Page:Cambridge Modern History Volume 1.djvu/443

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calculated that Languedoil paid 19 l.t. per head, Outreseine 27, Normandy 60, and Languedoc 67,—an estimate which may be very far from the facts, but gives the result of contemporary impression. Guyenne, when added to the direct dominion of the Crown, escaped in large measure the aides, and was allowed to vote a small contribution by way of tattle. Burgundy compounded for her share of taille by an annual vote of about 50,000 l.t., contributing also to aides and gahelle. Provence was allowed to keep her own Estates and to vote a moderate subsidy. The independent and privileged position of Britanny was not altered until after the death of Louis XII. Dauphine was treated with a consideration even greater than was warranted by its poverty. Thus the main tax, unevenly distributed as it was, pressed the more heavily on the cultivators of the less fortunate regions. It is not uncommon to hear of the inhabitants of some district under Charles VII or Louis XI preferring to leave home and property rather than bear the enormous weight of the public burdens. The taxable capacity of the people was constantly increasing in the latter half of the fifteenth century; but under Louis XI the burdens increased with more than equal rapidity. The taille increased from 1,035,000 l.t. in 1461 to some 3,900,000 in 1483. From the pressing remonstrances of the Estates in 1484 a great alleviation resulted. The taille was reduced to 1,500,000 l.t. and although the expedition of Naples, the War of Britanny, and other causes, necessitated a subsequent rise, the figures remained far below the level of Louis XFs reign. Louis XII was enabled, in spite of his ambitious schemes, to effect further reductions; but the War of Cambray and its sequel swept away nearly all the advantage that had been gained. The revenue raised in 1514 was as high as the highest raised under Louis XI. But the aides and domaine were more productive; the taille was less, and weighed less heavily on a more prosperous nation.

Under Philip the Fair and his successors down to Charles VII a considerable though precarious revenue had often been realised by the disastrous method of tampering with the standard of value. In the latter years of Charles VII and under his three successors this device was rarely employed. A considerable depreciation may be indeed observed between the standard of Louis XII and that of Charles VII; but the changes were far less important and frequent than those of the earlier period. A certain revenue was obtained by legitimate seigniorage, and the illegitimate profits of debasement and the like may be almost neglected.

The system of collection was still only partially centralised, and marked the imperfect union of the successive acquisitions of the monarchy. For the collection and administration both' of domaine and extraordinary revenue the older provinces were distributed into four divisions. Western Languedoil was administered with Guyenne; but the parts of Languedoil beyond Seine and Yonne, when reunited to the