Old Regime

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 340
  • Published : August 19, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
In France, before the French Revolution, the governing body was called the Old Regime. Under Louis XIV and his queen Marie Antoinette, the French society was divided up into three groups. These groups were called the three estates. In this system, the first two estates lived very well while the third estate was very impoverished. This paired with the lack of a strong leader (Louis XIV) caused rising tensions in the third estate. This eventually led to revolution. The main cause of this was the layout of the Old Regime. The Old Regime was made up of three estates that were very different in their governmental abilities and their amount of money.

The first group of the Old Regime system was the first estate. This group was made up of the Roman Catholic Church clergy and less than one percent of the population. Although their small population, the clergy owned a baffling ten percent of all French land. Instead of being religion centered and striving for the betterment of the community, most of the members of this group were very corrupt. They collected taxes while they actually did not pay any taxes of their own. This was due to the French being very Catholic. They believed that if they taxed the clergymen, they would be taxing God. There were a few, however, who did do good deeds such as working and donating money to the poor. In general, the first estate was a corrupt, dishonest, and greedy group of people who used God to reinforce their unjust actions.

The next group in the Old Regime was the second estate. This estate was made up of the nobles in France. Along with the clergy, they held a very high position in society. Also, the second estate had a low percent of the population; about two percent. Those in this estate held high positions in military and in the government. The nobility held about twenty percent of all land in France. The nobility was known for being much focused on material goods rather than the good of their...
tracking img