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Of Taxes: An enquiry into Dutch to British Malacca, 1824-1839 Presenter: Dr Diane Kraal BLT Department Seminar, Monash Staff Club, 22 June 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Of Taxes: An enquiry into Dutch to British Malacca, 1824-1839 Presenter: Dr Diane Kraal BLT Department Seminar, Monash Staff Club, 22 June 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Of Taxes: An enquiry into Dutch to British Malacca, Presenter: Dr Diane Kraal BLT Department Seminar, Monash Staff Club, 22 June 2012

2 2 Presentation Outline Aim of research Motivation Background Research questions Methodology & methods Findings Contribution of research

3 3 Aim of research The research aim is to investigate 19th century British Malacca’s taxation. Period: , transition from Dutch to British rule

4 4 Motivation we know that there was a change in colonial powers… …but what influences made the British tax system different to the preceding Dutch system… To gain a clearer understanding of the reasons for the changed system of tax in 19 th C British Malacca.

5 Background to study Naning War obelisk, Dutch Graveyard, Melaka

6 6 Background to study Pre Johor Malays Malacca: a trading port – Johor Malays sovereign

7 7 Portuguese Malacca Pre-1511 Johor Malays Dutch VOC Malacca 1641 British ‘caretaker’ Return of the Dutch British Malacca Background to study Malacca: conquest by Portuguese

8 8 Malacca: conquest by Dutch East India Company (VOC) with Johor Malays Portuguese Malacca Pre-1511 Johor Malays Dutch VOC Malacca British ‘caretaker’ Return of the Dutch British Malacca Background to study

9 9 Malacca: taken by British East India Company into ‘caretaker mode’ Portuguese Malacca Pre-1511 Johor Malays Dutch VOC Malacca British ‘caretaker’ Return of the Dutch British Malacca Background to study

10 10 Malacca: post-Napoleonic wars; the Dutch return Portuguese Malacca Pre-1511 Johor Malays Dutch VOC Malacca British ‘caretaker’ Return of the Dutch British Malacca Background to study

11 11 Malacca: ceded to British by Dutch Portuguese Malacca Pre-1511 Johor Malays Dutch VOC Malacca British ‘caretaker’ Return of the Dutch British Malacca Background to study

12 Thomas Braddell, Attorney-General of the Straits Settlements ( ) retrospectively wrote: After the British took formal control of Malacca in 1824 ‘arrangements were at once made to conduct the government on improved principles.’ Major Research Question : How correct was Braddell’s claim about the British approach based on ‘improved principles’ – in relation to tax - for the period ? If Braddell’s claim is correct, can it be demonstrated?

13 Research design Epistemology Positivist Non-positivist ‘Quantitative’ Qualitative Theoretical perspectives: Pol. Eco. theory: Adam Smith ( ) Pol. Eco. theory: James Mill ( ) Methods Discussion/conclusions Tax revenue data: Historical method Statistical Graphical analysis Methodology

14 14 Data Primary data: British Residents’ Malacca Diaries: Account journals and Ledger, Malacca: Dutch Records of Malacca: Dutch East India Company (VOC) files to 1795 Main secondary sources: Kathryn Sutherland, ed. Adam Smith: An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (2008) James Mill, Elements of Political Economy, 3rd ed. (1844), Eric Stokes, The English Utilitarians and India (1959) Paul H. Kratoska, "Land Law and Land Tenure in British Melaka," in Melaka: The Transformation of a Malay Capital C , ed. Kernial Singh Sandhu and Paul Wheatly (1983)

15 Dutch VOC , Dutch Govt  Two main streams of revenue: trade & tax - Tax farming: indirect taxation method, eg. customs duties, opium British East India Company (EIC) 1824…  Two main streams of revenue: trade & tax - Tax farming: eg. spirits; no customs - Land rent - Direct tax assessment eg. commercial bldgs. Quantitative data

16 Dutch VOC Quantitative data Source: Reid(1993); Hussin (2002); VOC Archives.

17 Dutch/British - customs revenue Quantitative data Source: Braddell (1861) p.24; Hussein (2002) pp BritishDutchBritishDutch

18 Adam Smith ( ) “Wealth of Nations” 1776 Two systems of political economy: 1.Agriculture 2.Commerce: a. mercantile monopoly b. free-market ‘Of Taxes’: tax maxims- equity, certainty, convenience, efficiency Land Rent

19 Adam Smith ( ) “Wealth of Nations” 1776 Two systems of political economy: 1.Agriculture 2.Commerce: - mercantile monopoly - free-market ‘Of Taxes’: tax maxims- equity, certainty, convenience, efficiency Land Rent

20 Adam Smith ( ) “Wealth of Nations” 1776 Two systems of political economy: 1.Agriculture 2.Commerce: - mercantile monopoly - free-market ‘Of Taxes’: tax maxims- equity, certainty, convenience, efficiency Land Rent

21 James Mill ( ) EIC employee/ “Elements of Political Economy” 1821 Mill influenced the land rent system in Malacca Was an ‘acolyte’ of Adam Smith Mill used David Ricardo’s land ‘rent doctrine’ Rent doctrine – too extreme –dropped by EIC in 1836

22 James Mill ( ) EIC employee/ “Elements of Political Economy” 1821 Mill influenced the land rent system in Malacca Was an ‘acolyte’ of Adam Smith Mill used David Ricardo’s land ‘rent doctrine’ Rent doctrine – too extreme –dropped by 1836

23 23 Analysis of Findings Progressiveness in Malacca? – Customs duties – Land rent – Tax Farms and direct tax assessment Influences: Adam Smith? James Mill?

24 24 Conclusion There was a concerted attempt to conduct government on ‘improved principles’ in relation to tax, but with mixed results. The Malacca case study, , has shown the difficulty of putting Enlightenment theory into practice.

25 Contribution of Research 1. To understanding Adam Smith’s and James Mill’s influence on tax policy changes during the changeover in colonial governing powers. 2. Extends knowledge in the field of tax history concerning the development of colonial tax to modern taxation practice. 3. Adds to the literature concerning colonial Southeast Asia taxation, for the study elicits liberal thought from British Residents’ Malacca Diaries.


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