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Rights of Man, The

Rights of Man, The (Part I 1791; Part II 1792). Thomas Paine's defence of the principles of the French Revolution against the attack launched by Edmund Burke in his Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790). Part I traced the origins of the Revolution and explicated the Declaration of the Rights of Man made by the National Assembly. Part II denounced the hereditary system, prophesied the immediate overthrow of the monarchy, argued that the only defensible form of government was representative democracy, and sketched the outlines of a system of state welfare. For these views Paine was indicted for treason by the British government, and hurriedly left England for France to take up his seat in the National Convention as the elected member for the département of Calais.

Tim S. Gray

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