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Did English Taxation Cause Napoleon’s Defeat in 1813?

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An article which appeared in a French magazine “Guerres et Histoire” (Wars and History) explains that England was able to keep Napoleon and France in check through a system of taxation in vigor between 1801 and 1815. During this period, England led industrial production and as a result, also controlled exports. Accordingly, the English taxation system combined customs duties, corporate tax and income tax in a form favorably inclined to business.

This system of taxation belongs to a virtuous business cycle that the English have always been able to draw on. In effect, whenever England had the advantage in business, it would immediately reduce its tax rates to allow the world to come and trade more easily, thus filling the state’s coffers. At the same time, the country’s growing stability allowed them to borrow and repay loans easily.

English taxation allows the British to gain over France by contracting debt more easily

Not only did England spent a lot of money, but it has spent it intelligently. London played the economic game admirably and overcame Napoleon by supporting coalitions that kept the trade routes open- what we would call today “free trade”.

In 14 years of war and therefore of crisis, England spent over 14 billion francs, while France with a population three times greater, enriched by new taxable markets from their conquests, only spent 9.7 billion. Why such a difference? The answer, in a word, is “Confidence”. Foreign investors, aware of the advantages offered by the English taxation system that encouraged trade by attracting more and more merchants from around the world, allowed themselves  to be lured more easily into subscribing to the debt of the debt.

London, the only major financial center in Europe immune to any French trusteeship, also exercised a political will to provide a haven to capital. This policy authorized the city to borrow up to three times the nominal value of the world’s gold at the epoch, to the great amazement of France and Napoleon who could not fathom this virtuous English cycle.

In 1816 the British debt become significant, so London was anxious to put an end to Napoleon,  everyone knows the suite …

Two centuries later, the position of England has not changed much. The country is still politically independent having refused a single currency and at the same time the accession to Europe. It continues to righteously serve as a refuge to global capital and decreases its taxation whenever necessary.

Company formation in London is, without a doubt, the fastest in the world, its taxation system is flexible, its non-resident companies resemble offshore companies and business opportunities are constantly on the rise.

England is at peace with its European neighbors, at least from a military point of view. Offering direct access to the continents for ships and businesses, it attracts increasingly more businessmen and has become, undoubtedly, the finance capital of the world. Visitors to London use the Eurostar; but even if the Euro is not a star in London, it’s pennies still shine.


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