After having read the web readings on the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen and Olympe de Gouges' Declaration of the Rights of Women, compare and contrast the two articles.
How are they similar?
How are they different?
What was the goal of the first Declaration? de Gouges' Declaration?
What was de Gouges trying to accomplish for women?
What happened to her as a result?
Did either of these articles improve life for the average French citizen?
Explain your answer in detail and give plentiful examples from The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen and the Felipe Fernandez-Armesto text (The World: A history Volume C).
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The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen vs. The Declaration of the Rights of Woman
In the late 18th century France was in upheaval. Having just overthrown its centuries old monarchy, the Revolutionaries were attempting to stabilize the country and create a new government that would benefit everyone. Theories abounded, debate was intense, and any opposition to the ideas put forth by the revolution’s leaders was brutally punished, usually at the guillotine. In 1789 the Marquis de Lafayette published the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. Based strongly on the American Declaration of Independence the document was meant to lay the groundwork for the new government. However, there were some who thought it incomplete. The most notable was Madame Olympe de Gouges. In 1791 de Gouges published the Declaration of the Rights of Woman. Clearly directed and modeled after the Rights of Man, the Rights of Woman pushed for women’s suffrage and other equal rights. Though surprisingly similar, the two documents have some key differences in their wording, mostly relating to what defines a citizen. The goals were the same: improve life for the French people, though de Gouges of course had a broader viewpoint of how that should be achieved. Neither document would ultimately prove effective in their time, but both laid the groundwork for the ideals of future generations.
Both the declaration of de Lafayette and that of de Gouges seem to agree on what the rights of the citizen are. Madame de Gouges followed the same format with her articles and spelled out the same rights almost word for word. These include the right to freedom without social distinction, freedom from oppression, free speech, and the right to own property. They also both speak of the right to participate in government personally or through a representative. Both agree that there has been public disruption and government corruption. Both believe in fair trial, reasonable punishment, and the right to equal distribution of government benefits based on equal contribution to said government. Both documents also had the same ultimate goal. They wanted to extend equal rights and make the life of French citizens better under the new government. (de Gouges) (de Lafayette)...
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