Constitution of the Kingdom of Westphalia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Constitution of the Kingdom of Westphalia, was adopted by the Kingdom of Westphalia in 1807, following the pattern of the other Napoleonic States. The Constitution of the Kingdom of Westphalia is the oldest constitution in Germany. It was modeled on the constitutions of other Napoleonic States (e.g., the highest organization of the patent Constitution of the Grand Duchy of Frankfurt). The Constitution was by royal decree dated on 7 December 1807 and enacted in law bulletin.


The Constitution describes the integration of the Kingdom of the Napoleonic order. The Kingdom is part of the Rhine Confederation (Article 5). Jérôme I, brother of Napoleon I (Article 6 et seq.) That will also metric system introduced (Article 17). Furthermore, is the Civil Code introduced (Article 45 et seq.)

A number of modernization of the law are codified. Thus, the equality of all subjects before the law (Article 10) has the privileges of the nobility diminished (Art. 12) and the serfdom abolished (Article 13).

The government should be formed by four ministers (Title 5), which are responsible for individual ministries. In addition, there was a Council of State from 16 to 20 people. In the legislative process also affect the estates of the empire of the Kingdom of Westphalia, the Parliament of the Kingdom and its committees (Article 25 et seq.)

The administrative division of the kingdom into departments, districts, and municipalities of Cantone is in Articles 34 et seq. described.

Implementation of the Constitution[edit]

The constitutional institutions began their work in most cases in the course of 1808. However, the functioning of constitutional institutions was partly at odds with the framers of Napoleon beabsichten social reforms. The states-of the kingdom, where the landed aristocracy had made a lot of weight, multiple use of his right to block reform legislation of the government. Other constitutional bodies were dominated by the formerly privileged nobility, like the departmental colleges, whose task, among other things was to choose the justices of the cantons and to propose to the king the candidates for the municipal councils.

In order to implement the reform policy despite the opposition of the nobility, the Westphalian bypassed mainly from 1810 constitutional organs. Thus the imperial estates were not convoked by 1810th The king ruled by decree. The electoral colleges were not consulted. Even the first after the appointment of wave in 1808 newly appointed justices of the peace and municipal councils were appointed without consulting the electoral college on a proposal from the administrative and judicial officials by royal decrees. In the 1810 to the Kingdom of the connected regions of the Electorate of Hanover to the inclusion of the electoral colleges omitted in the selection process.

However, the royal government was watching over the observance of the rights of municipal councils, which were the lowest of the executive administration officials associate representative body.

External sources[edit]