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Rights of Man and the Citizen


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French Revolution

Thomas Jefferson (1743—1826) revolutionary politician and president of the United States of America

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A declaration of the guiding principles of the French Revolution that was approved by the Constituent National Assembly in August 1789. Jefferson, the US minister in Paris, was consulted and the Declaration was influenced by the US example as well as by the Enlightenment. It set forth in clear language the principles of equality and individual liberty: “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights”; “No body of men, no individual, can exercise authority which does not issue expressly from the will of the nation”. Civil and fiscal equality, freedom from arbitrary arrest, freedom of speech and the press, and the right to own private property were affirmed. Later the Revolution denied many of these rights, but the declaration ensured an initial welcome for the French Revolutionary armies in many European countries and was the charter of European liberals for the next half-century.

Subjects: World History.


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