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Napoleonic Codes

July 29, 2011

“A Constitution should be short and obscure.”  Napoleon Bonaparte

Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s Civil Code of 1804 replaced the patchwork of French laws surviving from feudal times. Its clarity and simplicity made it the model for codifications throughout Europe and South America. Visit the display on the main floor of the Library to see early editions of the Code, including a rare first edition, a miniature book only 4 inches high and a poetic version with satirical illustrations.

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