The Lives of the Aristocracy and Peasantry During the Eighteenth Century (Essay Sample)
COMPARE AND CONTRAST The Lives of the Aristocracy and Peasantry During the Eighteenth Century.source..
The Lives of the Aristocracy and Peasantry During the Eighteenth Century
The presence of aristocratic societies in Europe and other parts of the world impacted land and property ownership rights in the eighteenth century. Nobles and their descendants had the right to own large tracks of land, whereas peasants were only allowed to own small parcels of land. Previous studies have indicated that nearly 67 per cent of Europe’s population lived in stratified societies in the eighteenth century (Blum 395). Additionally, the communities’ customs and traditions formed part of the laws that governed the state. Peasants were oppressed by the nobles who mistreated them and forced them to provide cheap labor for their farms. Based on the above arguments, it is clear that aristocrats and peasants led a different lifestyle from each other in the eighteenth century.
Familial ties were the determinant factor about which class each individual would belong in the society. Land and property ownership rights were transmitted from one generation to the next since descendants of the aristocrats automatically became nobles (Lukowski 5). Peasants and their children provided cheap labor for the farmlands owned by the aristocrats who enjoyed a privileged position in society (Sée 20). Additionally, state laws limited the number of acres each peasant family could own since the ruling class regarded them as unintelligent creatures incapable of managing farms. Such laws were implemented to prevent commoners from amassing substantial wealth that would enable them to revolt against the established hierarchical societal structure. Moreover, only members of the nobility class were allowed to participate in the legislative arm of the government due to their outstanding academic background and intellectual competencies (Bengtsson et al. 30). The evidence shows that eighteenth-century society was skewed in favor of the aristocrats who oppressed the peasants.
Members of the aristocracy reserved the right to formulate laws that governed state affairs in the eighteenth century. Since nobles possessed immense political power, they were able to safeguard their wealth passed through generations (Lukowski 19). Additionally, they evaded paying taxes by abusing their law-making powers and shifting the onus to the peasants. Such an overwhelming burden greatly impoverished the peasants who could not accumulate wealth and riches for their heirs. Additionally, peasants were obligated to become manual laborers on the lands owned by the aristocrats, even if that meant abdicating duties on their farms (Bengtsson et al. 27). Moreover, peasants were treated with contempt by the ruling class, who excluded them from participating in state affairs (Blum 395). They were relegated to lowly positions due to their lack of academic credentials. The latter’s disadvantaged position condemned them to eternal poverty and mistreatment.
In conclusion, aristocrats and nobles had different lifestyles in the eighteenth century. Genealogy was the determining factor of whether an individual would belong to either nobility or peasantry. Nobles
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