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Human rights

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Human rights are the basic rights enjoyed by every human being regardless of nationality, social standing, race, gender, or religion. The idea of universal human rights is a product of Enlightenment political thinking[Fact?] and was central to the important political and social changes brought into being during the three revolutions which occurred in the Atlantic world in the later part of the eighteenth century: the American Revolution, the French Revolution and the Saint-Domingue Revolution.

On 10 December 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In America

Human rights were said by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence to be the inalienable gift of the Creator God, and include the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness--which may have an allusion to philosopher John Locke, who is commonly cited as a promoter of the right to "life, liberty, and property" (although Locke apparently never used this precise phrase).[1] The Constitution went further to recognize the right to free speech, a free press, the free exercise of religion, the freedom to assemble peacefully, the right to equal treatment under the law, and the right to be secure from unreasonable search, among others.

Human rights were not created by America; rather, America's birth was, at least in part, generated and shaped by the founding fathers' conception of human rights.


  1. Greene, Jack P. and Pole, J.R. 'A Companion to the American Revolution'. Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2000.
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