French Nobility

1137 WordsOct 1, 20105 Pages
French Nobility The French Nobility has been around since the beginning of the Roman Empire. Similar to the Romans, the French organized their state around the nobility and the clergy, not taking into account the massive amount of commoners. The Third Estate was finally created centuries later to help bring order and give common people their own place within society. Charles Loyseau and Isabelle de Charriere are two prime sources that compare French nobility during the 17th and 18th century, leading up to the French Revolution. Charles Loyseau, both a jurist and legal scholar evaluates French society in his writing A Treatise on Orders. In the writing of his treatise, Loyseau describes the “social anatomy of France” in an…show more content…
“It is certainly a very reasonable privilege that those who contribute their lives for the defense of the state be exempt from contributing their goods” (20). Loyseau shows the privileges of all orders letting the reader understand politics and their society during this time. In Charriere excerpt from The Nobleman, the use of satire helps the audience understand that privileges can allow for a person to take advantage of a situation or of a person who does not hold the same privileges. The Baron d’Aronville is a good example of what happens to privileges when they have been in the family for generations. Old Aristocratic families only hold there ancientry dear to them because it legitimizes there nobility. Julia, unlike her father, never “consulted Patents of Nobility” and wants nothing to do with her noble heritage or rank. She also “would rather have been thought plebeian than proud” (37). Although ancientry gives people recognition and a title, Charriere reveals that the “most recent nobility is the best” because he works the hardest to maintain the title he has won (38). By using fiction and satire Charriere is clearly able to show the decay of ancient nobles and the misuse of privileges. When Loyseau discusses the basic orders in society, the only way to improve positions and privileges is through honor and merit. Honor and merit are
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