What is a Feudal System in the French Revolution?

By Shivank Goel|Updated : September 5th, 2022

The eighteenth-century upheaval in France, known as the "French Revolution," changed the dynamic between the people and the ruling class. King Louis XVI's disastrous policies, which hurt France's economic standing, led to the French Revolution. A feudal system in the French Revolution was known as the land tenure organization. A feudal system is a political and social organization in which rulers leased their lands to peasants for their free labor and allegiance.

Feudal System in the French Revolution

Before the French Revolution, feudalism (a feudal system) was prevalent in France. The medieval form of government before the modern nation-state was known as feudalism. A system of land ownership and responsibilities is feudalism. Additionally, France had a role in the expansion of feudalism to other nations, including Germany, Italy, Spain, and Eastern Europe.

Feudalism flourished in Medieval Europe between the 9th and 15th centuries and was a combination of legal, economic, military, and cultural practices. In its broadest sense, it was a method of organizing society around bonds acquired from the possession of property in exchange for labor or other forms of service. Peasants had to pay their dues through unpaid work, farm output, or cash under the system. As a result, feudalism gave the nobility stability during this time and immense power and control over the land.

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  • One of the main factors contributing to the French Revolution's rise was feudalism. The familiar people of France, primarily peasants, were required to pay tithes to the church, the feudal lords, and nobles, in addition to the French monarchy.

  • On August 4, 1789, the National Constituent Assembly declared: "The National Assembly completely abolishes the feudal system." It did away with the First Estate's collection of tithes and the Second Estate's seigneurial powers.

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