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A False Tree of LibertyHuman Rights in Radical Thought$
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Susan Marks

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199675456

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199675456.001.0001

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The French Revolution Controversy

The French Revolution Controversy

(p.95) 5 The French Revolution Controversy
A False Tree of Liberty

Susan Marks

Oxford University Press

The rights of man ‘arrived’ in England, in the sense of beginning to circulate in public discourse and becoming a topic on which people staked out positions, during the final decade of the eighteenth century. The context was debate over the significance of the French Revolution for England (the ‘Revolution controversy’). This chapter initiates discussion of the contested meaning of the rights of man in that debate, examining contributions by Richard Price, Edmund Burke, Mary Wollstonecraft and Thomas Paine. A vision of the rights of man emerges as the rights of the living to control the political community of which those latter are a part.

Keywords:   rights of man, Revolution Controversy, Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, Mary Wollstonecraft, Richard Price

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