Georges Auguste Couthon was a French politician and lawyer known for his service as a deputy in the Legislative Assembly during the French Revolution. Couthon was elected to the Committee of Public Safety on 30 May 1793 and served as a close associate of Maximilien Robespierre and Louis Antoine de Saint-Just until his arrest and execution in 1794 during the period of the Reign of Terror. Couthon played an important role in the development of the Law of 22 Prairial, responsible for a sharp increase in the number of executions of accused counter-revolutionaries. Couthon was born on 22 December 1755 in Orcet in the province of Auvergne, his father was his mother the daughter of a shopkeeper. Couthon, like generations of his family before him, was a member of the lower bourgeoisie. Following in his father’s footsteps, Couthon became a notary; the skills he acquired enabled him to serve on the Provincial Assembly of Auvergne in 1787, his first experience of politics. He was well-regarded by others as an well-mannered individual.
As the Revolution grew nearer, Couthon started to become disabled due to advancing paralysis in both legs. While doctors diagnosed Couthon with meningitis in 1792, Couthon blamed his paralysis on the frequent sexual experiences of his youth, his political aspirations took him away from Orcet and to Paris, where he joined the Freemasons in 1790 in Clermont. While in Clermont, he became a fixture at its literary society, where he earned acclaim for his discussion on the topic of "Patience." In 1791, Couthon became one of the deputies of the Legislative Assembly. In 1791, Couthon traveled to Paris to fulfill his duty as a deputy in the Legislative Assembly, he joined the growing Jacobin Club of Paris. He chose to sit on the Left at the first meeting of the Assembly, but soon decided against associating himself with such radicals as he feared they were "shocking the majority." He was a proficient speaker, there is evidence that he exploited his condition as a paraplegic in order to gain the ear of the Assembly on issues he found important.
In September 1792, Couthon was elected to the National Convention. During a visit to Flanders, where he sought treatment for his health, he met and befriended Charles François Dumouriez writing praises of him to the Assembly, referring to him as "a man essential to us." His relationship with Dumouriez caused Couthon to consider joining the Girondist faction of the Assembly but after the Girondist electors of the Committee of the Constitution refused Couthon a seat on the Committee in October 1792, he committed himself to the Montagnards and the inner group formed around Maximilien Robespierre - a man with whom he shared many opinions. Couthon became an enthusiastic supporter of the Montagnards and echoed their opinions. At the Trial of Louis XVI in December 1792, he argued loudly against the Girondist request for a referendum, he would go on to vote for the death sentence without appeal. On 30 May 1793, Couthon was elected to the Committee of Public Safety, where he would work with Robespierre and Saint-Just in the planning of policy strategy and policing personnel.
Three days after rising to this position, Couthon was the first to demand the arrest of proscribed Girondists. Growing unrest had been occurring in Lyon in early May. By 5 July 1793, the National Convention determined the city of Lyon to be “in a state of rebellion”, by September, the Committee of Public Safety decided to send representatives to Lyon to end the rebellion. Couthon would be the representative that Lyon would surrender to on 9 October 1793, he was suspicious of the unrest in Lyon upon his arrival, would not allow the Jacobins of the local administration to meet with one another, fearing an uprising. On 12 October 1793, the Committee of Public Safety passed a decree that they believed would make an example of Lyon; the decree specified. Following the decree, Couthon established special courts that would supervise the demolition of the richest homes in Lyon, leaving the homes of the poor untouched. In addition to the demolition of the city, the decree dictated that the rebels and the traitors were to be executed.
Couthon had difficulty accepting the destruction of Lyon and proceeded with his orders. He would find that he could not stomach the task at hand, by the end of October, he requested the National Convention to send a replacement. Republican atrocities in Lyon began after Couthon was replaced on 3 November 1793 by Jean Marie Collot d'Herbois, who would go on to condemn 1,880 Lyonnais by April 1794. Following his departure from Lyon, Couthon returned to Paris, on 21 December, he was elected president of the Convention, he contributed to the prosecution of the Hébertists and continued serving on the Committee of Public Safety for the next several months. On 10 June 1794, Couthon drafted the Law of 22 Prairial with the aid of Robespierre. On the pretext of shortening proceedings, the law deprived the accused of the aid of counsel and of witnesses for their defense in the case of trials before the Revolutionary Tribunal; the Revolutionary Tribunals were charged with quick verdicts of innocence or death for the accused brought before them.
Couthon proposed the law without consulting the rest of the Committee of Public Safety, as both Couthon and Robespierre expected that the Committee would not be receptive to it. The Convention raised objections to the measure, but Couthon justified the measure by arguing that the politica
Court of Cassation (France)
The Court of Cassation is one of the four courts of last resort in France. It has jurisdiction over all civil and criminal matters triable in the judicial system, is the supreme court of appeal in these cases, it has jurisdiction to review the law, to certify questions of law, to determine miscarriages of justice. The Court is located in the Palace of Justice in Paris; the Court does not have jurisdiction over cases involving claims against administrators or public bodies, which fall within the jurisdiction of administrative courts, for which the Council of State acts as the supreme court of appeal. Collectively, these four courts form the topmost tier of the French court system; the Court was established in 1790 under the name Tribunal de cassation during the French Revolution, its original purpose was to act as a court of error with revisory jurisdiction over lower provincial prerogative courts. However, much about the Court continues the earlier Paris Parlement; the Court is the seat of the Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union.
The Court is made up of justices, the Office of the Prosecutor, an Administrative Office of Courts. In addition, a separate bar of specially certified barristers exists for trying cases at the French Court. Overall, the Court consists of nearly 85 trial judges and about 40 deputy judges, each divided among six different divisions: First Civil Division deals with family law, child custody, professional discipline, individual rights, contractual liability Second Civil Division handles divorce and electoral matters Third Civil Division for immovable property, city planning, foreclosures Commercial Division handles companies, business and intellectual property Labor Division handles labor disputes, worker compensation, welfare Criminal Division deals with criminal casesEach division is headed by a presiding justice referred to in French as a président, or President of Division; the Chief Justice bears the title of the premier président, or President of the Court, who supervises the presiding justices of the various divisions.
The Chief Justice is the highest-ranking judicial officer in the country and is responsible for administration of the Court and the discipline of justices. The current Chief Justice is Bertrand Louvel; the Court includes 12 masters, the lowest rank of justice, who are concerned with administration. There is, in addition to the abovementioned six divisions, a separate organization known as the Divisional Court; the Divisional Court adjudicates where the subject matter of an appeal falls within the purview of multiple divisions. The Bench of the Divisional Court seats the Chief Justice and a number of other judges from at least three other divisions relevant to a given case. Any participating division is represented by two puisne judges. A Full Court is called, presided over by the Chief Justice or, if he is absent, by the most senior presiding justice, it seat by all divisional presiding justices and senior justices assisted by a puisne judge from each division. The Full Court is the highest level of the Court.
The prosecution, or parquet général, is headed by the Chief Prosecutor. The Chief Prosecutor is a judicial officer, but does not prosecute cases. Duties include filing originating motions to bring cases before the Court "in the name of the law" and bringing cases before the French Court of Justice, which tries government officials for crimes committed while in office; the Chief Prosecutor is assisted by two Chief Deputy Prosecutors and a staff of about 22 deputy prosecutors, 2 assistant prosecutors. Barristers, though not technically officers of the Court, play an integral role in the due dispensing of justice. Except for a few types of actions, advocate counsel in the form of a barrister is mandatory for any case heard at the Court or Council of State. Barristers with exclusive rights of audience and admitted to practice law in either senior court carry the title of avocat au Conseil d'État et à la Cour de Cassation, or avocats aux Conseils for short. Admission to the Supreme Court bar is difficult, requiring special training and passing a notoriously stringent examination.
Once admitted, bar members can advise litigants on whether their actions are justiciable, that is, issuable and exceeding de minimis requirements—an important service since the Court only hears appeals on points of law and not issues of fact. Membership is considered a public office; the Court's main purpose is to review lower court rulings on the grounds of legal or procedural error. As the highest court of law in France, it has other duties; the Court has inherent appellate jurisdiction for appeals from courts of appeal or, for
Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars, he won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history, he was born in Corsica to a modest family of Italian origin from minor nobility. He was serving as an artillery officer in the French army when the French Revolution erupted in 1789.
He rose through the ranks of the military, seizing the new opportunities presented by the Revolution and becoming a general at age 24. The French Directory gave him command of the Army of Italy after he suppressed a revolt against the government from royalist insurgents. At age 26, he began his first military campaign against the Austrians and the Italian monarchs aligned with the Habsburgs—winning every battle, conquering the Italian Peninsula in a year while establishing "sister republics" with local support, becoming a war hero in France. In 1798, he led a military expedition to Egypt, he became First Consul of the Republic. Napoleon's ambition and public approval inspired him to go further, he became the first Emperor of the French in 1804. Intractable differences with the British meant that the French were facing a Third Coalition by 1805. Napoleon shattered this coalition with decisive victories in the Ulm Campaign and a historic triumph over the Russian Empire and Austrian Empire at the Battle of Austerlitz which led to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1806, the Fourth Coalition took up arms against him because Prussia became worried about growing French influence on the continent. Napoleon defeated Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstedt marched his Grande Armée deep into Eastern Europe and annihilated the Russians in June 1807 at the Battle of Friedland. France forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July 1807, bringing an uneasy peace to the continent. Tilsit signified the high-water mark of the French Empire. In 1809, the Austrians and the British challenged the French again during the War of the Fifth Coalition, but Napoleon solidified his grip over Europe after triumphing at the Battle of Wagram in July. Napoleon invaded the Iberian Peninsula, hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, declared his brother Joseph Bonaparte the King of Spain in 1808; the Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support. The Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, ended in victory for the Allies against Napoleon.
The Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states Russia. The Russians were unwilling to bear the economic consequences of reduced trade and violated the Continental System, enticing Napoleon into another war; the French launched a major invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The campaign did not yield the decisive victory Napoleon wanted, it resulted in the collapse of the Grande Armée and inspired a renewed push against Napoleon by his enemies. In 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in the War of the Sixth Coalition against France. A lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, but his tactical victory at the minor Battle of Hanau allowed retreat onto French soil; the Allies invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of Elba off the coast of Tuscany, the Bourbon dynasty was restored to power.
Napoleon took control of France once again. The Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition which defeated him at the Battle of Waterloo in June; the British exiled him to the remote island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died six years at the age of 51. Napoleon's influence on the modern world brought liberal reforms to the numerous territories that he conquered and controlled, such as the Low Countries and large parts of modern Italy and Germany, he implemented fundamental liberal policies throughout Western Europe. His Napoleonic Code has influenced the legal systems of more than 70 nations around the world. British historian Andrew Roberts states: "The ideas that underpin our modern world—meritocracy, equality before the law, property rights, religious toleration, modern secular education, sound finances, so on—were championed, consolidated and geographically extended by Napoleon. To them he added a rational and efficient local administration, an end to rural banditry, the encouragement of science and the arts, the abolition of feudalism and the greatest codification of laws since the fall of the Roman Empire".
The ancestors of Napoleon descended from minor Italian nobility of Tuscan origin who had come to Corsica fr
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.
Alsace is a cultural and historical region in eastern France, on the west bank of the upper Rhine next to Germany and Switzerland. From 1982 to 2016, Alsace was the smallest administrative région in metropolitan France, consisting of the Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin departments. Territorial reform passed by the French legislature in 2014 resulted in the merger of the Alsace administrative region with Champagne-Ardenne and Lorraine to form Grand Est. Alsatian is an Alemannic dialect related to Swabian and Swiss German, although since World War II most Alsatians speak French. Internal and international migration since 1945 has changed the ethnolinguistic composition of Alsace. For more than 300 years, from the Thirty Years' War to World War II, the political status of Alsace was contested between France and various German states in wars and diplomatic conferences; the economic and cultural capital of Alsace, as well as its largest city, is Strasbourg. The city is the seat of bodies; the name "Alsace" can be traced to the Old High German Ali-saz or Elisaz, meaning "foreign domain".
An alternative explanation is from a Germanic Ell-sass, meaning "seated on the Ill", a river in Alsace. In prehistoric times, Alsace was inhabited by nomadic hunters. By 1500 BC, Celts began to settle in Alsace and cultivating the land, it should be noted that Alsace is a plain surrounded by the Vosges mountains and the Black Forest mountains. It creates Foehn winds which, along with natural irrigation, contributes to the fertility of the soil. In a world of agriculture, Alsace has always been a rich region which explains why it suffered so many invasions and annexations in its history. By 58 BC, the Romans had established Alsace as a center of viticulture. To protect this valued industry, the Romans built fortifications and military camps that evolved into various communities which have been inhabited continuously to the present day. While part of the Roman Empire, Alsace was part of Germania Superior. With the decline of the Roman Empire, Alsace became the territory of the Germanic Alemanni; the Alemanni were agricultural people, their Germanic language formed the basis of modern-day dialects spoken along the Upper Rhine.
Clovis and the Franks defeated the Alemanni during the 5th century AD, culminating with the Battle of Tolbiac, Alsace became part of the Kingdom of Austrasia. Under Clovis' Merovingian successors the inhabitants were Christianized. Alsace remained under Frankish control until the Frankish realm, following the Oaths of Strasbourg of 842, was formally dissolved in 843 at the Treaty of Verdun. Alsace formed part of the Middle Francia, ruled by the eldest grandson Lothar I. Lothar died early in 855 and his realm was divided into three parts; the part known as Lotharingia, or Lorraine, was given to Lothar's son. The rest was shared between Louis the German; the Kingdom of Lotharingia was short-lived, becoming the stem duchy of Lorraine in Eastern Francia after the Treaty of Ribemont in 880. Alsace was united with the other Alemanni east of the Rhine into the stem duchy of Swabia. At about this time, the surrounding areas experienced recurring fragmentation and reincorporations among a number of feudal secular and ecclesiastical lordships, a common process in the Holy Roman Empire.
Alsace experienced great prosperity during the 13th centuries under Hohenstaufen emperors. Frederick I set up Alsace as a province to be ruled by ministeriales, a non-noble class of civil servants; the idea was that such men would be more tractable and less to alienate the fief from the crown out of their own greed. The province had a central administration with its seat at Hagenau. Frederick II designated the Bishop of Strasbourg to administer Alsace, but the authority of the bishop was challenged by Count Rudolf of Habsburg, who received his rights from Frederick II's son Conrad IV. Strasbourg began to grow to become the commercially important town in the region. In 1262, after a long struggle with the ruling bishops, its citizens gained the status of free imperial city. A stop on the Paris-Vienna-Orient trade route, as well as a port on the Rhine route linking southern Germany and Switzerland to the Netherlands and Scandinavia, it became the political and economic center of the region. Cities such as Colmar and Hagenau began to grow in economic importance and gained a kind of autonomy within the "Décapole", a federation of ten free towns.
As in much of Europe, the prosperity of Alsace came to an end in the 14th century by a series of harsh winters, bad harvests, the Black Death. These hardships were blamed on Jews, leading to the pogroms of 1336 and 1339. In 1349, Jews of Alsace were accused of poisoning the wells with plague, leading to the massacre of thousands of Jews during the Strasbourg pogrom. Jews were subsequently forbidden to settle in the town. An additional natural disaster was the Rhine rift earthquake of 1356, one of Europe's worst which made ruins of Basel. Prosperity returned to Alsace under Habsburg administration during the Renaissance. Holy Roman Empire central power had begun to decline following years of imperial adventures in Italian lands ceding hegemony in Western Europe to France, which had long since centralized power. France began an aggressive policy of expanding eastward, first to the riv
Louis XVI of France
Louis XVI, born Louis-Auguste, was the last King of France before the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution. He was referred to as Citizen Louis Capet during the four months. In 1765, at the death of his father, Louis and heir apparent of Louis XV, Louis-Auguste became the new Dauphin of France. Upon his grandfather's death on 10 May 1774, he assumed the title "King of France and Navarre", which he used until 4 September 1791, when he received the title of "King of the French" until the monarchy was abolished on 21 September 1792; the first part of his reign was marked by attempts to reform the French government in accordance with Enlightenment ideas. These included efforts to abolish serfdom, remove the taille, increase tolerance toward non-Catholics; the French nobility reacted to the proposed reforms with hostility, opposed their implementation. Louis implemented deregulation of the grain market, advocated by his economic liberal minister Turgot, but it resulted in an increase in bread prices.
In periods of bad harvests, it would lead to food scarcity. From 1776, Louis XVI supported the North American colonists, who were seeking their independence from Great Britain, realised in the 1783 Treaty of Paris; the ensuing debt and financial crisis contributed to the unpopularity of the Ancien Régime. This led to the convening of the Estates-General of 1789. Discontent among the members of France's middle and lower classes resulted in strengthened opposition to the French aristocracy and to the absolute monarchy, of which Louis and his wife, Queen Marie Antoinette, were viewed as representatives. Increasing tensions and violence were marked by events such as the storming of the Bastille, during which riots in Paris forced Louis to definitively recognize the legislative authority of the National Assembly. Louis XVI was initiated into masonic lodge Trois-Frères à l'Orient de la Cour. Louis's indecisiveness and conservatism led some elements of the people of France to view him as a symbol of the perceived tyranny of the Ancien Régime, his popularity deteriorated progressively.
His disastrous flight to Varennes in June 1791, four months before the constitutional monarchy was declared, seemed to justify the rumors that the king tied his hopes of political salvation to the prospects of foreign intervention. The credibility of the king was undermined, the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a republic became an ever-increasing possibility. Despite his lack of popular approbation, Louis XVI did abolish the death penalty for deserters, as well as the labor tax, which had compelled the French lower classes to spend two weeks out of the year working on buildings and roads. In a context of civil and international war, Louis XVI was suspended and arrested at the time of the Insurrection of 10 August 1792, he was tried by the National Convention, found guilty of high treason, executed by guillotine on 21 January 1793, as a desacralized French citizen under the name of "Citizen Louis Capet," in reference to Hugh Capet, the founder of the Capetian dynasty – which the revolutionaries interpreted as Louis's family name.
Louis XVI was the only King of France to be executed, his death brought an end to more than a thousand years of continuous French monarchy. Both of his sons died before the Bourbon Restoration. Louis-Auguste de France, given the title Duc de Berry at birth, was born in the Palace of Versailles. One of seven children, he was the second surviving son of Louis, the Dauphin of France, thus the grandson of Louis XV of France and of his consort, Maria Leszczyńska, his mother was Marie-Josèphe of Saxony, the daughter of Frederick Augustus II of Saxony, Prince-Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. Louis-Auguste was overlooked by his parents who favored his older brother, duc de Bourgogne, regarded as bright and handsome but who died at the age of nine in 1761. Louis-Auguste, a strong and healthy boy but shy, excelled in his studies and had a strong taste for Latin, history and astronomy and became fluent in Italian and English, he enjoyed physical activities such as hunting with his grandfather and rough play with his younger brothers, Louis-Stanislas, comte de Provence, Charles-Philippe, comte d'Artois.
From an early age, Louis-Auguste was encouraged in another of his interests, seen as a useful pursuit for a child. Upon the death of his father, who died of tuberculosis on 20 December 1765, the eleven-year-old Louis-Auguste became the new Dauphin, his mother never recovered from the loss of her husband and died on 13 March 1767 from tuberculosis. The strict and conservative education he received from the Duc de La Vauguyon, "gouverneur des Enfants de France", from 1760 until his marriage in 1770, did not prepare him for the throne that he was to inherit in 1774 after the death of his grandfather, Louis XV. Throughout his education, Louis-Auguste received a mixture of studies particular to religion and humanities, his instructors may have had a good hand in shaping Louis-Auguste into the indecisive king that he became. Abbé Berthier, his instructor, taught him that timidity was a value in strong monarchs, Abbé Soldini, his confessor, instructed him not to let people read his mind. On 16 May 1770, at the ag
Bankruptcy is a legal process through which people or other entities who cannot repay debts to creditors may seek relief from some or all of their debts. In most jurisdictions, bankruptcy is imposed by a court order initiated by the debtor. Bankruptcy is not the only legal status that an insolvent person may have, the term bankruptcy is therefore not a synonym for insolvency. In some countries, such as the United Kingdom, bankruptcy is limited to individuals. In the United States, bankruptcy is applied more broadly to formal insolvency proceedings. In France, the cognate French word banqueroute is used for cases of fraudulent bankruptcy, whereas the term faillite is used for bankruptcy in accordance with the law; the word bankruptcy is derived from Italian banca rotta, meaning "broken bench", which may stem from a widespread custom in the Republic of Genoa of breaking a moneychanger's bench or counter to signify their insolvency, or which may be only a figure of speech. In Ancient Greece, bankruptcy did not exist.
If a man owed and he could not pay, he and his wife, children or servants were forced into "debt slavery", until the creditor recouped losses through their physical labour. Many city-states in ancient Greece limited debt slavery to a period of five years. However, servants of the debtor could be retained beyond that deadline by the creditor and were forced to serve their new lord for a lifetime under harsher conditions. An exception to this rule was Athens; the Statute of Bankrupts of 1542 was the first statute under English law dealing with bankruptcy or insolvency. Bankruptcy is documented in East Asia. According to al-Maqrizi, the Yassa of Genghis Khan contained a provision that mandated the death penalty for anyone who became bankrupt three times. A failure of a nation to meet bond repayments has been seen on many occasions. Philip II of Spain had to declare four state bankruptcies in 1557, 1560, 1575 and 1596. According to Kenneth S. Rogoff, "Although the development of international capital markets was quite limited prior to 1800, we catalog the various defaults of France, Prussia and the early Italian city-states.
At the edge of Europe, Egypt and Turkey have histories of chronic default as well." The principal focus of modern insolvency legislation and business debt restructuring practices no longer rests on the elimination of insolvent entities, but on the remodeling of the financial and organizational structure of debtors experiencing financial distress so as to permit the rehabilitation and continuation of the business. For private households, some argue that it is insufficient to dismiss debts after a certain period, it is important to assess the underlying problems and to minimize the risk of financial distress to re-occur. It has been stressed that debt advice, a supervised rehabilitation period, financial education and social help to find sources of income and to improve the management of household expenditures must be provided during this period of rehabilitation. In most EU Member States, debt discharge is conditioned by a partial payment obligation and by a number of requirements concerning the debtor's behavior.
In the United States, discharge is conditioned to a lesser extent. The spectrum is broad in the EU, with the UK coming closest to the US system; the Other Member States do not provide the option of a debt discharge. Spain, for example, passed a bankruptcy law in 2003 which provides for debt settlement plans that can result in a reduction of the debt or an extension of the payment period of maximally five years, but it does not foresee debt discharge. In the US, it is difficult to discharge federal or federally guaranteed student loan debt by filing bankruptcy. Unlike most other debts, those student loans may be discharged only if the person seeking discharge establishes specific grounds for discharge under the Brunner test, under which the court evaluates three factors: If required to repay the loan, the borrower cannot maintain a minimal standard of living. If a debtor proves all three elements, a court may permit only a partial discharge of the student loan. Student loan borrowers may benefit from restructuring their payments through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan, but few qualify for discharge of part or all of their student loan debt.
Bankruptcy fraud is a white-collar crime. While difficult to generalize across jurisdictions, common criminal acts under bankruptcy statutes involve concealment of assets, concealment or destruction of documents, conflicts of interest, fraudulent claims, false statements or declarations, fee fixing or redistribution arrangements. Falsifications on bankruptcy forms constitute perjury. Multiple filings are not in and of themselves criminal, but they may violate provisions of bankruptcy law. In the U. S. bankruptcy fraud statutes are focused on the mental state of particular actions. Bankruptcy fraud is a federal crime in the United States. Bankruptcy fraud should be distinguished from strategic bankruptcy, not a criminal act since it creates a real bankruptcy state. Howeve