The Moiety Men
The last chapter examined how lawmakers relied upon and then rejected bounties in the realm of state and local taxation. This chapter now tackles those same issues in federal taxation. In the history of American public finance, the federal level is just as worthy of study as the state and local levels. Federal revenue in the nineteenth century overwhelmingly came from taxes, and the most important federal tax of the century was the customs duty. This chapter focuses on bounties for customs officers, since the customs duty was the more important of the two forms of taxation by dollar value, and because the published debate on bounties was far more extensive for customs.
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