The Second Estate

In France’s Ancien Régime, society was divided into three “estates”.

The second estate is is made up of France’s nobility, that is, people who had titles like Duc or Compte. Aside from the usual privilege that went with being nobility, those in this estate were exempt from paying personal taxes.

As for the other estates, the first estate was the clergy. The third estate was everyone else, which made up 98% of the French population. These included urban and rural peasants, laborers, people who earned wages. All of them served the first and second estates.

The monarchy was not part of any estate.