The Old Regime Essay Research Paper The — страница 2

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and custom from possessing any kind of political power, these people were also burdened with taxes.7 They were forced to pay taxes on their income, land, property, crops, salt, tobacco, wine, cider and even their lives. If a peasant sold a piece of land, he or she paid a sales tax, as well as an additional tax, on the money he or she received. These taxes were just too much for a hard working individual to pay; thus, this class system caused human life to be unequal. Ironically, these people were taught that all were born equal; therefore, they learned that classifying mankind must was wrong. However, restrictions were still put upon the subordinated Third Estate. In addition to financial constraints, peasants and farmers were forbidden to kill any game animals, even those that

threatened their crops. On top of all these restrictions the commoners had to bear, they were faced with yet another burden — forced military service. Once in the army, these people were paid very poorly and fed even worse. These restraints were only levied upon the Third Estate; thus, this estate became quite infuriated. As a result of these restrictions, the whole Third Estate was living in an inferior state of mind that caused those within this estate to want more. The people of the Third Estate were tired of being treated unfairly throughout their everyday lives. The first two estates were enjoying their tax-free lifestyles while the poor paid for this injustice. Clearly, such a system could not survive for long. During the 1780’s, France’s financial crisis grew daily

as kings drained the country’s treasury. The Peasants wanted relief from their ancient and dated duties while the Middle Class desired freedom as a reward for their industry labor.8 Despite this growing tension in France, the King continued to resist the demands of his people. As a result of his constant refusal to grant his people equal rights, many rebellions and wars broke out and diminished the country’s treasury. Furthermore, a series of bad harvests between 1688 and 1694 brought about total catastrophes.9 For example, the cold and wet summers reduced harvests by more then one-third. The overall result was widespread starvation, and, in many provinces, a death rate that rose to several times the normal figure.10 These unfortunate circumstances hurt the Peasants even more

than the disadvantages they faced before the famine. In addition to these events, food riots, lack of work, and the issuance of political pamphlets all played key roles in fuelling the fire of the French Revolution.11 This revolution symbolized equality for all classes around the world. The Metropolitan Museum offered many different kinds of displays of French art and architecture that illustrated the contrasting classes of French society. Upon inspection of these displays, one can easily notice that kings and nobles dominated French art and paintings. These displays show an observer the unequal society that the people of that day were forced to live in. For example, the paintings exemplified the prestige, privileged, and rich nature of the Nobles; these were conditions that the

Third Estate could not experience. The first two estates endured very fruitful lives, and this is reflected in the art exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum. Peasants weren’t considered anything but lowly peasants, and were thus never really recognized until during the Revolution. The Peasants in the Third Estate became accustomed to their lifestyles and knew they would never become part of the rich society. There were two rooms in the Metropolitan Museum that illustrated the wealth and honor possessed by the first two estates. The first room had to be the bedroom of King Louis XIV, for this room was nothing less then perfect. The walls, surrounded by angels, looked like they belonged to the room of a god. The walls also contained pictures, one being of King Louis himself. The

King’s portrait was godlike as well, for he bore a confident stance. This room contained a masterful fireplace, which would have definitely been a sight to any peasant who would have had the honor to see it. The other room that would catch the eye of any commoner would have to be the room of the Hotel De Cabris. At first glance, any observer could see that this room signified wealth with its rich furniture and atmosphere. These two rooms show how the rich lived and how happy they were while the Third Estate struggled to exist. While the first two estates lived in harmony and only worried about what they wanted, Third Estate members were concerned with how they would continue to live under the restrictions put upon them. These two rooms would give peasants a sense of