Commonplace Book – Pages 70-72
Excerpt from the Antiquarian Repertory
First, the citizens’ children walked before her magnificently dressed, after followed gentlemen habited in velvets of all sorts, some black, others in white, yellow, violet, and carnation; others wore satins or taffety, and some damasks of all colours, having plenty of gold buttons; afterwards followed the Mayor, with the City Companies, and the chiefs or masters of the several trades; after them, the Lords, richly habited, and the most considerate knights; next came the ladies, married and single, in the midst of whom was the Queen herself, mounted on a small while ambling nag, the housings of which were fringed with gold thread; about her were six lacqueys, habited in vests of gold.
The Queen herself was dressed in violet velvet, and was then about forty years of age, and rather fresh coloured. Before her were six lords bareheaded, each carrying in his hand a yellow mace, and some other bearing the arms and crown. Behind her followed the archers, as well as of the fist as the second guard.
She was followed by her sister, named Madame Elizabeth, in truth a beautiful Princess, who was also accompanied by ladies both married and single.
The representatives of the French people, organized in the National Assembly, considering that ignorance, forgetfulness or contempt of the rights of man are the sole causes of the public miseries and of the corruption of governments, have resolved to set forth in a solemn declaration the natural, inalienable, and sacred rights of man, in order that this declaration, being ever present to all the members of the social body, may unceasingly remind them of their rights and their duties; in order that the acts of the legislative power and those of the executive power may be each moment compared with the aim of every political institution and thereby may be more respected; and in order that the demands of the citizens, grounded henceforth upon simple and incontestable principles, may always take the direction of maintaining the constitution and the welfare of all.
In consequence, the National Assembly recognizes and declares, in the presence and under the auspices of the Supreme Being, the following rights of man and of the citizen.
1. Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions can be based only upon public utility.
2. The aim of every political association is the preservation of the natural and inprescriptable rights of man. These rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance to oppression.
3. The source of all sovereignty is essentially in the nation; no body, no individual can exercise authority that does not proceed from it in plain terms.
4. Liberty consists in the power to do anything that does not injure others; accordingly, the exercise of the natural rights of each man has for its only limits those that secure to the other members of society the enjoyment of these same rights. These limits can be determined only law.
5. The law has the rights to forbid only such actions as are injurious to society. Nothing can be forbidden that is not interdicted by the law, and no one can constrained to do that which it does not order.
6. Law is the expression of the general will. All citizens have the right to take part personally or by their representatives in its formation. It must be the same for all, whether eligible to all public dignities, places, and employments, according to their capacities, and without other distinction than that of their virtues and their talents.
7. No man can be accused, arrested, or detained except in the cases determined by the law and according to the forms that it has prescribed. Those who procure, expedite, execute, or cause to be executed arbitrary order ought to be punished; but every citizen summoned or seized in virtue of the law ought to render instant obedience; he makes himself guilty by resistance.
8. The law ought to establish only penalties that are strictly and obviously necessary and no one can be punished except in virtue of the law established and promulgated prior to the offense and legally applied.
9. Every man being presumed innocent until he has been pronounced guilty, if it is thought indispensable to arrest him, all severity that may be necessary to secure his person ought to be strictly suppressed by law.
10. No one ought to be disturbed on account of his opinions, even religious, provided their manifestation does not derange the public order established by law.
11. The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man; every citizen then can freely speak, write, and print, subject to responsibility for the abuse of this freedom in the cases determined by law.
12. The guarantee of the rights of man and of the citizen requires a public force; this force then is instituted for the advantage of all and not for the personal benefit of those to whom it is entrusted.
13. For the maintenance of the public force and for the expenses of administration a general tax is indispensable; it ought to be equally apportioned among all the citizens according to their means.
14. All the citizens have the right to ascertain, by themselves or by their representatives, the necessity of the public tax, to consent to it freely, to follow the employment of it, and to determine the quota, the assessment, the collection, and the duration of it.
15. Society has the right to call for an account from every public agent of its administration.
16. Any society in which the guarantee of the rights is not secured or the separation of powers not determined has no constitution at all.
17. Property being a sacred and inviolable right, no one can be deprived of it unless a legally established public necessity evidently demands it, under the constitution of a just and prior indemnity.
Had an extreme sense of responsibility and duty to his monarchy and God – in the 18th c. there were two concepts of religion – that God did not interfere in the lives of men, but did judge them and the other, that George believed – “anything that went wrong, was a test of God to the British” Patriots were rebels who were against God’s will and must be compromised.
Had to battle his siblings and their loose morals while growing up. He was interested in science, physics, art, people (in respects to their social background) – Interested in astronomy and when discovered, Uranus was named after him. He was careful about how many sweets he ate, and remained physically fit well into his 60s.
1795 – 1825: The empires of the world would collapse – the Spanish in the Americas, the British and American colonies, the West Indies as colonies. – No European monarch ever visited the New World; this caused them to lack the ability to properly rule them
He was a firm believer in what he stood for – precedence, order, dynasty, submissive subjects; it was difficult to deal with “disorder of democracy” and saw it as a disobedience and refused to let it slide by.
1774: George is urging firmness and order and instead of searching for compromise, (fighting at Lexington and Concord) he opposes the counsel given by his advisors not to go to war and instead make a blockade.
1779: France enters the Revolutionary War – George knows the British are outnumbered and it would be foolish to continue, but he does by encouraging troops, the militia, and the navy
1795: George was shot on his way to Parliament and the shot missed but he keeps his cool.
1775: James Fox (leader of the House of Commons – sympathetic to the American cause) – the king is becoming less powerful – Parliament wanted to give the American representation to avoid conflict, but George was unwilling to sympathize with the Americans
Americans begin to destroy all representations of the monarchy because they feel that George betrayed them by not understanding how politics should work – paintings are reversed or destroyed, his statue in New York City is taken down and streets are re-named.