As happened in Tokugawa Japan and British India, China under die Ching witnessed a relative decline in fiscal importance of die land tax although its absolute amount increased substantially. Between 1753 and 1908 China's annual land tax revenue grew from 74 million to 102 million taels but its percentage contribution in die total tax revenue decreased from 73.5 to 35 percent. The reasons for its relatively lessened importance in die Ch'ing tax structure are the creation of new taxes such as die maritime customs and die likin, die lack of income- and price-elasticity in die land tax system, the defects of die fiscal administration, and a strong tradition against land tax increase. Since the same period saw a rise in general prices by 150 percent, obviously die Manchu government had not even raised enough taxes from land to offset price inflations, leaving a 40 percent increase in land acreage and a moderate improvement in land yields totally untouched. Hence, die land tax burden was not, as some asserted, oppressive in die last decades of the Ching dynasty.

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