|Research Points Needed||90|
|Leads To||Mass Mobilisation|
Counting people, their property and servants allows a government to know exactly what it can tax.
By counting everyone in the population, a government can tax everyone; possibly taxation will be unfair, but it will be unfair to all. It also becomes possible for a government to monitor the movement of people from the countryside to towns, calculate how fast the population is growing, and even know if there will be enough men for an army. However, the most immediate impact is on tax: a census increases the tax yield.
Counting people and taxation have been linked since at least Biblical times. The Directory, under Napoleon’s Consulate, carried out very successful censuses in post-revolutionary France, allowing them to collect taxes effectively and, just as vitally for Napoleon’s ambitions, know how many men were available for conscription. In Britain, the National Census was the result of work by Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) on population growth. He was convinced that a crisis was looming as the number of people outstripped the available food supply. The 1800 Census Act resulted in the British government knowing that there were nine million people in the country; this probably wasn’t all that satisfactory, as it was just over a third of the number of Frenchmen in France.
National Census unlocks Mass Mobilisation, a skill critical to unlocking most of the military technology tree.