The Three Estates

Emperor, King, Nobleman, Burgher, Peasant, Beggarman

21.10.1740–11.11.1913

‘… shoemaker, tailor, linen-weaver, baker, merchant, gravedigger’. This children’s counting rhyme – still popular today – reflects the hierarchical society of the Habsburg Empire. This social order came under massive criticism from the middle of the nineteenth century, when citizens began to demand equal rights. Above all the precarious situation of the lower classes opened up an ever-widening chasm between them and the property-owning population.

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