In 1884 the state gained the victory by securing the passage of a law taxing the franchises of railway corporations.
The state institutions consist of state hospitals for the insane at St Peter (1866), at Rochester (1877), established originally as a state inebriate asylum under a law taxing liquor dealers for that purpose, which was subsequently held to be unconstitutional, at Fergus Falls (1887), at Anoka (1900) and at Hastings (1900); the state institute for defectives at Faribault, consisting of the schools for the deaf (1863), blind (1874) and feeble-minded (1879); the state public school for dependent and neglected children at Owatonna (1886); a sanatorium for consumptives at Walker; a hospital for indigent, crippled or deformed children (1907) at St Paul; the state training school for boys near Red Wing; a similar industrial school for girls (established separately in 1907) at Sauk Center; the state reformatory at St Cloud (1887), intermediate between the training school and the state prison, for first offenders between the ages of sixteen and thirty years, in which indeterminate sentences and a parole system are in operation; the state prison at Stillwater (1851), in which there is a parole system and a graded system of diminution of sentence for good conduct, and in which, up to 1895, prisoners were leased under contract (especially to the Minnesota Thresher Company), and since 1895 have been employed in the manufacture of shoes and of binding twine, and in providing for the needs of the prison population; and the state soldiers home occupying fifty-one acres adjoining Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis.
No doubt by the prohibition to levy the smallest taille the feudal lords escaped direct taxation; but from the day when the privileged classes selfishly allowed the taxing of the third estate, provided that they themselves were exempt, they opened the door to monarchic absolutism.
On this occasion some supplementary articles were added to the charter; these were intended to limit the taxing power of the crown.
A law prohibiting drunkenness (1835) was followed in 1838 by a licence law and in 1839 by a law prohibiting the importation of spirits and taxing wines fifty cents a gallon; in 1840 another prohibitory law was enacted; but licence laws soon made the sale of liquor common.
It exercises a general supervision over all other taxing officers and is itself the assessor of the property of railroads, express companies and certain car companies.
His last official act was to carry out his intention by passing through parliament resolutions, which even his colleagues deprecated in the cabinet, for taxing several articles, such as glass, paper and tea, on their importation into America, which he estimated would produce the insignificant sum of L40,000 for the English treasury, and which shrewder observers prophesied would lead to the loss of the American colonies.
But at the head of the whole taxing system is the board of state tax commissioners and ex officio state board of assessors, consisting of three members appointed by the governor with the approval of the senate for a term of six years.
Opposition to the measures of the British government for taxing and oppressing the colonies began in Boston.
The instrument contained a very unpopular clause taxing all mining property, unproductive as well as productive.