MemberMay 12, 2021 at 8:42 pm::
The French Society was divided into 3 divisions or three estates:
Clergy, Nobility, and 3rd estate.
1. The First Estate: The clergy consisted of the high priests and they did not have to pay taxes.
Clergy belonged to the 1st estate of the French Society. The clergy was the group of persons who were invested with special functions in the church,e.g. fathers, and other members of the church. The Church-owned land and individuals took care of this land for them, however, they were not responsible for paying taxes on this land. They did send a small amount of money to the government each year as a gift. The First Estate was responsible for the spiritual and moral welfare of the nation, including educating the children.
2. The Second Estate: Nobility consisted of the king and the and people who were very rich and wealthy and even they don’t have to pay taxes. Nobles were required to honor, serve, and counsel their king. They were often required to render military service (for example, the impôt du sang or “blood tax”). Noble titles were not just honorifics; they also empowered their owners with specific rights and privileges, and most importantly an immunity from personal taxes.
These exemptions were among the triggers of the French Revolution, as the commoners, or the members of the Third Estate realized they were bearing the financial burden of the whole French nation.
3. The Third Estate: The 3rd estate consisted of peasants, farmers, lawyers, some middle-class minsters, etc and they all had to pay taxes. The Third Estate included everyone else from the middle class down, from doctors to lawyers to the homeless and poor. This was the largest Estate, with roughly 98% of the population included in it. The middle class of France is referred to as the Bourgeoisie.