The West Human Rights

1445 WordsAug 27, 20146 Pages
In the West human rights were born in the modern age as a result of the Industrial Revolution and thrived in the age of the “liberal state.” With the establishment and consolidation of modern democratic political structure since the late eighteenth century, the value of individual freedom was substantiated and power of individuals recognized. Consequently, the mentality instilled in people for centuries that the sovereignty belongs to the ruler broke off and was replaced by the new mindset that the nation is rooted in people. It was John Locke (1632-1704) who first set rights on the political agenda. He asserted that every man has the right “to preserve his life, liberty and estate” (Locke, 1962, p. 87). This ideal was later echoed and embodied in the American Declaration of Independence (1776) and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen (1789). Rights were believed to be given by the Creator to human beings, not by the state to citizen. As the US Bill of Rights prescribed in its first Article: No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Bills of Rights were first issued in America and France and quickly spread throughout the Western world. The significance of rights discourse in the Western

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