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Word Count: 1,236
In France during medieval times a separate group emerged that were not quite peasants but at the same time were not exactly nobility They were originally called the bourgeoisie This new group was right in the middle of the two classes During the medieval time period according to the Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia the bourgeoisie were normally comprised of merchants trades people artisans and later bankers and entrepreneurs Eventually with the rise of the towns as an important center for activity the bourgeoisie became important as economic and social classes Following the end of the Middle Ages the bourgeoisies influence became larger as they normally supported the new ruling monarchs They usually found themselves at the forefront of science technology and social change However by the 17th century they found themselves supporting the principles of natural rights and constitutionally run governments Before the 20th century this class was easy to spot The lines between the lower class the bourgeoisie and the nobility or upper class were clearly drawn However starting in the 20th century and continuing on to today the lines drawn between the classes are harder to see and define This is especially true of the middle class no longer called the bourgeoisie because the phrase has a broad sweeping meaning The Readers Digest Oxford Complete Wordfinder tries to define this phrase but falls short of its true definition According to the Readers Digest the term middle class is The class of society between the upper and lower including professionals and business workers 945 This definition is vague To understand the meaning to its fullest one must go to the definition of the upper and lower classes These definitions are just as unclear as the definition of the middle class It basically says that the upper class is the highest class of society 1694 The same type of blurry definition is provided for the lower class The law dictionaries that were consulted did not
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