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Word Count: 526
The ancien regime means old regime in French and is the term applied to practically every facet of European social economic and political development before the French Revolution of 1789 A striking feature of the ancien regime was the contrast in the lives and experiences of the peoples of different rank It was based on tradition and hierarchical It was divided into classes aristocrats urban middle class bourgeoisie labor guilds and rural peasants During this time the aristocrats maintained power and privilege while the peasants struggled to survive This privilege and power was also extended to the Catholic Church Discrimination occurred because of religion not race example Jews Each were given privilege while the masses paid their way and served them Society ruled by the privileged and based on group rights rather than individual rights The society and economy of the old regime were affected by changes like the Agricultural Revolution the Industrial Revolution and the writings of members of the Enlightenment The economic and social factors resulting from this way of life brought on the French Revolution in at the end of the 18th century The economy depended on land A class system regulated the economy The peasants struggled to survive paying taxes and working for their rich landowners Peasants in the country suffered at the hands of their landlords and government paying the feudal taxes of the privileged few Their situation did not change after the Agricultural Revolution Increased production only benefited the landlords and middlemen not the peasants working on the land Discontent caused unrest and riots The most dramatic rebellion was Pugachevs rebellion from 1791-95 which involved southern Russia Another problem that effected the peasants was the growth in population The peasants were upset with the landlords changing the ways of production to increase profits Prices grew as did the population but the improvements only benefited a select few the nobles bourgeoisie The main goal
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