World History and The French Revolution Begins
The First Estate was the clergy, the Second Estate the nobility, and the ThirdEstate effectively the rest of French society.
On May 5, 1789, Louis XVI convened the Estates-General. ... As a result, though the Third Estate was vastly larger than the clergy and nobility, each estate had the same representation—one vote.
Estates-General, also called States General, French États-Généraux, in France of the pre-Revolutionary monarchy, the representative assembly of the three “estates,” or orders of the realm: the clergy and nobility—which were privileged minorities—and a Third Estate, which represented the majority of the people.