Q. 224.0( 22 Votes )
Before the French Revolution, the French society was divided into three estates.
a. The 1st estate was comprised of the Church and the clergy. They enjoyed certain privileges by birth. The most important of these privileges was exemption from paying taxes.
b. The 2nd estate was comprised of the nobles and other rich people of the society. These were also exempted from paying taxes. They also enjoyed feudal privileges which included collection of feudal dues by the peasants.
c. The 3rd estate was comprised of big businessmen, merchants, court officials, lawyers, peasants, artisans, landless labourers and servants. Within the third estate, some were rich and others were poor. The peasants obliged the landlords by working on their fields, in their houses, to serve in the army or to participate in the building of roads. They were paying all direct taxes like taille and a number of indirect taxes on salt or tobacco, but had no rights.
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