E102 D - 1111.,,. Perspectives from the Past P RIMARY S...

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Unformatted text preview: 1111.,,. Perspectives from the Past P RIMARY S OURCES I N W ESTERN C IVILIZATIONS 3rd Edition V OLUME 2 F rom the Early Modern Era Through Contemporary Times ®a J AMES M . B ROPHY • J OSHUA C OLE • S TEVEN E PSTEIN J OHN R OBERTSON • T HOMAS M AX S AFLEY W • W • N ORTON & C OMPANY t>?t N EW Y ORK • L ONDON W. W. N orton & Company has been independent since its founding in 1923, when William Warder Norton and Mary D. Herter Norton first published lectures delivered at the People's Institute, the adult education division of New York City's Cooper Union. The Nortons soon expanded their program beyond the Institute, publishing books by celebrated academics from America and abroad. By midcentury, the two major pillars of Norton's publishing p rogram-trade books and college t exts-were firmly established. In the 1950s, the Norton family transferred control o f the company to its employees, and t oday-with a staff of four hundred and a comparable number o f trade, college, and professional titles published each y ear-W. W. N orton & Company stands as the largest and oldest publishing house owned wholly by its employees. JA~IES ) (. Copyright © 2005, 2002, 1998 by W. W. N orton & Company, Inc. ern Emup ware. H e· All rights reserved Printed in the United States o f America Library o f Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Perspectives from the past : primary sources in Western civilizations I James M. B rophy[et a l.].-3rd ed. p. em. Includes bibliographical references. Contents: v. 1. From the ancient Near East through the age o f a bsolutism-v. 2. From the early modern era through contemporary times. ISBN 0-393-92569-2 (vol. 1 : p bk.)-ISBN 0-393-92570-6 (vol. 2 : pbk.) 1. Civilization, W estern-History-Sources. I . Brophy, James M. CB245.P45 2005 909'.09821-dc22 and did • T iibinp specia.Jizllll n inetead Capit~ 1810 (19.11 o n nindlll larlyted asspeciai raphy,IIIDI h istory.• JosHCA 2004061730 W. W. N orton & Company, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y. 1 0ll0 www.wwnorton.com W. W. N orton & Company Ltd., Castle House, 75/76 Wells Street, London W1 T 3QT 1234567890 0 the {;niwl from Bml from the a uthor«< Politics. • ( 2000) . ... and Gem m odern 1 legacy of1 "-ladagasc by this • world. I ll in a glob. STE\"E.N E o f Kansas lege, St. J l lil il l l l il l li~l l i 18 ® a THE FRENCH REVOLUTION , 'l 7 /1 / "J ,' ''-/? /\\/ f L." & "'\~ \ IV' ' \;,J The French revolutionary a nd Napoleonic eras, 1789-1815, launched the modern period in European history. Europe had so irrevocably changed after 1815 t hat contemporaries distinguished the period before 1789 as the old regime. To be sure, m any features o f the old regime continued into the new era, b ut the sentiment o f sudden rupture was largely valid. In various dimensions o f public life, the radical transformations o f the French Revolution rendered m any prerevolutionary attitudes toward society and politics obsolete. Following the abolition o f feudalism, the declaration o f civic equality, a nd the subordination o f monarchy to national political sovereignty, traditional authority became irretrievable. The areas o f French society (aristocrats, civil servants, professionals, merchants, artisans, urban workers, peasants) willing to reform, i f n ot dismantle, absolutist monarchy established the revolution's legitimacy. The wide range o f grievances that had accumulated in the French provinces and cities provided the broad social base for the upheaval o f 1789, j ust as the prevailing emphasis o f eighteenth-century letters on applying reason, natural law, a nd social utility to public affairs offered a general intellectual framework. To understand the revolution's development, however, one m ust recognize that, while the revolution inaugurated a new era o f political rights and citizenship ideals, the specific content o f "liberty, equality, brotherhood" remained contested. Consequently, the freshly constituted polity o f France embarked on an uncharted course o f political experimentation, the prominent milestones o f which (dissolution o f the monarchy, regicide, radical republicanism, political terror, abolition o f the slave trade, republican imperialism) subsequently defined the parameters o f the modern political landscape. The revolutionary impulses in Paris resonated throughout Europe. As the largest and most powerful continental state in Europe (one o ut o f five Europeans lived in France), French politics affected all Europeans. The precedent o f French constitutionalism and the Declaration o f the Rights o f M an and Citizen reconfig- 350 na e ll eel ta a .f.. J"' $,!:''TII!tlitlt!t!! jl!lp'lt 1 ,1111 111 , ,,, . . J. ............. ~i!H,I~ .... ''~. A RTHUR Y OUNG: F RoM Travels in France During the Years 1787, 1788, 1789 351 ured the domestic political cultures o f all European states. The level o f political disputation intensified; contemporaries alternately celebrated or denounced the potential o f w idened political participation. Even Great Britain's stable political establishment o f l imited monarchy a nd p arliamentary rule perceived French republicanism as a threat. The decision o f A ustria a nd Prussia to invade France in 1792 n ot o nly radicalized French politics b ut also expanded the revolutionary political arena. Napoleon's military prowess further embedded French revolutionary influence abroad with the creation o f n ew kingdoms, the a ppointment o f n ew rulers, the institution o f n ew laws, a nd the transmission o f a n ew political outlook. Although the European great powers attempted to eradicate m ost o f Napoleon's political reordering after 1815, the revolutionary challenge to traditional elites remained a p ermanent feature o f European political life. A RTHUR Y OUNG F RoM Travels in France During the Years 1787, 1788, 1789 A rthur Young, an established author and one o f the "improving landlords" o f English agriculture, traveled through France prior to and during the French Revolution. His acute observations o f the conditions o f French society offer an invaluable contemporary testimony to the many problems that hindered both agricultural prosperity and political stability. From Travels in France during the Years 1787, 1788, 1789, b y Arthur Young, edited by Constantia Maxwell (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1950). * * * O f all the subjects o f political economy, I know n ot o ne that has given rise to such a cloud o f errors as this o f population. I t seems, for some centuries, to have been considered as the only sure test o f national prosperity. I am clearly o f o pinion from the observations I made in every province o f lhe Kingdom, that her population is so m uch beyond the proportion o f h er industry and labour, that she would be much more powerful, and infinitely more flourishing, i f she h ad five o r six millions less o f inhabitants. From her too great population, she presents in every quarter such spectacles o f wretchedness as are absolutely inconsistent with that degree o f national felicity which she was capable o f attaining even under her old government. A traveller much less attentive than I was to objects o f this kind must see a t every t urn m ost unequivocal signs o f distress. That these 352 C HAPTER 18 T HE F RENCH R EVOLUTION should exist, no one can wonder who considers the price o f labour, and o f provisions, and the misery into which a small rise in the price o f wheat throws the lower classes. The causes o f this great population were certainly n ot to be found in the benignity o f t he old government yielding a due protection to the lower classes, for, o n the contrary, it abandoned them to the mercy o f the privileged orders. This great populousness o f France I attribute very m uch to the division o f the lands into small properties, which takes place in that country to a degree o f which we have in England b ut little conception. Whatever promises the appearance even o f subsistence induces men to marry. The inheritance o f 10 o r 12 acres to be divided amongst the children o f the proprietor will be looked to with the views o f a p ermanent settlement, and either occasions a marriage, the infants o f which die young for want o f sufficient nourishment, o r keeps children at home, distressing their relations, long after the time that they should have emigrated to towns. * * * V. M ETAYERS is the tenure under which perhaps seven-eighths o f the lands o f France are held. * * * At the first blush, the great disadvantage o f the metayage system is to landlords; b ut o n a nearer examination, the tenants are found in the lowest state o f poverty, and some o f t hem in misery. At Vatan, in Berry, I was assured that the metayers almost every year borrowed their bread o f the landlord before the harvest came round, yet hardly worth borrowing, for it was made o f rye and barley mixed. I tasted enough o f i t to pity sincerely the poor people. In Limousin the metayers are considered as little better than menial servants, removable at pleasure, and obliged to conform in all things to the will o f the landlords. I t is commonly computed that half the tenantry are deeply in debt to the proprietor, so t hat he is often obliged to t urn t hem off with the loss o f these debts, in order to save his land from running waste. In all the modes o f occupying land, the great evil is the smallness o f farms. There are large ones in Picardy, the Isle o f France, the Pays de Beauce, Artois and Normandy; b ut in the rest o f the kingdom such are n ot general. The division o f the farms and population is so great, that the misery flowing from it is i n many places extreme; the idleness o f the people is seen the moment you enter a town o n market day; the swarms o f people are incredible. At Landivisiau in Bretagne, I saw a m an who walked 7 miles to bring 2 chickens, which would not sell for 24 sous the couple, as he told me himself. At Avranches, men attending each a horse, with a pannier load o f sea ooze, not more than 4 bushels. Near Isenheim in Alsace, a rich country, women, in the midst o f harvest, where their labour is nearly as valuable as t hat o f men, reaping grass by the road side to carry home to their cows. * * * In this most miserable o f all the modes o f letting land, after running the hazard o f such losses, fatal in many instances, the defrauded landlord receives a contemptible rent; the farmer is i n the lowest state o f poverty; the land is miserably cultivated; and the nation suffers as severely as the parties themselves. * * * The abuses attending the levy o f taxes were heavy and universal. The kingdom was parcelled into generalites, with an Intendant at the head o f each, into whose hands the whole power o f the Crown was delegated for everything except the military authority; b ut particularly for all affairs o f finance. The generalites were sub-divided into elections, at the head o f which was a subdelegue, appointed by the Intendant. The rolls o f the taille, capitation, vingtiemes, a nd other taxes, were distributed among districts, parishes, and individuals, at the pleasure o f the Intendant, who could exempt, change, add, or diminish, at pleasure. Such an enormous power, constantly acting, and from which no m an was free, must, in the nature o f A RTHUR Y OUNG: II !S r. ~ It IJ' It 1- lr a 15, r & Dl a t. f it 1:- e e re ed of be be of - p- e. isis, : X- Ch JID of F RoM Travels in France During the Years 1787, 1788, 1789 things, degenerate in many cases into absolute tyranny. I t m ust be obvious, that the friends, acquaintances, and dependents o f the Intendant, and o f all his subdelegues, a nd the friends o f these friends, to a long chain o f dependence, might be favoured in taxation at the expense o f t heir miserable neighbours; and that noblemen, in favour at court, to whose protection the Intendant himself would naturally look up, could find little difficulty in throwing m uch o f the weight o f their taxes o n others, without a similar support. Instances, and even gross ones, have been reported to me in many parts o f the kingdom, that made me shudder at the oppression to which numbers must have been condemned, by the undue favours granted to such crooked influence. * * * The corvees, o r police o f the roads, were annually the ruin o f m any hundreds o f farmers; more t han 300 were reduced to beggary in filling up one vale in Lorraine. All these oppressions fell o n the tiers e tat only; the nobility and clergy having been equally exempted from tailles, militia, a nd corvees. The penal code o f finance makes one shudder at the horrors o f p unishment inadequate to the crime. A few features will sufficiently characterize the old government o f France. 1. Smugglers o f salt, armed and assembled to the number o f five, i n Provence, a fine o f 500 livres a nd n ine years galleys; i n all the rest o f the kingdom, death. 2. Smugglers armed, assembled, b ut i n number under five, a fine o f 300 livres a nd three years galleys. Second offence, death. 3. Smugglers, without arms, b ut with horses, carts, o r boats, a fine o f 300 livres; i f n ot paid, three years galleys. Second offence, 400 livres a nd nine years galleys. I n Dauphine, second offence, galleys for life. I n Provence, five years galleys. 4. Smugglers, who carry the salt o n t heir backs, and without arms, a fine o f 200 livres, and, i f n ot paid, are flogged a nd branded. Second offence, a fine o f 300 livres a nd six years galleys. 5. Women, married and single, smugglers, first of" 3 53 fence, a fine o f 100 livres. Second, 300 livres. Third, flogged, a nd banished the kingdom for life. Husbands responsible both in fine a nd body. 6. Children smugglers, the same as women. Fathers a nd mothers responsible; a nd for defect o f p ayment flogged. * * * But these were n ot all the evils with which the people struggled. The administration o f justice was partial, venal, infamous. I have, in conversation with many very sensible men, in different parts o f the kingdom, met with something o f c ontent with their government, in all other respects than this; b ut u pon the question o f expecting justice to be really and fairly administered, everyone confessed there was n o such thing to be looked for. The conduct o f the parliaments was profligate and atrocious. Upon almost every cause that came before them, interest was openly made with the judges; and woe betided the m an who, with a cause to support, h ad n o means o f conciliating favour, either by the beauty o f a h andsome wife, o r b y other methods. It has been said, by many writers, that property was as secure under the old government o f France as it is i n England; and the assertion might possibly be true, as far as any violence from the King, his ministers, o r the great was concerned; b ut for all that mass o f property, which comes in every country to be litigated in courts o f justice, there was n ot even the shadow o f security, unless the parties were totally and equally unknown, and totally and equally honest; in every other case, he who had the best interest with the judges was sure to be the winner. To reflecting minds, the cruelty and abominable practice attending such courts are sufficiently apparent. * * * The true judgment to be formed o f the French revolution must surely be gained from an attentive consideration o f the evils o f the old government. When these are well understood, and when the extent and universality o f the oppression under which the people groaned, oppression which bore IILIIIIII,IItililt 3 54 C HAPTER 18 T HE F RENCH R EVOLUTION u pon t hem from every quarter, it will scarcely be attempted to be urged that a revolution was n ot absolutely necessary to the welfare o f the kingdom. N ot o ne opposing voice can, with reason, be raised against this assertion; abuses ought certainly to be corrected, and corrected effectually. This could n ot be done without the establishment o f a new form o f government; whether the form that has been adopted were the best, is a nother question absolutely distinct. * * * REVIEW Q UESTIONS 1. For Arthur Young, what are the chief problems in the French countryside? 2. W hat are the specific problems imposed on the small farmer by the nobility, the legal system, and the government? 3. H ow are public affairs conducted? 4. How did these problems in the countryside contribute to the success o f the revolution? A BBE E MMANUEL S IEY:Es: F ROM W hat Is the Third Estate? 3 57 ABBE E MMANUEl SIEVES FROM What Is the Third Estate? King Louis XVI's announcement in the summer o f 1788 convening the Estates General, compounded by bread riots and widespread economic hardship, heated up political debate about reform and the future o f France. Because the Estates General had not m et since 1614, members o f the Third Estate protested against the custom that the estates meet separately and vote by order. They insisted that the estates should instead deliberate in united sessions and vote as individuals, not as corporate bodies. Equally important, the Third Estate demanded that its votes be doubled, so t hat i t could counter the votes o f the First and Second Estates. In January 1789, Abbe E mmanuel Sieyes, the son o f a postmaster who became a radical clergyman and a leader in the revolution's early stages, sought to mobilize public support for these causes with the pamphlet, W hat Is the Third Estate? Its influence was pervasive and contributed to the plan to transform the Estates General into the National Constituent Assembly. From A Documentary Survey o f the French Revolution, edited b y John Hall Stewart (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1951). * * * T he plan o f this pamphlet is very simple. We have three questions to ask: lst. What is the third estate? Everything. 2nd. What has it been heretofore in the political order? Nothing. 3rd. What does it demand? To become something therein. We shall see i f the answers are correct. Then we shall examine the measures that have been tried and those which must be taken in order that the third estate may in fact become something. T hus we shall state: 4th. What the ministers have attempted, a nd w hat the privileged classes themselves propose i n its favor. 5th. What ought to have been done. 6th. Finally, what remains to be done in order that the third estate may take its rightful place. C hapter I The Third Estate Is a C omplete Nation W hat are the essentials o f national existence and prosperity? Private enterprise and public functions. Private enterprise may be divided into four classes: 1st. Since earth and water furnish the raw material for man's needs, the first class will comprise all families engaged in agricultural pursuits. 2nd. Between the original sale o f materials and their consumption o r use, further workmanship, more o r less manifold, adds to these materials a second value, more o r less compounded. H uman i ndustry thus succeeds in perfecting the benefits o f n ature and i n increasing the gross produce twofold, tenfold, one hundredfold in value. Such is t he work o f the second class. 3rd. Between production and consumption, as well as a mong the different degrees o f p roduction, a group o f intermediate agents, useful to producers as well as to consumers, comes into being; these are the dealers 3 58 C HAPTER 18 T HE F RENCH R EVOLUTION a nd merchants . ... 4th. In addition to these three classes o f industrious and useful citizens concerned with goods for consumption and use, a society needs many private undertakings and endeavors which are directly useful o r agreeable to the individual. This fourth class includes from the most distinguished scientific and liberal professions to the least esteemed domestic services. Such are the labors which sustain society. Who performs them? The third estate. Public functions likewise under present circumstances may be classified under four well known headings: the Sword, the Robe, the Church, and the Administration. I t is unnecessary to discuss them in detail in order to demonstrate that the third estate everywhere constitutes nineteen-twentieths o f them, except that it is b urdened with all t hat is really arduous, with all the tasks that the privileged order refuses to perform. Only t he lucrative and honorary positions are held by members o f the privileged order. ... nevertheless they have dared lay the order o f the third estate under an interdict. They have said to it: "Whatever be your services, whatever your talents, you shall go thus far and no farther. I t is n ot fitting that you be honored." . .. I t suffices here to have revealed that the alleged utility o f a privileged order to public service is only a chimera; that without it, all that is arduous i n such service is performed by the third estate; that without it, the higher positions would be infinitely better filled; that they naturally ought to be the lot o f a nd reward for talents and recognized services; and that if the privileged classes have succeeded in usurping all the lucrative and honorary positions, it is both an odious injustice to the majority o f citizens and a treason to the commonwealth. Who, then, would dare to say that the third estate has n ot within itself all t hat is necessary to constitute a complete nation? It is the strong and robust man whose one arm remains enchained. I f the privileged order were abolished, the nation would be n ot something less b ut something more. Thus, what is t he third estate? Everything; b ut a n everything shackled and oppressed. What would it be without the privileged order? Everything; b ut a n everything free and flourishing. Nothing can progress without it; everything would proceed infinitely better without the others. I t is n ot sufficient to have demonstrated that the privileged classes, far from being useful to the nation, can only enfeeble and injure it; it is necessary, moreover, to prove that the nobility does n ot belong to the social organization at all; that, indeed, it may be a burden u pon the nation, b ut t hat it would n ot know how to constitute a part thereof. What is a nation? a body o f associates living under a common law and represented by the same legislature. Is it n ot exceedingly clear that the noble order has privileges, exemptions, even rights separate from the rights o f the majority o f citizens? Thus it deviates from the common order, from the common law. Thus its civil rights already render it a people apart in a great nation. I t is indeed imperium in imperio. Also, it enjoys its political rights separately. It has its own representatives, who are by no means charged with representing the people. Its deputation sits apart; and when it is assembled in the same room with the deputies o f o rdinary citizens, it is equally true that its representation is essentially distinct a nd separate; it is foreign to the nation in principle, since its mandate does not emanate from the people, and in aim, since its purpose is to defend n ot the general b ut a special interest. The third estate, then, comprises everything appertaining to the nation; and whatever is n ot the third estate may n ot be regarded as being o f the nation. What is the third estate? Everything! Chapter I ll W hat Does the Third Estate Demand? To Become Something * * * The true petitions o f this order may be appreciated only through the authentic claims directed to the government by the large munici- ABBE E MMANUEL s rEYts: F RoM but can i n- uffi£ged o can M )re- gto m ay OUld iving same rder llr.lte hus the der !deed iy. I t l lr3JlS puta11 the izms, ssenr na' n ot : .:its »erial lhing lit the f t he nd? ~ a plaims lllici- palities o f the kingdom. What is indicated therein? That the people wishes to be something, and, in truth, the very least that is possible. It wishes to have real representatives in the Estates General, that is to say, deputies drawn from its order, who are competent to be interpreters o f its will and defenders o f its interests. But what will it avail it to be present at the Estates General i f the predominating interest there is c ontrary to its own! Its presence would only consecrate the oppression o f which it would be the eternal victim. Thus, it is indeed certain that it cannot come to vote at the Estates General unless it is to have in that body an influence a t least equal to t hat o f the privileged classes; a nd it demands a n umber o f representatives equal to that o f the first two orders together. Finally, this equality o f representation would become completely illusory i f every chamber voted separately. The third estate demands, then, that votes be taken by head a nd n ot by order. This is the essence o f those claims so alarming to the privileged classes, because they believed that thereby the reform o f abuses would become inevitable. The real intention o f the third estate is to have an influence in the Estates General equal to that o f the privileged classes. I repeat, can it ask less? And is it n ot clear that i f its influence therein is less than equality, it cannot be expected to emerge from its political nullity and become something? But what is indeed unfortunate is t hat the three articles constituting the demand o f the third estate are insufficient to give it this equality o f influence which it cannot, in reality, do without. In vain will it obtain an equal n umber o f representatives drawn from its order; the influence o f the privileged classes will establish itself and dominate even in the sanctuary o f the third estate . ... W hat Is the Third Estate? 3 59 Besides the influence o f the aristocracy there is the influence o f property. This is natural. I do n ot proscribe it at all; b ut one must agree that it is still all to the advantage o f the privileged classes . .. The more one considers this matter, the more obvious the insufficiency o f the three demands o f t he third estate becomes. But finally, such as t hey are, they have been vigorously attacked. Let us examine the pretexts for this hostility. * * * I have only one observation to make. Obviously there are abuses in France; these abuses are profitable to someone; they are scarcely advantageous to the third e state-indeed, they are injurious to it in particular. Now I ask if, i n this state o f affairs, it is possible to destroy any abuse so long as those who profit therefrom control the veto? All justice would be powerless; it would be necessary to rely entirely o n the sheer generosity o f the privileged classes. Would that be your idea o f what constitutes the social order? * * * REVIEW Q UESTIONS 1. W hat is Sieyes's tone o f voice and how does it affect the argument? 2. W hat reasons does Sieyes provide for his claim that the Third Estate constitutes the nation? 3. W hat kind o f political and social order does he advocate? ---------- -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ------ NATIONAl A SSEMBlY FROM Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen This declaration, adopted on 2 7 A ugust 1789, was a revolutionary clarion call to the people o f France. Its subsequent impact on European political culture cannot be underestimated. From A Documentary Survey o f the French Revolution by John Hall Stewart (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1951). * * * The representatives o f the French people, organized in National Assembly, considering that ignorance, forgetfulness, o r contempt o f the rights o f m an are the sole causes o f public misfortunes and o f the corruption o f governments, have resolved to set forth in a solemn declaration the natural, inalienable, a nd sacred rights o f man, in order that such declaration, continually before all members o f the social body, may be a perpetual reminder o f their rights and duties; in order that the acts o f the legislative power and those o f the executive power may constantly be compared with the aim o f every political institution and may accordingly be more respected; in order that the demands o f the citizens, founded henceforth u pon simple and incontestable principles, may always be directed towards the maintenance o f the Constitution and the welfare o f all. Accordingly, the National Assembly recognizes and proclaims, in the presence and under the aus- pices o f the Supreme Being, the following rights o f m an and citizen. 1. Men are b orn a nd remain free and equal in rights; social distinctions may be based only upon general usefulness. 2. The aim o f every political association is the preservation o f the natural and inalienable rights o f man; these rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression. 3. The source o f all sovereignty resides essentially in the nation; no group, no individual may exercise authority not emanating expressly therefrom. 4. Liberty consists o f the power to do whatever is n ot injurious to others; thus the enjoyment o f the natural rights o f every man has for its limits only those that assure other members o f society the enjoyment o f those same rights; such limits may be determined only by law. 5. The law has the right to forbid only actions which are injurious to society. Whatever is n ot forbidden by law may n ot be prevented, and no N a- ure t ury rights alin u pon is the T ENNIS C OURT O ATH (1792) J ACQUES-LOUIS D AVID David's painting o f the birth o f the French nation strove not for authentic representation but, rather, for mythic grandeur. In depicting this disparate group o f bourgeois men committed to take an oath to transform France into a constitutional monarchy, what was David implying about the political foundation o f the new nation? rights urity, tially exerthereale'Ver mt of limits o ety limits Ctions is not Od no 365 -.11 Jll., 3 66 C HAPTER 18 T HE F RENCH R EVOLUTION o ne m ay be constrained t o d o w hat i t does n ot prescribe. 6. Law is the expression o f t he general will; all citizens have t he r ight t o c oncur personally, o r t hrough t heir representatives, i n its formation; i t m ust b e the same for all, whether i t p rotects o r punishes. All citizens, being equal before it, are equally admissible t o all public offices, positions, a nd e mployments, according t o t heir capacity, a nd w ithout o ther d istinction t han t hat o f v irtues a nd talents. 7. N o m an m ay be accused, arrested, o r d etained except i n t he cases determined b y law, a nd according t o t he forms prescribed thereby. Whoever solicit, expedite, o r execute arbitrary orders, o r have t hem executed, m ust be punished; b ut every citizen s ummoned o r a pprehended i n p ursuance o f t he law m ust o bey immediately; h e r enders himself culpable b y resistance. 8. T he law is t o establish only penalties t hat are absolutely a nd obviously necessary; a nd n o o ne m ay b e p unished except b y v irtue o f a law established a nd p romulgated p rior t o t he offence a nd legally applied. 9. Since every m an is p resumed i nnocent u ntil d eclared guilty, i f arrest b e d eemed indispensable, all unnecessary severity for securing the p erson o f t he accused m ust b e severely repressed b y law. 10. N o o ne is to be disquieted because o f h is o pinions, even religious, provided their manifestation does n ot d isturb the public o rder established b y law. 11. Free c ommunication o f ideas a nd o pinions is o ne o f t he m ost p recious o f t he rights o f m an. Consequently, every citizen may speak, write, a nd p rint freely, subject t o responsibility for t he abuse o f s uch l iberty i n t he cases determined b y law. 12. The guarantee o f t he rights o f m an a nd citizen necessitates a public force; such a force, therefore, is instituted for the advantage o f all a nd n ot for the particular benefit o f t hose t o w hom it is entrusted. 13. For the maintenance o f t he public force a nd for the expenses o f a dministration a c ommon t ax is indispensable; i t m ust b e assessed equally o n all citizens i n p roportion t o t heir means. 14. Citizens have t he r ight t o ascertain, b y t hemselves o r t hrough t heir representatives, the necessity o f t he public tax, t o c onsent to i t freely, t o supervise its use, a nd t o d etermine its quota, assessment, payment, a nd d uration. 15. Society has the right t o r equire o f every public agent an accounting o f his administration. 16. Every society i n w hich the guarantee o f r ights is n ot a ssured o r t he separation o f powers n ot determined h as n o c onstitution a t all. 17. Since p roperty is a sacred a nd inviolable right, n o o ne m ay b e deprived thereof unless a legally established public necessity obviously requires it, a nd u pon c ondition o f a j ust a nd p revious indemnity. * * * 1. H d rivea F rend a rmyt n REVIEW Q UESTIONS 1. W hat similarities i n issues d o y ou see i n t he grievance petitions a nd i n this declaration? 2. W hat are the principal differences between this declaration a nd t he American Declaration o f I ndependence? 3. H ow does this d ocument reconcile the rights o f t he individual w ith t he rights o f government? 4. W hat civil liberties are missing here? 5. Assess the influence o f t he A merican Declaration o f I ndependence o n t he D eclaration o f t he Rights o f M an a nd Citizen. mensil w ome serve i l ineni l icpa. a ndp o f kill 2 .N r ac.b; s oilol peter' 3.A1 t othr o f t il pica= 4. s caw~ empl prowi 5. 1 -------EDMUND B URKE A ND T HOMAS P AINE Opposing Views of the Revolution Although Edmund Burke, an Irish Whig member o f parliament, had supported the American cause against Great Britain in the 1770s, he denounced the French Revolution with a sustained rhetorical elegance that has few, i f any, rivals. The circumstance that provoked Burke's essay was a speech in 1789 by Dr. Richard Price, who posited a close affinity between England's Glorious Revolution o f 1688 and the recent French Revolution. Burke's scathing attack on the premises and principles o f the French Revolution in his Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790) incited an equally engaging rejoinder by Thomas Paine, a committed English democrat, whose earlier C ommon Sense had become a central political tract supporting the American Revolution. His Rights o f Man (1791), in response to Burke, assumed the status in Britain o f a primer for democratic republicanism. The British government prohibited its publication and sale in vain. Edmund Burke Reflections on the Revolution in France FROM * * o ur liberties can be regularly perpetuated and preserved sacred as o ur hereditary right. An irregular, convulsive movement may be necessary to throw off an irregular, convulsive disease. But the course o f succession is the healthy habit o f the British constitution. Was it that the legislature wanted, at * No experience has taught us that in any other course o r m ethod than that o f an hereditary crown From Reflections on the Revolution in France, edited by J. G. A. Pocock (Cambridge, Eng.: Hackett, 1987). E DMUND B URKE A ND T HOMAS P AINE: the act for the limitation o f the crown in the Hanoverian line, drawn through the female descendants o f James the First, a due sense o f the inconveniences o f having two o r three, o r possibly more, foreigners in succession to the British throne? N o!-they h ad a due sense o f the evils which might happen from such foreign rule, and more than a due sense o f them. But a more decisive proof cannot be given o f the full conviction o f the British nation that the principles o f the Revolution did n ot authorize them to elect kings at their pleasure, and without any attention to the ancient fundamental principles o f o ur government, than their continuing to adopt a plan o f hereditary Protestant succession in the old line, with all the dangers and all the inconveniences o f its being a foreign line full before their eyes and operating with the utmost force u pon their minds. A few years ago I should be ashamed to overload a matter so capable o f s upporting itself by the then unnecessary support o f any argument; b ut this seditious, unconstitutional doctrine is now publicly taught, avowed, and printed. The dislike I feel to revolutions, the signals for which have so often been given from pulpits; the spirit o f change that is gone abroad; the total contempt which prevails with you, a nd may come to prevail with us, o f all ancient institutions when set in opposition to a present sense o f convenience o r to the bent o f a present inclination: all these considerations make it n ot unadvisable, in my opinion, to call back our attention to the true principles o f o ur own domestic laws; that you, my French friend, should begin to know, and that we should continue to cherish them. We ought not, o n either side o f the water, to suffer ourselves to be imposed u pon by the counterfeit wares which some persons, by a double fraud, export to you in illicit bottoms as raw commodities o f British growth, though wholly alien to our soil, in order afterwards to smuggle them back again into this country, manufactured after the newest Paris fashion o f a n improved liberty. The people o f England will n ot ape the fashions they have never tried, n or go back to those which they have found mischievous o n trial. They · Opposing Views o f the Revolution 379 look u pon t he legal hereditary succession o f their crown as a mong their rights, n ot as among their wrongs; as a benefit, n ot as a grievance; as a security for their liberty, n ot as a badge o f servitude. They look o n the frame o f their commonwealth, such as i t stands, to be o f inestimable value, a nd they conceive the undisturbed succession o f t he crown to be a pledge o f the stability and perpetuity o f all the other members o f o ur constitution. I shall beg leave, before I go any further, to take notice o f some paltry artifices which the abettors o f election, as the only lawful title to the crown, are ready to employ in order to render the support o f the just principles o f o ur constitution a task somewhat invidious. These sophisters substitute a fictitious cause and feigned personages, in whose favor they suppose you engaged whenever you defend the inheritable nature o f the crown. It is c ommon with them to dispute as i f they were i n a conflict with some o f those exploded fanatics o f slavery, who formerly maintained what I believe no creature now maintains, " that the crown is held by divine hereditary a nd indefeasible right:' These old fanatics o f single arbitrary power dogmatized as i f hereditary royalty was the only lawful government in the world, just as o ur new fanatics o f p opular arbitrary power maintain that a popular election is the sole lawful source o f authority. The old prerogative enthusiasts, it is true, did speculate foolishly, and perhaps impiously too, as i f monarchy had more o f a divine sanction than any other mode o f government; and as i f a right to govern by inheritance were in strictness indefeasible i n every person who should be found in the succession to a throne, and under every circumstance, which no civil o r political right can be. But an absurd opinion concerning the king's hereditary right to the crown does n ot prejudice one that is rational and bottomed u pon solid principles o f law a nd policy. If all the absurd theories o f lawyers and divines were to vitiate the objects in which they are conversant, we should have no law and no religion left in the world. But an absurd theory o n one side o f a question forms no justification for alleging a false fact o r promulgating mischievous maxims o n the other. 3 80 C HAPTER 18 T HE F RENCH R EVOLUTION * * * almost venture to affirm that n ot o ne in a hundred amongst us participates in the " triumph" o f the Revolution Society. I f the king and queen o f France, and their children, were to fall into o ur hands by the chance o f war, in the most acrimonious o f all hostilities (I deprecate such an event, I deprecate such hostility), they would be treated with another sort o f t riumphal entry into London. We formerly have had a king o f France in that situation; you have read how he was treated by the victor in the field, and in what manner he was afterwards received in England. Four hundred years have gone over us, b ut I believe we are n ot materially changed since that period. Thanks to o ur sullen resistance to innovation, thanks to the cold sluggishness o f o ur national character, we still bear the stamp o f o ur forefathers. We have n ot (as I conceive) lost the generosity and dignity o f thinking o f the fourteenth century, n or as yet have we subtilized ourselves into savages. We are n ot the converts o f Rousseau; we are n ot the disciples o f Voltaire; Helvetius has made n o progress amongst us. Atheists are n ot o ur preachers; madmen are n ot o ur lawgivers. We k now that we have made no discoveries, and we t hink that no discoveries are to be made in morality, nor many in the great principles o f government, nor in the ideas o f liberty, which were understood long before we were born, altogether as well as they will be after the grace has heaped its mold u pon o ur p resumption and the silent tomb shall have imposed its law on o ur p ert loquacity. In England we have n ot yet been completely embowelled o f o ur n atural entrails; we still feel w ithin us, a nd we cherish and cultivate, those inbred sentiments which are the faithful guardians, the active monitors o f o ur duty, the true supporters o f all liberal and manly morals. We have n ot been drawn and trussed, in order that we may be filled, like stuffed birds in a museum, with chaff and rags and paltry blurred shreds o f paper about the rights o f men. We preserve the whole o f o ur feelings still native and entire, unsophisticated by pedantry a nd infidelity. We have real hearts o f flesh and ·blood beat- ing in o ur bosoms. We fear God; we look up with awe to kings, with affection to parliaments, with duty to magistrates, with reverence to priests, and with respect to nobility. Why? Because when such ideas are brought before o ur minds, it is natural to be so affected; because all other feelings are false and spurious and tend to corrupt o ur minds, to vitiate o ur p rimary morals, to render us unfit for rational liberty, and, by teaching us a servile, licentious, and abandoned insolence, t o b e o ur low sport for a few holidays, to make us perfectly fit for, a nd justly deserving of, slavery through the whole course o f o ur lives. You see, Sir, t hat in this enlightened age I am bold enough to confess that we are generally m en o f u ntaught feelings, that, instead o f casting away all o ur old prejudices, we cherish them to a very considerable degree, and, to take more shame to ourselves, we cherish them because they are prejudices; and the longer they have lasted and the more generally they have prevailed, the more we cherish them. We are afraid to p ut m en to live a nd trade each o n his own private stock o f reason, because we suspect that this stock in each m an is small, and t hat the individuals would do better to avail themselves o f the general bank and capital o f nations and o f ages. Many o f o ur m en o f speculation, instead o f exploding general prejudices, employ their sagacity to discover the latent wisdom which prevails in them. I f they find what they seek, and they seldom fail, they think it more wise to continue the prejudice, with the reason involved, t han to cast away the coat o f prejudice and to leave nothing b ut the naked reason; because prejudice, with its reason, has a motive to give action to that reason, and an affection which will give it permanence. Prejudice is o f ready application in the emergency; it previously engages the m ind i n a steady course o f wisdom and virtue and does n ot leave the m an hesitating in the m oment o f decision skeptical, puzzled, and unresolved. Prejudice renders a man's virtue his habit, and n ot a series o f u nconnected acts. Through just prejudice, his d uty becomes a part o f his nature. EDMUND B URKE A ND T HOMAS P AINE: w ith w ith . and such llural &lse s ,to ii: for k. li. Jow y fit . the bold m of away a wry • to pRj- dthe rr~ l iw :amn. I) ~mis lltt t o il:alof pccu-- lkes. : wis-- tlhey ~-­ •ineaod Your literary m en a nd your politicians, and so do the whole clan o f the enlightened among us, essentially differ in these points. They have n o respect for the wisdom o f others, b ut they pay it off by a very full measure o f confidence in their own. With them it is a sufficient motive to destroy an old scheme o f things because it is a n old one. As to the new, they are in n o s ort o f fear with regard to the duration o f a building r un u p i n haste, because duration is n o object to those who think little o r n othing has been done before their time, and who place all their hopes in discovery. They conceive, very systematically, that all things which give p erpetuity are mischievous, and therefore they are at inexpiable war with all establishments. They think that government may vary like modes o f dress, and with as little ill effect; that there needs n o principle o f attachment, except a sense o f present convenience, to any constitution o f the state. They always speak as i f they were o f o pinion that there is a singular species o f compact between t hem a nd their magistrates which binds the magistrate, b ut which has nothing reciprocal in it, b ut t hat the majesty o f the people has a right to dissolve it without any reason b ut its will. Their attachment to their country itself is only so far as i t agrees with some o f t heir fleeting projects; it begins and ends with that scheme o f polity which falls in with their momentary opinion. These doctrines, o r r ather sentiments, seem prevalent with your new statesmen. But they are wholly different from those o n which we have always acted in this country. * causr * * 'P a wil plia- Thomas Paine s~ e ...t ...... . all IDDI Rja-- F ROM Rights o f Man * * * Mr. Burke talks about what he calls an hereditary crown, as i f i t were some production o f Nature; Opposing Views o f the Revolution 381 o r as if, like Time, it had a power to operate, n ot only independently, b ut i n spite o f man; o r as i f i t were a thing or a subject universally consented to. Alas! i t has none o f those properties, b ut is the reverse o f t hem all. It is a t hing in imagination, the propriety o f which is m ore than doubted, and the legality o f which in a few years will be denied. But, to arrange this matter in a clearer view t han what general expressions can convey, it will be necessary to state the distinct heads under which (what is called) an hereditary crown, or, more properly speaking, an hereditary succession to the Government o f a Nation, can be considered; which are, First, The right o f a particular Family to establish itself. Secondly, The right o f a Nation to establish a particular Family. With respect to the first o f these heads, that o f a Family establishing itself with hereditary powers o n its own authority, and independent o f the consent o f a Nation, all men will concur in calling it despotism; and it would be trespassing o n t heir understanding to attempt to prove it. But the second head, that o f a Nation establishing a particular Family with hereditary powers, does n ot present itself as despotism o n the first reflection; b ut i f m en will permit a second reflection to take place, and carry that reflection forward b ut one remove o ut o f their own persons to that o f their offspring, they will then see that hereditary succession becomes in its consequences the same despotism to others, which they reprobated for themselves. I t operates to preclude the consent o f the succeeding generation; and the preclusion o f consent is despotism. When the person who at any time shall be in possession o f a Government, o r those who stand in succession to him, shall say to a Nation, I hold this power in 'contempt' o f you, it signifies n ot o n what authority he pretends to say it. I t is n o relief, b ut a n aggravation to a person in slavery, to reflect that he was From Rights o f Man, Common Sense, a nd Other Political Writings, b y Thomas Paine (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995). 382 C HAPTER 18 T HE F RENCH R EVOLUTION sold by his parent; and as t hat which heightens the criminality o f an act cannot be produced to prove the legality o f it, hereditary succession cannot be established as a legal thing. In order to arrive at a more perfect decision o n this head, it will be proper to consider the generation which undertakes to establish a Family with hereditary powers, a part a nd separate from the generations which are to follow; and also to consider the character in which the first generation acts with respect to succeeding generations. The generation which first selects a person, a nd p uts h im a t the head o f its Government, either with the title o f King, or any other distinction, acts its o wn choice, be it wise o r foolish, as a free agent for itself. The person so set up is n ot hereditary, b ut selected and appointed; and the generation who sets him up, does n ot live u nder an hereditary government, b ut u nder a government o f its own choice and establishment. Were the generation who sets him up, and the person so let up, to live for ever, it never could become hereditary succession; and o f consequence, hereditary succession can only follow o n the death o f the first parties. As therefore hereditary succession is o ut o f the question with respect to the first generation, we have now to consider the character in which t hat generation acts with respect to the commencing generation, and to all succeeding ones. It assumes a character, to which it has neither right nor title. It changes itself from a Legislator to a Testator, a nd affects to make its Will, which is to have operation after the demise o f the makers, to bequeath the Government; and it not only attempts to bequeath, b ut to establish o n the succeeding generation, a new and different form o f government under which itself lived. Itself, as is already observed, lived not under an hereditary Government, b ut u nder a Government o f its own choice and establishment; and it now attempts, by virtue o f a will and testament, (and which it has not authority to make), to take from the commencing generation, a nd all future ones, the rights a nd free agency by which itself acted. But, exclusive o f t he right which any generation has to act collectively as a testator, the objects to which it applies itself in this case, are n ot within the compass o f any law, o r o f any will o r testament. The rights o f m en in society, are neither deviseable, n or transferable, n or annihilable, b ut are descendable only; and it is n ot i n the power o f any generation to intercept finally, and cut off the descent. If the present generation, or any other, are disposed to be slaves, it does n ot lessen the right o f t he succeeding generation to be free: wrongs cannot have a legal descent. When Mr. Burke attempts to maintain, that the English Nation did a t the Revolution o f 1688, most solemnly renounce and abdicate their rights for themselves, a nd for all their posterity for ever; he speaks a language that merits n ot reply, and which can only excite contempt for his prostitute principles, o r pity for his ignorance. In whatever light hereditary succession, as growing o ut o f the will and testament o f some former generation, presents itself, it is a n absurdity. A c annot make a will to take from B the property o f B, a nd give it to C; yet this is the manner in which (what is called) hereditary succession by law operates. A certain former generation made a will, to take away the rights o f the commencing generation, and all future ones, and convey those rights to a third person, who afterwards comes forward, a nd tells them, in Mr. Burke's language, that they have no rights, t hat their rights are already bequeathed to him, and that he will govern in c ontempt o f them. From such principles, and such ignorance, Good Lord deliver the world! But, after all, what is this metaphor called a crown, o r rather what is monarchy? Is it a thing, o r is i t a name, o r is it a fraud? Is it "a contrivance o f h uman wisdom;' o r o f h uman craft to obtain money from a nation under specious pretences? Is it a thing necessary to a nation? If it is, i n what does that necessity consist, what services does it perform, what is its business, and what are its merits? * * * It appears to be a something going much o ut o f fashion, falling into ridicule, and rejected in some countries both as unnecessary and expensive. In America it is considered as an absurdity; and in France it has so far declined, that the goodness o f the man, and the respect for his pa .~ R01 != ........ .... a~ .... b-al mall ell illlew CIKr . . en! I ~ ~i ~ ..... TODIJ T hill In . . WILLIAM W ORDSWORTH: hin st:a- deare any dea re ght 11gs a t- at md leir ts for Ce. as _._ D le pller by lea I iog . . .... ID5Ie nrs al- fill Ia l lfZ rts l ui ; il ills .. . re- .._ - personal character, are the only things that preserve the appearance o f its existence. * * * I f there is any thing in monarchy which we people o f America do not understand, I wish Mr. Burke would be so kind as to inform us. I see i n America, a government extending over a country ten times as large as England, a nd conducted with regularity, for a fortieth part o f the expence which government costs in England. If I ask a man in America, i f he wants a King? he retorts, and asks me if I take h im for an idiot? How is it that this difference happens? are we m ore o r less wise than o thers? I see i n America, the generality o f people living in a stile o f plenty unknown in monarchical countries; a nd I see t hat the principle o f its gov- F ROM The Prelude 383 ernment, which is t hat o f the equal Rights o f Man, is making a rapid progress in the world. * * * REVIEW Q UESTIONS 1. W hat is Burke's position o n t radition a nd monarchy, and what is Paine's response to it? 2. W hat is Burke's response to the Enlightenment and its primacy o f reason? 3. How does Paine characterize the use o f reason in politics? 4. How did the issue o f the French Revolution have a direct bearing o n British domestic politics in the 1790s? ...
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