Religion Past and Present

Get access
Search Results: | 2 of 8 |

Estate-based Society
(494 words)

[German Version]

From the early Middle Ages to the modern period, hierarchical European society was based on distinct estates (Ger. Stände). An estate-based society differs from modern society based on class or strata, which arose in the 19th century, in the extreme closure of the estates: membership in an estate passed from one generation to the next, there was relatively little mobility between the estates (though some was possible), the traditionally legitimated hierarchy of the estates was stable, and power, pr…

Cite this page
Münch, Richard, “Estate-based Society”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 15 August 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

▲   Back to top   ▲