The Declaration of the Rights of Man was introduced by the National Constituent Assembly of France. The initial idea of the declaration was developed by Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson. The National Constituent Assembly served as a representative of the French people and hence had the right to approve the declaration. The National Assembly was formed in 1789 and played a considerable role during the beginning of the French Revolution. It also contributed to the restoration of the king in 1971, which was an essential event during the revolution. However, it was disbanded in 1791 after the Constitution of 1791 was established.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man was approved in France in 1789. Its development was closely linked with the events of the French Revolution. Therefore, its core value and principles were significantly influenced by the impulses of the time. The concepts of individual liberty and democracy were particularly important during the revolution.
A combination of factors including time, place, and political environment influenced the declaration. Even though it may represent one of the first steps towards providing the citizens with equal rights, it is far from that goal. Women were not considered citizens, and hence the declaration did not grant women equal rights. Moreover, activists introduced a petition to the National Assembly in order to address the issue. Nonetheless, the Women’s Petition was ignored, and no recognition of female citizen rights followed. The declaration also did not include any information regarding slavery.
As the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was established by a branch of the French government, French man may represent the primary audience of the document. As already mentioned, women were not considered to be citizens and hence were not targeted by the declaration. Nevertheless, female populations were also influenced by the document regardless of the intent of the authors. Moreover, it played a considerable role on an international level. Therefore, to some extent, all humanity may be viewed as the audience.
There are several premises and reasons that led to the development of the Declaration of the Rights of Man. By the end of the 18th century, French society faced a significant amount of problems related to the feudal system and absolute monarchy. The bourgeoisie represented one of the most powerful political forces, which maintained the economy, yet it was not privileged and was related to the Third Estate. The financial crisis heightened the need for the change of the socio-political system. The Declaration of the Rights of Man was aimed at solving social inequality problems and establishing a framework for further reforms.
The Main Idea
The main idea of the declaration was to provide all citizens with a set of fundamental rights, which are granted by birth and cannot be infringed by any parties. These rights were designed to give the citizens more freedom and equality in accordance with the ideas of individual liberty and democracy. The declaration also secured the rule of law for men regardless of social group or origin.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen plays a considerable role not only in the history of France but in the history of humankind. As the declaration was accepted by the French Constitution of 1791, it received considerable legal support. As a consequence, it allowed further development of human rights and equality (Rainer, 2018). Moreover, it served as a starting point for the humanization of legislative norms worldwide.
Rainer, G. (2018). French declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen (1789). Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law. Web.