The French Revolution Essay

1023 Words Sep 24th, 2015 5 Pages
Define: estate – a division of three groups in France’s society based on wealth, status, and occupation before the French Revolution old regime – the political and social system of France in the 18th century before the Revolution republic – a government in which power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch émigré - a person who fled from France due to opposition to or fear of the French Revolution (referred to royalist refugees in the French Revolution) sans-culottes – the common people who did not wear the fine clothes of the upper class and played an important role in the radical phase of the French Revolution
1. Describe the three greatest weaknesses of the Old Regime.
The rigid social structure of the Old Regime had many flaws in it, but one of its greatest weaknesses was its distribution of power. For instance, the second estate was composed of nobles who held many powerful positions in the government, military, courts, and high church offices. On the other hand, the third estate made up the majority of the French population and rarely had any power in any government or powerful positions. Distribution of power was not its only weakness but so were the privileges toward the first and second estates. Unlike the third estate, the clergy and the nobility were exempted from France’s taxes such as the taille. Moreover, the bourgeoisie whom were as equally educated as the nobles couldn’t…

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