Talk About a Cash Grab - Either a Beard or 100 Roubles

This happened along time ago in Russian history...

                      ...Way back, way, way back to 1698, over in Russia, when, in those days men didn't shave, it was a Russian custom, a way of life for all men, young and old to sport some sort of beard. 

Everything was fine. Everyone, the women, they were all happy with their beards until one day, Peter the First, a Russian Tsar, returning from Europe, decided to Westernize Russia's way of life. He wanted to change the image of the average Russian, make them more upbeat, more with it, worldly.

One of the big make-overs Peter the First relished doing, were removing beards from men's faces.  Beards had to go!  He gathered all his men, lords, earls etc. together, had them stand in a line. With scissors in hand he grabbed each nobles beard and loped it off!  Much to their dismay, and no matter how much it ruffled the feathers of the hard core Orthodox views, they obeyed the Tsars orders, and all cut off their beards, or they would have their heads cut off!

Later, instead of cutting retractors heads off Peter the First thought of this great idea!  Since he needed some extra cash, he decided to tax the non-conformers instead. Talk about a money grab, a 100 roubles. A fortune due, every year, hitting his nobles the hardest.  

"Tax them where the money is," Peter the First was overheard saying. 

He was a great financier. Don't quote me on that.

The peasants were still allowed to don beards. You can't get blood from a stone. So, he dropped trying to get anything from them, and concentrated on the people with the money.

One of the first tax grabs to affect the rich. It was finally abolished in 1772.

Dog Brindle

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