Earliest known war tax resisters

I know papers and articles have been written about the history of conscientious objection to military taxation, or war tax resistance.  I keep promising myself I will read them sometime.  Having done so I would have been able to better respond to a Facebook post from the USA’s National War Tax resistance Coordinating Committee (NWTRCC).  This arrogant attitude of the Americans that they were the first or only people on Earth is tiresome.  The post was:

#DIDYOUKNOW the #Indigenous Algonquin People are the earliest known #war tax resisters. In 1637 they refused to pay #taxes put on by the Dutch #colonizers to help improve the local colonial fort — War Resisters League War Resisters League // #heros #mondaymotivation #resist #endwar #peace

I find it hard to accept they were the first in the world.

They are probably the earliest in North America since Europeans arrived.  I’ll bet there were South American people who objected to Spanish taxation prior to that. And probably people who objected to taxation by the Incas or Aztecs that funded their expansionism.

In England, the Magna Carta came about because of war tax resistance in the 1200s.

But I should think there are examples from Roman Empire times if not earlier.  Expecting conquered people to pay for the armies that suppress them or that are passing through is a very old trick.

Even Sun-Tzu in Art of War says long campaigns fail because they result in losing people’s support, typically when military taxation reaches about 70%, and he was a historian writing about events from before his time of 2½ thousand years ago.

But it made me reflect on this in today’s context.  Using terminology from English law, military taxation is ‘demanding money with menaces’.

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