Posted by John W on June 10, 1998 at 03:12:22:
In response to In This Sense. . . ., written by Ken on June 09, 1998 at 07:45:42
Of course the activities of scions of noble families were limited by the expectations and influence of their families. This does not mean that the effects of noble status were not fundamentally dufferent in Britain and France, and pernicious in the latter case. In France there were two noble castes, Robe--lawyers--and Epee. Certain occupations were legally bound to noble status--senior rank in the Army and Church; purchase of venal office--sinecures created to raise money--was common; estates were partitioned so thst there was a class of impoverished nobility; mostresented of all--nobles did not pay taxes; they tried to revive medieaval taxes to compensate for their declining rents. Enterprise in France was state organised, and the king was so scared of the nobility after the Fronde that they were deliberately excluded from useful activity. All this created a time bomb of disaffected nobility and resentment of the nobles by those who were shut out by their monopoly of key situations.
By contrast nobility in Britain was rarer and the noble class less exclusive both legally and in practice. They went into businesss and intermarried with gentry and merchant classes.
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