The Napoleonic Code 1804
Napoléon Bonaparte (1769–1821)
After four years of deliberation and planning, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte enacts the “Napoleonic Code,” a new legal foundation for France.
The civil code was the first comprehensive collection of rules governing property, colonial affairs, the family, and individual rights in post-revolutionary France.
As the new dictator of France, General Napoleon Bonaparte began the difficult process of reforming the country’s old and confusing legal system in 1800. He formed a special committee, chaired by J.J. Cambaceres, that convened over 80 times to debate the revolutionary legal amendments, with Napoleon presiding over about half of the meetings. The Napoleonic Code was ultimately passed in March 1804.