High Taxes and Expansive Government Destroyed the Roman Empire

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According to Herbert Spencer, “The Man Versus the State” (1982, page 60),

In Gaul, during the decline of the Roman Empire, “so numerous were the receivers in comparison with the payers, and so enourmous the weight of taxation, that the labourer broke down, the plains became deserts, and woods grew where the plough had been.” In like manner, when the French Revolution was approaching, the public burdens had become such, that many farms remained uncultivated and many were deserted: one-quarter of the soil was absoulutely lying waste; and in some provinces one-half was in heath.

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