Front Page Titles (by Subject) DECLARATIONS OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN AND OF CITIZENS. - On Civil Liberty and Self-Government
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DECLARATIONS OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN AND OF CITIZENS. - Francis Lieber, On Civil Liberty and Self-Government 
On Civil Liberty and Self-Government, 3rd revised edition, ed. Theodore D. Woolsey (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1883).
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DECLARATIONS OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN AND OF CITIZENS.
The French people, convinced that oblivion and contempt of the natural rights of man are the only causes of calamities in the world, has resolved to explain these sacred and inalienable rights in a solemn declaration, that all citizens, by comparing always the acts of the government with the whole social union, may never suffer themselves to be oppressed and dishonored by tyranny; that the people may always have before its eyes the fundamental pillars of its liberty and welfare, and the authorities the standard of their duties, and the legislator the object of his problem.
It accordingly makes, in the presence of the Highest Being, the following declaration of the rights of man and of the citizens.
1. The object of society is the general welfare. Government is instituted, to insure to man the free use of his natural and inalienable rights.
2. These rights are equality, liberty, security, property.
3. All men are equal by nature and before the law.
4. Law is the free and solemn proclamation of the general will; it is the same for all, be it protective or penal; it can command only what is just and beneficial to society, and prohibit only what is injurious to the same.
5. All citizens are equally admissible to all public offices. Free nations are in their elections guided by no other considerations than virtues and talents.
6. Freedom is the power, by which man can do what does not interfere with the rights of another; its basis is nature; its standard is justice; its protection is law; its moral boundary is the maxim: Do not unto others what you do not wish they should do unto you.
7. The right of communicating thoughts and opinions, either through the press, or in any other manner; the right of assembling peaceably; the free exercise of religion, cannot be prohibited.
The necessity publicly to claim these rights, presupposes the actual existence of despotism, or the fresh recollection of the same.
8. Security rests on the protection given by society to each of its members, for the preservation of his person, his rights and his property.
9. Law must protect the general and the individual liberty against the oppression of those who govern.
10. No one can be accused, arrested, or kept in close custody, except in the cases specified by law, and according to the prescribed forms; every citizen who, by virtue of the law, is summoned before court or arrested, must immediately obey; every refusal shows him to be guilty.
11. Every order against a person, in cases and forms not specified by law, is arbitrary and tyrannical; the person against whom such an order should be executed by force, has the right to resist it by force.
12. Those who cause, aid in, sign, execute or cause to be executed, such arbitrary acts, are culpable, and must be punished.
13. Since every man is deemed to be innocent, until he be proved guilty, if his condemnation will necessarily lead to arrest, every severity, not required for the forthcoming of his person, is strictly prohibited.
14. Only he who has been first heard or legally summoned, can be condemned and punished, and this only by a law promulgated before the commission of the crime. A law which would punish transgressions, committed before its publication, would be tyranny; and it would be a crime to give retrospective force to law.
15. Law shall order punishments only which are unavoidably necessary; the punishments shall be suitable to the crime, and beneficial to society.
16. The right of property is that by which every citizen can enjoy his goods and his income, the fruits of his labor and industry, and dispose of them at pleasure.
17. No kind of occupation, employment and trade can be prohibited to citizens.
18. Every one may dispose of his services and time at pleasure; but he can neither sell himself nor be sold. His person is inalienable property. The law does not recognize a state of servitude; an agreement only for services rendered and a compensation for them, can exist between him who labors and him who employs him.
19. Without his consent, no one can be deprived of the least part of his property, unless it be required by a general and legally specified necessity, and then only on condition of a just and previously fixed indemnity.
20. No tax can be laid except for the common welfare. All citizens have the right to have a voice in the laying of taxes, to watch over the application of them, and to have an account rendered thereof.
21. The public support of the poor is a sacred obligation. Society takes upon itself the support of needy citizens, either by giving work to them, or by giving subsistence to those who are unable to work.
22. Instruction is a want for all. Society shall further with all its power the progress of the public welfare, and regulate instruction according to the wants of all citizens.
23. Social guarantee rests on the activity of all to secure to each one the enjoyment and the preservation of his rights. This guarantee rests on the sovereignty of the people.
24. It cannot exist, if the boundaries of public administration be not definitely specified by law, and unless the responsibility of all public officers be secured.
25. Sovereignty belongs to the people. It is one and indivisible, imprescriptible and inalienable.
26. No single part of the people can exercise the power of the whole people; but every assembled section of the sovereign people enjoys the right to express its will with perfect freedom.
27. Every individual who would assume the sovereignty shall be at once condemned to death by the free men.
28. The people have the right to revise, amend, and alter their constitution. One generation cannot bind succeeding generations to its laws.
29. Every citizen has the right of taking part in the legislation, and of appointing his representatives or agents.
30. Public functions are in their nature temporary;they cannot be considered as distinctions, nor as rewards, but as obligations.
31. The offences of the representatives of the people and of its agents, shall not be unpunished. No one has the right to hold himself more inviolable than the other citizens.
32. The right of presenting petitions to the public authorities can in no case be interdicted, abolished or limited.
33. Resistance to oppression is the inference from the other rights of man.
34. It is oppression of the whole of society, if but one of its members be oppressed. Oppression of every single member exists, when the whole of society is oppressed.
35. When government violates the rights of the people, insurrection of the people and of every single part of it, is the most sacred of its rights and the highest of its duties.
(Signed) COLLOT D'HERBOIS, President.