The Napolèonic Era Times

By: Buneet Hasria

Newly Created French Civil Code

On March 21, 1804, the first modern organized body of law governing France was entered into force, it is known as the Napoleonic Code. This code includes a list of the legislation that applies to French citizens who are established under Napoleon I. Some examples of the legislation include that the code forbids privileges based on birth, allows freedom of religion, and it also specifies that government jobs should go to the most qualified. Furthermore, the Civil Code deals with the right of property, this is defined as “the right to enjoy and to dispose of one’s property in the most absolute fashion". The Civil Code retained the revolution’s law that a civil authority must conduct marriages. The Civil Code permitted divorce on the grounds of adultery, cruelty, criminal conviction, or the mutual agreement of the spouses and their parents. Like other legal systems of this time, the Civil Code made the wife legally inferior to her husband, “The husband owes protection to his wife, and the wife owes obedience to her husband". Majority of the local citizens are happy with the new law as they claim that Napoleon I has made France more modern as well as bringing more "rights" to the lower classes. But however, there are still some minorities who are against this new legislation claiming that there is gender inequality and also dislike Napoleon himself.

Woman caught Practicing Witchcraft

On May 15, 1805, there have been reports of local citizens feeling unsafe and insecure after witnessing a woman practicing witchcraft. One witness stated that while he was going for an evening walk, he just frighteningly sees a middle aged woman shouting out gruesome words out loud right near the corner of an alley. The Napoleonic code states that if a man or even a woman was caught committing a religious crime such as witchcraft in a public or private area, then he/she will be treated with the most relentless punishment. As of this week, the court of law will decide a fitting punishment for this individual, likely the punishment will be harsh since the religious acts declare that witchcraft or devil worshiping is one of the most severe types of crimes and that only the worst of the worst will receive this punishment. As it turns out, investigators have finally found evidence that this woman is known as 42 year old Margot Hennriette and was recently divorced on March 6, 1805. As a way for revenge, Hennriette Started practicing witchcraft towards her husband since she is emotionally scarred after finding her husband with another woman.

Social Values

The recently created French civil code called "The Napoleonic Code" was established by Napoleon I and introduces many social values for citizens to acknowledge. These social values include freedom, equality, and brotherhood which is part of this code that is all about honor and taking care of the weak. Napoleon I takes very good care of his soldiers, and even of the families of his enemies, he believes in being a gentleman on and off the battlefield. So as ruthless as he is (and he is ruthless), he does not cheat and he will not make others pay. Following Napoleon's character traits, all citizens are expected to follow his leadership styles during regular daily life.

French Citizens are now used to the New Code

Today has been marked as the two year anniversary since the Code Napoléon was put into power, citizens are now getting used to the code and permanently making this their new way of life psychologically. Napoleon's most lasting effect on France and much of Europe was the set of civil laws that he instituted that still bears his name to this day. Our citizens recall how their lives were completely different two years ago and how this new civil code reflects a huge deal of change towards society. Some of the new changes include the equality of all in the eyes of the law, no recognition of privileges of birth (i.e. noble rights inherited from ancestors), and freedom of religion. Despite these strengths, from the eyes of the modern world, this Code still has several weaknesses, particularly when it involves to women and minors. Some of the weaknesses include that a woman cannot vote, a wife owed obedience to her husband whom who had total control over their property and finally minors have very few rights. Minors are not treated fairly in this society since illegitimate children have no rights of inheritance and also in some situations, a father can put his child in jail for up to six months. In spite of these weaknesses, French citizens can agree that this new civil code is a huge improvement over the legal codes that took place before and during the revolution.

8 year old child imprisoned for disrespectful behaviour

Just about few days ago on September 22, 1806, guards have taken a eight year old child into custody. It has been reported by a raging father that his son Bernard Jean has been showing ill-mannered behaviour such as cursing and as well as being stubborn. Jean's father could not handle his naughty son's impoliteness so he has ordered guards to go send him away and be imprisoned. Under the Napoleon code's punishment acts, it has been written that fathers have complete control over the children and they can even imprison stubborn offspring.



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