Type: History
Pages: 6 | Words: 1518
Reading Time: 7 Minutes

The ‘Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen – 1789’ demonstrates how the lack of clear definitions of rights of man was causing immense public calamities and government corruption among the French people. This document was written at the height of the French Revolution; it showed that the French society was facing several calamities at that time (National Assembly of France n.p.). At the time, people had no respect for human rights and obligations. This means that people did not mind about their neighbors when performing their personal duties and satisfying own needs. The Declaration demonstrates that people in the French society did not have respect for one another. If man had had respect for the rights, and there had been no oppression, there would have been no need for the National Assembly to create and adopt this document.

Secondly, the Declaration shows that, in the French society, there were corrupt politicians who were misusing the government institutions and power for their own personal gains. Therefore, the National Assembly was writing this Declaration in order to arrange the relationships in both the political institutions and among common citizens. The Declaration states that political institutions are supposed to protect the rights of a man from being violated by anyone (National Assembly of France n.p.). However, this was not the case in contemporary France. The political institutions were corrupt; hence, politicians and the elite were violating the rights of man rather than protecting them. It should be noted that the National Assembly would not have initiated the document if political institutions had managed to protect the rights of man, and they had been not corrupt.

There are certain elements in the document that reveals the nature of the French society and the message, passed in the Declaration. These elements pose a certain perspective to readers can relate. On the other hand, there are important perspectives the document lacks. To begin with, the Declaration was created at a time when the French society was suffering from many social evils. According to the document, there was a great calamity affecting the publicity in relations to the rights of man; at the same time, political institutions turned to be corrupt (National Assembly of France n.d.). For this reason, authors found it necessary to create the Declaration. This alone shows that the document was extremely important to the society.

Secondly, authors of the Declaration, the National Assembly, were respected people in the society. Therefore, whatever they wrote or said was highly respected by the community. The National Assembly noticed that if this state of affairs remained unchanged, chaos would descend on the society. The National Assembly composed of people elected to represent the interests of certain social groups (National Assembly of France n.p.). In order for a person to be elected, he or she had to be a respected member of the respective community. For this reason, the authors of the Declaration paid particular attention to certain elements, which revealed what type of document it was.

The Declaration begins with a short paragraph describing the reasons for writing it. The document explains to readers the importance of the information written. Additionally, it explains the readers the circumstances that caused the writing of the Declaration. Further, the Declaration continues in the form of short articles, which start with a new line, and are marked with points (National Assembly of France n.p.). In the document, each article has its own meaning and explanation to the readers. Each point holds plenty of information for readers to interpret. Therefore, according to the authors, the purposes and the format in which the document was written makes the Declaration related to the constitution or law. Firstly, just any other law, it was created by respective representatives of the society, in this case, the National Assembly. Secondly, any law or constitution is written with a purpose; in this case, the document was written to assure orderliness in the contemporary French society. Finally, the Declaration employs the format used for writing the laws or constitutions.

The Declaration created a serious perspective, as it described severe repercussions indicated for a person, who does not obeyed the law. For instance, one of the articles states, “Anybody soliciting, transmitting, executing or causing to be executed any arbitrary order shall be punished” (National Assembly of France n.p.). According to the document, any person executing the above stated unethical behavior was subjected to immediate punishment. The fact proves that the Declaration was extremely serious, and people should have respected what it said; otherwise, they might have ended up facing serious consequences. For this reason, the document created a serious perspective in the contemporary society.

Secondly, the Declaration has a perspective of maintaining law and order. According to the nature of the articles in the Declaration, it is easy to say that it was the constitution of the then French society. Additionally, people who have written the document were legislatures who would create laws for people to follow. One of the roles of any legislative act is maintaining law and order in the society. For instance, when a person is reading the Declaration, he or she can learn the laws, which the society should follow without question (National Assembly of France n.p.). The main aim of the Declaration was maintaining law and order; for this reason, the document created a perspective where people could understand that without the legislation there was no law and order.

This Declaration shows that the society should follow the law while conducting their activities. The document portrays a perspective of orderliness in the community. Any stranger can understand that the French society strived to be extremely organized in the way they were conducting their affairs. The document was written by respected people, who had the power and mandate to create laws for governing the society. Additionally, the Declaration proves that its authors were honest and not corrupt; otherwise, they would have written laws supporting their own selfish gains and interests.

It should be also mentioned that there is a discriminative perspective in the Declaration. The articles contain no inclusion about the rights and obligations of women. In almost all articles, the paper talks about what man should or should not do. For instance, from the very title of the document, it creates a gender-biased perspective where there is no consideration of females. People may argue that the word ‘man’ is used for universal purposes; however, it is than difficult to explain the use of the word ‘citizens’ in the articles (National Assembly of France n.p.). In addition, the document does not indicate any laws that affect the female proportion of the population since women are different from men. The Declaration is describing all those laws that are affecting men, not women. In this case, it is creating a gender-biased perspective.

On the other hand, the document lacks certain perspectives; therefore, it fails to deliver the message to the French citizens comprehensively. Firstly, the Declaration does not provide a clear perspective on the consequences to be taken against infringers of the laws. The document provided information of what people should do and what they should not do; however, it failed to describe the severity of punishment that people, who break the law, were going to pay. For instance, after reading the articles, evil-minded people would not be moved since the document did not indicate what would be done to the lawbreakers, apart from ephemeral punishment. Therefore, the Declaration lacks a consequential perspective of the law infraction.

The most interesting theme in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizens equality to all people in the society. The document contains a very progressive idea of treating all men, or citizens, equally in society. The most interesting thing about this idea is that at the time the Declaration was written, equality was nothing but a figure of speech; therefore, the noble, high, and might members of the contemporary French society did not approve this document. They were not supporting the ideas, because they could not understand how they could have been equal to a mere peasant. Additionally, the message of the Declaration is interesting because it neither order nor encourage any type of oppression of the poor people by the noble. In should be concluded that the authors passed this information to the rich and noble people indirectly.

The Declaration covers the theme of human rights from different perspectives. In the first article, it is stated that men are born and remain free and equal in rights (National Assembly of France n.p.). It is obvious that the document asserts that people are born equal and free, and this state of affairs should remain this way until death. Secondly, the Declaration states that nobody should oppress another person or violate another person’s rights (National Assembly of France n.p.). Since all people in society are equal, nobody has the power to violate another person’s rights. Finally, the document states that citizens have a right to contribute to society (National Assembly of France n.p.). In this case, the Declaration asserts that everybody has an equal opportunity to contribute to the wellbeing of the nation. 

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