The Estates-General was a legislative group created by King Philip IV in 1302. However, the group didn’t meet regularly and had no real political power.
There were three groups that compromised the Estates-General. The First Estate, which was the smallest group, consisted of the clergy. These people worked for the church and included priests, nuns, and monks. The Second Estate consisted of the nobles. These people held many of the important government offices and received perks such as not having to pay all of the taxes. The largest group was the Third Estate. Peasants, laborers, and skilled workers belong to this group. This group paid taxes, which became increasing burdensome prior to the French Revolution.
When voting occurred, each Estate had one vote. This created problems because the Third Estate, which made up most of the population of France, often didn’t have its voice heard because the other two Estates often voted the same way on matters that arose. It was the actions of the Third Estate that eventually led to the start of the French Revolution.