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One of the following options is not included in the third category of French society. Identify it
1. Workers and farmers
2. Court officials
3. Executive body
4. Big business people

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Correct Answer - Option 3 : Executive body

Three estates were the broad orders of social hierarchy used in Christendom (Christian Europe) from the Middle Ages to early modern Europe. Different systems for dividing society members into estates developed and evolved over time.

The French Society was divided into three estates.

  • First, two (Clergy and Nobility) enjoyed all privileges.
  • The Third Estate comprised all of those who were not members of urban and rural, together making up over 90% of France's population. 
    • Big businessmen, merchants, court officials, peasants, artisans, landless labourers, servants were included in the third category.
    • The Executive body was not included in the third estate.
  • Some within the Third Estate were rich and some were poor.  
  • The burden of financing activities of the state through taxes was borne by the Third Estate alone.
  • The population of France grew and so did the demand for grain. The gap between the rich and poor widened. This led to subsistence crises.
  • The 18th century witnessed the emergence of the middle class which was educated and believed that no group in society should be privileged by birth.

Hence, the correct answer is the Executive body.

  • First Estate:
    • The First Estate comprised the entire clergy, traditionally divided into "higher" and "lower" clergy.
    • Although there was no formal demarcation between the two categories, the upper clergy were, effectively, clerical nobility, from the families of the Second Estate.
  • Second Estate:
    • The Second Estate was the French nobility and royalty, other than the monarch himself, who stood outside of the system of estates.
    • The Second Estate is traditionally divided into "nobility of the sword", and "nobility of the robe", the magisterial class that administered royal justice and civil government.

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