LEARNING INTENTIONS. KNOWLEDGE: E xplain the structure of the ancien regime in France and how it was underpinned by inequality, chaos and absolutism. UNDERSTANDING: Analyse how the inequality, chaos and absolutism contributed to discontentment in the third estate SKILL:
1781 STATUS QUO:
INEQUALITY, CHAOTIC, ABSOLUTISM
FRANCE – 1781
SYSTEM OF TAXATION / FINANCIAL PRIVILEGES
Peter McPhee points out:
It was the rural population above all which underwrote the costs of the three pillars of authority and privilege in France: the Church, the nobility and monarchy. Together the two privileged orders and the monarchy exacted on average one-quarter to one-third of peasant produce, through taxes, seigneural dues and the tithe.
In ancien regime France almost all posts of public responsibility had to be bought or inherited.
DIFFERING AND OVERLAPPING JURISDICTIONS
Look at map on page 9 of your textbook to see these areas.
EFFECT: No single subject (person) in 18th century France could expect to have the same treatment as anybody else in administrative, religious or legal matters: it depended entirely upon where a person lived and which set of systems were in force there.
Look at map handout. What suggestions can you make that would improve the system? Who might not want the system to change?
DIVINE RIGHT / ABSOLUTE MONARCHY
‘The power to make the laws belongs only to me’ (Louis XVI)
Answer questions 1-3 page 18 ‘Spirit of Change’
The answers should form part of your formal notes.
What challenged the status quo of the ancien regime?