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Depiction of the Emperor's "commendable" actions | by Yvon from Ottawa
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Depiction of the Emperor's "commendable" actions

Other than waging war on France's enemies and killing thousands in the process, Napoleon left an important and valuable legacy of good deeds that are illustrated in a series of 10 bas-reliefs that decorate the walls of the crypt at Les Invalides where his sarcophagus is located. These have to do mostly with the establishment of national institutions such as the Imperial University; centralized administration; state council; the civil code; the commercial code; concordat; legion of honour, etc. Shown here is the bas-reliefs depicting the Civil Code, which became very important not only in France, but in many other parts of the world as well. For example, the Napoleonic Code, as it became known, was the basis of the legal system in the Province of Québec (Canada) up until 1993 when a new code of law was established. The Civil Code was established in 1804 and included provisions such as the elimination of privileges based on birth, freedom of religion, allowed prisoners to be represented by a lawyer, and many other articles that, today, we take for granted.

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Taken on September 10, 2012