Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen

The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (French: Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen de 1789), set by France's National Constituent Assembly in 1789, is a human civil rights document from the French Revolution.[1]

The Declaration was drafted by the Abbé Sieyès and the Marquis de Lafayette, in consultation with Thomas Jefferson.[2] Influenced by the doctrine of "natural right", the rights of man are held to be universal: valid at all times and in every place, pertaining to human nature itself. It became the basis for a nation of free individuals protected equally by the law. It is included in the beginning of the constitutions of both the Fourth French Republic (1946) and Fifth Republic (1958) and is still current. Inspired by the Enlightenment philosophers, the Declaration was a core statement of the values of the French Revolution and had a major impact on the development of freedom and democracy in Europe and worldwide.[3]

The 1789 Declaration, together with the 1215 Magna Carta, the 1689 English Bill of Rights, the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence, and the 1789 United States Bill of Rights, inspired in large part the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.[4]

Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in 1789
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, painted by Jean-Jacques-François Le Barbier

History

The content of the document emerged largely from the ideals of the Enlightenment.[5] The principle drafts were prepared by Lafayette, working at times with his close friend Thomas Jefferson.[6][7] In August 1789, Honoré Mirabeau played a central role in conceptualizing and drafting the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.[8]

The last article of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen was adopted on the 26 of August 1789 by the National Constituent Assembly, during the period of the French Revolution, as the first step toward writing a constitution for France. Inspired by the Enlightenment, the original version of the Declaration was discussed by the representatives on the basis of a 24 article draft proposed by the sixth bureau,[9][10] led by Jérôme Champion de Cicé. The draft was later modified during the debates. A second and lengthier declaration, known as the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1793, was written in 1793 but never formally adopted.[11]

Philosophical and theoretical context

Déclaration des droits de l'Homme - Musée de la Révolution française
Print of the 17 articles of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen in 1789 (Musée de la Révolution française)

The concepts in the Declaration come from the philosophical and political duties of the Enlightenment, such as individualism, the social contract as theorized by the Genevan philosopher Rousseau, and the separation of powers espoused by the Baron de Montesquieu. As can be seen in the texts, the French declaration was heavily influenced by the political philosophy of the Enlightenment and principles of human rights as was the U.S. Declaration of Independence which preceded it (4 July 1776).

According to a legal textbook published in 2007, the declaration is in the spirit of "secular natural law", which does not base itself on religious doctrine or authority, in contrast with traditional natural law theory, which does.[12]

The declaration defines a single set of individual and collective rights for all men. Influenced by the doctrine of natural rights, these rights are held to be universal and valid in all times and places. For example, "Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be founded only upon the general good."[13] They have certain natural rights to property, to liberty, and to life. According to this theory, the role of government is to recognize and secure these rights. Furthermore, government should be carried on by elected representatives.[12]

At the time of writing, the rights contained in the declaration were only awarded to men. Furthermore, the declaration was a statement of vision rather than reality. The declaration was not deeply rooted in either the practice of the West or even France at the time. The declaration emerged in the late 18th century out of war and revolution. It encountered opposition as democracy and individual rights were frequently regarded as synonymous with anarchy and subversion. The declaration embodies ideals and aspirations towards which France pledged to struggle in the future.[14]

Substance

The Declaration is introduced by a preamble describing the fundamental characteristics of the rights which are qualified as being "natural, unalienable and sacred" and consisting of "simple and incontestable principles" on which citizens could base their demands. In the second article, "the natural and imprescriptible rights of man" are defined as "liberty, property, security and resistance to oppression". It called for the destruction of aristocratic privileges by proclaiming an end to feudalism and to exemptions from taxation, freedom and equal rights for all "Men", and access to public office based on talent. The monarchy was restricted, and all citizens were to have the right to take part in the legislative process. Freedom of speech and press were declared, and arbitrary arrests outlawed.[15]

The Declaration also asserted the principles of popular sovereignty, in contrast to the divine right of kings that characterized the French monarchy, and social equality among citizens, "All the citizens, being equal in the eyes of the law, are equally admissible to all public dignities, places, and employments, according to their capacity and without distinction other than that of their virtues and of their talents," eliminating the special rights of the nobility and clergy.[16]

Articles

Article I – Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions can be founded only on the common good.

Article II – The goal of any political association is the conservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, safety and resistance against oppression.

Article III – The principle of any sovereignty resides essentially in the Nation. No body, no individual may exercise any authority which does not proceed directly from the nation

Article IV – Liberty consists of doing anything which does not harm others: thus, the exercise of the natural rights of each man has only those borders which assure other members of the society the fruition of these same rights. These borders can be determined only by the law.

Article V – The law has the right to forbid only actions harmful to society. Anything which is not forbidden by the law cannot be impeded, and no one can be constrained to do what it does not order.

Article VI – The law is the expression of the general will. All the citizens have the right of contributing personally or through their representatives to its formation. It must be the same for all, either that it protects, or that it punishes. All the citizens, being equal in its eyes, are equally admissible to all public dignities, places, and employments, according to their capacity and without distinction other than that of their virtues and of their talents.

Article VII – No man can be accused, arrested nor detained but in the cases determined by the law, and according to the forms which it has prescribed. Those who solicit, dispatch, carry out or cause to be carried out arbitrary orders, must be punished; but any citizen called or seized under the terms of the law must obey at once; he renders himself culpable by resistance.

Article VIII – The law should establish only penalties that are strictly and evidently necessary, and no one can be punished but under a law established and promulgated before the offense and legally applied.

Article IX – Any man being presumed innocent until he is declared culpable if it is judged indispensable to arrest him, any rigor which would not be necessary for the securing of his person must be severely reprimanded by the law.

Article X – No one may be disturbed for his opinions, even religious ones, provided that their manifestation does not trouble the public order established by the law.

Article XI – The free communication of thoughts and of opinions is one of the most precious rights of man: any citizen thus may speak, write, print freely, except to respond to the abuse of this liberty, in the cases determined by the law.

Article XII – The guarantee of the rights of man and of the citizen necessitates a public force: this force is thus instituted for the advantage of all and not for the particular utility of those in whom it is trusted.

Article XIII – For the maintenance of the public force and for the expenditures of administration, a common contribution is indispensable; it must be equally distributed to all the citizens, according to their ability to pay.

Article XIV – Each citizen has the right to ascertain, by himself or through his representatives, the need for a public tax, to consent to it freely, to know the uses to which it is put, and of determining the proportion, basis, collection, and duration.

Article XV – The society has the right of requesting an account from any public agent of its administration.

Article XVI – Any society in which the guarantee of rights is not assured, nor the separation of powers determined, has no Constitution.

Article XVII – Property being an inviolable and sacred right, no one can be deprived of private usage, if it is not when the public necessity, legally noted, evidently requires it, and under the condition of a just and prior indemnity.

Active and passive citizenship

While the French Revolution provided rights to a larger portion of the population, there remained a distinction between those who obtained the political rights in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen and those who did not. Those who were deemed to hold these political rights were called active citizens. Active citizenship was granted to men who were French, at least 25 years old, paid taxes equal to three days work, and could not be defined as servants (Thouret).[17] This meant that at the time of the Declaration only male property owners held these rights.[18] The deputies in the National Assembly believed that only those who held tangible interests in the nation could make informed political decisions.[19] This distinction directly affects articles 6, 12, 14, and 15 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen as each of these rights is related to the right to vote and to participate actively in the government. With the decree of 29 October 1789, the term active citizen became embedded in French politics.[20]

The concept of passive citizens was created to encompass those populations that had been excluded from political rights in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. Because of the requirements set down for active citizens, the vote was granted to approximately 4.3 million Frenchmen[20] out of a population of around 29 million.[21] These omitted groups included women, slaves, children, and foreigners. As these measures were voted upon by the General Assembly, they limited the rights of certain groups of citizens while implementing the democratic process of the new French Republic (1792–1804).[19] This legislation, passed in 1789, was amended by the creators of the Constitution of the Year III in order to eliminate the label of active citizen.[22] The power to vote was then, however, to be granted solely to substantial property owners.[22]

Tensions arose between active and passive citizens throughout the Revolution. This happened when passive citizens started to call for more rights, or when they openly refused to listen to the ideals set forth by active citizens. This cartoon clearly demonstrates the difference that existed between the active and passive citizens along with the tensions associated with such differences.[23] In the cartoon, a passive citizen is holding a spade and a wealthy landowning active citizen is ordering the passive citizens to go to work. The act appears condescending to the passive citizen and it revisits the reasons why the French Revolution began in the first place.

Women, in particular, were strong passive citizens who played a significant role in the Revolution. Olympe de Gouges penned her Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen in 1791 and drew attention to the need for gender equality.[24] By supporting the ideals of the French Revolution and wishing to expand them to women, she represented herself as a revolutionary citizen. Madame Roland also established herself as an influential figure throughout the Revolution. She saw women of the French Revolution as holding three roles; "inciting revolutionary action, formulating policy, and informing others of revolutionary events."[25] By working with men, as opposed to working separate from men, she may have been able to further the fight of revolutionary women. As players in the French Revolution, women occupied a significant role in the civic sphere by forming social movements and participating in popular clubs, allowing them societal influence, despite their lack of direct political influence.[26]

Women's rights

The Declaration recognized many rights as belonging to citizens (who could only be male). This was despite the fact that after The March on Versailles on 5 October 1789, women presented the Women's Petition to the National Assembly in which they proposed a decree giving women equal rights.[27] In 1790, Nicolas de Condorcet and Etta Palm d'Aelders unsuccessfully called on the National Assembly to extend civil and political rights to women.[28] Condorcet declared that "he who votes against the right of another, whatever the religion, color, or sex of that other, has henceforth abjured his own".[29] The French Revolution did not lead to a recognition of women's rights and this prompted Olympe de Gouges to publish the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen in September 1791.[30]

The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen is modeled on the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and is ironic in formulation and exposes the failure of the French Revolution, which had been devoted to equality. It states that:

This revolution will only take effect when all women become fully aware of their deplorable condition, and of the rights, they have lost in society.

The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen follows the seventeen articles of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen point for point and has been described by Camille Naish as "almost a parody... of the original document". The first article of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen proclaims that "Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be based only on common utility." The first article of Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen replied: "Woman is born free and remains equal to man in rights. Social distinctions may only be based on common utility".

De Gouges also draws attention to the fact that under French law women were fully punishable, yet denied equal rights, declaring "Women have the right to mount the scaffold, they must also have the right to mount the speaker's rostrum".[31]

Slavery

The declaration did not revoke the institution of slavery, as lobbied for by Jacques-Pierre Brissot's Les Amis des Noirs and defended by the group of colonial planters called the Club Massiac because they met at the Hôtel Massiac.[32] Despite the lack of explicit mention of slavery in the Declaration, slave uprisings in Saint-Domingue in the Haitian Revolution were inspired by it, as discussed in C. L. R. James' history of the Haitian Revolution, The Black Jacobins.[33]

Deplorable conditions for the thousands of slaves in Saint-Domingue, the most profitable slave colony in the world, led to the uprisings which would be known as the first successful slave revolt in the New World. Free persons of color were part of the first wave of revolt, but later former slaves took control. In 1794 the Convention dominated by the Jacobins abolished slavery, including in the colonies of Saint-Domingue and Guadeloupe. However, Napoleon reinstated it in 1802 and attempted to regain control of Saint-Domingue by sending in thousands of troops. After suffering the losses of two-thirds of the men, many to yellow fever, the French withdrew from Saint-Domingue in 1803. Napoleon gave up on North America and agreed to the Louisiana Purchase by the United States. In 1804, the leaders of Saint-Domingue declared it as an independent state, the Republic of Haiti, the second republic of the New World.

Legacy

The Declaration has also influenced and inspired rights-based liberal democracy throughout the world. It was translated as soon as 1793–1794 by Colombian Antonio Nariño, who published it despite the Inquisition. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison for doing so. In 2003, the document was listed on UNESCO's Memory of the World register.

Constitution of the French Fifth Republic

According to the preamble of the Constitution of the French Fifth Republic (adopted on 4 October 1958, and the current constitution), the principles set forth in the Declaration have constitutional value. Many laws and regulations have been canceled because they did not comply with those principles as interpreted by the Conseil Constitutionnel ("Constitutional Council of France") or by the Conseil d'État ("Council of State").

  • Taxation legislation or practices that seem to make some unwarranted difference between citizens are struck down as unconstitutional.
  • Suggestions of positive discrimination on ethnic grounds are rejected because they infringe on the principle of equality, since they would establish categories of people that would, by birth, enjoy greater rights.

See also

Other early declarations of rights

Notes

  1. ^ The French title can be also translated in the modern era as "Declaration of Human and Civic Rights".
  2. ^ Fremont-Barnes, Gregory (2007). Encyclopedia of the Age of Political Revolutions and New Ideologies, 1760-1815. Greenwood. p. 190.
  3. ^ Kopstein Kopstein (2000). Comparative Politics: Interests, Identities, and Institutions in a Changing Global Order. Cambridge UP. p. 72.
  4. ^ Douglas K. Stevenson (1987), American Life and Institutions, Stuttgart (Germany), p. 34
  5. ^ Lefebvre, Georges (2005). The Coming of the French Revolution. Princeton UP. p. 212.
  6. ^ George Athan Billias, ed. (2009). American Constitutionalism Heard Round the World, 1776-1989: A Global Perspective. NYU Press. p. 92.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Susan Dunn, Sister Revolutions: French Lightning, American Light (1999) pp 143-45
  8. ^ Keith Baker, "The Idea of a Declaration of Rights" in Dale Van Kley, ed. The French Idea of Freedom: The Old Regime and the Declaration of Rights of 1789 (1997) pp 154-96.
  9. ^ The original draft is an annex to the 12 August report (Archives parlementaires, 1,e série, tome VIII, débats du 12 août 1789, p. 431).
  10. ^ Archives parlementaires, 1e série, tome VIII, débats du 19 août 1789, p. 459.
  11. ^ Gregory Fremont-Barnes, ed. (2007). Encyclopedia of the Age of Political Revolutions and New Ideologies, 1760-1815. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 159 vol 1.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  12. ^ a b Merryman, John Henry; Rogelierdomo (2007). The civil law tradition: an introduction to the legal system of Europe and Latin America. Stanford University Press. p. 16. ISBN 9780804755696.
  13. ^ First Article, Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.
  14. ^ Lauren, Paul Gordon (2003). The evolution of international human rights: visions seen. University of Pennsylvania Press. p. 32. ISBN 9780812218541.
  15. ^ Spielvogel, Jackson J. (2008). Western Civilization: 1300 to 1815. Wadsworth Publishing. p. 580. ISBN 978-0-495-50289-0.
  16. ^ von Guttner, Darius (2015). The French Revolution. Nelson Cengage. pp. 85–88.
  17. ^ Thouret 1789, http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/d/282/
  18. ^ Censer and Hunt 2001, p. 55.
  19. ^ a b Popkin 2006, p. 46.
  20. ^ a b Doyle 1989, p. 124.
  21. ^ "Social Causes of the Revolution"
  22. ^ a b Doyle 1989, p. 420.
  23. ^ "Active/Passive Citizen", http://chnm.gmu.edu/revolution/d/75/.
  24. ^ De Gouges, "Declaration of the Rights of Women", 1791.
  25. ^ Dalton 2001, p. 1.
  26. ^ Levy and Applewhite 2002, pp. 319–20, 324.
  27. ^ Women's Petition to the National Assembly
  28. ^ Williams, Helen Maria; Neil Fraistat; Susan Sniader Lanser; David Brookshire (2001). Letters written in France. Broadview Press Ltd. p. 246. ISBN 978-1-55111-255-8.
  29. ^ Lauren, Paul Gordon (2003). The evolution of international human rights. University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 18–20. ISBN 978-0-8122-1854-1.
  30. ^ Naish, Camille (1991). Death comes to the maiden: Sex and Execution, 1431–1933. Routledge. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-415-05585-7.
  31. ^ Naish, Camille (1991). Death comes to the maiden: Sex and Execution, 1431–1933. Routledge. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-415-05585-7.
  32. ^ The club of reactionary colonial proprietors meeting since July 1789 were opposed to representation in the Assemblée of France's overseas dominions, for fear "that this would expose delicate colonial issues to the hazards of debate in the Assembly", as Robin Blackburn expressed it (Blackburn, The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery, 1776–1848 [1988:174f]); see also the speech of Jean-Baptiste Belley
  33. ^ Cf. Heinrich August Winkler (2012), Geschichte des Westens. Von den Anfängen in der Antike bis zum 20. Jahrhundert, Third Edition, Munich (Germany), p. 386
  34. ^ "The Decreta of León of 1188 - The oldest documentary manifestation of the European parliamentary system | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization". www.unesco.org. Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  35. ^ "Versión española de los Decreta de León de 1188" (PDF). www.mecd.gob.es. Spanish MINISTERIO DE EDUCACIÓN, CULTURA Y DEPORTE. Retrieved 30 January 2018.

References

  • Jack Censer and Lynn Hunt, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution, University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001.
  • Susan Dalton, Gender and the Shifting Ground of Revolutionary Politics: The Case of Madame Roland, Canadian Journal of History, 36, no. 2 (2001): 259–83.
  • William Doyle, The Oxford History of the French Revolution, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
  • Darline Levy and Harriet Applewhite, A Political Revolution for Women? The Case of Paris, In The French Revolution: conflicting interpretations. 5th ed. Malabar, Fla.: Krieger Pub. Co., 2002. 317–46.
  • Jeremy Popkin, A History of Modern France, Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc., 2006.
  • "Active Citizen/Passive Citizen", Liberty, Equality, Fraternity: Exploring the French Revolution (accessed 30 October 2011).

Further reading

  • Gérard Conac, Marc Debene, Gérard Teboul, eds, La Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen de 1789; histoire, analyse et commentaires, Economica, Paris, 1993, ISBN 978-2-7178-2483-4.‹See Tfd›(in French)
  • McLean, Iain. "Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and the Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen" in The Future of Liberal Democracy: Thomas Jefferson and the Contemporary World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004) online

External links

1959 French municipal elections

Municipal elections were held in France on 8 and 15 March 1959. After coming to power in 1958 under the 5th Republic, the 1959 locals were the first municipal elections under the new republic. After exceptional scores in 1958, the Gaullist UDR realized mediocre scores. The MRP, radicals, SFIO, and Communists held their positions.

1961 French cantonal elections

Cantonale elections to renew canton general councillors were held in France on 4 and 11 June 1961.

1965 French municipal elections

Municipal elections were held in France on 14 and 21 March 1965. As in 1959, the UDR realized deceiving results (although they did moderately gain). The Communists gained, but they also came out of their isolation and started co-operating with other parties of the parliamentary left.

Bill of Rights

A bill of rights, or the Bill of Rights, is a declaration of the rights that a citizenry have.

It may also refer to:

Declaration of Right, 1689, a document, given as a speech, that declared the rights all citizens of England should have

Bill of Rights 1689, the bill of rights passed by the Parliament of England, as amended several times

United States Bill of Rights, written 1789, ratified 1791

Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, 1789 French document

Second Bill of Rights, proposals by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948 United Nations document

Canadian Bill of Rights, an Act of the Canadian Parliament in 1960

International Bill of Human Rights, 1976 United Nations document

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, in the Canadian Constitution of 1982

New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990

Bill of rights

A bill of rights, sometimes called a declaration of rights or a charter of rights, is a list of the most important rights to the citizens of a country. The purpose is to protect those rights against infringement from public officials and private citizens.

Bills of rights may be entrenched or unentrenched. An entrenched bill of rights cannot be amended or repealed by a country's legislature through regular procedure, instead requiring a supermajority or referendum; often it is part of a country's constitution, and therefore subject to special procedures applicable to constitutional amendments. A bill of rights that is not entrenched is a normal statute law and as such can be modified or repealed by the legislature at will.

In practice, not every jurisdiction enforces the protection of the rights articulated in its bill of rights.

Constitution of France

The current Constitution of France was adopted on 4 October 1958. It is typically called the Constitution of the Fifth Republic, and replaced that of the Fourth Republic dating from 1946. Charles de Gaulle was the main driving force in introducing the new constitution and inaugurating the Fifth Republic, while the text was drafted by Michel Debré. Since then the constitution has been amended twenty-four times, through 2008.

Constitutional Council (France)

The Constitutional Council (French: Conseil constitutionnel; French pronunciation: ​[kɔ̃sɛj kɔ̃stitysjɔˈnɛl]) is the highest constitutional authority in France. It was established by the Constitution of the Fifth Republic on 4 October 1958 and its duty is to ensure that constitutional principles and rules are upheld. It is housed in the Palais-Royal, Paris.

Its main activity is to rule on whether proposed statutes conform with the Constitution, after they have been voted by Parliament and before they are signed into law by the President of the French Republic (a priori review). However, since 1 March 2010, individual citizens who are party to a trial or a lawsuit have been able to ask for the Council to review whether the law applied in the case is constitutional.

In 1971, the Council ruled that conformity with the Constitution also entails conformity with two other texts referred to in the preamble of the Constitution, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and the preamble of the constitution of the Fourth Republic, both of which list constitutional rights.

Declaration of Independence of Lower Canada

The Declaration of Independence of Lower Canada (French: Déclaration d'indépendance du Bas-Canada) was written in French by the patriot rebel Robert Nelson on February 22, 1838, while in exile in the United States, after the first rebellion of 1837.

The 1838 declaration was primarily inspired by the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence and the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, but it also included some other political ideas that were popular in the 19th century. The movement for the independence of Lower Canada (today Quebec) ultimately failed, as it did not result in the creation of an independent nation-state.

Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Female Citizen

The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen (French: Déclaration des droits de la femme et de la citoyenne), also known as the Declaration of the Rights of Woman, was written on 5 September in 1791 by French activist, feminist, and playwright Olympe de Gouges in response to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. By publishing this document, de Gouges hoped to expose the failures of the French Revolution in the recognition of sexual equality, but failed to create any lasting impact on the direction of the Revolution. As a result of her writings (including The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen), de Gouges was accused, tried and convicted of treason, resulting in her immediate execution, along with the Girondists in the Reign of Terror (one of only three women beheaded during the Reign of Terror - and the only executed for her political writings). The Declaration of the Rights of Woman is significant because it brought attention to a set of feminist concerns that collectively reflected and influenced the aims of many French Revolution activists.

Freedom of religion in France

Freedom of religion in France is guaranteed by the constitutional rights set forth in the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

Since 1905 the French government has followed the principle of laïcité, in which the State does not recognize any official religion (except for legacy statutes like that of military chaplains and the local law in Alsace-Moselle). Instead, it merely recognizes certain religious organizations, according to formal legal criteria that do not address religious doctrine. In return, religious organizations are to refrain from involvement in the State's policy-making.

According to Pew Research Center in 2017, France has a high level of government restrictions on religion. Among the world's 25 most populous nations, France is among the 12 countries with a high level of religious restrictions, according to 2015 data. In Europe, France has the second highest level of religious restrictions, behind only Russia.

French Azilum

French Azilum (French: Asile français) was a planned settlement built in 1793 in Bradford County, Pennsylvania for French refugees fleeing the French Revolution and slave uprisings in Saint-Domingue. Several influential Philadelphians, including Stephen Girard, Robert Morris and John Nicholson, Pennsylvania's comptroller general, were sympathetic to the exiles, and also saw a chance to profit financially.

In 1793, they aided in the purchase of 1,600 acres (6 km2) of land in northeastern Pennsylvania, which was then wilderness. An area of 300 acres (1.2 km2) was laid out as a town plot including a 2-acre (8,100 m2) market square, a grid of broad streets and 413 lots, approximately one-half acre each. About 30 log houses were built. A small number of exiles arrived that fall. Some were royalists, loyal to King Louis XVI (guillotined in January 1793) and thus fleeing imprisonment and possible death during the French Revolution. Others came from the French colony of Saint-Domingue (Haiti) where slave uprisings had broken out in 1791, inspired by the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789) of the French Assembly. According to legend, Marie Antoinette (continued as titular Queen of France until guillotined in October 1793) and her two surviving children were to settle here.

Soon several small shops, a schoolhouse, a chapel and a theater appeared in the market square. A gristmill, blacksmith shop and a distillery were built, cattle and sheep were kept, and fruit trees and gardens were planted.

The largest building in the colony, La Grande Maison, a two-story log structure, stood 84 feet (26 m) long and 60 feet (18 m) wide. Unproven rumors see it as intended for the Queen. Major social gatherings took place there, and both Talleyrand (who lived in the United States from 1794 to 1796) and Louis Phillipe (who visited Pennsylvania in 1797 and later became King of the French from 1830 to 1848) were entertained here.

The quasi-aristocratic French court did not last. In the late 1790s, after Morris and Nicholson went into bankruptcy and money from French sources dried up, many of the exiles moved to southern cities including Charleston, Savannah and New Orleans. Some returned to Saint-Domingue, and after Napoleon (in power from 1799) made it possible for exiles to return to France, many did. The LaPortes, Homets, LeFevres, Brevosts and D'Autremonts remained in Pennsylvania and settled in local communities. By 1803 French Azilum had passed into history.

None of the more than 50 structures of French Azilum remain. The house and garden plots were absorbed into larger tracts of farmland.

The LaPorte House, built in 1836 by the son of one of the founders of the colony, includes delicately painted ceilings and interior decor which reflect the French influence, and functions as a house museum. An original foundation has been left exposed for public viewing and a reconstructed, relocated log cabin, circa 1790, also serves as a small museum. Guided tours of the LaPorte house take place seasonally, as well as a self-guided tour of over 20 acres (81,000 m2) of the original settlement, including several outbuildings of the LaPorte Farm.

French Azilum is managed by French Azilum, Inc., a non-profit corporation founded in 1954, and is administered by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

French Penal Code of 1791

The French Penal Code of 1791 was a penal code adopted during the French Revolution by the Constituent Assembly, between 25 September and 6 October 1791. It was France's first penal code, and was influenced by the Enlightenment thinking of Cesare Beccaria and Montesquieu.The principle of legality was foremost in the underlying philosophy of the 1791 Code. In the spirit of the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, Cesare, Marquis of Beccaria summarized the principles that were to be the foundation of the procedural system. In his words, "every citizen should know what punishment he should endure." As a consequence, the function of the judge was conceived as being strictly distributive: qualification of an act, infliction of the pre-set sanction. This concept was revolutionary in 1791 and clearly departed from the arbitrary trials of the ancien régime. The Code of 1791 was straightforward in this respect; most definitions were clear, leaving little room to the interpretation of the judge. This principle was reincorporated in the Napoleonic Penal Code of 1810, which replaced this Code.The Code did not enforce Catholic morality; there were, for example, no prohibitions against sodomy (this being the first Western code of law to decriminalize such conduct since Classical Antiquity). Its sponsor, Louis-Michel le Peletier, presented it to the Constituent Assembly saying that it only punished "true crimes", not the artificial offenses condemned by "superstition".

French ship Droits de l'Homme (1794)

For the French legal charter of 1789 see: Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the CitizenDroits de l'Homme (French for Rights of Man) was a Téméraire class 74-gun ship of the line of the French Navy during the French Revolutionary Wars. Launched in 1794, the ship saw service in the Atlantic against the British Royal Navy.

She was part of the fleet that sailed in December 1796 on the disastrous Expédition d'Irlande. After unsuccessful attempts to land troops on Ireland, the Droits de l'Homme headed back to her home port of Brest with the soldiers still on board. Two British frigates were waiting to intercept stragglers from the fleet, and engaged Droits de l'Homme in the Action of 13 January 1797. Heavily damaged by the British ships and unable to manoeuvre in rough seas, the ship struck a sandbar and was wrecked. Hundreds of lives were lost in the disaster.

Harm principle

The harm principle holds that the actions of individuals should only be limited to prevent harm to other individuals. John Stuart Mill articulated this principle in On Liberty, where he argued that, "The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others." An equivalent was earlier stated in France's Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 as, "Liberty consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights. These limits can only be determined by law."

Human rights in France

Human rights in France are contained in the preamble of the Constitution of the French Fifth Republic, founded in 1958, and the 1784 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. France has also ratified the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the European Convention on Human Rights 1960 and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2000). All these international law instruments take precedence on national legislation. However, human rights abuses take place nevertheless. The state of detention centres for unauthorized migrants who have received an order of deportation has also been criticized.

Monument to the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen

The Monument to the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen or Monument des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen in French, is located in Paris, in the Champs de Mars gardens on Avenue Charles-Risler. Commissioned by the City of Paris, it was erected in 1989 on the occasion of the bicentennial of the French Revolution. Inspired by Egyptian mastaba tombs, it includes many references to revolutionary imagery. It is the work of sculptor Ivan Theimer.

The monument is composed of several elements:

a freestone square plane construction, opening into an octagonal interior space, lit from above, its external facades are adorned with graven texts, various reliefs and 12 stones inlaid with bronze seals, one for each of the European Community member states in 1989 ;

two bronze obelisks covered with a profusion of finely detailed symbols and texts, including that of the 1789 French Declaration of the Rights of Man ;

a statue of a man wearing a toga and holding several documents in his hands ;

the statue of a man inviting onlookers to read the texts carved on the obelisks ;

the statue of a woman with a child who wears a hat made of newspaper (chronology of the events of 1989) ;On the southwest façade (closest to the Champs de Mars) are:

a triangle ; symbol frequently used by Freemasons to evoke the loftiness of human thought ;

a text commemorating the bicentennial of the French 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen is carved in the stone ;

a sundialOn the northest facade, nearest rue de Belgrade :

a bronze door framed by two columns : numerous reliefs and images of historical documents of the revolutionary period are to be found on the door ;

an oculus located above the door represents an OuroborosOn the two other facades stones are carved with the names and the seal of each of the 12 capital cities of the European Community member countries in 1989:

On the northeast side: Lisboa - Madrid - Paris - Bruss/xelles - London - Dublin

On the southeast side: αθήνα - Roma - Luxembourg - Bonn - Amsterdam - KobenhavnThe entire structure is set on an elevated podium two steps above ground level. Bronze fire pots are set on each corner of the podium.

Plaza Francia, Buenos Aires

Plaza Francia (Spanish: "France Square") is a public square in the barrio of Recoleta in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The nearby Plaza Intendente Alvear is commonly but mistakenly known by the same name. It was created by a Municipal Ordinance on October 19, 1909, as part of the changes introduced in the urban landscape on the occasion of the Argentina Centennial. Designed by French landscape architecture Carlos Thays, it is part of a broad set of squares including Plaza Intendente Alvear, Plaza San Martín de Tours, Plaza Juan XXIII, Plaza Ramón J. Cárcano, Plaza Dante and Plaza Rubén Darío, among others.The square is dominated by Émile Peynot's Monument of France to Argentina, inaugurated in 1910 and gifted by the French community on the occasion of the Centennial. Its four bas-reliefs in bronze evoke central facts of the history of both countries: the Primera Junta and the Crossing of the Andes for Argentina, and the Storming of the Bastille and Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen for France. The two female figures that crown the monument symbolize Argentina and France, guided by an angel that personifies Glory. The monument also features plaques that commemorate personalities of French origin: grenadier Domingo Porteau, who died during the Battle of San Lorenzo in the Argentine War of Independence, and writer Émile Zola. A monument to Louis Braille within Plaza Francia was inaugurated in 1977.

Proportional tax

A proportional tax is a tax imposed so that the tax rate is fixed, with no change as the taxable base amount increases or decreases. The amount of the tax is in proportion to the amount subject to taxation. "Proportional" describes a distribution effect on income or expenditure, referring to the way the rate remains consistent (does not progress from "low to high" or "high to low" as income or consumption changes), where the marginal tax rate is equal to the average tax rate.It can be applied to individual taxes or to a tax system as a whole; a year, multi-year, or lifetime. Proportional taxes maintain equal tax incidence regardless of the ability-to-pay and do not shift the incidence disproportionately to those with a higher or lower economic well-being.

Flat taxes are defined as levying a fixed (“flat”) fraction of taxable income. They usually exempt from taxation household income below a statutorily determined level that is a function of the type and size of the household. As a result, such a flat marginal rate is consistent with a progressive average tax rate. A progressive tax is a tax imposed so that the tax rate increases as the amount subject to taxation increases. The opposite of a progressive tax is a regressive tax, where the tax rate decreases as the amount subject to taxation increases.

The French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 proclaims: A common contribution is essential for the maintenance of the public forces and for the cost of administration. This should be equitably distributed among all the citizens in proportion to their means.

Supplex Libellus Valachorum

Supplex Libellus Valachorum Transsilvaniae (Latin for Petition of the Romanians of Transylvania) is the name of two petitions sent by the leaders of the ethnic Romanians of Transylvania to the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II, demanding equal political rights with the other ethnicities of Transylvania and a share of the Transylvanian Diet proportional to their population.

The first Supplex was sent in March 1791 by Ignatie Darabant, the Greek Catholic bishop of Oradea, to the State Council of Vienna. The second Supplex, a largely expanded and argumented version of the first, was brought before the Imperial Court of Vienna on March 30, 1792, by Ioan Bob, Greek Catholic bishop of Blaj, and by Gherasim Adamovici, Orthodox bishop of Transylvania.

The demands in the petition, according to the researches of David Prodan, were largely based on the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of Revolutionary France, and it also included an essay reviewing historical reasons (such as references to a Roman Dacia-Romanian continuity) as well as statistics about the Romanians (who made up approximately 55% of the population of Transylvania). According to some more recent researches, the argumentation of the Supplex Libellus Valachorum based on the ideas of natural law as well as on the Hungarian feudal judicial argumentation.The document was drafted by the most important representatives of the Romanian nation of Transylvania (which were, for the most part, clerics of the Romanian Greek Catholic Church): Samuil Micu, Petru Maior, Gheorghe Șincai, Ioan Piuariu-Molnar, Iosif Meheși, Ion Budai-Deleanu, Ioan Para etc. The petition was signed in the name of the Romanian nation by its free categories: Clerus, Nobilitas, Civicusque Status Universae Nationis in Transilvania Valachicae.

The Supplex was rejected and, as such, the status of the Romanians remained the same. Several such petitions were issued in the following decades, and they all met with the same reaction. Another major petition, the Transylvanian Memorandum, was drafted a century later (in 1892, following the new circumstances after the 1848 Revolution and the Ausgleich), but its authors were sent to prison for treason.

Fundamental concepts
and philosophies
Organizations
By continent
Related
Founding
documents of
the United States
French Revolution
Presidency
Other noted
accomplishments
Jeffersonian
architecture
Other writings
Related
Elections
Legacy and
Memorials
Popular culture
Family
United States
Founding events
Writings inspired
Life
Legacy
Related
Family

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.