was one of the most hated taxes, causing popular unrest, for ex-ample in Auvillar in 1633 and in Agen in 1635. The gabelle was abolished in 1790.

REFERENCE

Duchat, E. La Gabelle, I’impot indirect. Troyes [1950].