Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 49.djvu/305

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APPLETONS'

 

POPULAR SCIENCE

 

MONTHLY.



JULY, 1896.




PRINCIPLES OF TAXATION.

By DAVID A. WELLS, LL.D., D. C. L.,

CORRESPONDANT DE L'INSTITUT DE FRANCE, ETC.

II.—THE PLACE OF TAXATION IN LITERATURE AND HISTORY.

PART VI.

THE Tax Experiences of India. — In contrast with the record of tax experiences in Egypt, that of India under like (British) influences, though equally singular and instructive, is not equally satisfactory. The elements of the problem of raising sufficient revenue to defray the expenses of the state since India passed under British rule and influence are substantially as follows:

A vast area of territory — 1,609,151 square miles — with a population comprising more than one fifth of the human race — 288,159,692 in 1891 — and increasing at the rate of at least 30,000,000 for every decade, a number about equal to the present population of England and Wales; without homogeneity, but divided and subdivided, as is the case in no other country, by diversity of race, religion, caste, and language.[1] Of the population of India, 217,000,000, according to the census of 1881, were unable to read or write; while as respects property, the testimony of recognized authorities in 1877 was, that the value of the total yield of the land of India from all sources, including the produce of mines and the

  1. In the Statistical Abstract relating to British India, annually published by the home Government, eighty-eight different languages, distinctively Asiatic or non-European, are recognized as characteristic of the population. In 1884-'85 out of a then total population of 253,891,536, only 202,920 were reported as using English in the sense of a mother-tongue; and only 1,862,626 that admitted of classification as "Christians."