History


The Official Edition of the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution. Philadelphia, Childs and Swaine, February 1792.

On September 25, 1789, Congress proposed 12 articles to amend the Constitution. On December 15, 1791, articles 3-12 were ratified by Virginia, giving the three-fourths majority required. Articles 3-12 then became the First Ten Amendments to the Constitution known as the Bill of Rights. On March 1, 1792, Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State, sent the first printing of the amendments to governors of the states to provide them with the official text. (The amendments had been published previously as proposals.) This declaration of the rights of man has influenced other governments (for example, the French Constitution of 1946 and the United Nations charter). Massachusetts, Connecticut and Georgia did not ratify the Bill of Rights until 1939.


France. Assemblée Nationale. 1789-91. Déclaration des Droits de l'Homme et Société. Paris, 1789. First edition. "Extrait des procès-verbeaux de l'Assemblée Nationale, des 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26 Août & premier Octobre 1789." Woodcut headpiece "La Loi et Le Roi" on title.

Many drafts of declarations of the rights of man were submitted to the assembly, but that of Emanuel Joseph Comte Sieyès, with assistance from Jean Joseph Mounier and the Vicomte de Mirabeau, was adopted. Mounier (1758-1806), president of the Assembly, submitted the document to King Louis XVI who accepted it in October 5, 1789, during rioting in Paris. The declaration was modeled on the constitutions of some American states, particularly Virginia and New Hampshire, and was influenced by the writings of Locke, Rousseau and Voltaire.


Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895). Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei. London, J.E. Burghard, 1848. First edition, first issue. In contemporary boards with six other pamphlets.

The Manifesto, commissioned in November-December 1847 at the second congress of the Communist League in London, was written by Marx and Engels in Brussels. Their manuscript was received in London in February 1848 and promptly printed. Because of revolutions in France and Germany (not inspired by the Manifesto), Marx was expelled from Belgium, then Germany and France. He finally settled in England. In the Manifesto, Marx and Engels set forth their interpretation of history and their program to emancipate society through revolution. The Posner Memorial Collection also offers Marx's Das Kapital, 1867, and Zur Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie, 1859.




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