The Estates-General was a meeting of the three estates within French society which included the clergy, nobility and the peasant classes. The estate to which a person belonged was very important because it determined that person’s rights, obligations and status. Members of the Roman Catholic clergy, who numbered about 100,000, made up the first estate. The clergy included people such as: monks, nuns, parish priests and bishops. The church had many privileges in French society, including the collection of tithes. Tithes are one-tenth of a person’s income which is formally taken in support of the church and clergy. Also, the Church did not pay land taxes, even though it owned about 6% of the land and was very wealthy.