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Lecture 4

Week 4 Lecture 1.docx

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Wilfrid Laurier University
Leigh Morrison

th Week 4 Lecture 1 – Septth30 , 2013 Class and Class Privilege: 18 century France French Society in 18 Century - Trajectory of French society leading up to revolution o First, 1750 France had feudal economy and class structure for seven hundred years  Economic life led to the development of a class system based on agricultural production and a political system based on monarchy o Second, center of feudal society is the division into two economic classes: landholders and large class of peasant cultivators  Social inequality manifested itself in the form of class division and class distinctions of all types, social inequality was extensive, landholders lived in luxury and agricultural workers lived in poverty o Third, class structure defined relations of production between the classes and structured how classes entered into the production process  The name we gave to the laws structured the relations of production between classes was the corvee system – based on:  First, the economic obligations imposed on the serf by the landholder requiring the serf to perform free unpaid labour service to lord o The labour rights of the corvee law legitimately subordinated the agricultural workers to the landholder through a system of class distinction that created social inequality  Second, the right the landholder had over the agricultural product of the serf o Entitled the landholder by law to take as much as 50% of serf’s agricultural production  Third, the right of the landholder to impose economic exactions on serf labourers o Took form of taxes, dues, fees levied by the lord on serf o In this case, social inequality embedded in the class relationships meant that while the surf labored for the landholder, landholder did not labour for the serf - By 1750, class privilege of the aristocracy grew to point that widened class distinctions and division between classes o Result – their privilege became greater and more exaggerated  By this time, the aristocracy
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