Looking back it is not hard to see that the French Revolution was the catalyst that instituted a new world standard that said it was wrong to have enforced slavery, and all of mankind is created equal no matter of color or sex. However, this is not something that happened overnight, it took some years to figure out how and why this should be implemented and what the short-term and long-term impacts would be. These debates became lively as people argued for and against the ending of the slave trade, the abolition of slavery and the equal rights of all men and woman.
One must begin by looking at the intent of the revolution in France, and this intent can be seen in the document for rights that was composed on August 26th, 1789. One of these rights was that “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be based only on common utility” (National Assembly, Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, Hunt, 77). Focusing on this first amendment of rights that is going to be granted to all men, there were questions that needed to be pondered to properly enact this equality. One of these questions would be how the term ‘men’ is defined and this question was the cause of a lot of controversy.
First is to look at the male black slaves, if we define ‘men’ by the sexual aspect of the word. Looking at this long standing argument, an early activist can be seen in 1781 named Condorcet and he wrote, “Reducing a man to slavery, buying him, selling him, keeping him in servitude; these are truly crimes, and crimes worst then theft” (Condorcet, Reflections of Negro Slavery, Hunt, 56). Here Condorcet is identifying that no man should have slavery enforced on him. In 178...
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... creating new revolutionary ideals and finally implementing these ideals during the Revolution in France history was being changed. These debates, these arguments, and these ideals would become the catalyst that propelled the ideal of freedom and equal rights around the world. For the next two hundred plus years, the discussion of freedom and equal rights has been accepted by the majority of the world, and the United Nations has addressed these issues in global laws requiring equal rights worldwide. Sadly, there are still nations and people that fight these battles for equality today. Lots of countries in the Middle East still consider women as inferior, and many countries are fighting against illegal labor slaves, sex slaves, and child slaves. It continues to be a battle, but the majority of the world followed in the footsteps of the French Revolutionary ideals.
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