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Fig 5.18 – The Three Estates

Text: Page 185

The Three Estates became a symbol of the class struggle that would eventually lead to new socioeconomic systems. The goal of the Enlightenment was to end the oppressive forces of the clergy, the First Estate, and the nobility, the Second Estate, from the backs of common people, the Third Estate.

The founders of the American Revolution used “men” as the main gender in all their documents, which initially gave socioeconomic power only to men, specifically white men. It was only in the twentieth century that women and black people would win, often through violent struggle, the right to vote.

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