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Napoleon was very industrious and perserving. Chaplat, his Home Minister said about him that Napoleon could work eighteen hours a day. Ordinarily the meetings he presided over lasted for eight or ten hours. His administration has been assessed by the historians as something splendid, comprehensive and efficient. This was the result of his untiring work. His name will be immortal in the world history.
3.6a Napoleonís Domestic Policy
Napoleon once observed prudently that his fame was not due to the forty wars that he had waged but his Codes. For passing laws in the country he appointed committees, consisting of judicial and legislative experts, learned men and specialists of great eminence. He himself expressed his own views before them for a long time. It bore happy results.
What Germany could achieve in 15 years, Napoleon accomplished in four months. The committees by their commendable efforts made a civil code in 1804. It placed the entire family under its head.
Napoleon was not in favor of complete freedom for women. Though Napoleon tried to take Haiti and Louisiana islands, he could not succeed in his efforts. Napoleon imposed restrictions on the freedom of speech, writing and publication. Only one newspaper could be published from one department and that also under the supervision of a Prefect. Every publisher was required to take a license. The Government was also rigorously vigilant over the work of any teacher, the publication of any book and personal correspondences.
The Civil Procedure of Napoleon is also famous. In it the accent was laid on compromise before litigation. This was known as the "Criminal Procedure Code." It consisted of laws in judicious proportion to the nature of crime committed. There was death penalty for creating disorder in the country besides imprisonment for life, branding, exile and confiscation of property. These laws were quite rigorous and deterrent. The jury system was introduced and the persons under trial could take the help of lawyers. The trial of a person was no more a secret affair. The roving judges and Assize courts dispensed justice with judicious precision and promptness. The culprits could question the witnesses, but they were not given freedom under the writ of Habeas Corpus.
The Commercial Code of Napoleon consisted of mercantile laws. These codes put together go by the name of íCode Napoleon.í No doubt it was not without certain flaws, but even then it provided a strong basis for the judiciary of France. Many amendments were made from time to time. Due to this great work done by Napoleon he became famous all over Europe. Not only this but he also came to be known by the people as the íSecond Justinian.í
The Civil Code placed a wife completely under the control of her husband. Women could not purchase or sell anything without the prior permission of their husbands. Either the husband or the wife could apply for divorce on the grounds of free love, immorality and infidelity etc. No one could give more than half of his property to any one. The rate of interest was fixed by an Act of law.