HUMA 1770 Lecture Notes - Autocracy
Weekly Response Paper# 13
“declaration of the rights of man and the citizens”
After todays reading the most noteworthy topic that caught my attention was the
“declaration of the rights of man and the citizens” by the French Constituent Assembly
on August 1789, which is considered to be one of the most significant events of the
French Revolution. This document proclaim the natural rights of a person’s freedom of
speech, communication of opinions, rights of liberty, property, security, employment,
honor and so and so forth.
This document has a great importance in the history of law, as well as in today’s
law. If we look back to our current society and its regulations, we would be able to find
the same formula that applies in both historical and current constitutions. The concept
was somehow a demolition of a government that based upon the foundation of autocracy
and freedom. It said to be the source for the constitutional foundations for many other
nations across the world. This declaration is also known to be an influence of
philosophical enlightenment, mostly influenced by John Locke.
This great document of law has been accepted and adopted by many leaders and
politicians from time to time. But in my viewpoint, the regulations in it have its own
drawbacks. For example, “social distinctions can be established only for the common
benefits” – this single statement could be used against minor groups and could be
misused by the phrase “common benefit”. Critical Question: was this declaration used to
justify revolution, or to subdue it?