As a member of the clergy, and therefore of the first estate, he did not let his privileges influence him, and he worked hard to help the third estate rise to the level of its rightful stature. Representatives from these three estates had traditionally met in something called an Estates-General , which met when the French king would call for it to meet. When they were called upon to meet again, in , they did so in the wake of a major shift in understanding the nature of representation. Traditionally, the first estate was made up of members of the clergy, the second estate was made up of the nobility, and the third estate was made up of commoners, or everybody who was not of the clergy or nobility. They were all ruled by a king, who was considered a part of no estate. Previously, the Estates-General only met during times of conflict and crisis.

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What Is the Third Estate? These ideas came to have an immense influence on the course of the French Revolution. The questions and responses are:.

Thus, he asserts, it should replace the other two estates entirely. The Third Estate bears the weight of the majority of tax. Although the idea of the pluralistic state theory was crystallized by English political philosophers such as G. Cole , J. Figgis and H. A comprehensive collection of writings on the topic was released under "Pluralist Theory of the State".

Modern equivalent theories building upon the ideas within pluralistic state theory are libertarian socialism and free-market anarchism. An example of the former is guild socialism , one of the founders of which is G. Cole mentioned above. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Pluralism political theory. Cole, J. French Revolution. Significant civil and political events by year. Peace of Basel. Treaty of Amiens 25 Mar Charles-Alexandre Linois. William V, Prince of Orange. Alexander Korsakov Alexander Suvorov.

Luis Firmin de Carvajal Antonio Ricardos. Other significant figures and factions. Feuillants and monarchiens. Hidden categories: Articles containing French-language text.

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Abbé Sieyès

Society, Theory and the French Revolution pp Cite as. To ask the question of the Third Estate is equivalent to asking, what is society, or to use a language more appropriate to the period, what is the nation? As the pamphlet proceeds, it will become obvious that the answer to the original question is given by the equivalence: the Third Estate is everything because it is the nation, because it is society. This may cause one to wonder about the status of the first two estates.


Documents that Changed the World: ‘What is the Third Estate?’ 1789


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