The Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution inspired people around the world. In 1789, the French Revolution began. French revolutionaries issued the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen.
“Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may be founded only upon the general good.
The aim of all political association is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.”
After a slave revolt, the French colony of Haiti became the second independent nation in the Americas. Other Latin American nations soon followed. Haitian leaders issued their own Declaration of Independence in 1804.
“We must, with one last act of national authority, forever assure the empire of liberty in the country of our birth; we must take any hope of re-enslaving us away from the inhuman government that for so long kept us in the most humiliating torpor. In the end we must live independent or die.”
Toussaint L'Ouverture, leader of the rebellion that led to Haiti's independence
Liberia, on the west coast of Africa, was founded as a colony for freed American slaves. In 1847, Liberia also issued a Declaration of Independence.
“We recognize in all men certain inalienable rights; among these are life, liberty, and the right to acquire, possess, enjoy, and defend property. By the practice and consent of men in all ages, some system or form of government is proved to be necessary to exercise, enjoy, and secure their rights….”
Identify at least three similarities between these documents and the Declaration of Independence. Why do you think the American Revolution and the Declaration had an impact around the world?