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HIS 1401E (300)
Lecture 2

History 1401E Lecture 2: History Lecture September 21 2015

Course Code
HIS 1401E
Pierre Reynard

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OLD SOCIETY SOCIAL STRUCTURES: A Society of “Orders” or “Estates”
1. The Three Orders
a. Clergy
b. Nobility
c. The 3rd Estate (everyone else)
2. Key Principles
a. An Old Claim of Harmony
b. An Acceptance of Legal Distinctions Between People (Privileges)
c. Corporate Identities
3. Tensions and Challenges
a. Social Mobility
Social structure is always evolving, it never stays the same
The ways to map social structure are also always changing
oNormally judged by access to wealth (social class)
This is rooted in the theories of Karl Marx in the modern day
Early modern Europeans did not use wealth to classify people into group
oStatus was used: birth and occupation
The Three Orders
Old regime societies were those of orders or estates
oPeople were placed in these categories based on occupation
This was true for most places on Europe
Organized into three orders: the clergy, the nobility and everyone else
1. The Clergy: members of the church; only one official church connected to the
state; rich and powerful; most of the churches in Europe were rich in real-estate
from donations in both wealth and land from rural and urban areas; also did not
pay taxes which led to the accumulation of money; also obtained money by
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