Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité – was the slogan of the French Revolution (1789 – 1799), and it stands for liberty, equality, and fraternity. The revolution fought for these ideals and changed the course of history. Today, France is a republic, and its constitution encourages these principles.
Meaning of the French Revolution Slogan
The first word of the republican motto is Liberté means “liberty.” According to article 4 of the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen, freedom is defined as follows:
“Freedom consists in the ability to do anything that does not harm another”
The second word of the motto is Égalité means “equality.” According to article 6 of the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen, equality is defined as follows:
“All citizens are equal before him and therefore have equal access to all posts, public offices and occupations according to their ability and without any other distinction than that due to their virtues and abilities”
The third word of the motto is Fraternité means “brotherhood.” According to article 1 of the Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen, brotherhood is defined as follows:
“Do not do to others what you would not want to receive yourself; do to others such good deeds as you would like to do to yourself”
The Driving Forces of the Revolution
Three main forces prepared the French Revolution. The first were the French peasants, who found it very difficult to pay feudal duties; the second was the City’s population – artisans, workers, and working people. The third force was the bourgeoisie, which owned industrial enterprises and was engaged in entrepreneurship.
All of them were united by the motto of France: “Liberty, fraternity, equality.” All these forces were unanimous in that the king should be removed from power and a constitution should be given to the people, which would list the rights of man and citizen.
But there were also disagreements. Thus, representatives of the bourgeoisie believed that freedom, fraternity, and equality were good up to a certain point. Then you can begin to concentrate capital and wealth on the one hand.
Do you know – The Motto Popularized by Maximilian Robespierre
For the first time, the motto ‘Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité’ appeared in Maximilian Robespierre’s speech “On the Organization of the National Guard” given on December 5, 1790, in the National Assembly. This speech helped form the decree of April 27-28, 1791.
Robespierre suggests that the motto be inscribed on the tricolor banner of the National Guard. The speech was printed and distributed throughout France, which helped to popularize it widely and became the motto of the entire French Revolution.
I hope you got to know what is the slogan of the French revolution and the meaning of the three words of the motto.