Legal and Administrative Change

  • Created by: lou9119
  • Created on: 29-11-17 21:00
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  • Legal and Administrative Change
    • The Napoleonic Codes
      • Civil Code (March 1804)
        • The legal system that emerged from the Revolution was reformed by the Civil Code. This was a clear statement the law and N was actively involved in debates in the Senate. It can be seen as having two strands:
          • Liberal: confirming some of the changes of the Revolution
          • Illiberal.
        • It confirmed:
          • the legal rights of those who had bought land confiscated from the Church and nobility.
          • the system of inheritance, partage, introduced by the Rev.
          • abolition of feudalism
          • equality before the law
          • freedom of conscience
          • the removal of the privileges of the Catholic Church.
          • permitted the reintroduction of slavery in French colonies
          • made workers subject to police control with the livret.
      • Attitude to Women
        • Reversed women's rights by allowing men to sent an adulterous wife or a defiant child to prison and making divorces expensive so difficult to obtain.
      • Napoleonic Code (1807)
        • The Civil Code was renamed the Napoleonic Code when it was introduced to other parts of the Empire.
    • Prefects, Police and Control
      • N's control of France was maintained by a police sytem under the Minister of Police (Fouche mainly)
      • General police had wide powers including monitoring public opinion and food prices in Paris, surveillance etc. They were backed by  gendarmes whose task was the maintenance of law and order. All reported to the Minister, who in turn sent daily reports to N.
        • System of surveillance was backed by changes to the judicial system. Judges appointed by the govs for life instead of being elected. This gave central gov control over verdicts. New codes were published and new prisons built.
      • In the departments the prefects were expected to monitor public opinion and report suspicious political activity. They could place anyone who was viewed as a danger under house arrest.
    • Administrative Change
      • Admin functions were centralised. In Feb 1800 N appointed prefects to take charge of each department. They were subject to the control of the Minister of the Interior.
      • In each department there was also a council which had some influence. With their sub-prefects, the prefects supervised the police, tax collectors, village affairs etc.
        • Villages or communes had mayors but all local officials were appointed by the prefect.


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