French Revolution Slogan Liberty, Equality, Fraternity Essay

French Revolution Slogan Liberty, Equality, Fraternity Essay

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Essay on French Revolution Slogan Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

French Revolution Slogan Liberty, Equality, Fraternity Essay
500+ Words Essay on French Revolution Slogan Liberty, Equality, Fraternity
These words were the motto or the slogan of the French during the French Revolution. When in any country the people rise in revolt against an unjust government this slogan is revived. Let us take these words one by one.

Meaning of Liberty
Liberty means freedom - the right or power to do as one pleases. But we should make a distinction between liberty and licence. Lawful liberty is everybody's valuable right, but not lawless liberty. For example, when there is real injustice to students, they have a right,  if negotiations fail, to go on strike.

But they have no right to indulge in filthy language and abuse, or to damage college property or other public property, or to be disrespectful to teachers. No political agitation should result in acts of lawlessness. A man's liberty ends where another man's liberty begins. We can think of other examples.


No law and no constitution can take away people's natural rights. Similarly no law and no constitution can allow acts which infringe upon the rights of others. Rousseau said, "Man is born free, but is everywhere in chains". There are right and wrong chains; there are proper limits to liberty as well as improper limits.

We should not be permitted to commit crimes in the name of liberty. Cromwell, addressing the British Parliament when they were discussing some matter with undue heat and passion, said, "Gentle,en, for God's sake try to believe that you may possibly be in the Wrong". Addison, the famous English essayist said, "There are two sides of every question".

Thus liberty should mean a lot of toleration and a lot of give and take. Liberty should also mean respecting differences of opinion, and differences of points of view. There is such a thing as a theory, a science and an art of liberty. Extremism should be avoided at all costs. We should not let our prejudices and passions run away with us. Liberty is a matter of checks and balances.

Meaning of Equality
Let us take the second word Equality. Everybody should have has equal right to vote. Nobody should be looked down upon for belonging to a particular caste or community. Equality in these and similar matters is vitally connected with liberty. But the world has not yet reached a stage where everybody should have equal income or status.

While in many cases men are made unequal, it is also proved that in the matter of intelligence, ability and other mental and moral powers they are born unequal. This inequality is not and need not necessarily be an evil.

It is the responsibility of society that extreme disparity in the conditions of living should be progressively removed and  that life for the common man should be made tolerable. The strength of a chain lies in its weakest link.

We should see to it that the life of the average man is not made miserable. The progress of science should result in a rise in the standard of living for all. The gulf between the rich and the poor should be considerably narrowed down.

Meaning of Fraternity
Fraternity, the third word in the slogan, is also connected with the first two words - Liberty and Equality. Fraternity means a sense of brotherhood or kinship. A common culture, mass education, better economic conditions for all are expected to generate in us a feeling of solidarity and kinship with all humanity.

This will result in national integration, in world integration. The ideal of fraternity can be progressively realized. As the world moves towards unity, the sense of fraternity will grow more and more.

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