What Country Had a Beard Tax?

What Country Had a Beard Tax?

What Country Had a Beard Tax?

Though the law is no longer in place, in the 1700s Russia had a federal tax on people with beards. The motivation for this strange revenue source stemmed from the country's then-ruler, Peter the Great, and his crusade against facial hair.

Peter the Great is famous for Europeanizing and modernizing Russia in the 18th century. Beards were not en vogue in Europe at the time, so Peter's tax was part of his effort to make Russia conform to European sensibilities. He initially attempted to ban beards entirely before relenting and settling on taxation instead.