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Liberty IntactHuman Rights in English Law$
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Michael Tugendhat

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790990

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790990.001.0001

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Liberty and Equality

Liberty and Equality

Chapter:
(p.31) 3 Liberty and Equality
Source:
Liberty Intact
Author(s):

Michael Tugendhat

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790990.003.0003

This chapter discusses equality before the law, and equality as equal treatment under the law. Equality in the American and French Declarations excluded women and slaves. Blackstone and English law recognized equality of all people, but justified unequal treatment. For Blackstone, the Americans, and the French, the aim of society wass to protect rights of liberty, security, and property. Liberty and equality were better respected in eighteenth-century England than in France. ‘Human rights’ was first used in England in 1780. The right to equality was recognized in the twelfth to sixteenth centuries under the influence of Christianity and Roman law. Slavery in England died out under Christian ideas, but then appeared again, when Aristotle’s idea of natural slaves gained influence. Gender inequality reduced in England more than in France. The common good is the ancient idea of the good of everyone, not Bentham’s greatest good of the greatest number.

Keywords:   equality, liberty, slavery, Christianity, utilitarianism, the common good, freedom of religion, women’s rights, rights of woman

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