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 on the 24th of April, 1863, Congress ordered the levy of an aggregation of taxes under a single head, which, had the law been strictly enforced, would have formed the most crushing fiscal system of which history makes mention. It was hoped thereby to obtain the means to pay the interest on the debt. But this system, which was the source of innumerable vexations, could not be seriously applied; and if the debt was never nominally in jeopardy, it is because the unlimited issue of paper money always made it feasible to pay the interest with this worthless currency. The law of April 24th established—1st, an internal revenue tax of eight per cent. upon all agricultural products wherever found, excepting only the quantity required for the support of each family; 2d, a tax of one per cent. on all bank deposits, etc.; 3d, a license tax on all banks, hotels, and nearly all kinds of trade, from thirty to five hundred dollars; 4th, a deduction of one per cent. on all salaries paid by the State; 5th, a graduated tax upon incomes, the rates being five per cent. upon incomes of from five hundred to fifteen hundred dollars, and rising proportionally, with certain exemptions, to fifteen per cent. upon those exceeding ten thousand dollars; 6th, a deduction of one-tenth on all dividends paid by stock companies; 7th, the same tax upon all profits realized on wholesale purchases of all articles necessary to life; 8th, a similar tax, but in kind, with reservation for individual wants, on all agricultural products, vegetables or animals. This law, therefore, embraced tithes, licenses, taxes on the products of the soil, in whatever hands, the deduction on salaries, taxes or emoluments, and a pro-rata tax on incomes. Never, we believe, has a single law combined such an oppressive system in a few clauses. We shall only mention in conclusion the small loan negotiated in Europe by the Confederate agents, which served to fit out the privateers, whose operations we shall yet have frequent occasions to relate. This loan, the interest on which was payable in gold, deducted either from the profit of the sales of cotton brought by the blockade-runners, or from the capital advanced by subscribers, had in reality no other guarantee than the problematic recognition of the Confederacy, and its value in the market followed the military fortunes of the Southern States. We shall not enter into the same details regarding the expenses
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