Describe the Structure of French Society in the 18th Century

By Mandeep Kumar|Updated : September 7th, 2022

The structure of French society in the 18th century: It was divided into three estates, and only members of the third estate paid taxes. The society of estates was part of the feudal system. The members of the first two estates were the clergy and the nobility. 90 percent of the population were peasants. 

French Society During the Late 18th Century

The french society during the late eighteenth century was as follows:

  • In 1774, the throne of France was ascended by the Louis XVI of the Bourbon family of kings.
  • He found the treasury empty as the long war had drained the financial resources of France.
  • He assisted thirteen American colonies to gain their independence from Britain.
  • Taxes were increased to meet its regular expenses, such as the cost of maintaining an army, the court, and running government offices or universities.
  • Peasants were obliged to work in their houses and fields and serve in the army or participate in building roads.

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  • In the eighteenth century, french society was divided into three estates. The members of the first two estates were the clergy and the nobility. The members of the third estate such as Big businessmen, merchants, court officials, lawyers, peasants, and artisans paid taxes.

  • France's population was elevated from 23 million in 1715 to 28 million in 1789. There was a shortage of food grains. The price of bread rose rapidly. Workers were employed as labourers in workshops for fixed wages.

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