States of Obligation

Taxes and Citizenship in the Russian Empire and Early Soviet Republic

States of Obligation

Beginning in the 1860s, the Russian Empire replaced a poll tax system that originated with Peter the Great with a modern system of income and excise taxes. Les mer
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States of Obligation

Beginning in the 1860s, the Russian Empire replaced a poll tax system that originated with Peter the Great with a modern system of income and excise taxes. Russia began a transformation of state fiscal power that was also underway across Western Europe and North America. States of Obligation is the first sustained study of the Russian taxation system, the first to study its European and transatlantic context, and the first to expose the essential continuities between the fiscal practices of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. Using a wealth of materials from provincial and local archives across Russia, Yanni Kotsonis examines how taxation was simultaneously a revenue-raising and a state-building tool, a claim on the person and a way to produce a new kind of citizenship. During successive political, wartime, and revolutionary crises between 1855 and 1928, state fiscal power was used to forge social and financial unity and fairness and a direct relationship with individual Russians. State power eventually overwhelmed both the private sector economy and the fragile realm of personal privacy.
States of Obligation is at once a study in Russian economic history and a reflection on the modern state and the modern citizen.

Introduction. A Short History of Taxes: Russia and the World from the Eighteenth to the Twenty-First Centuries Part 1. People, Places, Things: The Old Regime, Economic Knowledge, and the Coming of the New Order 1. The Fiscal Instruments of Regime Change from the Eighteenth to the Nineteenth Centuries 2 Three Tax Reforms, Three Visions of the Polity Part 2. The Politics of Visibility, the Technologies of Intimacy: Taxes and the Remaking of Urban and Commercial Russia 3. Wealth in Motion: New Money, New Taxes, and a New Bureaucracy 4. Systematic Intimacy: Business Taxes and the Disciplining of Commercial Russia 5. Mass Taxation in the Age of the Individual: The New Personal Taxation in Russia and the World 6. The Income Tax as Modern Government: Assessment, Self-Assessment, and Mutual Surveillance Part 3. The Politics of Obscurity: Peasant Taxes, Excises, and the Vodka Monopoly to 1917 7. Everyone and No One: Indirect Taxes and the Vodka Monopoly to 1917 8. The Peasant and the Fisc: The State Budget and the Persistence of Collective Tax Apportionment 9. The Local Practices of Peasant Taxation Part 4. The State and Revolution, the State and Evolution: Fiscal Practices and a New Regime, 1917-30 10. Soviet Russia and the Continuing History of the Russian State 11. The Meanings of Utopia: Taxes, Urban Unities, and the Several Assaults on Peasant Separateness, 1917-21 12. The Economy of Licences: Taxes and the New Economic Policy Afterword. Russia, Socialism, and the Modern State

"This is an important book, and one that transcends the field of Russian history. It is learned, mature, highly comparative - and very readable and entertaining. Not so much a financial history as a study of political economy through the prism of taxation, States of Obligation demonstrates the nexus of taxation and citizenship - and shows that the contemporary actors thought and spoke in precisely those terms." -- Peter Holquist, Department of History, University of Pennsylvania "States of Obligation is a profound meditation on the Russian state, comprehensively researched and sure-handedly comparative. Revelation follows revelation - for example, direct taxes on Russia's peasants accounted for a mere 1 per cent of state income in 1913. Textbooks will have to be rewritten." -- Stephen Kotkin, John P. Birkelund '52 Professor in History and International Affairs, Princeton University "Those who are familiar with the work of Yanni Kotsonis will know that they have a treat in store. His latest book breaks new ground. It provides an authoritative, articulate, and subtle account of the politics of taxation in Russia at a crucial jun

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