Important Lessons To Learn In History
Important Terms to remember.
Answer: 1. First Estate: French society was divided into classes called Estates, The First Estate consisted of the Clergy which held vast land, wealth and were
exempted from taxes.
2. Second Estate: It consisted of the aristocracy and controlled all the top positions in the government. parliament and in the army and navy. They were
also exempted from taxation and led an extravagant life.
3. Third Estate: This comprised everyone who was neither nobility nor clergy and constituted almost 97% of the population. The wealthy upper middle
class (merchants, bankers, doctors. lawyers), lower middle class, shopkeepers, craftsmen. and peasants comprised the Third Estate. This class
lacked political power, social status and was heavily taxed.
4. The Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen: In 1789. the French National Assembly adopted a set of basic principles called the Declaration of the
Rights of Man and Citizen. Proposed by Lafayette and based on the ideas of Locke, Montesquieu and Jefferson, this document stated that “men are born
and remain free and equal in rights” and that the “source of power resides in the people”. It guaranteed all Frenchmen the basic rights of liberty,
security, equal justice, fair taxes, religion, fair speech, and thought.
5. Livre: Unit of currency used in France till 1794.
6. Clergy: Group of persons invested with special functions in the Church.
7. Tithe: A tax levied by the Church equal to one-tenth of the agricultural produce.