Coutume de Paris

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COUTUME DE PARIS, French customary feudal law, was administered in the courts of French colonial Canada and Louisiana, frequently supplemented by royal edicts and provincial ordinances. Under British rule (after 1763) the military commandants administered the coutumes and retained French civil law until 1792, although the Quebec Act (1774) introduced the English criminal code. The system continued in a modified form after the American occupation of Illinois country, and the laws of the Northwest Territory guaranteed to the French inhabitants existing coutumes in family relations and inheritance practices. In Louisiana, the coutumes remained in force until 1769, when Alexander O'Reilly, an Irish soldier in the Spanish army, imposed Spanish law.


Conrad, Glenn R., ed. The French Experience in Louisiana. Lafayette: University of Southwestern Louisiana Press, 1995.

Eccles, W. J. The French in North America, 1500–1783. Markham, Ont.: Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1998.

Raymond C.Werner/s. b.

See alsoColonial Policy, British ; French and Indian War .