French corvée
Egyptian peasants seized for non-payment of taxes during the Pyramid Age.
Paul I's edict, the manifesto of three-day corvee
C. 1000 BC clay bowl, one day corvée ration(?) Marlik, Iran
Amarna letter 365, Nuribta

Form of unpaid, forced labour, which is intermittent in nature and which lasts limited periods of time: typically only a certain number of days' work each year.

- Corvée

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Compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer by a governmental organization in order to fund government spending and various public expenditures (regional, local, or national), and tax compliance refers to policy actions and individual behaviour aimed at ensuring that taxpayers are paying the right amount of tax at the right time and securing the correct tax allowances and tax reliefs.

Total revenue from direct and indirect taxes given as share of GDP in 2017
Pieter Brueghel the Younger, The tax collector's office, 1640
Substitution effect and income effect with a taxation on y good.
Budget's constraint shift after an introduction of a lump sum tax or a general tax on consumption or a proportional income tax.
The Laffer curve. In this case, the critical point is at a tax rate of 70%. Revenue increases until this peak, then it starts decreasing.
General government revenue, in % of GDP, from social contributions. For this data, the variance of GDP per capita with purchasing power parity (PPP) is explained in 20% by social contributions revenue.
Egyptian peasants seized for non-payment of taxes. (Pyramid Age)
Public finance revenue from taxes in % of GDP. For this data, the variance of GDP per capita with purchasing power parity (PPP) is explained in 32% by tax revenue.
Diagram illustrating deadweight costs of taxes

In modern taxation systems, governments levy taxes in money; but in-kind and corvée taxation are characteristic of traditional or pre-capitalist states and their functional equivalents.

United States occupation of Haiti

The United States occupation of Haiti began on July 28, 1915 when 330 United States Marines landed at Port-au-Prince, Haiti after the National City Bank of New York convinced the government President of the United States Woodrow Wilson to establish control of Haiti's political and financial interests.

USS Philadelphia (C-4), flagship of the fleet involved in the 1890 Môle Saint-Nicolas affair which saw the United States using gunboat diplomacy in an attempt to obtain Môle-Saint-Nicolas
Personnel from the German Legation and the Hamburg-Amerika Line
Gold from Haiti was placed onto the USS Machias by U.S. Marines and transported to 55 Wall Street in 1914
Marine base at Cap-Haïtien
King Armored Cars of the 1st Armored Car Squadron
An October 1921 article from the Merced Sun-Star discussing killings of Haitians by U.S. Marines
President Borno on an official visit to the U.S. in 1926
Gendarmerie of Haiti personnel, who were commanded by United States Marines
The photograph of Charlemagne Péralte's body distributed by U.S. troops to Haitians
American poses with dead Haitians killed by U.S. Marine machine gun fire on October 11, 1915

A corvée system of forced labor was utilized by the United States for massive infrastructure projects that resulted in hundreds to thousands of deaths.


The status of many peasants under feudalism, specifically relating to manorialism, and similar systems.

Galician slaughter in 1846 was a revolt against serfdom, directed against manorial property and oppression.
Costumes of slaves or serfs, from the sixth to the twelfth centuries, collected by H. de Vielcastel from original documents in European libraries
Punishment with a knout. Whipping was a common punishment for Russian serfs.
Reeve and serfs in feudal England, c. 1310

In the Austrian Empire, serfdom was abolished by the 1781 Serfdom Patent; corvée continued to exist until 1848.

Henri Christophe

Key leader in the Haitian Revolution and the only monarch of the Kingdom of Haiti.

Portrait by Richard Evans, c. undefined 1816
Equestrian statue of Henri Christophe in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince
Haitian livre coin with portrait of Henry I in style of Roman solidus, minted c. undefined 1820.
In this portrait executed by Johann Gottfried Eiffe, a German artist in the Royal Court, Henry wears the grand cross of the Royal and Military Order of St. Henry (Ordre Royal et Militaire de Saint Henry)
The pistol used in Henri Christophe's suicide
Pierre Nord Alexis, 17th President of Haiti
Michèle Bennett.

Under his policies of corvée, or forced labor bordering on slavery, the Kingdom earned revenues from agricultural production, primarily sugar; but the Haitian people resented the system.

Forced labour

Any work relation, especially in modern or early modern history, in which people are employed against their will with the threat of destitution, detention, violence including death, or other forms of extreme hardship to either themselves or members of their families.

Clergy on forced labour, by Ivan Vladimirov (Soviet Russia, 1919)
Unfree labour workers from Plovdiv during WW2
Convict labourers in Australia in the early 19th century.
Trenching with hand tools and scant protective gear in rail construction, early 20th century.
Illustration of Native woman panning for gold
Female forced laborers wearing "OST" (Ost-Arbeiter) badges are liberated from a camp near Lodz, January 1945.
American prisoner "chain gang" laborers, 2006. Notice the shackles on the feet of the prisoners.

Unfree labour includes all forms of slavery, penal labour and the corresponding institutions, such as debt slavery, serfdom, corvée and labour camps.

Karel Čapek

Czech writer, playwright and critic.

House of Čapek brothers in Prague 10, Vinohrady
Tomb of Karel Čapek and Olga Scheinpflugová at Vyšehrad cemetery

The word robota means literally "corvée", "serf labor", and figuratively "drudgery" or "hard work" in Czech.

Tenant farmer

Person who resides on land owned by a landlord.

Tenant farmer on his front porch, south of Muskogee, Oklahoma (1939)
A typical Husmann residence from Hof
Tenant farmer on his front porch, south of Muskogee, Oklahoma (1939)

This taxation could be in the form of corvée, but payment in money was usually cheaper if possible.

Inca Empire

The largest empire in pre-Columbian America.

The Inca Empire at its greatest extent c. 1525
Manco Cápac and Mama Ocllo, children of the Inti
Manco Cápac, First Inca, 1 of 14 Portraits of Inca Kings, Probably mid-18th century. Oil on canvas. Brooklyn Museum
Inca expansion (1438–1533)
The first image of the Inca in Europe, Pedro Cieza de León, Crónica del Perú, 1553
Atahualpa, the last Sapa Inca of the empire, was executed by the Spanish on 29 August 1533
View of Machu Picchu
Sacsayhuamán, the Inca stronghold of Cusco
"The Maiden", one of the Llullaillaco mummies. Inca human sacrifice, Salta province (Argentina).
Diorite Inca sculpture from Amarucancha
Illustration of Inca farmers using a chakitaqlla (Andean foot plough)
Inti, as represented by José Bernardo de Tagle of Peru
The four suyus or quarters of the empire.
Inca tunic
Tokapu. Textiles worn by the Inca elite consisting of geometric figures enclosed by rectangles or squares. There is evidence that the designs were an ideographic language
Quipu, 15th century. Brooklyn Museum
Inca Tunic, 15th-16th Century
Camelid Conopa, 1470–1532, Brooklyn Museum, Small stone figurines, or conopas, of llamas and alpacas were the most common ritual effigies used in the highlands of Peru and Bolivia. These devotional objects were often buried in the animals' corrals to bring protection and prosperity to their owners and fertility to the herds. The cylindrical cavities in their backs were filled with offerings to the gods in the form of a mixture including animal fat, coca leaves, maize kernels and seashells.
Coca leaves
The Battle of the Maule between the Incas (right) and the Mapuches (left)

Spanish colonial officials used the Inca mita corvée labor system for colonial aims, sometimes brutally.

Serfdom in Russia

Unfree peasant of tsarist Russia, is the usual English-language translation of krepostnoy krest'yanin which meant an unfree person who, unlike a slave, historically could be sold only with the land to which they were "attached".

A Peasant Leaving His Landlord on Yuriev Day, painting by Sergei V. Ivanov
Vengeance of Serfs. Engraving by Charles Michel Geoffroy, 1845
Punishment with a knout
The Bargain by Nikolai Nevrev (Sale of a serf girl)
A 1907 painting by Boris Kustodiev depicting Russian serfs listening to the proclamation of the Emancipation Manifesto in 1861
Group of Russian peasant women
Kateryna, painting of a Ukrainian serf girl by Taras Shevchenko, who was himself born a serf

The origins of serfdom in Russia (крепостничество, krepostnichestvo) may be traced to the 12th century, when the exploitation of the so-called zakups on arable lands (ролейные (пашенные) закупы, roleyniye (pashenniye) zakupy) and corvée smerds (Russian term for corvée is барщина, barschina) was the closest to what is now known as serfdom.


Country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, to the east of Cuba and Jamaica and south of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The five caciquedoms of Hispaniola at the time of the arrival of Christopher Columbus
Engraving of Christopher Columbus landing on Hispaniola, by Theodor de Bry
1510 Taíno pictograph telling a story of missionaries arriving in Hispaniola
Saint-Domingue slave revolt in 1791
General Toussaint Louverture
Battle between Polish troops in French service and the Haitian rebels. The majority of Polish soldiers eventually deserted the French army and fought alongside the Haitians.
Pétion and Dessalines swearing allegiance to each other before God; painting by Guillon-Lethière
Citadelle Laferrière, built 1805–22, is the largest fortress in the Americas, and is considered locally to be the eighth wonder of the world.
Jean-Pierre Boyer, ruler of Haiti 1818–1843
Faustin I, from The Illustrated London News, 16 February 1856
German Captain Thiele of the Charlotte handing over the German Ultimatum on 6 December 1897 during the Lüders Affair
U.S. Marines and guide in search of Haitian Cacos fighters against the U.S. occupation of Haiti, c. 1919
The body of caco leader Charlemagne Péralte on display after his execution by US forces; the image was counterproductive, with the resemblance to the deposition of Jesus gaining Péralte the status of national martyr
"Papa Doc" Duvalier in 1968
Jean-Bertrand Aristide returns to Haiti, following the U.S.-led invasion in 1994 designed to remove the regime installed by the 1991 Haitian coup d'état
The Haitian National Palace, located in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, heavily damaged after the earthquake of 2010. This was originally a two-story structure; the second story completely collapsed.
Topographical map of Haiti
Saint-Marc Arrondissement, Artibonite Department
Köppen climate types of Haiti
Saut-d'Eau waterfall
Haiti's border with the Dominican Republic in 2002, showing the extent of deforestation on the Haitian side (left)
The endangered Hispaniolan solenodon, endemic to the island
Jovenel Moïse was the President of Haiti until he was assassinated on 7 July 2021.
Departments of Haiti
Members of the Haitian National Police Force marching band stand at parade
Historical GDP per capita development
A proportional representation of Haiti exports, 2019
Haiti electricity production by source
Power plant in Port-au-Prince
A market in Cap-Haïtien
Rows of cabbage, Haiti
Labadee, a cruise ship destination
Rail map as of 1925
Toussaint L'Ouverture International Airport
A "Tap tap" bus in Port-Salut
Haiti's population (1800–2021)
People in Port-au-Prince
The Universite Roi Henri Christophe in Limonade
Swearing-in ceremony of Haitian Diaspora GwètòDe
Sans-Souci Palace, National History Park, Haiti
Santa María's anchor on display
Haiti national football team training in Port-au-Prince, 2004

Christophe established a semi-feudal corvée system, with a rigid education and economic code.