The Three Estates and Grievances

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Before the French Revolution, there were three estates, or classes: the nobility, the clergy and the commoners. The nobility and the clergy had many more privileges than the third estate and that is what caused the French Revolution. The Third estate was composed of the peasants, the workers and the bourgeoisie; unlike the other segments of the Third Estate, the bourgeoisie was able to communicate its grievances to the public during the period after the French Revolution: 1789-1799.

The peasants in the French Revolution had many un-communicated complaints. The peasants felt they were being taxed too heavily. This was true because the government could not tax the clergy or the nobility, and they needed money. As a result, they raised the taxes on the Third Estate. This, along with the rent and the feudal dues were too much for the peasants to be able to afford and this created many problems for them. To add to their troubles, the price of bread increased too much for them to even be able to afford to buy it. All the grievances they had could not be addressed to the monarch, however. Because the peasants had no voice, they were unable to put forth their argument. All of these criticisms and problems led the peasants to resort to revolting, the only solution they had. This was known as the Great Fear. Even then, however, they did not get much change. These were crucial reasons for them to support the French Revolution.

The Sans Culottes were subjected to a similar type of situation. These were urban workers and they had to suffer with the problems of the city. For example, the workers had to live in unhygienic conditions and work for most of the hours in a day. Their lives were very difficult and they barely made a living. There were also problems with unemployment. Because the jobs were unskilled, people could be replaced very easily and this created very easy unemployment. They also did not have any rights as people while they were getting taxed the...
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