Student will submit a summary (150-200 words in length each) of two document excerpts, listed in the week 8 assignments section, and your personal comments/reaction (150-200 words) for each document summary. Please read the instructions on how to complete the document summary assignment BEFORE posting the assignment so that you submit a complete assignment.
1.Christopher Columbus: Extracts from Journal: https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/Halsall/source/col… (Links to an external site.)
2.Niccolo Machiavelli: The Prince [excerpts], 1513 http://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/halsall/source/prince-excerp.asp
“Declaration of the Rights of Man, 1789”
Summary: This document is a translation of the “Declaration of the Rights of Man (Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen).” It is a collection of articles that was passed by the French National Assembly in August of 1789 and served as the core of the popular revolution. The lede paragraph acts as an introduction to the philosophy of the authors, as well as a statement of the document’s intent. From there it moves to the declaration of seventeen articles. The first is a statement that all people are born equal, and that discrimination is abhorrent. The second article promises them safety, possession, and freedom. The third prevents non-government actors from making or enforcing law. The fourth through sixth articles state that law is of the people, and that law should not forbid actions that have no victim. The next three promises due process, the presumption of innocence, and fair treatment. Articles ten and eleven amount to a promise of free speech and safe critique of the government. Article twelve though fourteen establish a national military under the sole control of the government, who’s funding is controlled by the public through their representatives. The final three state that the government must remain transparent and accountable to the public. Moreover, that the government has the right to relieve a citizen of their property when such action is justified.
Comments: At first this statement would appear to be heavily influenced by the events and commentary unfolding in America. Many of the same standards and promises are echoed in the Declaration of Independence. However, our text smartly links the common thread between the two movements: The Enlightenment. All of these ideas are the evolution of realist and experimentalist philosophy. The pursuit of the New Sciences fostered several generations of results-oriented society. These people came to realize that the most successful society was the one that balanced respect and demands. They found humanism to be as much a tool of commerce as one of moral action. It did not take the average observer long to dissect the power moves made by the crown and church. That disenfranchisement drove them to embrace these articles that are almost the antithesis of a monarchy. I say “almost” because the royalty were not caricatures of authoritarianism. They still had to work with the population to some degree if they had any interest of keeping their heads. I had known the basic statements of the revolution previously, but this was the first time I have read them fully. Yet again, the French set about dragging the rest of Europe into the future.