18th Century – The poll tax: Philip V punishes Catalonia

The ‘cadastro’ was a new fiscal measure introduced after the Spanish Succession War

In the early-18th century, absolute monarchies set about the task of reviewing fiscal systems in order to cover the expenses of war. Their aim was to increase taxes without harming economic development. However, in the case of the Kingdom of Castile, with its chaotic finances and huge deficits, this was impossible. The advisors of King Philip V, on the throne since 1700, were opposed to increasing fiscal pressure on Castilian taxpayers. The Crown of Aragon –that is, the confederation of realms formed by the Kingdom of Aragon, the Kingdom of Valencia and the Principality of Catalonia– also expressed their disapproval of such a measure.

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