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Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, French Declaration

des Droits de lHomme et du Citoyen, one of the basic charters of human


liberties, containing the principles that inspired the French Revolution. Its 17
articles, adopted between August 20 and August 26, 1789,
by Frances National Assembly, served as the preamble to the Constitution of
1791. Similar documents served as the preamble to the Constitution of 1793
(retitled simply Declaration of the Rights of Man) and to the Constitution of
1795 (retitled Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and the Citizen).
The basic principle of the Declaration was that all men are born and remain
free and equal in rights (Article 1), which were specified as the rights of
liberty, private property, the inviolability of the person, and resistance to
oppression (Article 2). All citizens were equal before the law and were to have
the right to participate in legislation directly or indirectly (Article 6); no one was
to be arrested without a judicial order (Article 7). Freedom of religion (Article
10) and freedom of speech (Article 11) were safeguarded within the bounds of
public order and law. The document reflects the interests of the elites who
wrote it: property was given the status of an inviolable right, which could be
taken by the state only if an indemnity were given (Article 17); offices and
position were opened to all citizens (Article 6).
The sources of the Declaration included the major thinkers of the
French Enlightenment, such as Montesquieu, who had urged the separation
of powers, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who wrote of general willthe
concept that the state represents the general will of the citizens. The idea that
the individual must be safeguarded against arbitrary police or judicial action
was anticipated by the 18th-century parlements, as well as by writers such
as Voltaire. French jurists and economists such as the physiocrats had
insisted on the inviolability of private property. Other influences on the authors
of the Declaration were foreign documents such as the Virginia Declaration of
Rights (1776) in North America and the manifestos of the Dutch Patriot
movement of the 1780s. The French Declaration went beyond these models,
however, in its scope and in its claim to be based on principles that are
fundamental to man and therefore universally applicable.
SIMILAR TOPICS
Declaration of Independence
Declaration of Breda
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
Bill of Rights
On the other hand, the Declaration is also explicable as an attack on the pre-
Revolutionary monarchical regime. Equality before the law was to replace the
system of privileges that characterized the old regime. Judicial procedures
were insisted upon to prevent abuses by the king or his administration, such
as the lettre de cachet, a private communication from the king, often used to
give summary notice of imprisonment.
Despite the limited aims of the framers of the Declaration, its principles
(especially Article 1) could be extended logically to mean political and
even social democracy. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the
Citizen came to be, as was recognized by the 19th-century historian Jules
Michelet, the credo of the new age.

Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, French Declaration


des Droits de lHomme et du Citoyen, one of the basic charters of human
liberties, containing the principles that inspired the French Revolution. Its 17
articles, adopted between August 20 and August 26, 1789,
by Frances National Assembly, served as the preamble to the Constitution of
1791. Similar documents served as the preamble to the Constitution of 1793
(retitled simply Declaration of the Rights of Man) and to the Constitution of
1795 (retitled Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and the Citizen).
The basic principle of the Declaration was that all men are born and remain
free and equal in rights (Article 1), which were specified as the rights of
liberty, private property, the inviolability of the person, and resistance to
oppression (Article 2). All citizens were equal before the law and were to have
the right to participate in legislation directly or indirectly (Article 6); no one was
to be arrested without a judicial order (Article 7). Freedom of religion (Article
10) and freedom of speech (Article 11) were safeguarded within the bounds of
public order and law. The document reflects the interests of the elites who
wrote it: property was given the status of an inviolable right, which could be
taken by the state only if an indemnity were given (Article 17); offices and
position were opened to all citizens (Article 6).
The sources of the Declaration included the major thinkers of the
French Enlightenment, such as Montesquieu, who had urged the separation
of powers, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who wrote of general willthe
concept that the state represents the general will of the citizens. The idea that
the individual must be safeguarded against arbitrary police or judicial action
was anticipated by the 18th-century parlements, as well as by writers such
as Voltaire. French jurists and economists such as the physiocrats had
insisted on the inviolability of private property. Other influences on the authors
of the Declaration were foreign documents such as the Virginia Declaration of
Rights (1776) in North America and the manifestos of the Dutch Patriot
movement of the 1780s. The French Declaration went beyond these models,
however, in its scope and in its claim to be based on principles that are
fundamental to man and therefore universally applicable.
SIMILAR TOPICS
Declaration of Independence
Declaration of Breda
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
Bill of Rights
On the other hand, the Declaration is also explicable as an attack on the pre-
Revolutionary monarchical regime. Equality before the law was to replace the
system of privileges that characterized the old regime. Judicial procedures
were insisted upon to prevent abuses by the king or his administration, such
as the lettre de cachet, a private communication from the king, often used to
give summary notice of imprisonment.
Despite the limited aims of the framers of the Declaration, its principles
(especially Article 1) could be extended logically to mean political and
even social democracy. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the
Citizen came to be, as was recognized by the 19th-century historian Jules
Michelet, the credo of the new age.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Declaration-of-the-Rights-of-Man-and-of-the-Citizen