History - TheOldRegime:StatesandSocietiesin18thCentury...

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The Old Regime: States and Societies in 18th-Century  Europe 18:44  Lecture 2, September 28, 2010 The Old Regime: States and Societies in 18     th    -Century Europe     Defining the “old regime” Refers to political and social system before French Revolution Main Features: o Monarchy-king or queen had absolute power o Social hierarchy and privilege-inequality o Powerful church-Catholic church concept of the “old regime” arose after  the French revolution  the “old regime” was not static or unchanging.  There were many different “old regimes” A society of estates-people born into certain estates Fate determined at birth Ideal of equal citizenship did not exist yet Patriarchal society Also known as orders Hard to move between orders Nobility-dominated society o Small but dominant politically and socially
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o Right to bare rams o Special judicial treatment o Exempt from taxes o France/Britain-only ones to hold high govt. office/military positions o Russia-only ones to own surfs  o Exempt from corporal punishment o Own legislative bodies House of Lords in Britain o Differs by country o Different categories of nobles by country Upper/lower Receive nobility by service to state Land nobles Different interests Clergy o Freedom from taxation o Own land/property-receive rent/dues from peasants o France-Church owned between 5 and 10 percent of land o Levied income-tax o Reproduced as an institution o Nobles were often clergy o Russia-could own surfs Commoners o peasants o agriculture was a vast majority of professions
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o France-4/5ths of population were rural o Russia-peasants were surfs Complete power over surfs Marriage, flogging, murdered o France, Sand., England-more personal freedom o Worked their own land or rented it o Worked as share-croppers o Lord had hunting rights and hunt all over the peasants land Social and economic changes-18 th  century the new global economy o 1 st  Spanish and Portuguese o settlers sent to colonize other part sof the world o imported goods from the east o vast expansion of overseas trade o slave trade-main labor supply for plantations o new wealth was based on trade o early globalization o land and wealth no longer only way to become rich commercial capitalism o people want a position in society o only small number of traders took advantage of new situation upper/middle class poor were worse off than before
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o consumerism even peasants sold their own goods social mobility and the rise of the bourgeoisie (city dweller) o bourgeoisie (middle class) rich but not well born transfer wealth to political power o a poor person could become rich
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History - TheOldRegime:StatesandSocietiesin18thCentury...

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