A. The French Revolution created a vision for a new moral universe: that sovereignty resides in nations; that a constitution and the rule of law govern politics; that people are equal and enjoy inalienable rights; and that church and state should be separate.
B. The French Revolution invented modern revolution —the idea that humans can transform the world according to a plan—and so has a central place in the study of the social sciences.
C. It ushered in modernity by destroying the foundations of the “Old Regime”—absolutist politics, legal inequality, a “feudal” economy (characterized by guilds, manorialism, and even serfdom), and an alliance of church and state.
D. That vision is enshrined in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1789, whose proclamation of “natural, imprescriptible, and inalienable” rights served as the model for the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.