This chapter describes the main provisions of the August 4 decrees abolishing privileges and the Declaration of the Rights of Man, and identify the principles underlying them. It explains the controversies about basic features of the new constitution, and the significance of the October Days uprising. The chapter analyzes the arguments behind the revolutionary reform of the Church, and the concerns of those who opposed it. The Declaration of Rights’ eloquent preamble asserted that “ignorance, neglect, and scorn of the rights of man are the sole causes of public misfortunes,” implying that the issuing of the document itself would inaugurate a new historical era. Although the deputies of the National Assembly considered the document they approved on August 26, 1789 as simply a working draft, which they expected to revise later, it immediately became the most authoritative statement of the French Revolution’s principles.