Code Napoléon

views updated May 29 2018


CODE NAPOLÉON. Among the most important post revolutionary reforms in France was the unification and simplification of the French laws, prepared under Napoleon Bonaparte's direction and promulgated in 1804 as the French civil code, commonly called the Code Napoléon. It served as the model for the digest of the civil laws of Orleans Territory, promulgated in 1808 and commonly called the Old Louisiana Code, which, revised and amended in 1825, 1870, and 1974 as the civil code of Louisiana, remains today the basic law of the state of Louisiana. Louisiana is unique among the states in that its legal system is based on Roman civil law, not common law.


Drago, George. Jefferson's Louisiana: Politics and the Clash of Legal Traditions. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1975.

Haas, Edward F., ed. Louisiana's Legal Heritage. Pensacola, Fla.: Perdido Bay Press, 1983.

WalterPrichard/t. m.

See alsoCommon Law ; Orleans, Territory of ; State Constitutions .

Code Napoléon

views updated Jun 11 2018

Code Napoléon French civil law, first introduced (1804) by Napoleon I. Based on Roman law, the Code was intended to end the disunity of French law and was applied to all French territories. It banned social inequality, permitted freedom of person and contract and upheld the right to own private property. It was revised in 1904 and remains the basis of French civil law.

Code Napoléon

views updated May 23 2018

Code Napoléon the French legal code drawn up under Napoleon I in 1804.

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Code Napoleon

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