In olden days
Over the millennia, when kings, emperors and gods had been successfully invented, their needs were promoted by Those Discreet who sought to profit thereby. So their invented fiction of finance, subsequent 'debts' and 'taxes' and their necessary censuses and regulations were applied via said monarchies and their hierarchies' administrations. Then the duly consequent wars or revolutions disrupted the process and brought such harmonious things to an end. So then the whole rigmarole had to be started again. But, patience . . . and 'softly softly catchee monkey.' New 'leaders', same finance, same debt, same . . .
Thus empires came and went, with The Discreet living hand to mouth, making do as opportunity and cleverly-applied expertise and interest provided.
However, in these tween times, royally-prescribed edicts could limit such 'interest' to fifty percent per year, otherwise it was called 'usury'. Such cruel vicissitudes in the fortunes and even in the presence of the inflictors of such 'interest' logically also sporadically limited the application of such taxes all the 'civilised' world over. But, mind, only sporadically. In principle the modus operandi held good. Good as gold.
Then, in our more recent times, just two centuries ago, one family in particular - initially not particularly discreet - realised that it was better to lend to and, so, tax, countries which could not answer back, and to bribe whatever leaders were necessary to enable this. "Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation and I care not who makes its laws," they propounded. And it worked; after all, did you ever see a country of itself even try to play hopscotch? As a country it can't even eat chips, let alone complain and protest.
More recently -
However, only a hundred and thirty or so years ago, still few people paid taxes. Perhaps the learned Reader did not know that. Only the wealthy paid them, and they mostly paid sixpence in the pound - two and a half percent. Only a little previously, there had been such things as a 'window-tax', by which you paid on the number of windows you had - any old excuse will do - but that was arbitrary and is hard to reduce to percentage. Some folks avoided having to pay excessively by blocking-in excessive windows, as you can still see in older elegant mansions.
Then some with the right characteristics immigrated to help out, and opened their pawn-shops to reap even from 'the pawns' for the cause. The interest rate could be fifty percent per week, by consent as prescribed by necessity. In Spanish the chess 'pawn' is called the 'peon' or 'unskilled labourer' - Innocent, too.
'Feminism' and 'womens's lib' was then introduced to put the women to work and to tax (1), and their infants therefore into the control of the kindergarten and the carefully-stunting effects of so-called 'education' from the cradle onwards, and then, via the similar effects of 'entertainment', so on to the grave.
Introduction of Central Banks was made mandatory throughout the world by bribe or by gunboat, by political sleight-of-hand or by imported revolution. But going to have them, we sure were! We might ask, why?
When the artfully-named 'Federal Reserve' was inaugurated in 1913, a London banker (its instigator and owner, whose name begins with a 'R' and doesn't end nearly soon enough to do us any good at all with a 'd'), a cancer in his 'City' at the very heart of his unsuspecting host nation, acknowledged its intention in remarking, "The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its favours, that there will be no opposition from that class... The great body of the people, mentally incapable of comprehending, will bear its burden without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests." ("favours . . . no opposition . . . mentally incapable . . . derivative instruments . . ." He was right about that, wasn't he? - Mostly still is.)
The Bank of International Settlements was then instituted 'offshore' to control and play with the daily proceeds of all 'Central Banks', complete with supposed immunity from oversight and any possibility of inspection (Oh yes?).
Even sixty years ago 'the rates,' to collect local taxes supposedly for local expenditure, used to be 'assessed' on the size and quality of your property by an inspector, who visited to count the number of electric sockets and other such amenities, and then re-assessed as necessary for increased Council spending. And spending indeed it was in those days, since dishonesty in public servants was virtually unheard of - Yes, really, even so recently.
'Road tax' was allegedly to maintain the condition of the roads. Perhaps some of it did, but later only 'via channels.'
Only thirty years ago a 'poll tax' was suggested, by which if you breathed you paid. If you didn't breathe, you did not have to - except for 'death duties,' of course. Well, of course!