The Importance Third Estate in the French Revolution

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TheImportance Third Estate in the French Revolution

TheFrench Revolution marked the period in which people came together toshape their political destiny and establish an ethical and incisivegovernance system. The people`s power was particularly focused onhaving a democratic country through doing away with the ancientinstitutions more specifically the feudal system and the monarchy.Such institutions were considered to perpetuate backwardness in thecountry. The revolution was marred with unprecedented upheavals bothsocial and political. The people felt that there was a dire need torestore sanity in the leadership of the country when the governmenttried to use unethical and unconstitutional methods to restore itsfinancial status. The issue was necessitated by the insurmountabledebt the government had incurred during the American RevolutionaryWar. The Third Estate played a critical role in shaping the countryduring the French Revolution, despite the fact that it did notachieve all its objectives within the period Revolution lasted.

Descriptionof the third estate

About98% of the population in France who were more prejudiced anddiscriminated than any other group made up the Third Estate. According to Trivedi, the Third Estate took great and bold move toadvocate for their rights. The Third Estate had the urban populationwho were mostly the wage-laborers. It was also comprised of freepeasants who came from the villages and were often forced to pay hightaxes. This group of people was exposed to hardships mostly hardlabor. They were essentially the majority commoners who enjoyed fewrights, and they never took part in the political leadership of thecountry. These who belonged to the Third Estate were not consideredas being part of the nation, and that`s why they decided to fullyparticipate in the French Revolution (Comstock).

TheImportance of the Third Estate

HumanRights Advocacy

Thethird estate played a fundamental role in advocating for the rightsand freedom of the majority citizens (Kelley). The first two years ofthe French Revolution marked the beginning of a new dawn as far asthe universal rights of the people are concerned. The changes in thelegislature that involved the recognition of human rights weredeliberated from 1789 to 1791. The Third Estate spearheaded the pushfor recognition of human rights, and others joined. They wereprotesting against continued exploitation and prejudice by themonarch. The Third Estate escalated its protests when the leadershipof the country had shown no interest in recognizing them. The ThirdEstate met on the night of 4th August 1789 to declare the abolishmentof feudalism and announced that they should be exempted from taxationand their rights be recognized. In August 27th, 1789, there was adeclaration of human rights which were adopted by the NationalAssembly forthwith (Virginia).

Endingthe Absolute Monarch

Seriousdemonstrations were carried out by the Third Estate marked the end ofthe Absolute Monarchy and the commencement of ConstitutionalMonarchy. The end of Monarchy was not only in France but also acrossEurope, courtesy of the Third Estate. Through the NationalConvention, the Third Estate announced an end to the governmentheaded by monarch (Smith). The declaration led to the formation ofFrench Republic on 20th September 1792. The aggrieved revolutionistsalso played a significant role in the deaths of Louis XVI and QueenMaries Antoinette who were the leaders of Monarch. As a result, theNational Convention announced the formation of Directory, which was anew government.

GivingRise to Nationalism

Theprotests carried out by the Third Estate culminated into them beingrecognized as part of the nation (North). They were accorded respectas citizens with a sense of identity. This would mark the end todiscrimination and create an environment whereby they would betolerated. The principles applied by the Third Estate to advocate fortheir rights in France were replicated in most parts of Europe suchas Germany. However, it was not successful in Germany as it receivedunprecedented resistance that lasted for a century.

Changein Property

Therevolution by the Third Estate was paramount in changing the propertyownership from the Old and dictatorial owners to the peasants. Themove was a move that was aimed at ensuring there are equality anddemocracy in the country (Kofas). The Feudal system of governancethat had bestowed the rights and privileges to the aristocratsessentially came to an end. Napoleon was directly involved inadvocating for equality and the transfer of land to the poor people.His efforts and commitment saw the establishment of Napoleonic Empireas he won the full support of the poor peasants in the country(Trinayani). The transfer of property from the wealthy class to thepoor was a fundamental accomplishment during the revolution, and itmade it possible for the Third Estate to advocate for their rightsmore aggressively.


TheFrench Revolution remains an inevitably instrumental event thatshaped the world to make it a better place. It gave rise to humanrights which were initially not given due consideration. Therevolution signified the end of abusive and abhorrent monarch systemin the France and the establishment of an all-inclusive system ofleadership. The Third Estate proved to be a movement that cares forthe prejudiced majority in the country for the strategic role itplayed during the French Revolution. It reinstated democracy and madethe country a civilized by enabling the citizens to enjoy thesovereignty they deserve.


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Kelly,Peter. &quotDocumentsthat Changed the World: ‘What is the Third Estate?` 1789.& Today, 15 May.2013.Web.26 Mar.2017.

Kofas,Jon.&quotCorporate Media, ‘Robo-Citizens` and Bourgeois Democracy.& Currents, 18 Oct.2016. Web. 26 Mar.2017

North,David. &quotTheEnd of the USSR&quot. Committee of the Fourth International, 30 Dec.2016.Web.26 Mar 2017

Smith,George.&quotEdmund Burke, Intellectuals, and The French Revolution, Part1&quot. Libertarianism.Org.Cambridge University Press, 14 Mar. 2014. Web. 26 Mar.2017.

Trinayani,Virupakshi. &quot25French Revolution Facts You Should Know.&quot Facts Legend, 22 Mar.2017. Web. 26 Mar 2017

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