Apparentness of Human Rights in the French and American Revolutions

Topics: United States Declaration of Independence, American Revolution, Human rights Pages: 4 (1456 words) Published: April 30, 2007
What are human rights? Human rights are the rights given to each person so that they may be treated with dignity, equality, and respect. These rights are given to people to ensure the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in our society. However, human rights were not given as a birth right, but rather as a struggle that has occurred through many eras. As a result, many battles, conflicts, wars, and revolutions have been fought over this issue. The French and American revolutions are both two great examples of how confrontation has helped the cause for human rights and have provided laws and legal documents to ensure the rights of humans in today's society. The French Revolution was a collision between a powerful aristocratic government and the people it ruled. After the Seven Years' War, the government of France could not manage its finances and attempted to introduce a series of new and increased taxes upon the nobles. The new tax increase was introduced to the high courts but rejected because of the control of these courts by the nobles. The only way to introduce new taxes into the French society was to call into order the Estates General, which had not met since 1614. The Estates General consisted of members from each of the social classes in French society during the 18th century, which included the clergy, nobility, and the Third Estate. During the meeting of the Estates General, the Third Estate felt it was being represented unfairly and broke away to establish the National Assembly. Upon its separation, the representatives of the National Assembly wrote the Declaration of the Rights of Man. Presenting seventeen articles, this declaration declared the sacred rights of man, and that "ignorance, forgetfulness, or contempt of the rights of man are the sole causes of public misfortunes and the corruption of governments" (Readings in Western Civilization 289). The American Revolution, on the other hand, was a conflict between the colonies in...

Cited: Buckler, John, Bennett D. Hill, and John P. McKay. A History of Western Society.
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 2003.
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