Liberté, égalité, fraternité (French pronunciation: [libɛʁte eɡalite fʁatɛʁnite] ), French for "liberty, equality, fraternity", is the national motto of France and the Republic of Haiti, and is an example of a tripartite motto. Although it finds its origins in the French Revolution, it was then only one motto among others and was not institutionalized until the Third Republic at the end of the 19th century. Debates concerning the compatibility and order of the three terms began at the same time as the Revolution. It is also the motto of the Grand Orient de France and the Grande Loge de France.
French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.
Broadly speaking, liberty is the ability to do as one pleases. In modern politics, liberty is the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views. In philosophy, liberty involves free will as contrasted with determinism. In theology, liberty is freedom from the effects of "sin, spiritual servitude, [or] worldly ties". Sometimes liberty is differentiated from freedom by using the word "freedom" primarily, if not exclusively, to mean the ability to do as one wills and what one has the power to do; and using the word "liberty" to mean the absence of arbitrary restraints, taking into account the rights of all involved. In this sense, the exercise of liberty is subject to capability and limited by the rights of others. Thus liberty entails the responsible use of freedom under the rule of law without depriving anyone else of their freedom. Freedom is more broad in that it represents a total lack of restraint or the unrestrained ability to fulfill one's desires. For example, a person can have the freedom to murder, but not have the liberty to murder, as the latter example deprives others of their right not to be harmed. Liberty can be taken away as a form of punishment. In many countries, people can be deprived of their liberty if they are convicted of criminal acts.
Social equality is a state of affairs in which all people within a specific society or isolated group have the same status in certain respects, possibly including civil rights, freedom of speech, property rights and equal access to certain social goods and social services. However, it may also include health equality, economic equality and other social securities. Social equality requires the absence of legally enforced social class or caste boundaries and the absence of discrimination motivated by an inalienable part of a person's identity. For example, sex, gender, race, age, sexual orientation, origin, caste or class, income or property, language, religion, convictions, opinions, health or disability must absolutely not result in unequal treatment under the law and should not reduce opportunities unjustifiably.
The first to express this motto was Maximilien Robespierre in his speech "On the organization of the National Guard" (French : Discours sur l'organisation des gardes nationales) on 5 December 1790, article XVI, and disseminated widely throughout France by the popular Societies.
Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre was a French lawyer and politician who was one of the best known and most influential figures of the French Revolution. As a member of the Constituent Assembly and the Jacobin Club, he campaigned for universal manhood suffrage, and the abolition of both celibacy for the clergy and of slavery. Robespierre was an outspoken advocate for the citizens without a voice, for their unrestricted admission to the National Guard, to public offices, and for the right to carry arms in self-defence. Robespierre played an important part in the agitation which brought about the fall of the French monarchy in August 1792 and the summoning of a National Convention.
Discours sur l'organisation des gardes nationales
On their uniforms engraved these words: FRENCH PEOPLE, & below: LIBERTY, EQUALITY, FRATERNITY. The same words are inscribed on flags which bear the three colors of the nation.
(French: XVI. Elles porteront sur leur poitrine ces mots gravés : LE PEUPLE FRANÇAIS, & au-dessous : LIBERTÉ, ÉGALITÉ, FRATERNITÉ. Les mêmes mots seront inscrits sur leurs drapeaux, qui porteront les trois couleurs de la nation.)
Credit for the motto has been given also to Antoine-François Momoro (1756–94), a Parisian printer and Hébertist organizer, : Unité, Indivisibilité de la République; Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité ou la mort) and suggested by a resolution of the Paris Commune (member of which Momoro was elected by his section du Théâtre-Français) on 29 June 1793 to be inscribed on Parisian house-fronts and imitated by the inhabitants of other cities. In 1839, the philosopher Pierre Leroux claimed it had been an anonymous and popular creation. [ page needed ] The historian Mona Ozouf underlines that, although Liberté and Égalité were associated as a motto during the 18th century, Fraternité wasn't always included in it, and other terms, such as Amitié (Friendship), Charité (Charity) or Union were often added in its place.though in different context of foreign invasion and Federalist revolts in 1793, it was modified to "Unity, indivisibility of the Republic; liberty, equality, brotherhood or death" (French
Antoine-François Momoro was a French printer, bookseller and politician during the French Revolution. An important figure in the Cordeliers club and in Hébertisme, he is the originator of the phrase ″Unité, Indivisibilité de la République; Liberté, égalité, fraternité ou la mort″, one of the mottoes of the French Republic.
The Hébertists, or Exaggerators were a radical revolutionary political group associated with the populist journalist Jacques Hébert, a member of the Cordeliers club. They came to power during the Reign of Terror and played a significant role in the French Revolution.
The Federalist revolts were uprisings that broke out in various parts of France in the summer of 1793, during the French Revolution. They were prompted by resentments in France's provincial cities about increasing centralisation of power in Paris, and increasing radicalisation of political authority in the hands of the Jacobins. In most of the country the trigger for uprising was the exclusion of the Girondins from the Convention after the Insurrection of 31 May – 2 June 1793. Although they shared common origins and political objectives, the revolts were not centrally organised or well-coordinated. The revolts failed to win any sustained popular support and were put down by the armies of the Convention over the following months. The Reign of Terror was then imposed across France to punish those associated with them and to enforce Jacobin ideology.
The emphasis on Fraternité during the French Revolution led Olympe de Gouges, a female journalist, to write the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen [ page needed ] as a response. The tripartite motto was neither a creative collection, nor really institutionalized by the French Revolution. As soon as 1789, other terms were used, such as "la Nation, la Loi, le Roi" (The Nation, The Law, The King), or "Union, Force, Vertu" (Union, Strength, Virtue), a slogan used beforehand by masonic lodges, or "Force, Égalité, Justice" (Strength, Equality, Justice), "Liberté, Sûreté, Propriété" (Liberty, Security, Property), etc.
Olympe de Gouges, born Marie Gouze, was a French playwright and political activist whose writings on women's rights and abolitionism reached a large audience in various countries.
Freemasonry or Masonry consists of fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons that from the end of the fourteenth century regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients. The degrees of Freemasonry retain the three grades of medieval craft guilds, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow, and Master Mason. The candidate of these three degrees is progressively taught the meanings of the symbols of Freemasonry, and entrusted with grips, signs and words to signify to other members that he has been so initiated. The degrees are part allegorical morality play and part lecture. Three degrees are offered by Craft Freemasonry, and members of any of these degrees are known as Freemasons or Masons. There are additional degrees, which vary with locality and jurisdiction, and are usually administered by their own bodies.
In other words, liberté, égalité, fraternité was only one slogan among many others.During the Jacobin revolutionary period itself, various mottos were used, such as liberté, unité, égalité (liberty, unity, equality); liberté, égalité, justice (liberty, equality, justice); liberté, raison, égalité (liberty, reason, equality), etc. The only solid association was that of liberté and égalité, fraternité being ignored by the Cahiers de doléances as well as by the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. It was only alluded to in the 1791 Constitution, as well as in Robespierre's draft Declaration of 1793, placed under the invocation of (in that order) égalité, liberté, sûreté and propriété (equality, liberty, safety, property—though it was used not as a motto, but as articles of declaration), as the possibility of a universal extension of the Declaration of Rights: "Men of all countries are brothers, he who oppresses one nation declares himself the enemy of all." Finally, it did not figure in the August 1793 Declaration.
The Cahiers de doléances were the lists of grievances drawn up by each of the three Estates in France, between March and April 1789, the year in which the French Revolution began. Their compilation was ordered by King Louis XVI, who had convened the Estates-General of 1789 to manage the revolutionary situation, to give each of the Estates – the First Estate, the Second Estate and the Third Estate, which consisted of everyone else, including the urban working class, the rural peasantry, and middle class and professional people, who were the only ones in the group likely to have their voices heard – the chance to express their hopes and grievances directly to the King. They were explicitly discussed at a special meeting of the Estates-General held on May 5, 1789. Many of these lists have survived and provide considerable information about the state of the country on the eve of the revolution. The documents recorded criticisms of government waste, indirect taxes, church taxes and corruption, and the hunting rights of the aristocracy.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, set by France's National Constituent Assembly in 1789, is a human civil rights document from the French Revolution.
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789 defined liberty in Article 4 as follows:
Liberty consists of being able to do anything that does not harm others: thus, the exercise of the natural rights of every man or woman has no bounds other than those that guarantee other members of society the enjoyment of these same rights.
Equality, on the other hand, was defined by the 1789 Declaration in terms of judicial equality and merit-based entry to government (art. 6):
[The law] must be the same for all, whether it protects or punishes. All citizens, being equal in its eyes, shall be equally eligible to all high offices, public positions and employments, according to their ability, and without other distinction than that of their virtues and talents.
Liberté, égalité, fraternité actually finds its origins in a May 1791 proposition by the Club des Cordeliers , following a speech on the Army by the marquis de Guichardin.A British marine held prisoner on the French ship Le Marat in 1794 wrote home in letters published in 1796:
The republican spirit is inculcated not in songs only, for in every part of the ship I find emblems purposely displayed to awaken it. All the orders relating to the discipline of the crew are hung up, and prefaced by the words Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, ou la Mort, written in capital letters.
The compatibility of liberté and égalité was not doubted in the first days of the Revolution, and the problem of the antecedence of one term on the other not lifted.Thus, the Abbé Sieyès considered that only liberty ensured equality, unless the latter was to be the equality of all dominated by a despot; while liberty followed equality ensured by the rule of law. The abstract generality of law (theorized by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in The Social Contract ) thus ensured the identification of liberty to equality, liberty being negatively defined as an independence from arbitrary rule, and equality considered abstractly in its judicial form.
This identification of liberty and equality became problematic during the Jacobin period, when equality was redefined (for instance by François-Noël Babeuf) as equality of results, and not only judicial equality of rights.Thus, Marc Antoine Baudot considered that French temperament inclined rather to equality than liberty, a theme which would be re-used by Pierre Louis Roederer and Alexis de Tocqueville, while Jacques Necker considered that an equal society could only be found on coercion.
The third term, fraternité, was the most problematic to insert in the triad, as it belonged to another sphere, that of moral obligations rather than rights, links rather than statutes, harmony rather than contract, and community rather than individuality.Various interpretations of fraternité existed. The first one, according to Mona Ozouf, was one of "fraternité de rébellion" (Fraternity of Rebellion), that is the union of the deputies in the Jeu de Paume Oath of June 1789, refusing the dissolution ordered by the King Louis XVI: "We swear never to separate ourselves from the National Assembly, and to reassemble wherever circumstances require, until the constitution of the realm is drawn up and fixed upon solid foundations." Fraternity was thus issued from Liberty and oriented by a common cause.
Another form of fraternité was that of the patriotic Church, which identified social link with religious link and based fraternity on Christian brotherhood. [ page needed ] Thus, two senses of Fraternity: "one, that followed liberty and equality, was the object of a free pact; the other preceded liberty and equality as the mark on its work of the divine craftsman."In this second sense, fraternité preceded both liberté and égalité, instead of following them as in the first sense.
Another hesitation concerning the compatibility of the three terms arose from the opposition between liberty and equality as individualistic values, and fraternity as the realization of a happy community, devoided of any conflicts and opposed to any form of egotism.This fusional interpretation of Fraternity opposed it to the project of individual autonomy and manifested the precedence of Fraternity on individual will.
In this sense, it was sometimes associated with death, as in Fraternité, ou la Mort! (Fraternity or Death!), excluding liberty and even equality, by establishing a strong dichotomy between those who were brothers and those who were not (in the sense of "you are with me or against me", brother or foe). [ page needed ] Louis de Saint-Just thus stigmatized Anarchasis Cloots' cosmopolitanism, declaring "Cloots liked the universe, except France."
With Thermidor and the execution of Robespierre, fraternité disappeared from the slogan, reduced to the two terms of liberty and equality, re-defined again as simple judicial equality and not as the equality upheld by the sentiment of fraternity.The First Consul (Napoleon Bonaparte) then established the motto liberté, ordre public (liberty, public order).
Following Napoleon's rule, the triptych dissolved itself, as none believed possible to conciliate individual liberty and equality of rights with equality of results and fraternity.The idea of individual sovereignty and of natural rights possessed by man before being united in the collectivity contradicted the possibility of establishing a transparent and fraternal community. Liberals accepted liberty and equality, defining the latter as equality of rights and ignoring fraternity.
Early socialists rejected an independent conception of liberty, opposed to the social, and also despised equality, as they considered, as Fourier, that one had only to orchestrate individual discordances, to harmonize them, or they believed, as Saint-Simon, that equality contradicted equity by a brutal levelling of individualities.Utopian socialism thus only valued fraternity, which was, in Cabet's Icarie the sole commandment.
This opposition between liberals and socialists was mirrored in rival historical interpretations of the Revolution, liberals admiring 1789, and socialists 1793.The July Revolution of 1830, establishing a constitutional monarchy headed by Louis-Philippe, substituted ordre et liberté (order and liberty) to the Napoleonic motto Liberté, Ordre public. Despite this apparent disappearance of the triptych, the latter was still being thought in some underground circles, in Republican secret societies, masonic lodges such as the "Indivisible Trinity," far-left booklets or during the Canuts Revolt in Lyon. In 1834, the lawyer of the Society of the Rights of Man (Société des droits de l'homme), Dupont, a liberal sitting in the far-left during the July Monarchy, associated the three terms together in the Revue Républicaine which he edited:
Any man aspires to liberty, to equality, but he can not achieve it without the assistance of other men, without fraternity
The triptych resurfaced during the 1847 Campagne des Banquets , upheld for example in Lille by Ledru-Rollin.
Two interpretations had attempted to conciliate the three terms, beyond the antagonism between liberals and socialists. One was upheld by Catholic traditionalists, such as Chateaubriand or Ballanche, the other by socialist and republicans such as Pierre Leroux.Chateaubriand thus gave a Christian interpretation of the revolutionary motto, stating in the 1841 conclusion to his Mémoires d'outre-tombe:
Far from being at its term, the religion of the Liberator is now only just entering its third phase, the political period, liberty, equality, fraternity
Neither Chateaubriand nor Ballanche considered the three terms to be antagonistic. Rather, they took them for being the achievement of Christianity. On the other hand, Pierre Leroux did not disguise the difficulties of associating the three terms, but superated it by considering liberty as the aim, equality as the principle and fraternity as the means.Leroux thus ordered the motto as Liberty, Fraternity, Equality, an order also supported by Christian socialists, such as Buchez.
Against this new order of the triptych, Michelet supported the traditional order, maintaining the primordial importance of an original individualistic right. [ page needed ] and thus the rival traditions of socialism and liberalism. The republican tradition would strongly inspire itself from Michelet's synchretism.Michelet attempted to conciliate a rational communication with a fraternal communication, "right beyond right",
With the 1848 February Revolution, the motto was officially adopted,mainly under the pressure of the people who had attempted to impose the red flag over the tricolor flag (the 1791 red flag was, however, the symbol of martial law and of order, not of insurrection). Lamartine opposed popular aspirations, and in exchange of the maintaining of the tricolor flag, conceded the Republican motto of Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, written on the flag, on which a red rosette was also to be added.
Fraternity was then considered to resume and to contain both Liberty and Equality, being a form of civil religion (which, far from opposing itself to Christianity, was associated with it in 1848 [ page needed ]) establishing social link (as called for by Rousseau in the conclusion of the Social Contract).
However, Fraternity was not devoid of its previous sense of opposition between brothers and foes, images of blood haunting revolutionary Christian publications, taking in Lamennais' themes.Thus, the newspaper Le Christ républicain (The Republican Christ) developed the idea of the Christ bringing forth peace to the poor and war to the rich.
As soon as 6 January 1852, the future Napoleon III, first President of the Republic, ordered all prefects to erase the triptych from all official documents and buildings, conflated with insurrection and disorder.Auguste Comte applauded Napoleon, claiming equality to be the "symbol of metaphysical anarchism", and preferring to it his diptych "ordre et progrès" ("order and progress", which would then become the motto of Brazil, Ordem e Progresso). On the other hand, Proudhon criticized fraternity as an empty word, which he associated with idealistic dreams of Romanticism. He preferred to it the sole term of liberty.
Pache, mayor of the Paris Commune, painted the formula "Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité, ou la mort" on the walls of the commune. It was only under the Third Republic that the motto was made official. It was then not dissociated with insurrection and revolutionary ardours, Opportunist Republicans such as Jules Ferry or Gambetta adapting it to the new political conditions.Larousse's Dictionnaire universel deprived fraternity of its "evangelistic halo" (Mona Ozouf), conflating it with solidarity and the welfare role of the state.
Some still opposed the Republican motto, such as the nationalist Charles Maurras in his Dictionnaire politique et critique, who claimed liberty to be an empty dream, equality an insanity, and only kept fraternity.Charles Péguy, renewing with Lamennais' thought, kept fraternity and liberty, excluding equality, seen as an abstract repartition between individuals reduced to homogeneity, opposing "fraternity" as a sentiment put in motion by "misery", while equality only interested itself, according to him, to the mathematical solution of the problem of "poverty."
Péguy identified Christian charity and socialist solidarity in this conception of fraternity.On the other hand, Georges Vacher de Lapouge, the most important French author of pseudo-scientific racism and supporter of eugenism, completely rejected the republican triptych, adopting another motto, "déterminisme, inégalité, sélection" (determinism, inequality, selection). But, according to Ozouf, the sole use of a triptych was the sign of the influence of the republican motto, despite it being corrupted in its opposite.
During the German occupation of France in World War II, this motto was replaced by the reactionary phrase " travail, famille, patrie " (work, family, fatherland)by Marshal Pétain, who became the leader of the new Vichy French government in 1940. Pétain had taken this motto from the colonel de la Rocque's Parti social français (PSF), although the latter considered it more appropriate for a movement than for a regime.
Following the Liberation, the Provisional Government of the French Republic (GPRF) re-established the Republican motto Liberté, égalité, fraternité, which is incorporated into both the 1946 and the 1958 French constitutions.
Many other nations have adopted the French slogan of "liberty, equality, and fraternity" as an ideal. These words appear in the preamble to the Constitution of India, enforced in 1950. Since its founding, "Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood" has been the lemma of the Social Democratic Party of Denmark. In the United Kingdom the political party the Liberal Democrats refer to "the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community" in the preamble of the party's Federal Constitution, and this is printed on party membership cards.
The Philippine national flag has a rectangular design that consists of a white equilateral triangle, symbolizing liberty, equality, and fraternity; a horizontal blue stripe for peace, truth, and justice; and a horizontal red stripe for patriotism and valor . In the center of the white triangle is an eight- rayed golden sun symbolizing unity, freedom, people's democracy, and sovereignty.
The idea of the slogan "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" has also given an influence as natural law to the First Article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
At one point the motto was put on in 1905, following the French law on the separation of the state and the church, on churches controlled by the French republic, rather than the Catholic Church.
Some former colonies of the French Republic (such as Haiti, Chad, Niger, and Gabon) have adopted similar three-word mottos.
The terms are also referred to in the film trilogy Three Colors by Krzysztof Kieślowski.
The Reign of Terror, or The Terror, refers to a period during the French Revolution after the First French Republic was established in which multiple massacres and public executions occurred in response to revolutionary fervor, anti-clerical sentiment, and frivolous accusations of treason by Maximilien Robespierre and his Committee of Public Safety.
"La Brabançonne" is the national anthem of Belgium. The originally-French title refers to Brabant; the name is usually maintained untranslated in Belgium's other two official languages, Dutch and German.
François-René, vicomte de Chateaubriand, was a French writer, politician, diplomat and historian who founded Romanticism in French literature. Descended from an old aristocratic family from Brittany, Chateaubriand was a royalist by political disposition. In an age when a number of intellectuals turned against the Church, he authored the Génie du christianisme in defense of the Catholic faith. His works include the autobiography Mémoires d'Outre-Tombe, published posthumously in 1849–1850.
The Society of the Friends of the Constitution, after 1792 renamed Society of the Jacobins, Friends of Freedom and Equality, commonly known as the Jacobin Club or simply the Jacobins, became the most influential political club during the French Revolution of 1789 and following. The period of their political ascendency includes the Reign of Terror, during which time well over ten thousand people were put on trial and executed in France, many for political crimes.
Equality may refer to:
Eleftheria i thanatos is the motto of Greece.
The Great Seal of France is the official seal of the French Republic.
Liberté may refer to:
Fire in the Minds of Men: Origins of the Revolutionary Faith is a book about the spread of ideas written by James H. Billington, historian and Librarian of Congress. The book analyzes the ideas that inspired European revolutionary movements from the 1700s to the 1900s.
Travail, famille, patrie was the tripartite motto of the French State during World War II. It replaced the republican motto, Liberté, égalité, fraternité of the Third French Republic.
The Campagne des banquets were political meetings during the July Monarchy in France which destabilized the King of the French Louis-Philippe. The campaign officially took place from 9 July 1847 to 25 December 1847, but in fact continued until the February 1848 Revolution during which the Second Republic was proclaimed. During this campaign, the Republican triptych Liberté, égalité, fraternité resurfaced, for example in Lille with Ledru-Rollin.
The Elferrat is the council of a kingdom of fools in a carnival.
The Church of Notre-Dame-de-Lorette is a neoclassical church in the 9th arrondissement of Paris.
National symbols of France are emblems of the French nation, and are the cornerstone of the republican tradition.
In philosophy, fraternity is a kind of ethical relationship between people, which is based on love and solidarity. A synonym of fraternity is brotherhood.
The Society of the Rights of Man, was a French republican association with Jacobin roots, formed during the July Revolution in 1830, replacing another republican association, the Society of the Friends of the People. It played a major role in the June riots of 1832 in Paris and the July Monarchy.
La Nation, la Loi, le Roi was the national motto of France during the constitutional period of the French monarchy, and is an example of a tripartite motto – much like the popular revolutionary slogan; Liberté, égalité, fraternité.
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La fraternité comme unité et cohésion de la société