A group of some 40 to 60 financiers in 18th century France, who bought from the crown the right of collecting indirect taxes on wine, tobacco, and salt (a practice known as “farming” taxes). Employing inspectors to collect the money, they retained the difference between what they paid the crown for this right and what they actually extorted. The salt tax (gabelle) was especially harsh. The system was abolished in the French Revolution.
Subjects: World History.