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The Different Estates of French Society During the Ancien Regime

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´╗┐how did the first estate benefits during the ancien regime? clergy occupied the highest position in society and its members were known collectively as the first estate. They were the priests, monks and nun and the bishops, archbishops and cardinals. As a whole, the church was wealthy, deriving an income from the rents and the dues attached to the church land that is owned, as well as the tithes that everyone was obliged to pay to the church. As the church controlled education and provided for the care of the sick, in return, the first estate shared a number of privileges. ...read more.


how did the second estate benefits during the ancien regime? Second estate includes nobility who owned around a fifth of the land of France. 'Living nobly' was the second estates that lived off the rents of landed estates. Noblemen shared honorific priveleges, such as the right to wear a sword, display a coat of arms or take precedence at public ceremonies, which helped reinforce their belief in a natural superiority. They also held a privilegeg position in law and had a right to be heard in a high court of law and to be beheaded rather than hanged if found guilty of a capital offence. ...read more.


The bourgeoisie relied on skill for their income. Few members of the third estate had privileges. They were required to pay direct taxes such as the taille and the vingtieme and capitation and indirect taxes such as gabelle, the aides on drink and taxes on tobacco, as well as their tithe to the church. They were also required to do unpaid labour service to maintain the king's roadss, a duty known as the corvee royale. Peasants also had considerable feudal dues and were required to make money payments or provide labour for their masters. In parts of France, they were also obliged to use their lord's mill, oven and windpress for which they paid a fee. Overall, the demands, particularly for the peasantry, were heavy. ...read more.

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