ancien régime

ancien régime

(French: “old order”) Political and social system of France prior to the French Revolution. Under the regime, everyone was a subject of the king of France as well as a member of an estate and province. All rights and status flowed from the social institutions, divided into three orders: clergy, nobility, and others (the Third Estate). There was no national citizenship.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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