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December 15, 2018

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A French Interlude


While Queen Marie Antoinette is sent to the block in Paris her brother Max Franz is expelled from Bonn and his Electorate by the troops of that same revolution in 1794. They erect a ‘Freedom Tree’ in the market square, shut down the university and acquaint Bonn’s citizens with their first paper money, the assignats. Above all, however, they bring them equality before the law as well as freedom of religion and trade. Bonn, as indeed the entire left bank of the Rhine, becomes French territory and adopts - not to its detriment - the ‘Code civil’ (‘Code Napoléon’), the progressive civil law of the conquerors. It remains in force in the Rhineland as long as 1900 when it is replaced by the new and nationwide uniform Civil Code (‘Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch’) of the German Empire.

Last update: June 2, 2017



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