Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen
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Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen,a fundamental document of French constitutional history, drafted by Emmanuel SieyèsSieyès, Emmanuel Joseph
, 1748–1836, French revolutionary and statesman. He was a clergyman before the Revolution and was known as Abbé Sieyès.
..... Click the link for more information. , 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 philosophes (see EnlightenmentEnlightenment,
term applied to the mainstream of thought of 18th-century Europe and America. Background and Basic Tenets
The scientific and intellectual developments of the 17th cent.
..... Click the link for more information. ). 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.