Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen


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Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

A document written by French revolutionaries in 1789. It is based on the concept that humans (or at least men) have natural rights that the state must respect. Ideas contained within the declaration include the concept that all men are equal and that law must reflect popular will. It is one of the foundational documents of modern liberalism.
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The second major human rights document of the eighteenth century was the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, drafted by Emmanuel Joseph Sieyes and adopted by the Constituent Assembly of France on August 26, 1789.
Images of patients spouting the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen from their sick beds or reciting revolutionary catechisms in front of stem doctors spring to mind.
Here I briefly review three canonical texts in the literature of human rights law: the Declaration of Independence, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, and the Bill of Rights.
Jefferson, then the United States ambassador, wrote James Madison from Paris on January 12, 1789: "Everybody here is trying their hands at forming declarations of rights."(5) Jefferson, for his part, read and critiqued Lafayette's draft of what, on August 27, 1789, only a few weeks after the fall of the Bastille, became the French National Assembly's Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.(6) The French Declaration's indebtedness both to Rousseau's philosophy and to Philadelphia's practice has been widely acknowledged.(7) The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen recognized and proclaimed "in the presence and under the auspices of the Supreme Being, the following rights:"
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