What are the Main Features of the Napoleonic Code?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The main features of the Napoleonic Code are the abolition of Serfdom and manorial dues, the abolition of the feudal system, privileges based on birth, etc. The Napoleonic Code is the French civil code adopted by the French Consulate in 1804 and is still in effect today, despite being regularly amended. Napoleon Bonaparte wrote it, which was issued on March 21, 1804.

The Napoleonic Code was not the first legal code to be enforced with a civil law legal system in a European nation. Multiple codes came before it, such as the West Galician Code (1756), Allgemines Landrecht (1749), and the Codex Maximilianus Bavaricus Civilis (1797).

Napoleonic Code

The Codex Maximilianus Bavaricus Civilis (Bavaria, 1756), Allgemeines Landrecht (Prussia, 1794), and the West Galician Code preceded the Napoleonic Code. The laws of many nations established during and after the Napoleonic Wars were greatly influenced by this code, which was the first modern legal code to be approved with a pan-European scope.

Developing nations outside Europe, particularly in Latin America and the Middle East, were influenced by the Napoleonic Code to modernize their nations through legal changes.

Features of the Napoleonic Code

The Napoleonic Code has the following characteristics:

  • Slavery and vassal dues were abolished.
  • Transport and communication systems were improved.
  • The feudal system was abolished.
  • Abolished all privileges based on birth.
  • The guild ban was lifted.
  • The code encouraged judges to interpret the law to provide justice in case of insufficiency in-laws.
  • Uniform laws were implemented, standardized, weighted, and measured in business.
  • Equality before the law was established.
  • Right to property was given.

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