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French Revolution - Declaration of the Rights of Man
The Declaration of the Rights of Man is one of the earliest calls for human rights in the history of mankind
Created due to the French Revolution
Inspired by European and American Enlightenment ideals
Premeable to the French Constitution in 1791
Blueprint for Constitutions around the world
It blames the ignorance of the government and neglect of individual rights for the corrupt governments and the social ills
The goal of the writers of the Declaration was to put an end to the fuedal system
On August 4, France's fuedal system collapsed
The Declaration's final version was approved on August 26
Allowed a selected group of people to participate in making laws
It gave equality of all persons before the law
It included equitable taxation among the people
It gave the people protection against loss of property through arbitrary action by the state
It gave the people the freedom of religion and speech as well as the press
It also gave people protection against arbitrary arrest and punishment
The Declaration had a lot of influence on political thought and institutions
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen was the preamble of the new constitution, which called for a limited monarchy
The writer of the Declaration of the Rights of Man was Marquis de Lafayette
Thomas Jefferson also contributed to the writing of the Declaration
The Declaration of the Rights of Man had two Enlightenment ideas in it. They were: Natural Law and Social Contract Theory
One of the biggest influences of the Declaration of the Rights of Man was John Locke's famous Second Treasties of Govrnment
Beik, P. (1971).
The Declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen
. Retrieved from
Murphy, G. (n.d.).
Declaration of the rights of man and citizen 1789
. Retrieved from
Frey, L.S. (2004).
The French revolution
. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
heralded as the foundation of a modern enlightened society and government.
although some regarded it as the begining of the end for western civilization
Declaration begins with short preamble followed by 17 articles
Preamble affirms that the national assembly represents France
blames government ignorance and neglect of human rights
the document is evidence of their individual rights which they bleive to be natural, inalienable and sacred
authors claim that the document will serve as a constant reminder of their fatih and duties.
first 3 articles form the basis of the document
they anounce the individual rights the constitutional government has been designed to protect
rights include: all men are born free and have acsess to their individual rights
also the document claims that no one person can assume authoriity unless directed to do so by law.
Later in the document, the authors define freedom, which they state to be the right to do anything and everything an individual may want to do that does not harm others.
Men are free to exercise their natural rights until the exercise of those rights infringes upon another's rights, at which time such infringement can only be determined by law and not arbitrarily. No one can prevent or dictate another's actions unless provided for by law. These laws are to be determined by all citizens, either in person or through their representatives.
The declaration asserts that all citizens are presumed innocent until proven guilty. And while the government has the right to punish guilty parties, it may only impose punishments that are deemed absolutely necessary according to the law.
Among the rights listed in the document is the right to free speech, including opinions on religious views, unless those views disturb the public order. Only the law can determine when speech, either written or spoken, has become abusive.
The concluding articles of the Declaration provide details regarding how citizens will pay for the government and how the government will be held accountable for those payments.
Methods of taxation will be determined by the people, either directly or through representatives, and the burden of taxation will be distributed among citizens according to their ability to pay.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789) is one of the earliest and most revered calls for human rights and popular sovereignty in the context of the formation of government in human history.
-The declaration begins with a
-The authors declare that their document will serve as a constant reminder to people of their rights and duties.
-Later in the document, the authors define freedom, which they state to be the right to do anything and everything an individual may want to do that does not harm others.
-. And while the gThe declaration asserts that all citizens are presumed
innocent until proven guilty
government has the right to punish guilty parties,
it may only impose punishments that are deemed absolutely necessary according to the law.
goal of the revolutionaries
who drafted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen
was to end the feudal system and its practice of hereditary privilege and inequality.
-on July 14, 1789, Parisian revolutionaries stormed the Bastille, a fortress prison that was a hated symbol of absolutist rule. The threat of food shortages and rumors of counterrevolution on the part of the King spread to the countryside, and peasants looted and burned records of feudal dues. On August 4, the clergy and nobility surrendered their privileges in the National Assembly, and France's feudal system collapsed.The body debated the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and approved the final version on August 26.
The deputies finished the new constitution, calling for a limited monarchy and unicameral Legislative Assembly
in 1791; the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen served as the preamble to the document.
The Convention tried the King, found him guilty, and sent him to the guillotine. The new constitution they drafted included an amended Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen that was approved by a national plebiscite, but it was never put into effect. Democratic principles fell by the wayside as a wartime dictatorship formed to seize control of the war abroad and maintain unity at home.
- After Napoleon's abdication on April 11, 1814, France was again ruled by a Bourbon monarch.
-The seventeenth- and eighteenth-century
Enlightenment, or Age of Reason, forms the intellectual underpinnings of the Declaration.
-The declaration reflected two eighteenth-century strains of thought within the context of the Enlightenment: natural law and social contract theory. The theory of natural law holds that some laws are fundamental to human nature and can be understood by human reason. English philosopher John Locke believed that humans are born reasonable, tolerant, and independent creatures. Each individual is as valuable as another; all are equal in the “state of nature.” When individuals form societies and governments, according to Locke, the state should be guided by natural laws and based on human reason.
-Was the earliest precourser to our Declaration of Independence.
-The Declaration of Independance included several statements from this including, innocent until proven guilty.
-The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was derived from a variety of sources. It is a composite of ideas coming from the
submitted to the deputies, from the Marquis de Lafayette's proposed bill of rights, and from twenty other draft
declarations. On August 5, 1789, the National Assembly elected deputies to form the Committee of Five to examine all of the draft declarations and propose one for consideration by the entire body. A few days later, on August 11, the National Assembly passed what became known as the August Decrees. The decrees foreshadowed the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen by abolishing the feudal system and protecting middle-class property rights.
August 26, 1789, the "Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen" were passed by the National Assembly. This presented to the world a summary of the ideals and principles of the Revolution, and justified the destruction of a government based upon absolutism and privilege, and the establishment of a new regime based upon the inalienable rights of individuals, liberty, and political equality. The Declaration became the preamble to the Constitution of 1791. It has been referred to in almost every single revolutionary movement since 1789, and has been translated into nearly all major languages. It is the basis of the constitutional foundations of many countries, including France's Fifth Republic.
any ideas for the Declaration were from the
, with the most important influence being John Locke's
Second Treatise of Government
(first published in England in 1690 at the time of the 'Glorious Revolution').
y 1791, the Declaration had been transformed from a legislative document into a kind of political manifesto. No one assisted this process more than Tom Paine, whose
Rights of Man
became one of the best-selling books in English history, and the bible of working-class radicals. Paine reproduced the document, word for word, treating it as a sacred text that ushered in a new epoch of world history.
he King was never in favour of the Declaration and he refused to endorse it because he thought its clauses were too ambiguous. He only sanctioned it under popular pressure on October fifth and sixth, 1791. Since then, it has been adopted by all kinds of political groups, and has been used both to justify revolution and also to supress it.
Click on this link for the articles of the declaration
Description of the declaration
Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen a fundamental document of French constitutional history, drafted by Emmanuel
, adopted by the Constituent Assembly on Aug. 26, 1789, and embodied in the French constitution of 1791 as a preamble. Its framers were much influenced by the American Declaration of Independence and by the
). The French declaration listed the "inalienable rights" of the individual (a list of duties was, after some debate, omitted by its framers). The rights to "liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression" and the rights to freedom of speech and of the press were guaranteed. The document asserted the equality of men and the sovereignty of the people, on whom the law should rest, to whom officials should be responsible, and by whom finances should be controlled. Many of its provisions were aimed at specific abuses of the ancien régime. The declaration had immense effect on liberal thought in the 19th cent.
Click on the link below to see the preamble aswell as the articles of the declaration
facts retrieved from:
[[[[Beik, P. (n.d.). The Declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen. Retrieved from
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