Women's Tax Resistance League
The Women’s Tax Resistance League was a direct action group associated with the Women’s Social and Political Union that used
tax resistanceto protest the disenfranchisement of women during the British women’s suffrage movement. Dora Montefioreproposed the formation of the league in 1897. The league’s activities peaked in the decade before World War Ibut were largely deflated by the onset of that war.
Members saw themselves in a tradition of British tax resistance that included
John Hampden. According to one source: “Tax resistance proved to be the longest-lived form of militancy, and the most difficult to prosecute. More than 220 women, mostly middle-class, participated in tax resistance between 1906 and 1918, some continuing to resist through the First World War, despite a general suspension of militancy.”Nym Mayhall, Laura E. "The Militant Suffrage Movement: Citizenship and Resistance in Britain, 1860-1930" [http://www.sniggle.net/Experiment/index.php?entry=14Dec04] ]
League member and author
Beatrice Harradensaid in 1913:
The least any woman can do is to refuse to pay taxes, especially the tax on actually earned income. This is certainly the most logical phase of the fight for suffrage. It is a culmination of the Government’s injustice and stupidity to ask that we pay an income tax on income earned by brains, when they are refusing to consider us eligible to vote.
The league was formed three years ago with the slogan: “No vote, no tax.” It is non-partisan—an association of constitutional and militant suffragists, recruited from various suffrage societies for the purpose of resisting taxes. [“Miss Harraden Hit In Eye: She Accuses London Police of Standing By While Roughs Assailed Her” "The New York Times" 3 May 1913]
In several cases, the government seized and sold at auction items owned by the resisters. The League used these occasions as opportunities for demonstrations and publicity, for instance the “Siege of Montefiore” in 1906:
The house, surrounded by a wall, could be reached only through an arched doorway, which Montefiore and her maid barred against the bailiffs. For six weeks, Montefiore resisted payment of her taxes, addressing the frequent crowds through the upper windows of the house.
Among the members were Lilian Hicks,
Beatrice Harraden, Dora Montefiore, Flora Annie Steel, Mrs. Israel Zangwill, Mrs. Cobden Saunderson, Mary Russell, Duchess of Bedford, Elizabeth Wilkes, Winifred Patch, Kate Harvey, Sophia Duleep Singh, Charlotte Despard, Clemence Housman, Kate Haslam, Mrs. Darent Harrison, Mrs. Sergent Florence, Mrs. Louis Fagan, Garrett Anderson, and Stanton Coit(a member of “the men’s branch”).
Women's Tax Resistance in the United States
The women’s suffrage movement in the
United Statescame to adopt some of the same techniques. Anna Howard Shawsaid “I hold it is unfair to the women of this country to have taxation without representation, and I have urged [members of the National Woman’s Suffrage Association] to adopt a course of passive resistancelike the Quakersinstead of aggressive resistance. I say to the Government, ‘you may pick my pocket because you are stronger than I, but I’m not going to turn my pockets wrongside out for you.’ … I believe that the spirit of ‘ no taxation without representation’ that resulted in the Revolutionary War is inherent and just as actual in the women of the country as it was then in the men of the country.” [“Women’s Tax Fight Will Be Passive” "New York Times" 30 December 1913]
* Gross, David (ed.) "We Won’t Pay!: A Tax Resistance Reader" ISBN 1434898253 pp. 323-325
* [http://www.hastingspress.co.uk/history/siege.htm The Tax Resistance League Part 1: Siege at St Leonards 1912]
* [http://www.hastingspress.co.uk/history/norman.htm The Tax Resistance League Part 2: Women’s procession attacked by men, 1912]
* [http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article328971.ece “Women’s suffrage movement: The story of Kate Harvey”] "The Independent" 24 November 2005
* [http://living.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=158242006 “Lives and Times”] "The Scotsman" 4 February 2006 (Sophia Alexandra Duleep Singh)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Tax resistance — A tax resister resists or refuses payment of a tax because of opposition to the institution collecting the tax, or to some of that institution’s policies. Often tax resistance has come from pacifists, conscientious objectors or members of… … Wikipedia
History of tax resistance — Tax resistance has probably existed as long as those in a position of power have imposed taxes. This page describes briefly some notable historical examples of tax resistance.Jewish Zealots, 1st century A.D.In the first century A.D., Jewish… … Wikipedia
National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee — The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC usually pronounced “new trick”) is an American activist coalition that promotes tax resistance as a way to protest against and/or disassociate from war and militarism. NWTRCC was… … Wikipedia
Northern California War Tax Resistance — (NCWTR) is an activist group in the San Francisco bay area that promotes tax resistance as a way to protest against and/or disassociate from war and militarism. Despite the Northern California in the name, the group has a smaller, bay area… … Wikipedia
Tax protester (United States) — Part of a series on Taxation Taxation in the United States … Wikipedia
Tax noncompliance — Taxation An aspect of fiscal policy … Wikipedia
Women's Social and Political Union — The Women s Social and Political Union (WSPU) was the leading militant organisation campaigning for Women s suffrage in the United Kingdom. It was the first group whose members were known as suffragettes .Formation The WSPU was founded at the… … Wikipedia
Women’s rights as a western foreign policy objective in the Middle East — This article will examine the forces behind the rise of Women’s rights as a western foreign policy objective in the Middle East and the impact application of this objective has had to date.The focus on women’s rights by powerful nation states and … Wikipedia
Dog Tax War — The Mahurehure leaders under police guard after their surrender (From left to right Romana te Paehangi, Hone Mete, Hone Toia (standing), Wiremu Makara, and Rekini Pehi.) The Dog Tax war is described by some authors as the last gasp of the 19th… … Wikipedia
National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund — The National Campaign for a Peace Tax Fund (NCPTF) is a non profit organization located in Washington, D.C. It was founded in 1971 to address conscientious objection to military taxation. History and purpose The campaign exists solely to pass… … Wikipedia