Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789

Emile 2022-10-17 09:56:02

Article 1 Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social differences can only be established on the basis of public welfare.

Article 2 All political unions are aimed at safeguarding the natural and timeless rights of human beings. These rights are liberty, property, security and resistance to oppression.

Article 3 The origin of the whole of sovereignty is essentially in the nation (La Nation). No group or individual may exercise powers not expressly granted by the citizens.

Article 4 Freedom is the ability to do all that is harmless to others; therefore, the exercise of every man's natural right is limited only by the assurance of the same rights to the rest of the community. Such limitations can only be determined by law.

Article 5 The law only has the power to prohibit acts harmful to society. No act which is not prohibited by law shall be hindered, and no one shall be compelled to do anything not required by law.

The sixth law is the expression of the general will (la volonté générale). Every citizen has the right to participate in the making of laws in person or by his representatives. The law protects and punishes all people the same way. All citizens, equal in the eyes of the law, may equally hold all public offices, offices and offices according to their abilities, without distinction of any kind save their virtues and talents.

Article 7 No one shall be charged, arrested or detained except in the circumstances established by law and in accordance with the procedures prescribed by law. Anyone who asks to issue, transmit, execute, or cause to be executed any arbitrary order shall be punished; but any citizen summoned or arrested under the law shall obey immediately, and it shall be a crime to resist.

Article 8 The law shall only establish penalties which are truly and manifestly necessary, and no one shall be punished unless it is lawfully punished under a law which has been passed and promulgated before the offence is committed.

Article 9 All persons shall be presumed innocent until they are convicted, and even if arrest is deemed necessary, all harsh means necessary for the detainee's body shall be severely punished by the law.

Article 10 No one shall be interfered with for his opinions or even his religious views, provided that their expression does not disturb the public order established by the law.

Article 11 The free exchange of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious human rights. Therefore, every citizen is free to speak, write and publish, but should be held liable for the abuse of this freedom under the circumstances prescribed by law.

Article 12 The protection of human and civil rights requires public armed forces. This power is therefore established for the well-being of the whole and not for the personal interests of those appointed to it.

Article 13 Public taxation is indispensable for the maintenance of the public armed forces and the expenditure of the administration. Taxes should be apportioned equally among all citizens according to their abilities.

Article 14 All citizens shall have the right to decide, in person or by their representatives, the necessity of public taxation, to approve it freely, to know its purpose, and to determine the rate of taxation, the tax base, the manner and duration of collection.

Article 15 The society has the right to require all public servants to report their administrative work.

Article 16 In any society, where rights are not guaranteed or the separation of powers is not established, there is no constitution at all.

Article 17 Property is an inviolable and sacred right, unless a legitimately recognized public need expressly requires it, and no one can be deprived of property on the basis of justice and advance compensation.

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Danton quotes

  • Robespierre: What does humiliation matter if it's for the country's good?

  • Danton: All exceptional people are above the masses.