• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Both France and Britain advocated many rights for their people; this essay will discuss what those rights were supposed to be, who pushed for them, and what the realities of these rights were.

Extracts from this document...


During the late eighteenth century due to philosophical writings of men such as Rousseau and Locke, the question of what governments should be and the rights that every person should have began to be questioned. In France it led to revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen. The events in France influenced many in Britain to try for reforms to their own government. Both France and Britain advocated many rights for their people; this essay will discuss what those rights were supposed to be, who pushed for them, and what the realities of these rights were. In France the concepts of liberty, equality, and fraternity blossomed, brought forth by the disenfranchised bourgeoisie (the middle class) who found that their interests were ignored and only the interests of the aristocracy were taken account of by the monarchy. They saw that they had no rights and events led to the French Revolution. During this time of upheaval changes occurred seeing the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (DRMC) drawn up. This declaration dealt with right to resist oppression and the need for a separation of power to avoid a tyrannical government. Three of the 17 articles dealt with the administration of justice. One of them asserts the right to a presumption of innocence and another the freedom from arbitrary detention. ...read more.


Liberty was curtailed during Napoleon's reign thus breaches of the DRMC under articles 4, 7, and 10 occurred as a result6. He used the military for his own purposes maintaining his power in contravention of article 12. However, Napoleon followed article 6 in employing people in his government based on talent regardless of background, a step forward in relation to equality7. On the other hand in his Napoleonic Code of laws, any gains made by women during the revolution were trampled8. Though the people of France had gained many rights through the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, they were of no use unless those in power wished to follow them. Unlike France where a declaration put forth the rights of the people, in Britain, the people's rights were upheld by their 'unwritten constitution' which consisted of concepts such as the 'rule of law', the 'responsible government', and documents such as the Bill of Rights 16889, Magna Charta 121510, and Habeas Corpus Act 167911. The Rule of Law, limits the nature of governmental power to established laws applying those laws equally and impartially to all regardless of position or station. It protects citizens from arbitrary seizure of their goods or person and provides a framework of known procedures with which to conduct oneself. The Rule of Law has as its basis objective Natural Law, i.e. ...read more.


Firstly Habeas Corpus was suspended in 1794, allowing individuals to be imprisoned indefinitely on suspicion without requiring charges or trial. Then a series of 'Gagging Acts'14 were passed preventing speaking, writing, publishing anything 'treasonous' (basically calls for reform), and meetings of more than 50 people in order to discuss reforms15. This just sent reformers underground, and unrest, protests and riots occurred. In order to pacify the people in 1824 these Acts were repealed and the 1832 Reform Act16 was passed, this act changed the voting qualifications to an income �10 p.a., some larger towns gained MPs and smaller ones lost MPs. These were minimal reforms with the majority of the people still remaining without a political voice, thus any constitutional rights they had were only at the whim of the parliament. France in time of revolution and change guaranteed the peoples rights in written form. In Britain any rights the people had were conventions of an 'unwritten constitution'. In both Britain and France, these rights were only adhered to when it suited those in power. France's National Assembly was dominated mainly by the middle class, and the dictatorships formed through the revolution were led by men from the middle class. Whereas Britain's House of Commons was dominated by the upper classes. In both dissent was punished though the people were supposed to have rights to voice their views the reality was that they had them only at the whim of those in power. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sources of Law section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sources of Law essays

  1. Jury Essay

    In the past a unanimous verdict was required. This has been changed so that, if the jury fails to agree after a given period, at the discretion of the judge they may reach a verdict by a 10-2 majority. This was to prevent jury tampering in cases involving organized crime.

  2. To what extent do you think these aims have been (or will be) facilitated ...

    There are three fundamental principals to the registration of title, firstly the mirror principal16, secondly the curtain principal17, and thirdly the insurance principal18. The register of title contains three parts, the property register19, the proprietorship register20 and the charges register21.

  1. Should Britain have a codified constitution?

    London bombings a massive issue for all citizens not just in Britain but across the world. A codified constitution would offer protection to British citizens if an extremist came to power and wanted to disregard democratic procedures. However this point is deemed useless if a country involved in conflict and extremists such as Iraq has now got a codified constitution.

  2. "The main aims of the Land Registration Acts were to give certainty to title ...

    3 Statutory Instrument Number 1347 of 1989. 4 Statistic taken from a Lord Chancellor's Department press release; Land registration bill receives second reading, 3rd July 2001. 5 As per Sir Robert Megarry at page 94 of A Manual Of The Law Of Real Property, Seventh Edition, Sweet & Maxwell.

  1. unit6 end of unit assignment civil litigation

    This is only, usually, done as a last resort because once an Order in Bankruptcy is made all the assets of the Bankrupt automatically become vested in the Official Receiver in Bankruptcy (or later in a Trustee in Bankruptcy) whose responsibility it is to assess the total liabilities of the

  2. How has the European Court of Human Rights contributed to the protection of children's ...

    In a recent case, it held that forcing a parent to represent himself in proceedings breached his Art. 6 rights, which effectively infringed child's Art. 8 rights together with parents'102. Generally, the Court has again protected children and enforced their rights to own hearing largely on UNCRC standards, contributing to

  1. In English

    because it discriminated between nationals and non-nationals. This decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal, on policy grounds. However, the House of Lords ruled that this amounted to a breach of Article 5 of the ECHR, which enshrines the right to liberty and Article 14, which prohibits discrimination in the right of Art 5 and other Convention rights.

  2. Understanding Young People, Law and Order

    You may well be feeling upset or confused and have doubts about who you should speak to. There is no legal obligation to contact the police, but the information you give them could make the difference in bringing a criminal to justice.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work