Declaration Of The Rights Of Man And Citizen Significance

What is the significance of the "Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen" in history?

Asked on by lifeinlove

2 Answers | Add Yours

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The Declaration of the Rights of Man, along with the Bill of Rights in the United States, has been hugely significant for the world as a whole.  It has helped to create the idea that people everywhere are entitled to basic human rights.

The Declaration of the Rights of Man takes ideas from the American Declaration of Independence (which was of course inspired by European Enlightenment thinkers) and makes them more specific.  Thomas Jefferson’s document talks about God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  The French document takes this further and specifies exactly what rights are included in Jefferson’s broad categories.  The French document is, in this way, very similar to the American Bill of Rights which was adopted by the US House of Representatives at almost exactly the same time.  The major difference is that the French document claims that these rights are inherent to all men (not including women at that time) whereas the American Bill of Rights is specifically about America.

The Declaration of the Rights of Man, then, is very important because it helped to bring about the idea that all people everywhere have a basic set of rights by virtue of the fact that they are human.  This idea is imperfectly applied today, but it remains as one of the basic ideas behind liberal democracies and behind many international bodies such as the United Nations.

thetall's profile pic

thetall | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen is a key pillar of international civil rights. It influenced the idea of individual freedoms and universal equality. The declaration was passed by the French Assembly and inspired the French Revolution, which ousted the monarchy and founded a republic. The document was inspired by the American Declaration and Enlightenment ideals.

The document is important because it informs the role of the citizens and the government and further asserts that the citizens have the right to choose and form their government. The idea was against the act of imposing a leader or a government upon the people. The ideas in the document also sought to limit the power and authority vested in an individual or a select group of people. The idea is important in addressing the issue of abuse of power by those in influential positions. The document also protected private ownership, opinions, freedom and asserted the need for accountability by public officials.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,946 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question