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Rights and Revolution

Core reading

Keith M. Baker, ‘The Idea of a Declaration of Rights’ in Dale Van Kley (ed.), The French Idea of Freedom The Old Regime and the Declaration of the Rights of 1789 (Stanford: 1994).

Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Women (chaps 1-3, 9, 12-13)

Declarations of Rights of 1789, 1793, 1795; U.S. Bill of Rights

Laurent Dubois, A Colony of Citizens: Revolution & Slave Emancipation in the French Caribbean, 1787-1804 (North Carolina, 2006), introduction + chp 1 ‘Insurrection and the Language of Rights’, 1-30.


Further reading

Marcel Gauchet, ‘Rights of Man’ in François Furet and Mona Ozouf (eds.), Critical Dictionary of the French Revolution (Harvard: 1989). For those who read French, see his La Révolution des droits de l’homme (Gallimard, 1989).

Leonard W. Levy, The Origins of the Bill of Rights (Yale: 2001).

Wasserstrom et al (eds.), Human Rights in Revolution (Lantham: Rowman and Littlefield, 2007).

Friedrich von Gentz, The origin and principles of the American Revolution, compared with the origin and principles of the French Revolution. Translated from the German of ... by an American gentleman (1800) [available through library’s database: Eighteenth Century Collections Online]

Thomas Paine, Rights of Man; widely available online.For a good critical edition, see the one edited by Mark Philp (Oxford, 2009).

Jeremy Bentham, ‘Nonsense Upon Stilts…’ in Philip Schofield et. al (ed.), Rights, Representation and Reform: 'Nonsense Upon Stilts' and Other Writings on the French Revolution (New York: OUP, 2002), 317-402.

Dale Van Kley (ed.), The French Idea of Freedom The Old Regime and the Declaration of the Rights of 1789 (Stanford: 1994).

David A. Bell, The First Total War: Napoleon’s Europe and the Birth of Warfare as We Know It (Boston, 2007).

Jeremy Carroza, ‘From Conquest to Constitutions: Retrieving a Latin American Tradition of the Idea of Human Rights’, Human Rights Quarterly no. 25 (2003), 281-313.

Carla Hesse, The Other Enlightenment: How French Women Became Modern (Princeton: 2000).

Joan B. Landes, Women and the Public Sphere in the Age of the French Revolution (Cornell, 1988).

Olwen Hufton, Women and the Limits of Citizenship in the French Revolution (Toronto: 1999).

Jean-Pierre Gross, Fair Shares for All: Jacobin Egalitarianism in Practice (Cambridge, 1997).

Dan Edelstein, The Terror of Natural Right: Republicanism, the Cult of Nature, and the French Revolution (Chicago, 2008).

Mark Philp, Thomas Paine (Oxford, 2007)

Joannes Innes and Mark Philp (eds.), Re-imagining Democracy in the Age of Revolutions: America, France, Britain, Ireland 1750-1850 (Oxford, 2013).

Charles Walton, Policing Public Opinion in the French Revolution: The Culture of Calumny and the Problem of Free Speech (Oxford, 2009).

Jeremy D. Popkin, You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery (Cambridge, 2010). Compare this interpretation of slave abolition with L. Dubois’s (above).