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Voices of ConscienceRoyal Confessors and Political Counsel in Seventeenth-Century Spain and France$
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Nicole Reinhardt

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198703686

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198703686.001.0001

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Taxes—Old and New

Taxes—Old and New

(p.122) 6 Taxes—Old and New
Voices of Conscience

Nicole Reinhardt

Oxford University Press

The conditions for just taxation as set out by early-sixteenth-century moral theologians were extremely limited. Yet in line with the ever-growing need to expand resources to meet the expenses of warfare and state-building, the conceptual tools were overhauled. In terms of who had the authority to tax, moral theologians increasingly stressed the authority of princes, limiting the necessity of popular consent. Simultaneously, they abandoned the idea of taxation as an exceptional occasion and endorsed its perennial character, assimilating it to a princely salary. In consequence, a certain amount of spending for luxury was no longer associated with vice but regarded as a necessity for the adequate upkeep of royal majesty in the interest of the res publica. Uncertainty increased, however, over the proportionality of taxation and the increasing complexity of state finance. Around 1640, some theologians therefore questioned the theologians’ ability to provide adequate counsel on these matters.

Keywords:   taxation, tax fraud, state finance, Francisco Suárez, Juan Lugo

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