One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Rights held to be justifiably belonging to any person; human rights. The phrase is associated with the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, adopted by the French National Assembly in 1789 and used as a preface to the French Constitution of 1791.
- ‘The unrestrained communication of thoughts and opinions being one of the most precious rights of man, every citizen may speak, write, and publish freely, provided he is responsible for the abuse of this liberty in cases determined by law.’
- ‘This last point may recall Karl Marx's famous critique of the ways in which a democratic constitution formally committed to the rights of man and citizen may distort perceptions of injustice, and so blunt demands for social change.’
- ‘Burke stood for a set of historically defined political rights that were specific to a certain group of people, but the Declaration of Independence had set out an entirely different perspective - the universal rights of man.’
- ‘Both fought for infant republics and the rights of man against the excesses of monarchy.’
- ‘But human rights, a key concern in the country that spawned the declaration of the rights of man in 1789, overshadowed the official agenda.’
- ‘As Hannah Arendt assessed it a half-century ago, the decline of nation-state sovereignty was accompanied by the decline of the rights of man.’
- ‘That is, government exists to guarantee the natural and inalienable rights of man: life, liberty, and property.’
- ‘After a brief spell, the French decided the universal rights of man did not apply to non-white people.’
- ‘The left worries about the universal rights of man, whereas the right worries about preserving nationalistic tradition and culture.’
- ‘The spontaneous proliferation of the Jacobin clubs, with their high-minded commitment to the rights of man and the citizen, reflected this inspiration.’
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