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Elizabethan Social Structure

            During the Elizabethan time period, there was a hint of foreshadowing.
             Elizabethans, much like today, were broken down into social classes. However, the .
             class you were born in is the class you were to remain for the rest of your life. In order .
             to understand the things they had to live with, such as the clothes they wore, the sports .
             they played, and the education they received, you must first understand how their .
             society worked. They were broken down into three classes, first were the nobles, .
             second were the middle class, and last were the peasants. In Elizabethan England the .
             way of life was chosen according to your social standpoint.
             Even though the peasants were at the bottom of the "social ladder", many would.
             be surprised to know that they were quite happy with the lives that they led. The .
             in one small village for their entire lives, and worked the land owned by the nobleman of .
             the area ("social" 1). Their clothing was extremely limited and designed for practicality. .
             Peasants usually wore the same style of clothing as the nobles, but the peasants' .
             clothing was made from much coarser materials. The peasants never wore anything .
             that was above their social standing. This restriction made way for the other classes to .
             wear what they felt with out being ridiculed.
             The middle class consisted of artisans, craftsmen, servants, and small .
             merchants. The servants were likely to wear the uniform that was provided for them. .
             The others in this class, still wore clothes that were practical, but reflected that they had .
             a little more money and showed that they were above the peasants. The middle class .
             broke off into another class being labeled the wealthy middle class. This class consisted .
             of prosperous merchants, highly skilled artisans, and the servants of nobles. They had .
             the ambition to climb the "social ladder". This meant that their clothing was extremely .
             fashionable ("social" 1). The "sumptuary laws" were laws that put legal restrictions on .

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