FARM , in the most generally used sense, a portion of
See also:land leased or held for the purpose of
See also:agriculture; hence " farming" is
See also:equivalent to the pursuit of agriculture, and "
See also:farmer " to an agriculturist . This meaning is comparatively
See also:modern . The origin of the word has perhaps been complicated by an Anglo-Saxon feorm, meaning provisions or
See also:food supply, and more particularly a payment of provisions for the sustenance of the
See also:king, the cyninges feorm .
See also:Ili Domesday this appears as a food
See also:rent: firma unius noctis or diei . According to the New
See also:Dictionary there is no satisfactory Teutonic origin for the word . It has, however, been sometimes connected with a word which appears in the older forms of some Teutonic
See also:languages, meaning "
See also:life." The
See also:form " farm " certainly comes, through the French ferme, from the
See also:Lat. firma (firmus, fixed), a fixed or certain payment in
See also:money or kind . The Anglo-Saxon feorm may be not an
See also:original Teutonic word but an early adaptation of the Latin . The feorm, originally a tax, seems, as the king " booked " his land, to have become a rent (see F . W .
See also:Maitland, Domesday
See also:Book and After, 1897, p . 236 if., and J . H .
See also:Round, Feudal England, 1895, p . 109 ff.) . The word firma is thus used of the composition paid by the
See also:sheriff in respect of the dues to be collected from the
See also:shire . From the use of the word for thefixed sum paid as rent for a portion of land leased for cultivation, " farm was applied to the land itself, whether held on lease or otherwise, and always with the meaning of agricultural land . The aspect of the fixity of the sum paid leads to a secondary meaning, that of a certain sum paid by a taxable
See also:person, community, state, &c., in respect of the taxes or dues that will be imposed, or to such a sum paid as a rent by a contractor for the right of
See also:collecting such taxes . This method of indirect collection of the revenue by contractors instead of directly by the officials of the state is.that known as " farming the taxes." The
See also:system is best known through the publican of Rome, -who formed companies or syndicates to farm not only the indirect
See also:taxation of the state, but also other
See also:sources of the state revenues, such as mines,
See also:fisheries, &c . (see
See also:PUBLICANI) . In monarchical
See also:Europe, which
See also:grew out of the ruins of the
See also:empire, the revenue was almost universally farmed, but the system was gradually narrowed down until only indirect taxes became the subject of farming . France from the 16th to the 18th centuries is the most interesting modern example . Owing to the hopeless
See also:condition of its revenues, the French
See also:government was continually in a state of anticipating its resources; and was thus entirely in the hands of financiers . In 1681 the indirect taxes were farmed collectively to a single
See also:company of
See also:forty capitalists (ferme generale), increased to sixty in 1755, and reduced to the original number in 1780 . These farmers-general were appointed by the king for six years, and paid an
See also:annual fixed sum every
See also:year in advance .
The taxes which they, collected were the customs (douanes or traites), the
See also:gabelle or
See also:salt tax,
See also:local taxes or octrois (entrees, &c.), and various smaller taxes . They were under the management of a controller-general, who had a central
See also:office in
See also:Paris . The office of farmer-general was the
See also:object of keen competition, notwithstanding that the successful candidates had to
See also:share a considerable
See also:part of the profits of the
See also:post with ministers, courtiers, favourites, and even the
See also:sovereign, in the shape of gifts (troupes) and
See also:pensions . The rapacity of the farmers-general was proverbial, and the loss to the revenue by the system was
See also:great, while very considerable hardships were inflicted on the poorer contributors by the unscrupulous methods of collection practised by the underlings of the farmers . In addition, the unpopular nature of the taxes caused deep discontent, and the detestation in which the farmers-general were held culminated in the 'execution of
See also:thirty-two of them during the French Revolution and the sweeping away of the system . See also AGRICULTURE,
See also:DAIRY AND DAIRY-FARMING, FRUIT AND FLOWER FARMING, &C .
LUIGI CARLO FARINI (1812–1866)
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