In the late 1700’s, France went through a period of time that changed their country drastically. The French Revolution was how France changed the way their government was and how their people lived. Before the Revolution started in 1789, the French used a political and social system called the Old Regime. The Old Regime was the same as “Absolute power.” Absolute power is when the government controls everything that goes on. In the early 1700’s before the Revolution, the French kings had absolute power. King Louis XVIII started this way of government and it was kept going by King Louis XIV. The Kings had control over establishing judges, taxation, appointing new bureaucrats and the government. They also followed the divine right, which is a political and religious doctrine of royal right to rule. It states that a monarch is subject to no earthly authority, taking away the right to rule directly from the will of god. During this time period, France was divided into three estates. The first estate was made up of all clergy members. These members include people such as priests, preachers, pastors and other religious professionals. The second estate was made up of nobility. Nobility are the people who have more privileges and control then everyone else. The third estate, which made up nearly Davis 2
96% of the people, was made up of peasants. Peasants are a lot less fortunate then everyone else. They were required to pay a sizeable amount of their income to the king and a tenth of their taxes to the church. Living conditions for the peasants were terrible. They didn’t have any rights or privileges because the nobles controlled everything that went on. They had no more than 2 sets of clothes. All they had to choose from for food was bread or broth soup. People were uneducated. All they did was work and whatever money they earned, they had to give most of it to the church or the king. The Bourgeoisie were very unhappy people during...
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