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Third Estate Paper - Essay Example

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Outline. 1.0. Introduction 2.0. Discussion 3.0. Conclusion 1.0. Introduction. In France, before the great revolution, people were divided into classes according to the amount of wealth one possessed and the middle class, peasants, and serfs, skilled and unskilled workers, doctors, lawyers, and teachers all belonged to the third estate, the least of the three classes…
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Third Estate Paper
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Download file to see previous pages The first estate comprised religious leaders and the clergy who were the smallest minority, but wielded a great deal of powers and influence in the country. The clergy is known to have owned up to one fifth of the land in France, and had great influence on the monarch. These were exempted from paying taxes and were assigned a number of workers in the churches. The second estate was the ruling class who had immense control and effect upon the third estate and worked to ensure that the rights of members of the third estate were infringed upon to avoid any form of opposition. Because of the unfair treatment members of the third estate received from the first and second estates, there arose revolutionists among them and through the works of the likes of Sieyes, they revolted against the political system, bringing the caste system down, leading to the declaration of human rights, and since the a just and fair society. 2.0. Discussion. The events elaborated in this paper took place before the French revolution in the years preceding 1788. The political situation at this time was dominated by the first and second classes, which were the Catholic Church and the monarch respectively. The knowledge prevailing at this time was that the clergy and nobility were ordained by God and that no one had the right to question whatever they did as they were ‘holy’ and only answerable to God. Noble authority was guided by four characteristics: that it was holy, paternal, absolute, and ruled with a reason. It was, then to be revered by everyone (Hibbert 283). This was the period preceding the fall of the Roman Empire and the rise of the Catholic Church. The church was so influential that the papacy dictated every aspect of human life including ethical, moral, religious, and political organization of the society. The church, therefore, grew alongside secular powers, with the two depending on each other mutually for their existence. The persons of this time were largely classified into three groups: those who fought (the nobility), those who prayed (the church), and those who labored (the peasantry). The greatest concern for the three groups was power and influence. The church and nobility attained this by instilling ideologies of fear among the third estate that they were a special select by God and that serving them amounted to serving God. For a long tie, they managed to scare the people of the lower class until the time of the Investiture Controversy that saw the second class question the powers and authority of the church. They overthrew the church and took its place in the first estate. The third class, o the other hand, was busy looking for ways it could overthrow the nobility to form a nation of their own where there would be equality among all (Bienvenu 351). In the late 16th century, relations between the king and Estate Generals began to deteriorate, leading to the epoch events where Estate Generals began to break off form the main kingdom power. These further led to the onset of the French Revolution characterized by weeks and months of civil unrest, especially by members of the third estate. The revolution was brought to an end after the first and second estates agreed to include representatives from the third estate in the governing body and reforms ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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