Describe the Structure of French Society in the 18th Century

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

The Structure of French Society in the 18th Century was divided into three estates, with only members of the third estate paying taxes. The estate’s society was a component of the feudal system. The clergy and nobility were members of the first two estates. Peasants made up 90% of the population.

Structure of French Society in the 18th Century

The French had a difficult time in the 18th century. During that time, they faced severe economic crises as well as the popular French revolution. It put the country on the back foot, and its citizens suffered greatly as a result. Not only that, but Napoleon Bonaparte declared himself Emperor of France at the end of the 18th century.

The following points describe the structure of French society in the late eighteenth century:

  • Louis XVI of the Bourbon family of kings ascended to the French throne in 1774.
  • The long war had depleted France’s financial resources, so he found the treasury empty.
  • He helped thirteen American colonies gain independence from Britain.
  • Taxation was raised to cover the government’s regular expenses, such as the cost of maintaining an army, the court, and running government offices or universities.
  • Peasants were forced to work in their homes and fields, as well as serve in the army or build roads.

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