What were the Three Estates of the medieval European Society?
During the middle Ages, the social structure was strictly divided into three classes or “estates”. The First Estate, composed of the ordained officers of the Church, from pope to parish priest and wandering monk, constituted a separate class claiming authority from God. The Second Estate was made of the Nobles. The nobility, by virtue of its land ownership and its right to bear arms, made the nobles’ primary function as warriors. Third Estate was made of everyone else, mostly peasants, which had no base for power. Problems with this social structure were inevitable. In due course of time, the rise of new economy led to the Third Estate became richer and more powerful than the Second Estate whose members’ wealth was based solely on land ownership.