Even thought the third estate was comprised of shopkeepers, lawyers, etc. their political responsibilities encompassed that of the French peasants. I found it an unfortunate failure of the Revolution that they “represented the outlook of the elite” at the Estates General in 1789.
Had power not been claimed by the bourgeoisie (in the interests of the nobility), but for the whole of the People, many of the tensions that continued might have been quelled instead of the free-for-all that took place.
Instead, we are left another historical example of revolution stopped cold by the self focused usurpations of the middle class (ex: more land, more money, more power)…revolution presents opportunity. The question is, can you get that many people to behave rationally?