Definitions for gabellegəˈbɛl
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
a tax on salt levied in France, abolished in 1790.
Category: Western History
Origin of gabelle:
1375–1425; ME < MF < Ar qabālah tax, receipt
A tax; especially, the tax on salt levied in pre-Revolutionary France.
Origin: From gabelle.
a tax, especially on salt
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
an indirect tax, specially one on salt, the term applied to a State monopoly in France in that article, and the exaction in connection with which was a source of much discontent; the people were obliged to purchase it at government warehouses and at extravagant, often very unequal, rates; the impost dates from 1286; was abolished in 1789.
The gabelle was a very unpopular tax on salt in France before 1790. The term gabelle derives from the Italian gabella, itself from the Arabic qabala. In France, Gabelle was originally applied to taxes on all commodities, but was gradually limited to the tax on salt. In time it became one of the most hated and most grossly unequal taxes in the country. It was abolished in 1790, then reinstated by Napoleon in 1806; abolished briefly by the French Second Republic, and then finally abolished permanently in 1945. The gabelle existed outside France, even after 1790. In the 1919 Paris Treaties, Ho Chi Minh described the oppressiveness of taxes, forced labor, and exploitation that the gabelle symbolized.