Emperor of the French
Emperor of the French was the monarch of the First French Empire and the Second French Empire. A title and office used by the House of Bonaparte starting when Napoleon was proclaimed Emperor on 18 May 1804 by the French Senate and was crowned emperor of the French on 2 December 1804 at the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, in Paris, with the Crown of Napoleon; the title emphasized. The old formula of "King of France" indicated; the new term indicated a constitutional monarchy. The title was purposely created to preserve the appearance of the French Republic and to show that after the French Revolution, the feudal system was abandoned and a nation state was created, with equal citizens as the subjects of their emperor; the title of "Emperor of the French" was supposed to demonstrate that Napoleon's coronation was not a restoration of monarchy, but an introduction of a new political system: the French Empire. Napoleon's reign lasted until 22 June 1815, when he was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo and imprisoned on the island of Saint Helena, where he died on 5 May 1821.
His reign was interrupted by the Bourbon Restoration of 1814 and his own exile to Elba, from where he escaped less than a year to reclaim the throne, reigning as Emperor for another 94 days before his defeat and final exile. Less than a year after the French coup d'état of 1851 by Napoleon's nephew Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, which ended in the successful dissolution of the French National Assembly, the Second French Republic was transformed into the Second French Empire, established by a referendum on 7 November 1852. President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, elected by the French people became Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, from the symbolic and historic date of 2 December 1852, his reign continued until 4 September 1870, after he was captured at the Battle of Sedan during the Franco-Prussian War. He subsequently went into exile in England, where he died on 9 January 1873. Since the early death in 1879 of Napoleon III's only son, Louis Napoléon, the House of Bonaparte has had a number of claimants to the French throne.
The current claimant is Charles, Prince Napoléon, who became head of the House of Bonaparte on 3 May 1997. His position is challenged by his son, Jean-Christophe, Prince Napoléon, named as heir in his late grandfather's testament; the Emperors of the French had various titles and claims that reflected the geographic expanse and diversity of the lands ruled by the House of Bonaparte. His Imperial and Royal Majesty Napoleon I, By the Grace of God and the Constitution of the Republic, Emperor of the French, King of Italy, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, Mediator of the Swiss Confederation and Co-Prince of Andorra, his Imperial Majesty Napoleon II, By the Grace of God and the Constitution of the Republic, Emperor of the French and Co-Prince of Andorra. His Imperial Majesty Napoleon III, By the Grace of God and the will of the Nation, Emperor of the French and Co-Prince of Andorra. Regarded as a continuation of the First French Empire despite the brief exile of the Emperor Napoleon I Crown of Napoleon French Crown Jewels List of French consorts List of French monarchs
French Constitution of 1793
The Constitution of 1793 known as the Constitution of the Year I or the Montagnard Constitution, was the second constitution ratified for use during the French Revolution under the First Republic. Designed by the Montagnards, principally Maximilien Robespierre and Louis Saint-Just, it was intended to replace the outdated Constitution of 1791. With sweeping plans for democratization and wealth redistribution, the new document promised a significant departure from the moderate goals of the Revolution in previous years. However, the Constitution's radical provisions were never implemented; the government placed a moratorium upon it, ostensibly because of the need to employ emergency war powers during the French Revolutionary War. Those same emergency powers would permit the Committee of Public Safety to conduct the Reign of Terror, when that long period of violent political combat was over, the constitution was invalidated by its association with the defeated Robespierre. In the Thermidorian Reaction, it was discarded in favor of a more conservative document, the Constitution of 1795.
The National Convention chose Louis Saint-Just and several other deputies to serve on a committee that would draft a new governmental system for the established Republic. The new constitution was intended to supersede the Constitution of 1791, based on principles of constitutional monarchy that were now obsolete after the execution of King Louis XVI; the draftsmen were placed on the elite Committee of Public Safety to maximize their resources. The Convention deemed their work to be of supreme importance, to be completed "in the shortest possible time."The work took less than two weeks. A complete constitutional document was submitted to the Convention on 10 June 1793, it was subsequently put to a public referendum. Employing universal male suffrage, the vote was a resounding popular victory for the new constitution, which received the approval of 1,784,377 out of 1,800,000 voters; the Constitution expanded upon the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 1789, to which it added several rights: it proclaimed the superiority of popular sovereignty over national sovereignty.
It added several new economic and social rights, including right of association, right to work and public assistance, right to public education, right of rebellion, the abolition of slavery, all written into what is known as the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen of 1793. Sections 1 through 6 spelled out who should be treated as a French Citizen and under what conditions citizenship could be revoked. All males over the age of 21 who worked, owned land or other property in France, lived in France for over a year, or had family ties to a French person, or those named by the legislative body, could be considered citizens. Citizenship could be lost if you were sentenced to corporal or dishonorable punishment, or had accepted offices or favors "which do not proceed from a democratic government". Sections 7 through 44 specify the sovereign powers of the People, the Primary Assemblies, the National Representation, of the Electoral Assemblies, of the Legislative Body; the Primary Assemblies were to be between 200 and 600 people, each representing an individual canton, who would vote to accept laws proposed by the Legislative Body, select deputies to the National Representation, select electors to the Electoral Assemblies.
The Constitution made explicit that population would be the only determiner of representation in the National Representation. In the case of a tie vote in the National Representation, the oldest member would supply the tie-breaking vote. Sections 45 to 52 lay out specific procedures to be followed the Legislative Body, specifying a quorum of 200 members. Sections 53 to 55 specify what issues are matters of law, while 56 through 61 establish the path for a bill to become a law. After being drafted and approved by the Legislative Body, the law would be considered a "proposed law" and voted on by all of the communes of France. No debate was to occur until 2 weeks after this distribution, the bill would become law provided that no more than 1/10ths of the communes voted to voice objection to the law. Sections 62 to 74 dealt with the Executive Power, to be placed in the hands of a 24-member executive council appointed by the Electoral Assembly; these members were to appoint agents to high administrative offices of the Republic.
The Constitution prescribed the relationship between the Executive Council and the Legislative Body, the governing of the Municipalities. It established the conduct of the Civil Justice System, mandating that arbitrators be elected and that citizens could select arbitrators for their case, of the Criminal Justice System, mandating trial by jury and representation for the accused, it specified that no citizen is exempt from taxation, establishes regulations for military leadership and conduct and foreign relations. The Constitution explicitly stated that France was a friend and ally of free nations, would not interfere with the government of other free nations, would harbor any refugees from nations ruled by tyrants, it forbid the establishment of peace with an enemy that possesses its territory. It guaranteed the right to equality, security, the public debt, free exercise of religion, general instr
Charter of 1814
The French Charter of 1814 was a constitution granted by King Louis XVIII of France shortly after his restoration. The Congress of Vienna demanded that Louis bring in a constitution of some form before he was restored; the opening twelve articles of the Charter are analogous to a "Bill of Rights". They contained such measures as a declaration of equality before the law, due process rights, religious toleration, freedom of the press, protection of private property, abolition of conscription; these principles, together with the retention of the Napoleonic Code, represent some of the permanent gains of the French Revolution. The concept of the judicial review of the constitutionality of legislation was undeveloped, it was the responsibility of the legislature, not the courts, to defend these rights. Freedom of the press, in particular, was subsequently restricted by harsh press censorship laws, which were deemed to violate the spirit of the charter. Moreover, religious toleration was limited by the special provision made for the Catholic Church as the official state religion.
The King occupied a central position under the Charter of 1814. The Charter declared that the king was Head of State and chief executive: the King appointed public officials, issued the ordinances and regulations necessary "for the execution of the laws and the security of the state", commanded the army and navy, declared war, made "treaties of peace and commerce". In addition, the King had great influence over the legislative power, since he possessed the sole right to present draft laws to Parliament, the right to grant or withhold assent to laws passed by the Parliament; the King summoned and prorogued Parliament and had the right to dissolve the Chamber of Deputies and call new elections. The King appointed the members of the House of Peers. In the judicial field, the King had the power of pardon. In imitation of the British model, the Charter of 1814 established a bicameral legislature, consisting of a Chamber of Deputies and a Chamber of Peers; the Chamber of Deputies was with a high tax qualification.
The election took place in two stages, with voters choosing members of Electoral Colleges, who in turn elected Deputies. Members of Electoral Colleges had to pay 300 Francs a year in direct taxes, while Deputies themselves had to pay a direct tax of 1000 Francs a year; as taxes were levied on landed wealth, this restricted the Chamber of Deputies to a small percentage of the richest landowners. The representative basis of the French parliament under the Charter was thus much narrower than that, used to elect the Estates-General under the ancient regime. Moreover, the Presidents of the Electoral Colleges were appointed by the King, giving the government the ability to influence the outcome of elections; the Chamber of Peers was appointed by the King, could consist of both hereditary aristocrats and life peers ennobled in recognition of public service. The number of peers was unlimited. In addition to its legislative and deliberative role, the Chamber of Peers acted as a special court for the trial of impeachments and for cases of "high treason and attacks against the security of the state".
The members of the two Chambers enjoyed certain parliamentary privileges, including immunity from arrest. The President of the Chamber of Deputies was appointed by the King from a list of five members presented by the Chamber, while the Chamber of Peers was presided over by the Chancellor of France, an official appointed by the King; the consent of both Chambers was necessary for the passage of a law. There was no provision for joint sessions or other constitutional means of resolving differences between the Chambers. Proposed laws could be initiated by the King in either Chamber, except for laws concerning taxes, which had to be initiated in the Chamber of Deputies; the King's powers were for the most part exercised by his Ministers. The Ministers were chosen by the King. Article 13 stated open-endedly that "Ministers are responsible", but the nature of this responsibility was ambiguous and its extent limited. Articles 55 and 56 restricted this responsibility to "acts of treason and peculation".
Moreover, responsibility could only be enforced by impeachment—arraignment by the Chamber of Deputies and trial by the Chamber of Peers. Thus, the Charter gave no recognition to the principle of modern parliamentary government, namely that the Ministers are not just but politically, responsible to Parliament, that Parliament can remove Ministers by a simple vote of no-confidence, without having to bring impeachment proceedings. In this respect, the Charter was not dissimilar to other constitutional documents of its time. Therefore, the challenge for the liberal elements of French politics during the Restoration era was to develop a convention of parliamentary government according to which: the King would act only on the advice of his Ministers, the Ministers, although formally appointed by the King, would be drawn from amongst the leaders of the majority in Parliament, would be required to resign if they lost the confidence of Parliament. Owing to the narrow franchise, the dominance of the reactionary Ultra party, the personal intervention of the King, these conventions did not develop during the period from 1814–1830.
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French Republican calendar
The French Republican calendar commonly called the French Revolutionary calendar, was a calendar created and implemented during the French Revolution, used by the French government for about 12 years from late 1793 to 1805, for 18 days by the Paris Commune in 1871. The revolutionary system was designed in part to remove all religious and royalist influences from the calendar, was part of a larger attempt at decimalisation in France, it was used in government records in France and other areas under French rule, including Belgium and parts of the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy. Sylvain Maréchal, prominent anticlerical atheist, published the first edition of his Almanach des Honnêtes-gens in 1788. On pages 14–15 appears a calendar, consisting of twelve months; the first month is "Mars, ou Princeps", the last month is "Février, ou Duodécembre". The lengths of the months are the same as the lengths given them by Julius Caesar. Individual days were assigned, instead of to the traditional saints, to people noteworthy for secular achievements.
Editions of the almanac would switch to the Republican Calendar. The days of the French Revolution and Republic saw many efforts to sweep away various trappings of the ancien régime; the new Republican government sought to institute, among other reforms, a new social and legal system, a new system of weights and measures, a new calendar. Amid nostalgia for the ancient Roman Republic, the theories of the Enlightenment were at their peak, the devisers of the new systems looked to nature for their inspiration. Natural constants, multiples of ten, Latin as well as Ancient Greek derivations formed the fundamental blocks from which the new systems were built; the new calendar was created by a commission under the direction of the politician Charles-Gilbert Romme seconded by Claude Joseph Ferry and Charles-François Dupuis. They associated with their work the chemist Louis-Bernard Guyton de Morveau, the mathematician and astronomer Joseph-Louis Lagrange, the astronomer Joseph Jérôme Lefrançois de Lalande, the mathematician Gaspard Monge, the astronomer and naval geographer Alexandre Guy Pingré, the poet and playwright Fabre d'Églantine, who invented the names of the months, with the help of André Thouin, gardener at the Jardin des Plantes of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris.
As the rapporteur of the commission, Charles-Gilbert Romme presented the new calendar to the Jacobin-controlled National Convention on 23 September 1793, which adopted it on 24 October 1793 and extended it proleptically to its epoch of 22 September 1792. It is because of his position as rapporteur of the commission that the creation of the republican calendar is attributed to Romme; the calendar is named the "French Revolutionary Calendar" because it was created during the Revolution, but this is a slight misnomer. Indeed, there was a debate as to whether the calendar should celebrate the Great Revolution, which began in July 1789, or the Republic, established in 1792. Following 14 July 1789, papers and pamphlets started calling 1789 year I of Liberty and the following years II and III, it was in 1792, with the practical problem of dating financial transactions, that the legislative assembly was confronted with the problem of the calendar. The choice of epoch was either 1 January 1789 or 14 July 1789.
After some hesitation the assembly decided on 2 January 1792 that all official documents would use the "era of Liberty" and that the year IV of Liberty started on 1 January 1792. This usage was modified on 22 September 1792 when the Republic was proclaimed and the Convention decided that all public documents would be dated Year I of the French Republic; the decree of 2 January 1793 stipulated that the year II of the Republic began on 1 January 1793. The establishment of the Republic was used as the epochal date for the calendar. In France, it is known as the calendrier républicain as well as the calendrier révolutionnaire. French coins of the period used this calendar. Many show the year in Arabic numbers. Year 11 coins have a "XI" date to avoid confusion with the Roman "II"; the French Revolution is considered to have ended with the coup of 18 Brumaire, Year VIII, the coup d'état of Napoleon Bonaparte against the established constitutional regime of the Directoire. The Concordat of 1801 re-established the Roman Catholic Church as an official institution in France, although not as the state religion of France.
The concordat took effect from Easter Sunday, 28 Germinal, Year XI.
The Consulate was the top level Government of France from the fall of the Directory in the coup of Brumaire on 10 November 1799 until the start of the Napoleonic Empire on 18 May 1804. By extension, the term The Consulate refers to this period of French history. During this period, Napoleon Bonaparte, as First Consul, established himself as the head of a more authoritarian and centralized republican government in France while not declaring himself sole ruler. Due to the long-lasting institutions established during these years, Robert B. Holtman has called the Consulate "one of the most important periods of all French history." Napoleon brought authoritarian personal rule, viewed as military dictatorship. French military disasters in 1798 and 1799 had shaken the Directory, shattered it in November 1799. Historians sometimes date the start of the political downfall of the Directory to the 18 June 1799, when the now only one month in office serving anti-Jacobin Director Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyès, with the help of the Directory's only surviving original member, the anti-Jacobin Paul Barras rid himself of the other three then-sitting directors.
The March-April 1799 elections to the two councils had produced a new Neo-Jacobin majority in the two bodies, being unhappy with the existing five man Directory, by 5 June 1799, these councils had found an irregularity in the election of the Director Jean Baptiste Treilhard, who thus retired in favor of Louis Jérôme Gohier, a Jacobin more'in tune' with the feelings in the two councils. The next day, 18 June 1799, the anti-Jacobins Philippe-Antoine Merlin and Louis-Marie de La Revellière-Lépeaux were driven to resign, although one long time anti-Jacobin, popularly known for his cunning, survived the day's coup; the three new directors were seen by the anti-Jacobin elite of France as non-entities, a'put-down' if there was one, but that same elite could take some comfort in knowing that the five man Directory was still in anti-Jacobin hands, but with a reduced majority. A few more military disasters, royalist insurrections in the south, Chouan disturbances in a dozen departments of the western part of France, Orléanist intrigues, the end became certain.
In order to soothe the populace and protect the frontier, more than the French Revolution's usual terrorist measures was necessary. The new Directory government, led by the anti-Jacobin Sieyès, decided that the necessary revision of the constitution would require "a head" and "a sword". Jean Victor Moreau being unattainable as his sword, Sieyès favoured Barthélemy Catherine Joubert. Although Guillaume Marie Anne Brune and André Masséna won the Battles of Bergen and of Zürich, although the Allies of the Second Coalition lingered on the frontier as they had done after the Battle of Valmy, still the fortunes of the Directory were not restored. Success was reserved for Bonaparte landing at Fréjus with the prestige of his victories in the East, now, after Hoche's death, appearing as sole master of the armies. In the coup of 18 Brumaire Year VIII, Napoleon seized French parliamentary and military power in a two-fold coup d'état, forcing the sitting directors of the government to resign. On the night of the 19 Brumaire a remnant of the Council of Ancients abolished the Constitution of the Year III, ordained the Consulate, legalised the coup d'état in favour of Bonaparte with the Constitution of the Year VIII.
The initial 18 Brumaire coup seemed to be a victory for Sieyès, rather than for Bonaparte. Sieyès was a proponent of a new system of government for the Republic, the coup seemed certain to bring his system into force. Bonaparte's cleverness lay in counterposing Pierre Claude François Daunou's plan to that of Sieyès, in retaining only those portions of each which could serve his ambition; the new government was composed of three parliamentary assemblies: the Council of State which drafted bills, the Tribunate which could not vote on the bills but instead debated them, the Legislative Assembly, whose members could not discuss the bills but voted on them after reviewing the Tribunate's debate record. The Sénat conservateur was a governmental body equal to the three aforementioned legislative assemblies and verified the draft bills and directly advised the First Consul on the implications of such bills. Ultimate executive authority was vested in three consuls. Popular suffrage was retained, though mutilated by the lists of notables.
The four aforementioned governmental organs were retained under the Constitution of the Year XII, which recognized Napoleon as the French sovereign Emperor, but their respective powers were diminished. Napoleon vetoed Sieyès' original idea of having a single Grand Elector as supreme executive and Head of State. Sieyès had intended to reserve this important position for himself, by denying him the job Napoleon helped reinforce the authority of the consuls, an office which he would assume. Nor was Napoleon content to be part of an equal triumvirate; as the years would progress he would move to consolidate his own power as First Consul, leave the two other consuls, Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès and Charles-François Lebrun, as well as
French Constitutional Law of 1940
French Constitutional Law of 1940, are the bills that were voted into law on 10 July 1940 by the National Assembly, which comprised both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies during the French Third Republic. The law established the regime of Vichy France, it passed with 569 votes with 20 abstentions. The group of 80 parliamentarians who voted against it are known as the Vichy 80; the law gave all the government powers to Philippe Pétain, further authorized him to take all necessary measures to write a new constitution. Pétain interpreted this as de facto suspending the French Constitutional Laws of 1875 which established the Third Republic though the law did not explicitly suspend it, but only granted him the power to write a new constitution; the next day, by Act No 2, Pétain defined his powers and abrogated all the laws of the Third Republic that were incompatible with them. The ordonnance of 9 August 1944 was an ordonnance promulgated by the Provisional Government of the French Republic after D-Day asserting the nullity of the Constitutional Law of 1940 and other classes of law passed by Vichy.
The Constution of 1940 was not annulled but rather declared void ab initio. Derfler, Leslie; the Third French Republic, 1870-1940. France: Van Nostrand. ISBN 0-89874-480-6. Paxton, Robert. Vichy France. United States: W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-39300-794-4
Charter of 1830
The Charter of 1830 instigated the July Monarchy in France. It was considered a compromise between republicans. After three days of protests in July 1830 – the July Revolution called the "Three Glorious Days" – by the merchant bourgeoisie, who were outraged to be ousted from the limited voters list by the July Ordinances, Charles X of France was forced to abdicate. Charles X's chosen successor was his young grandson, comte de Chambord, but Henri never ascended to the throne; the line of natural hereditary succession was abolished and a member of the cadet Orléans line of the Bourbon family was chosen: Louis Philippe of France. On August 7 the Charter of 1814 was revised, its preamble evoking the ancien régime was eliminated; when voted on in the Chamber it was passed by 246 votes to 12. The new charter was imposed on the king by the nation and not promulgated by the king. On August 9, 1830, Louis-Philippe d'Orléans swore to uphold the Charter and was crowned "King of the French", not "King of France".
The "July Monarchy" was to last until 24 February 1848. The Charter of 1830 removed from the king the power to instigate legislation. Hereditary peerage was not the institution of peerage; the census suffrage system was modified and the poll tax was reduced to 200 francs permitting individuals 25 years old or older to vote, to 500 francs for individuals 30 years old or older to be elected to the Chamber of Deputies. The law of the Double vote was abolished, the number of electors was thus doubled, without significantly increasing the size or characteristics of the electoral body: 1 out of 170 Frenchmen participate in the elections with the electorate at 170,000 which increased to 240,000 by 1846. Catholicism was no longer the state religion, but only the "religion professed by the majority of the French", censorship of the press was abolished, the French tricolor flag was reinstated; this article is based on the article Charte de 1830 from the French Wikipedia, retrieved on October 13, 2006.
This is a copy of the text of the Charter. Http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1830frenchconstitution.asp Constitution of France Government of France History of France