Before the Revolution, France was divided socially in a structure known as the Old Regime. It consisted of three estates. The First Estate was the clergy, who owned ten percent of the land but comprised of only one percent of the population. The Second Estate, with nobility, included two percent of the population but owned thirty-five percent of the land. The largest was the Third Estate, which was made up of the middle class, peasants, and city workers, owned only fifty-five percent of the land but made up ninety-seven percent of the population (Doc. 2). The Third Estate was taxed in extreme proportions so much so that bread, which was a necessity and the base of all meals, became very difficult to pay and obtain. It was becoming increasingly difficult to survive on so little (Doc 1). However, the first two Estates lived easily with no taxes. Even the bourgeoisie, the middle class, became as wealthy as the preceding Estate, but because of where they were born, they were still burdened by taxes. This led to restlessness in the Third Estate. Since they comprised most of France, they joined together and planned a revolt.
Nevertheless, it is impossible to storm in and expect alterations without a plan. To prepare for this, the ideas from the Enlightenment helped to alter the path France was taking. After freshly coming from this new age of thinking and