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Lecture

The Social Orders


Department
History
Course Code
HIS244H1
Professor
Nicholas Terpstra

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HIS244 The Social OrdersTuesday January 18th 2011
Lecture Outline
Great Chain of being a society of orders
Each order had its own standards of dress, manner of living, occupations, education
To go against the social order was going against Gods will
Land, wealth, and status
Importance of hierarchical ties
Nobility open and closed elites
France, Denmark Sweden
England opportunities for social mobility
Eastern Europe Poland, Russia
Middling sort or bourgeoisie
Urban wage labourers and journeymen
Serfs and peasants
Margins of society popular revolts
Key Terms
Ancien regime
Nobility
Seigneurial domination / privileges
Serfs
Peasants
Land tenure
Artisans
Diets/estates general/parliaments
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HIS244 The Social OrdersTuesday January 18
th 2011
Absolutism
France The Three Estates
First Estate Clergy .5% population
15% land; pays no tax, but gives gifts
Second Estate Nobility 1.5% population
Nobles of the sword, robe, bell, and anobilis
Different types of nobles: court nobles, rural nobles, etc.
Third Estate the rest 98% population
Bourgeoisie (500,000); city works (2.5 million); peasants (22.5 million 87%
population)
Bankers, lawyers, doctors, merchants
They kept themselves away from the lower people
Sharecroppers, farmers, hand workers, labourers, etc.
It was the law that defined each subgroups responsibilities
The third estate had to pay taxes
Occupation, geographic region, religion, property qualifications, gender, all helped to
add to your place in society
Social Mobility
Possession of money could definitely help you move up in rank
Rank was associated with a code of behaviour: dress, manners, speech
Another marker of rank was diet
The elite ate a lot of meat
The lower ranks were actually not allowed to hunt and thus had to depend a lot on
grain
Much easier to fall in rank than rise
Europe was very much divided into regions with strong regional identity
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