Lecture 002 - Old Regime Social Structures

Lecture 002 - Old Regime Social Structures - Old Regime...

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Old Regime Social Structures - September 15 th , 2008 If social orders are disturbed, it will lead to problems i.e.: revolution. You must understand the classes before trying to change them. Hard to define social structures at certain times: lines are blurred. It depends on your perspective. Defining social structure was based on status starting at birth. You were born within a group. Wealth did matter, but was not the number one definition. The three orders: more true in Western Europe, but still generally true across Europe. Clergy (1 st order) Made up of all the people who belonged to the church. In most countries, only room for one church. Very often rich because of the real estate that they owned and accumulated (urban and rural). Centuries of donations helped. Also wealthy because of fundamental tax exemptions. Allowed to levy a tax called the “tithe”, certain percentage of crops for example went to the church. There was as well a hierarchy within the clergy system Church controlled education, health, People turned to religion for much of their life issues * the slow diminishing/receding of religion in the European mind, the movement towards secularization Defined morality standards. In the 18
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Lecture 002 - Old Regime Social Structures - Old Regime...

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