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The Rights of Man | Chapter Summaries

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Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Part 1, Preface to the English Edition Paine first discusses his friendship with Edmund Burke, a fellow writer who took part in the American Revolution. Paine'... Read More
Part 1, Rights of Man Paine feels Burke's attack on the French Revolution is unprovoked and unpardonable. Burke once believed the French didn'... Read More
Part 1, Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizens The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen states the people of France have formed a national assembly. The... Read More
Part 1, Observation on the Declaration of Rights Paine points out the first three articles of the Declaration of Rights are comprehensive‚ÄĒeverything that follows origina... Read More
Part 1, Miscellaneous Chapter Paine takes Burke to task for his claim government stems from human wisdom while also claiming succession should be here... Read More
Part 1, Conclusion Mankind is governed equally by reason and ignorance. If reason governs, it obeys itself, and if ignorance governs, it su... Read More
Part 2, Preface Paine wrote this piece a year after the first part of Rights of Man was published. He waited to continue writing his tho... Read More
Part 2, Introduction America's independence from England would not have gained much attention if it hadn't also been accompanied by a revolut... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 1 The natural order of society and man would exist even without government because humans are mutually dependent on one an... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 2 It is no coincidence many governments throughout history have become obsolete, for they were built on violating the mora... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 3 The old systems of government assumed power through forceful means, but new systems of government delegate their power t... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 4 A constitution does not come from the government but from the people who constitute the government. A government without... Read More
Part 2, Chapter 5 America's revolution and subsequent new form of governing sparked a flame that will spread to other nations. Paine shows... Read More
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