Is Frances "The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizens," more democratic, or liberal? In the classical sense.

Essay by DawnP86University, Bachelor'sB-, October 2007

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“The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizens,” written in 18th century, had the intent of giving more freedom to the French citizen, by the French citizen. The declaration passed when King Louis XVI called together, for the first time in 170 years, the Estates-General because of a financial crisis. The Estates-General included members from the church, the nobility, and the Third Estate (the people). Inevitably, the Third Estate defied the king and they formed the National Assembly, which then made a motion to approve the declaration immediately. There was a basic structure of seventeen articles put together to liberate the people of France from the monarchical regime. (Ball & Dagger, 2002) These articles of the declaration reflect a Liberal point of view most strongly, because of the element of human freedom, which is a theme within the document. However, a Democratic point of view is not represented as strongly because of the absence of representation of the people at large.

Liberalism is the ideology that an individual is born with civil rights/freedoms, security of their own person, beliefs and private property. Eight of the articles in the declaration reflect a liberal standpoint, particularly the very first article that states, “Men are born, and always continue, free, and equal in respect of their rights. Civil distinctions, therefore, can be founded only on public utility.” Other articles also reflect on natural rights, such as equality and freedom of speech. (Ball & Dagger, 2002) The declaration can be interpreted as having a strong Liberal point of view because it focuses on the natural freedom of the individual, as opposed to being ruled by the absolute power of the monarchy.

Democracy is the elected representation of people at large for their own benefit or in a majority’s best interest. Founded through...