The Ancien Régime was the social and political mechanism fin the Kingdom of France indigenous the 15th till the finish of the 18th centuries. It was based upon the rigid department of the culture into 3 disproportionate and unequally treated classes.

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Key Points

The Ancien Régime (Old regime or previous Regime) was the social and also political system created in the Kingdom the France from around the 15th century until the latter part of the 18th century under the so late Valois and Bourbon dynasties.The estates of the kingdom were the wide orders that social power structure used in Christian Europe indigenous the medieval period to early modern-day Europe. Different systems because that dividing society members into estates evolved over time. The best-known device is the three-estate device of the French Ancien Régime.The very first Estate consisted of the entire clergy, traditionally divided into “higher” (nobility) and “lower” (non-noble) clergy. In 1789, the numbered about 130,000 (about 0.5% of the population).The 2nd Estate was the French nobility and (technically, although not in common use) royalty, other than the king himself, that stood outside of the device of estates. The is traditionally split into “nobility the the sword” and also “nobility the the robe,” the magisterial course that administered royal justice and also civil government. The 2nd Estate constituted approximately 1.5% that France’s populationThe third Estate comprised all of those who were no members of the above and can be divided into 2 groups, urban and rural, together comprising 98% that France’s population. The urban included the bourgeoisie and also wage-laborers. The rural included peasants.The French estates of the realm device was based upon massive society injustices the were one of the crucial factors leading as much as the French Revolution.

Key Terms

the gabelleA very unpopular taxes on salt in France that was created during the mid-14th century and also lasted, with brief lapses and also revisions, till 1946. Because all French citizens necessary salt (for usage in cooking, for preserving food, for making cheese, and for raising livestock), the taxation propagated extreme regional disparities in salt prices and stood as among the many hated and grossly unequal creates of revenue generation in the country’s history.estates of the realmThe wide orders the social pecking order used in Christendom (Christian Europe) indigenous the medieval period to early contemporary Europe. Different systems for dividing culture members right into estates evolved over time. The best-known mechanism is a three-estate mechanism of the French Ancien Régime offered until the French transformation (1789–1799). This system was comprised of clergy (the very first Estate), the aristocracy (the second Estate), and also commoners (the 3rd Estate).the tailleA straight land tax on the French peasantry and non-nobles in Ancien Régime France. The tax was imposed on each household based upon how much land the held.Ancien RégimeThe social and political system established in the Kingdom that France from about the 15th century until the latter part of the 18th century under the late Valois and also Bourbon dynasties. The term is occasionally used to refer to the similar feudal social and political bespeak of the time somewhere else in Europe.

 

Ancien Régime

The Ancien Régime (Old program or former Regime) was the social and political system established in the Kingdom that France from roughly the 15th century until the latter component of the 18th century under the late Valois and also Bourbon dynasties. The hatchet is occasionally used to describe the similar feudal social and also political bespeak of the time in other places in Europe. The administrative and social structures of the Ancien Régime to be the result of years of state-building, legislature acts, inner conflicts, and also civil wars, but they continued to be a patchwork of regional privilege and also historic differences until the French transformation ended the system. In spite of the concept of pure monarchy and the initiatives by the majesties to produce a centralized state, Ancien Régime France remained a country of systemic irregularities. Governmental (including taxation), legal, judicial, and also ecclesiastic divisions and also prerogatives generally overlapped (for example, French bishoprics and also dioceses rarely corresponded with bureaucratic divisions).

Estates that the Realm

The estates of the realm were the large orders that social hierarchy used in Christendom (Christian Europe) indigenous the medieval duration to early contemporary Europe. Different systems because that dividing society members right into estates progressed over time. The best-known system is the three-estate device of the French Ancien Régime used until the French change (1789–1799). This device was consisted of of clergy (the first Estate), the aristocracy (the second Estate), and commoners (the third Estate).

The an initial Estate comprised the entire clergy, traditionally split into “higher” and “lower” clergy. Although there to be no officially demarcation in between the two categories, the top clergy were properly clerical nobility from the households of the 2nd Estate. Throughout Louis XVI, every bishop in France was a nobleman, a situation that had not existed prior to the 18th century. At the other extreme, the “lower clergy” (about same divided between parish priests and also monks and also nuns) constituted around 90 percent that the an initial Estate, which in 1789 numbered about 130,000 (about 0.5% that the population).

The 2nd Estate was the French nobility and also (technically, although no in usual use) royalty, other than the king himself, who stood exterior of the mechanism of estates. The is traditionally divided into “nobility of the sword” and “nobility of the robe,” the magisterial course that administered royal justice and civil government. The second Estate constituted approximately 1.5% of France’s population and were freed from the corvée royale (forced labor on the roads) and from many other develops of tax such as the gabelle (salt tax) and most important, the taille (the oldest kind of direct taxation). This exemption from payment taxes led to their reluctance come reform.

The third Estate comprised all who were not members that the over and deserve to be split into 2 groups, urban and also rural, together comprising 98% of France’s population. The urban consisted of the bourgeoisie and also wage-laborers. The rural had peasants who owned their very own land (and might be prosperous) and peasants who operated on nobles’ or wealthier peasants’ land. The peasants payment disproportionately high taxes compared to the other Estates and also simultaneously had very restricted rights. In addition, the an initial and 2nd Estates relied top top the labor of the Third, which do the latter’s unequal condition all the an ext unjust.

The 3rd Estate men and women shared the tough life of physical labor and also food shortages. Most were born within this group and died as component of it. It was exceptionally rare for individuals of this condition to breakthrough to one more estate. Those who crossed the course lines walk so as a result of either being well-known for your extraordinary courage in a fight or entering spiritual life. Part commoners were able come marry right into the second Estate, although that was really rare.


Caricature top top the third Estate transporting the first and second Estate ~ above its back, Bibliothèque Nationale de France.


France under the Ancien Régime (before the French Revolution) divided society into three estates: the very first Estate (clergy); the 2nd Estate (nobility); and the third Estate (commoners). The king was considered part of no estate.

 


Social Injustice

The populace of France in the decade before the French change was around 26 million, of who 21 million stayed in agriculture. Couple of of this owned sufficient land to support a family and most were compelled to take it on extra work-related as poorly paid laborers on larger farms. Despite local differences and also French peasants’ generally much better economic standing than that of your Eastern european counterparts, hunger to be a day-to-day problem and the problem of most French peasants was poor.

The an essential issue the poverty to be aggravated by society inequality together all peasants were liable to salary taxes from which the the aristocracy could insurance claim immunity, and also feudal dues payable to a neighborhood lord. Similarly, the tithes (a form of obligatory tax, at the time frequently paid in kind), i beg your pardon the peasants to be obliged to salary to their regional churches, were a cause of grievance together the majority of parish clergymans were poor and also the contribution was being payment to an aristocratic and also usually absentee abbot. The clergy numbered around 100,000 and also yet owned 10% that the land. The Catholic Church kept a rigid power structure as abbots and also bishops were every members the the nobility and also canons were all members of wealthy bourgeois families. As an institution, it to be both rich and powerful. It paid no taxes and merely contributed a grant to the state every five years, the amount of which to be self-determined. The upper echelons that the clergy also had considerable influence over federal government policy.

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Successive French kings and their ministers tried come suppress the strength of the nobles yet did so through very limited success.