Today I learned that “Emperor Peter I of Russia” wanted to bring his citizens closer to European culture and considered their beards a problem. Therefore he introduced a beard tax that depended on their income and provided them with a “beard token”, which would authorise them to wear a beard, if they had that token with them. This tax was introduced along with various other taxes but may be one that stands out the most. Additionally I learned that it’s not the last beard tax that was ever introduced and that the Kingdom of Yemen had an “anti-beard tax” to incentivise people to grow a beard and follow Islamic tradition.
I came across this, when listening to Podcast “Geschichten aus der Geschichte” that talked about the beard tax and then, as a follow up, read the related Wikipedia article.