an event resulting in great loss and misfortune
The representatives of the French people, organized as a National Assembly, believing that the ignorance, neglect, or contempt of the rights of man are the sole cause of public
calamities and of the corruption of governments...
incapable of being repudiated or transferred to another
...to set forth in a solemn declaration the natural,
unalienable, and sacred rights of man, in order that this declaration, being constantly before all the members of the Social body, shall remind them continually of their rights and duties
a complaint about a wrong that causes resentment
and, lastly, in order that the
grievances of the citizens, based hereafter upon simple and incontestable principles, shall tend to the maintenance of the constitution and redound to the happiness of all.
kindly endorsement and guidance
Therefore the National Assembly recognizes and proclaims, in the presence and under the
auspices of the Supreme Being, the following rights of man and of the citizen
a discrimination between things as different
1. Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social
distinctions may be founded only upon the general good.
a formal organization of people or groups of people
2. The aim of all political
association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man.
the state of being kept down by unjust use of authority
These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to
the authority of a state to govern another state
3. The principle of all
sovereignty resides essentially in the nation.
have its essential character
consists in the freedom to do everything which injures no one else; hence the exercise of the natural rights of each man has no limits except those which assure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights.
5. Law can only
prohibit such actions as are hurtful to society.
be involved in
6. Law is the expression of the general will. Every citizen has a right to
participate personally, or through his representative, in its foundation.
qualified for or allowed or worthy of being chosen
All citizens, being equal in the eyes of the law, are equally
eligible to all dignities and to all public positions and occupations, according to their abilities, and without distinction except that of their virtues and talents.
issue commands or orders for
7. No person shall be accused, arrested, or imprisoned except in the cases and according to the forms
prescribed by law.
based on or subject to individual discretion or preference
Any one soliciting, transmitting, executing, or causing to be executed, any
arbitrary order, shall be punished.
the quality of doing what is right
But any citizen summoned or arrested in
virtue of the law shall submit without delay, as resistance constitutes an offense.
impose something unpleasant
8. The law shall provide for such punishments only as are strictly and obviously necessary, and no one shall suffer punishment except it be legally
inflicted in virtue of a law passed and promulgated before the commission of the offense.
9. As all persons are held innocent until they shall have been declared guilty, if arrest shall be deemed
indispensable, all harshness not essential to the securing of the prisoner's person shall be severely repressed by law.
make uneasy or cause to be worried or alarmed
10. No one shall be
disquieted on account of his opinions, including his religious views, provided their manifestation does not disturb the public order established by law.
held in great esteem for admirable qualities
11. The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most
precious of the rights of man.
(sentence connectors) because of the reason given
Every citizen may,
accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law.
the state of being free from danger or injury
security of the rights of man and of the citizen requires public military forces.
the quality of having a superior or more favorable position
These forces are, therefore, established for the good of all and not for the personal
advantage of those to whom they shall be intrusted.
an amount of money given
13. A common
contribution is essential for the maintenance of the public forces and for the cost of administration.
fair to all parties as dictated by reason and conscience
This should be equitably distributed among all the citizens in proportion to their means.
give as judged due or on the basis of merit
14. All the citizens have a right to decide, either personally or by their representatives, as to the necessity of the public contribution; to
grant this freely
relation with respect to comparative quantity or magnitude
and to fix the
proportion, the mode of assessment and of collection and the duration of the taxes.
a record or narrative description of past events
15. Society has the right to require of every public agent an
account of his administration.
make certain of
16. A society in which the observance of the law is not
assured, nor the separation of powers defined, has no constitution at all.
incapable of being transgressed or dishonored
17. Since property is an
inviolable and sacred right, no one shall be deprived thereof except where public necessity, legally determined, shall clearly demand it
make amends for; pay compensation for
and then only on condition that the owner shall have been previously and equitably