The Enlightenment Of The Nineteenth Century Essays

1434 Words Sep 15th, 2015 6 Pages
The Enlightenment of the eighteenth century created a wide spread ideal that men were entitle to equal rights and protection under the law as a birth right; which led to The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789. Before the Enlightenment, John Locke 's Social Contract Theory of 1690 laid a foundation for the men of the eighteenth century to expand on. Another major contributor to the authors of the Declaration was the American Revolution. Because so many Frenchmen participated in the American Revolution and the colonies fight for independence from British control, the ideal of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was a catalyst for the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789. The National Constituent Assembly created a 17 point declaration which laid out a plan for these natural freedoms to be attained. The Declaration of the Right of Man and Citizens was never intended to afford absolute freedom and active citizenship to all the people of France. It was not until exhaustive debate had ensued, freedoms that were inherent to white men of property were extended to all men of France. Of all debated topics during the National Assemblies between 1789 and 1794 the conscientious was all citizens need to be included in the Declaration; the point of argument was what qualified a person as a citizen.
The first argument of non-inclusion revolved around citizenship. What qualified a person to be a citizen of France, and if…

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