Social inequality under the Ancien Regime

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  • Social Inequality under the Ancien Regime
    • First Estate
      • Church owned 10% of all land
      • 130,000 clergy
      • Exempt from any regular taxation
        • Negotiated an annual payment ( Don Gratuit )
    • Second Estate
      • Owned at least 25% of all land in France
      • Nearl all high positions were filled by the Nobility
      • Enjoyed priviledges
        • Tried in special courts
        • Exempt from Taille
        • Received feudal dues from peasants
    • Third Estate
      • Urban Workers
        • Their standard of living fell in the 18th century as prices rose by 65% between 1726-89 while wages only rose by 22%
        • Sklled and unskilled craftsmen
      • Peasantry
        • 85% of population
        • Had to pay Tithe to the Church, taxes to the State and feudal dues to their lord.
        • Most were labourers who grew enough to feed themselves and in a good year had a small surplus
      • Bourgeoisie
        • Richer members of the third estate (8% of population)
          • Merchants, Laywers, Doctors, Landowners, Civil Servants.


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