32 The Declaration of Independence: Forming a New Nation

of Man and of the Citizen.” There is no question the words in the French declaration were inspired by the words written by Jefferson just 13 years before. The French declaration said: “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights. Social distinctions may The people of France helped the American colonists gain their freedom from Great Britain during the Revolution. In 1789, six years after the American Revolution ended, the French rose up against their own king. This illustration from 1789 shows one of the most famous moments of the French Revolution, the storming of a royal prison called the Bastille by a mob of French citizens.The French Revolution had been intended to create a democratic government like that of the United States; in fact, the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was modeled on the Declaration of Independence. However, the revo- lution failed to create a stable democracy. By 1799 the French Republic had fallen and Napoleon Bonaparte ruled the country.

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