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“…the Third Estate need not fear examining the past. It will betake itself to the year preceding the  ‘conquest’; and as it is nowadays too strong to be conquered it will certainly resist effectively. Why should it not repatriate to the Franconian forests all the families who wildly claim to descend from the race of the conquerors and to inherit their rights of conquest? If it were purged in this way, I think the nation might well recover from the thought that thence-forward it would be reduced to the descendants of mere Gauls and Romans. When our poor fellow citizens insist on distinguishing one lineage and another, could nobody reveal to them that it is at least as good to be descended from the Gauls and the Romans  as from the Sicambrians, Welches and other savages from the woods and swamps of ancient Germany? ‘True enough,’ some will say; ‘but conquest has upset all relationships and hereditary nobility now descends through the line of the conquerors.’ Well, then we shall have to arrange for it to descend through the other line! The Third Estate will become noble again by becoming a conqueror in its own turn.”

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– Emmanuel Joseph Sieyès What is the Third Estate?

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