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He Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizens, 1789 - Analyse the key clauses of the Declaration as outlined in Rees & Townson

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Introduction

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizens, 1789 Analyse the key clauses of the Declaration as outlined in Rees & Townson, and determine whether their origins was a response to a specific aspect of the Ancien Regime, or whether it emerges from the philosophy of the Enlightenment movement. Likewise comment on the new political, social and economic order that the document was designed to engender. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizens was formed by the National Assembly on 27th August 1789. It was intended by the National Assembly to be the preliminary statement of principles which the constitution should be modelled. Thus allowing the nation of France to be liberated and achieve a secure structure to their society. Marquis de Lafayette, the commander of the National Guard and Thomas Paine, an English political thinker, were major contributors in the drawing up of the declaration. Lafayette made several drafts which he subsequently sent to Thomas Jefferson, an American envoy to France. ...read more.

Middle

Pg7). This inferred that people have the right to life, in return for giving up the freedom to kill others. Release also arrived for religion. People were free to follow their chosen beliefs, signalling the end of exclusive Catholicism. Deism was being introduced. In particular, Voltaire believed that although the "universe was created by God; it was then left to operate accordingly to scientific law" (Merriman (1996) Pg407). This then paved the way for a variety of other religious orders to be introduced. The enlightenment had also been subjected to silencing through strict censorship, this had now been lifted. Opinions of every citizen were deemed as valid. Every citizen now had the basic right to freely express their opinion in any fashion they chose, on the condition that it did not disturb public order. Voltaire was also an avid campaigner of the freedom of speech. Under this freedom citizens were permitted to have a voice in determining the necessity for public contributions. ...read more.

Conclusion

As it had stood, the King was able to take possession of any property he sought, regardless to the fact that the previous occupants would effectively become homeless. The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizens was designed to put an end to the Ancien Regime. Its replacement was to be a uniformed government, decentralising the power and allocating it to local governments. This much improved government was to have a humanitarian theme, emphasis in putting an end to cruelty, superstition and poverty by applying the principles of the declaration. The declaration also wanted to introduce and end to conflict. Most wars were declared by Kings, based on the desire for more land. The citizens of France were content with the quantity of land they inhabited. However, clauses which addressed this issue could have been prompted by Necker. In 1781, the king's financial minister Necker issued the Compte Rendu, a statement indicating the vast expenditure in wartime compared to the more practical expenditure in peacetime. For these changes to take place it was apparent that they needed to change from that of absolute monarchy to take a more constitutional form. ...read more.

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