Daily Archives: September 4, 2007

Item of the Day: The New Constitution of France (1793)

Full Title: The New Constitution of France. Literally Translated from the Original Copy. Presented to the People of France for their Consideration. By the Committee of Constitution. Consisting of Barrere, Brisot, Condorcet, Gensonne, Petion, Danton, Sieyes, Thomas Paine, and Vergmaud. London: Printed for James Ridgway, York-street, St. Jame’s-Square, 1793.







THE object of all union of men in society, being the maintaining of natural, civil, and political rights, these rights ought to be the basis of the social compact. The acknowledgment and declaration of them ought to precede the constitution which assures the guarantee of them.

I. The natural, civil and political rights of men are liberty, equality, security, property, the social guarantee, and resistance of oppression.

II. Liberty consists in the power of doing whatever is not contrary to the rights of others. Thus the exercise of the natural rights of every man has no bounds, but those which secure to the other members of the society the enjoyment of the same rights.

III. The conservation of liberty depends on submission to the law, which is the expression of the general will. Whatever is not forbidden by the law cannot be hindered; and no one can be constrained to do what it does not ordain.

IV. Every man is free to manifest his thoughts and his opinions.

V. The liberty of the press, or any other mode of publishing his thoughts, can neither be interdicted, nor suspended, nor limited.

VI. Every citizen is free in the exercise of his worship.

VII. Equality consists in this, that every one may enjoy the same rights.

VIII. The Law ought to be equal for all, whether it rewards or punishes; whether it protects or represses.

IX. All the citizens are admissible to all public places, employments and functions. People that are free acknowledge no motives of preference, but talents and vitues.

X. Security consists in the protection granted by the society to every citizen for the conservation of his person, of his property and of his right.

XI. No one can be tried, accused, and apprehended, or detained, but in cases determined by the law, and according to the forms which it has prescribed. Every other act exercised against a citizen is arbitrary and null.

XII. Those who shall solicit, expedite, sign, execute, or cause to be executed, these arbitrary acts, are culpable, and ought to be punished. . . .






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Filed under 1790's, Constitution, France, Government, Posted by Caroline Fuchs