Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

 Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen

It receives the name of Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, a document elaborated during the French Revolution of 1789 , and that would reflect from its dissemination, an ideal of universal scope, that is, that of freedom, equality and human fraternity, above the interests of any individual.

At the time, France had just ended centuries of an absolutist regime , where the monarch had the supreme will. Such an arrangement was necessary at the time of the birth of modern France because it was the only means of enforcing national unity and rendering allegiance to a centralized authority. Over time, however, this form of state organization became a tool for both the nobility and the clergy to oppress, control and exploit the people, which made the citizen of the time a human being limited by the impositions of state rulers.

Awareness of this situation was not evident to the majority of the population, as all neighboring states followed the same administration format, and thus, total control by the monarch (the so-called absolutism) seemed to be a natural form of administration. The ideas brought by humanism and later by the Enlightenment would change his perspective on efficient government. With these new concepts, the people would no longer be obliged to serve the interests of the ruler, on the contrary, a government would emerge that would serve the interests of citizens, guaranteeing their rights and duties.

It is precisely because of this change of perspective that the French Revolution began, which wanted to give all power to the people. As history would show, such a desire would soon be thwarted by the interests of the bourgeois classes, who informally assumed control of the state when the ruling classes, nobility and clergy, were overthrown. Even so, some progress was made, and the awareness that the people should be the central interest in the development of any state was from then on taken seriously. Proof of this is the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, announced to the public on August 26, 1789. The importance of this document today is that it was the first declaration of rights and a source of inspiration for others that came later, such as TheUniversal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN ( United Nations ) in 1948.

Although the declaration prepared by the UN has a greater scope, as it was elaborated within the scope of an organization that brings together a large part of the nations of the world, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen still remains as a valid document for the present day, for thinking the human being above particular power in any sphere.

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