"Code Napoleon" and “Declaration of the Rights of Man” Comparison

1068 Words Apr 8th, 2013 5 Pages
"Code Napoleon" and “Declaration of the Rights of Man” Comparison

The longest lasting effect of Napoleon Bonaparte's rule over France was his overseeing the implementation of a series of national laws collectively known as the Civil Code, or Code Napoleon. Code Napoleon was the successor to the idea’s stated in The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, While at first, Napoleon generally adhered to the philosophies of the French Revolutionist as created in The Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, as time progressed, his absolute power allowed for corruption at the expense of the French people. Napoleon violated almost every principle in the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen in order to benefit his own
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This went directly against the Declaration of Rights law that stated “The free communication of ideas and opinions is one of the most precious of the rights of man. Every citizen may, accordingly, speak, write, and print with freedom, but shall be responsible for such abuses of this freedom as shall be defined by law” He also helped relations achieve positions of power in Europe, ignoring the principles of the meritocracy which he had earlier instilled.
Possibly the most important article of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen is the first one, which summarizes all the other articles by demanding equal rights for all citizens. The cry for equal rights was one of the major demands the Third Estate wanted from the monarchy even at the beginning of the French Revolution. Early in Napoleons’ campaign he stated that he supported the equality of citizens in France, but in 1802 he created the Legion of Honor, a new status in society which granted members special privileges. The legion was a "superior" group, similar to nobility, but Napoleon of course never called it that because he wanted to convince the general public that the idea of equality was still relevant. The Declaration of the Rights of Man stated that “Men are born and remain free and equal in rights’” and that social distinctions may be founded only upon the general good.” In this instance Napoleonic Code both lives up to the ideals of, and also fails to live up to the ideals of its predecessors
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