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An Interesting Question.

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  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
An Interesting Question.
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, July 23, 2022 8:15 AM

 How many of you Shipbuilders know?

        What was the Basis for Taxes on a ship cargo in the 1600-1800 era? Was it in Tonnes, Tuns or by another method( The total area of the cargo Deck?). Methinks you all know the answer. That way you can figure out why ships were shaped the way they were.

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Saturday, July 23, 2022 9:09 AM

I believe it was tons (or any of several spellings),  But I believe that ton was a measure of volume rather than weight, and was defined various ways.


  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Saturday, July 23, 2022 3:39 PM

Just as a sort of single-example FYI, the following is from the essay "The Colonial Roots of American Taxation, 1607-1700," by Alvin Rabushka, on the Hoover Institution website:

"Early New Yorkers were also subject to import duties and excises. The English takeover of New York in 1664 imposed English rates. Liquors were taxed at 10 percent. All other merchandise imports gradually became subject to ad valorem duties, with preferential rates given to imports from England. Non-English goods were taxed at 8 percent, while English goods paid 5 percent. Export duties of 10.5 percent were charged on peltries and 2d. per pound of tobacco, to be paid in beaver and wampum. In 1674, the duty on English merchandise was reduced to 2 percent."

Elsewhere in the work it is pointed out that -- since the system was essentially 'rigged' to insure that hard currency flowed from the Colonies to England, and not vice versa -- taxes of all kinds were very often paid in goods rather than currency, which was always in short supply.


George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."

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