Essay French Nobility

1152 Words Sep 15th, 2010 5 Pages
French Nobility The French Nobility has been around since the beginning of the Roman Empire. Similar to the Romans, the French organized their state around the nobility and the clergy, not taking into account the massive amount of commoners. The Third Estate was finally created centuries later to help bring order and give common people their own place within society. Charles Loyseau and Isabelle de Charriere are two prime sources that compare French nobility during the 17th and 18th century, leading up to the French Revolution. Charles Loyseau, both a jurist and legal scholar evaluates French society in his writing A Treatise on Orders. In the writing of his treatise, Loyseau describes the “social anatomy of France” in an …show more content…
Loyseau also criticizes the third Estate for being considered undignified and merely a definition of their occupation, although it did give commoners a greater power. On the other hand, Isabelle de Charriere describes the French nobility in the Nobleman with scathing satire. The author uses Julia, the daughter of Baron d’ Aronville, as a fictitious weapon to portray the dwindling honor of the noble title. Charriere uses her talented writing to show her frustration in being “confined by the prejudices and lifestyle of her moribund aristocratic family” (36). Charriere depicts the life of Baron d’ Aronville as “exceedingly sensible of the value of this ancientry” and having no other values (36). This short excerpt from the Nobleman brings to light the change in attitude on nobility between the different generations through time. Loyseau and Charriere use they’re writing to depict to the reader that privileged positions in society can be warranted, but also abused and misused at the same time. Loyseau criticizes the order for allowing no social change among estates, and limited mobility within there own hierarchical group. Loyseau does not take a stance on whether nobles should be privileged or not, but shows the massive discrepancies between the first two Estates and the third Estate. With the noble status, the French state

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