Historical Context Note

Litencyc Editors (Independent Scholar - Europe)
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The word “tithe”, deriving from the Old English


, a “tenth”, signified the 10% of gross agricultural product which Europeans paid to the church until this tax was replaced with more systematic church taxes, usually in the late nineteenth century. The tithe was intended to enable the construction and maintenance of religious buildings, provide benefices to the clergy, and fund succour for the poor. As the church was responsible for many aspects of local government, law and administration, tithes may be seen as a precursor of modern income taxes.

Tithing spread with Christianity, becoming general throughout Europe by the 8th century and being made obligatory in England under ecclesiastical penalties enacted by Edmund I (regnant 939-46) and under temporal penalties by Edgar

507 words

Citation: Editors, Litencyc. "Tithes". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 July 2004 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1452, accessed 30 May 2024.]

1452 Tithes 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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