French Revolution Ib Notes


The Estates

      First Estate: Clergy

      The clergy consisted of about 100 000 people, or 0.5% of the population of France. They owned 10% of the land in France.
        o The Lower Clergy (94 000 people):
              ▪ The priests of the country that did parish work. They were responsible for collecting the tithe.
        o The Higher Clergy (6000 people):
              ▪ They comprised of nobles that lived at Versailles and basically did nothing. They earned all the money that was collected from the tithe and weren’t very religious.
        o Every 10 years the clergy would give a gift to the king by using 5% of the tithe. The roles of the church included: parish work, maintaining the church and education.

      Second Estate: Nobility

      The nobles of France consisted of about 400 000, or 1.5% of the population of France. They owned 25% of the land in France. They didn’t pay any taxes, but were willing to do if they were given power. There were many types of nobility, those who were born into it and those who contributed to the army. The highest nobles lived at Versailles and could become officers in the army or attain judicial or administrative posts. They were also exempted from the punishments given upon breaking a law.

      Third Estate: Bourgeoisie, Workers, Peasants [basically everyone else]

      The third estate consisted of 98% of the population or about 27 million people. They owned about 65% of the land.

        o Bourgeoisie
              ▪ To be a member of the bourgeoisie one might be a very wealthy financier or a shopkeeper, artisan, lawyer or bureaucrat. Many among the bourgeoisie aspired to be nobility and some bought positions such as membership in the parlements that conferred noble status to the family. Enterprising businessmen desirous of joining the nobility invested in land and bought offices that carried a title, using their money to advance their social position...