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The Ancien Regime France in the 18 th Century. The 1% Royal Family Clergy (First Estate) Nobility (Second Estate)

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Presentation on theme: "The Ancien Regime France in the 18 th Century. The 1% Royal Family Clergy (First Estate) Nobility (Second Estate)"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Ancien Regime France in the 18 th Century

2 The 1% Royal Family Clergy (First Estate) Nobility (Second Estate)

3 Louis XVI (1775 – 1792)

4 Absolute Monarchy Appointed the Intendants, the “petty tyrants” who governed France’s 30 districts Appointed the people who would collect his taxes and carry out his laws Controlled justice by appointing judges Controlled the military Could imprison anyone at any time for any reason (blank warrants of arrest were called lettres de cachet) Levied all taxes and decided how to spend the money Made all laws Made decisions regarding war and peace

5 Divine Right Monarch ruled by divine right – God put the world in motion – God put some people in positions of power – Power is given by God – No one can question God – No one can question someone put in power by God – Questioning the monarchy was blasphemy because it meant questioning God

6 Comparison with King George III & President Washington

7 Parlements Hereditary law courts -All laws had to be registered in the parlements -Power to remonstrate with the king if there were errors or inconsistencies in the legislation -Could not initiate legislation or policy

8 Palace of Versailles

9 Hall of Mirrors

10 Louis XIV

11 The First Estate: The Clergy -.6% of the population (169,500) - Church owned about 10% of the land - tithe: tax between 8 – 10% of people’s income - Exempt from royal taxes high clergy: bishops; archbishops (also noble) - impossible for a commoner to rise to the top of the hierarchy (Adcock 2009: 19)

12 The Second Estate: The Nobility

13 The 99% Commoners (The Third Estate): - bourgeoisie (2 million) - artisans (2 million) - Landowning farmers (5 million) - Sharecropping farmers (11 million) - Day labourers (5 million) - Serfs (1 million)

14 The Three Estates EstatePopulationPrivilegesExemptionsBurdens First Circa 130,000 High-ranking clergy Collected the tithe Censorship of the press Control of education Kept records of births, deaths, marriages, etc. Catholic faith held honored position of being the state religion (practiced by monarch and nobility) Owned 20% of the land Paid no taxes Subject to Church law rather than civil law Moral obligation (rather than legal obligation) to assist the poor and needy Support the monarchy and Old Regime Second Circa 110,000 Nobles Collected taxes in the form of feudal dues Monopolized military and state appointments Owned 20% of the land Paid only some taxes Support the monarchy and Old Regime Third Circa 25,000,000 Everyone else: artisans, bourgeoisie, city workers, merchants, peasants, etc., along with many parish priests None Paid all taxes Tithe (Church tax) Octrot (tax on goods brought into cities) Corv ée (forced road work) Capitation (poll tax) Vingtiéme (income tax) Gabelle (salt tax) Taille (land tax) Feudal dues for use of local manor’s winepress, oven, etc.

15 What does this contemporary political cartoon say about conditions in France under the Old Regime?


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