The adopted in 1791. The 1789 Declaration

TheDeclaration of the rights of man and citizen is scrutinized as one of the textsbasics most voted through the Governmental Convention integral initiated laterin the conference of the state’s universal. Following to many long debatesabout this document, the deputy decided to vote the final text dated August 26,1789. It is formulating of a preamble and seventeenarticles in which affect the individualist and the nation. It clarifies thenaturals rights and imprescriptible, like freedom, property, safety, and oppositionto oppression.

The declaration acknowledges besidesequal rights, especially into the front of the law and justice. It eventuallyasserts the concept of the separation of powers.  Along with this research paper, I will walkyou through more description of the declaration of the right of man and citizen.Ratified only October 5th by Louis XVI beneath theimpression of the assembly and the people rushed at Versailles, it serves as apreamble to the first constitution of the French revolution, adopted in 1791.The 1789 Declaration inspired similar texts in many countries of Europe andLatin America in the nineteenth century. The French revolutionary tradition isalso present in the European convention on human rights signed in Rome onNovember 1950. Representatives of the French people considering that theignorance, the oblivion or the contempt of the rights of man are the onlycauses of the public misfortunes. TheDeclaration abolished the thousand-year-old charisma of monarchy by demotingthe king to the merely executive of the people’s will.

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It was no longer God’schoice to dominate and a representative of the divine. Alternately, the kingwas a head who had failed his people. Therefore, the people’s revolt wasjustified since resistance to tyranny is a natural right of men.Thepurpose of the declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen is mainly toput forward the ideas of the lights represented by the French revolution. Itemphasizes equality as the basic principle of a new society that is no longerbased on orders (clerks, nobilities, third-states).

It was created to promoteequal opportunity for all, regardless of gender, race, religion, etc. As we canclearly see, its purpose is to eliminate discrimination against people and tobring about equality.Theideas of this document flow from each other and are hierarchical. Inparticular, it should be noted that: NaturalRights are defined in the article that defines the Society for the logicalreason that out of society, there is no right. Freedom, property, safety, andresistance to oppression only occur in the presence of a plurality of people andthe right is related to society. The Act is not defined as”the expression of the general will”, contrary to what is often said.This is only the third article relating to the Act, which only states how itwas adopted; it is only a formal quality, when the substantial qualities arestated in the two previous articles.

The public force has no other functionthan to enforce the law, that is to say to enforce freedom, property, safety,resistance to oppression. The freedoms of opinion, expression and the press areexpressed separately, as is often said, as a sort of complementary list of individualrights, but on the contrary because the drafters of the DDHC (Declaration des Droits de l’Homme et duCitoyen) have had the intelligence to understand that they are not freedomsof the same nature. Two centuries before Hans-Hermann Hoppe, the Frenchrevolutionaries understood that these two public liberties were very differentfrom the fundamental freedoms of Article 2, and obliged to respect these higherfreedoms. Believing that these public freedoms are specifically defended andwith a preference on the right of ownership is a major misinterpretation.

Theidea that an owner can deny freedom of expression on his property is actuallydefended by the DDHC, for which the freedoms of expression and opinion areminor and secondary freedoms, as opposed to the major and primordial freedomswhat is liberty, property, safety, resistance to oppression. Allthese points are generally the object of absolute contraries, and this becauseof a distorted reading of the text. The DDHC, insist on this point, is a legaltext. It should not be read as the Koran whose last verses repeal the oldest.Any new article must be read as subordinate to the previous ones. And to fullyunderstand the spirit of the DDHC, it is useful to understand, following thishierarchical reading of articles, the exact meaning of each word used.

Indeed,the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen is not simply inspired by thetheories of the social contract, it is the Social Contract drafted by therevolutionaries. At no time is there a state in the DDHC, only politicalassociation and society of free men. The DDHC is the statutes of this politicalassociation. As such, it is a primordial text, whose meaning of the great wordsthat it uses: Society, Natural Rights, Law, Citizen, Constitution cannot besought elsewhere than in the text itself, which defines them, their gives anunambiguous meaning. 


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