A legacy of the period of Enlightenment, the motto "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité" very first appeared during the French Revolution. Return it to be often dubbed into question, that finally developed itself under the third Republic. It was written right into the 1958 Constitution and is nowadays part of the French nationwide heritage.

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"Unité, Indivisibilité de la République, Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité ou la Mort"Colored publish edited by Paul André Basset, prairial one IV (1796)© Photothèque des Musées de la Ville de Paris - Ph. Ladet

Linked by François Fénelon in ~ the end of the 17th century, the notions that "liberty", "equality" and also "fraternity" became much more widespread during the period of Enlightenment.

At the moment of the French Revolution, "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" was among the many mottos in use. In a December 1790 speech on the organization of the national Guards, Maximilien Robespierre supported that the words "The French People" and "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" be composed on uniforms and also flags, but his proposal to be rejected.

From 1793 onwards, Parisians, soon to it is in imitated through the inhabitants of various other cities, painted the adhering to words ~ above the façades of their houses: "Unity, indivisibility the the Republic; liberty, equality or death". However they were shortly asked come erase the phrase’s final part as that was as well closely associated with the power of Terror.

This motto dropped into disuse under the Empire, like numerous revolutionary symbols. The reappeared throughout the transformation of 1848 marked with a spiritual dimension: priests commemorated the "Christ-Fraternité" and blessed the trees of liberty that were planted at the time. Once the structure of 1848 was drafted, the motto "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity" was defined as a "principle" the the Republic.

Discarded under the second Empire, this motto finally established itself under the third Republic, back some people still objected come it, consisting of partisans that the Republic: solidarity to be sometimes wanted to equality which suggests a levelling of society, and also the Christian connotation the fraternity to be not welcomed by everyone.

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This motto was inscribed again top top the pediments that public buildings on the occasion of the celebration of 14 July 1880. It shows up in the constitutions the 1946 and 1958 and is now an integral component of our national heritage. It is uncovered on items used by the basic public such together coins and also postage stamps.