What is a Napoleonic Code?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The Napoleonic Code is the concept of equality before the law and the secure right to property. It is also called the French Civil Code of 1804. This code was created to organize and standardize all the laws in one document. The territories ruled by France began to adopt this code. Napoleon’s systematic administrative vision was also adopted by the states of Germany, the Italian Republic, the Swiss Confederation and the Dutch Republic.

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Napoleonic Code

The Code of Napoleon is officially known as the French Civil Code. It was built by the French consulate in 1804 and is still in use today, despite being frequently modified. It came into effect on March 21, 1804, after it was created by a panel of four eminent jurists.

The Code was an important step in changing the mess of feudal laws as it emphasized clear, understandable language in the law. According to historian Robert Holtmann, it is one of the few texts to have had a global impact.

Three French revolutionary values ​​served as the foundation of the Napoleonic Code.

  • Laws should be based on logic and common sense.
  • Some freedom should be provided to the people.
  • All people should be treated equally under the law.

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