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Children Of The Future

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Chapter Summary

In the address delivered upon Lambert van Eck's election as president of the National Assembly, Lambert van Eck stressed the importance of furthering 'the happiness of present and future generations'. For centuries humankind had placed its hopes of happiness in the hereafter, but now the time had come to achieve happiness on earth. A proposal was made in the National Assembly to include a similar passage in the Dutch 'Declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen', but the representatives could not decide whether happiness should accrue to the individual or to the nation as a whole, with the result that the concept did not find its way into Dutch legislation. The members of the National Assembly were inclined to compare their meetings to a school, as Lambert had done in his address by referring to the 'School of the Enlightenment'.

Keywords: Dutch legislation; Enlightenment; future generations; Lambert van Eck



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