Code Napoleon revises French law

(227 words)
  • Editors

Historical Context Note

The “Code Napoleon” is one of the enduring achievements of Napoleonic rule. It began as a clarification of the effects of the Revolution, and was adopted in France in 1804, but it was then used to administer countries dominated by France during the period of the Napoleonic wars. Its inherent rationality and modernism were such that even after the Napoleonic tide had gone out, its influences remained. It is still formally the basis of law in France, Belgium and Luxembourg, and has a determining influence on law in the European Union. During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries it was to provide a basic model for national law in nascent Latin American states.

The basic provisions of the law rest on the systematic rationality …

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Editors. "Code Napoleon revises French law". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 March 2008
[, accessed 28 November 2015.]