Skip to main content

Capitation Taxes

CAPITATION TAXES

CAPITATION TAXES, or poll taxes, are levied on each person without reference to income or property. The U.S. Constitution, in Article I, Section 9, forbids the federal government from levying a capitation or other direct tax "unless in Proportion to the Census of Enumeration" provided for in Section 2. Section 9, however, in accord with colonial practices of placing taxes on the importation of convicts and slaves, permits a tax or duty to be imposed on persons entering the United States, "not exceeding ten dollars for each person."

The poll-tax restriction does not apply to the states. Following colonial precedents, the states employed this tax, generally placing a levy on all males above age twenty-one, or sometimes above age sixteen. Beginning in the late nineteenth century, southern states made payment of a poll tax a prerequisite to the exercise of suffrage. This requirement disqualified many African Americans who could not afford the tax, or subjected their votes to influence by those who paid the tax for them. The Twenty-fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1964, outlawed the use of the poll tax in federal elections. In 1966 the Supreme Court ruled that the poll tax as a prerequisite for voting in a state election was unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Kousser, J. Morgan. The Shaping of Southern Politics: Suffrage Restriction and the Establishment of the One-Party South, 1880–1910. New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1974.

Richard B.Morris/c. p.

See alsoDisfranchisement ; Poll Tax ; Taxation .

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Capitation Taxes." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. 9 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Capitation Taxes." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 9, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/capitation-taxes

"Capitation Taxes." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved November 09, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/capitation-taxes

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.