Declaration of human rights

Topics: Human rights, Age of Enlightenment, Human Pages: 8 (1223 words) Published: May 7, 2014
Fabrizio Cavallaro
The evolution of human rights

Declaration of Human rights of man and of the citizen 1789:
This document emerged as a part of the enlightenment movement in France with the intent of changing the continuous violations of the human rights that were happening in that period. In this paper I'm going to speak about the social context in which the declaration of human rights was written and explain why it was unsuccessful and there was a need to write the "universal declaration of human rights" 140 years after. The "Declaration of human rights" was written during the enlightenment period. The enlightenment movement raises from the necessity to change the situation in France during the 13th century where everything was regulated by feudalism and religion and slaves couldn't even think about changing their social position because that was in their mind God's plan for their life. During this period the landlords had the right to abuse of the wives and children of the people who were working on their lands. In fact especially women had no rights in comparison to man and were treated like inferior beings. So during this time there was no respect for the human rights of the weakest people and their ignorance made it even easier for the most powerful ones to take over and abuse of their position. Religion was playing a big role in this and that's why one of the biggest goals of the enlightenment movement was to reject the old truth and create the possibility to make choices and have a personal/unique relationship with God without the need to follow ambiguous commandments created by humans who wanted to use them to their advantage. The declaration of man and citizen is written with the goal of supporting and bringing to reality all these principles of the enlightenment movement. For example John Locke brought the separation between church and state and during this time people started to see themselves as individuals for the very first time, they started to call for political representation as a individual defended by a new political entity called the "Nation State". The nation state is a political unit consisting of an autonomous state inhabited predominantly by people sharing a common culture, history, and language.

Even thought the French declaration of human rights proclaims the equality, freedom a and respect between all the human beings unfortunately this specific problems still didn't find a solution in it. In fact in the french declaration it speaks only about "men' and "citizens" and these two groups of people don't clearly define in my opinion the complete human family. I noticed big differences between the "French Declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen ,1789 " and the "Universal declaration of human rights" One of the interesting points in the Universal declaration is: "Whereas the people of the united nations have in the charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom". In the Universal Declaration it's much clearer how the aim is to again promote the worth of the human person this time including also another category of people that before was largely discriminated: the women. In fact the women with the French declaration still didn't get almost anything more than what they had before in terms of rights. Even just from reading it's name "the declaration of human rights of MAN and of the citizen" we can easily understand that this document is not even going to talk about any of the women rights. For the 140 years after the french declaration women still pretty much had to live in the same inferior position they had before. Besides the rights of women the biggest problem that still wasn't solved through the French declaration was the racial discrimination. In...
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