First Estate French Revolution

First Estate French Revolution

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  • The first estate included 130,000 people and was made up of archbishops, bishops, canons, priors, nuns, monks, and parish priests. They were people who had enough money to live comfortably in society because they were part of the wealthy Church.
  • 1781
  • The First Estate also known as the clergy, wore white pants signifying they did not have to work in messy environments. Despite not working much, they could still afford luxuries that became expensive during the war such as bread.
  • I hope my pants are spotlessly clean...
  • At the time, the clergy held important positions of power in societies which they used to their advantage. Other than jobs within the government, some also owned houses that they rented to the 3rd estate. This type of job meant they earned money off the lower class as well as a salary from the government.
  • Tomorrow I have to collect the house rent from people in the 3rd estate owe me
  • As part of the 1st estate, I have to pay certain taxes such as the tax on land, an income tax, and a poll tax. All these taxes were set to apply to all citizens, but I have successfully managed to evade them.
  • Under King Louis XVI, France faced major financial problems and were deeply in debt to neighboring countries. The government tried to introduce a tax on land to earn money. This tax would directly affect the 1st estate, and due to their history of evading certain taxes, they refused to pay. The only way to enforce the tax was to have a formal meeting of the Estates General who had not met in over 100 years. The Estates General were a group of people from each estate who came together to settle disputes.
  • Why am i here?
  • May 5th 1789
  • After massive disagreements, regarding the 3rd estate getting only a single vote, making it inevitable that the clergy and nobility would overrule them, the 1st estate agreed to join the 3rd estate in order to cast a fair vote. The next day, the clergy used their power to their advantage and locked the 3rd estate out of the king’s Royal Session. This sparked the beginning of the French Revolution.
  • June 19th 1789
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