The Constitutions and Other Select Documents Illustrative of the History of France 1789-1907

Contents:
Date: 1834–

Show Summary
World History

Constitution of the Year III.

August 22, 1795 (5 Fructidor, Year III). Duvergier, Lois,, VIII, 223–242.

Duvergier, J. B., et al. Collection complète des lois, decrets, ordonnances, reglements, avis du Conseil d’État. Second ed. of vols. 1–31 inclusive. First ed., 32— Paris 1834–.

REFERENCES. Gardiner. French Revolution, 247–250; Mathews, French Revolution. 277–280; Fyffe, Modern Europe, I, 100–103 (Popular ed., 68–69); Fournier, Napoleon, 54; Lanfrey, Napoleon, I, 48–50; Von Sybel, French Revolution, IV, 394–404; Cambridge Modern History, VIII, 392–397, 487–488; Lavisse and Rambaud, Histoire générale, VIII, 227–230, 374–376; Aulard, Révolution française, Part III, Ch. I; Jaurès, Histoire socialiste, V, 128–134.

Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man and Citizen.

The French people proclaim in the presence of the Supreme Being the following declaration of the rights of man and citizen:

Rights.

1. The rights of man in society are liberty, equality, security, property.

2. Liberty consists in the power to do that which does not injure the rights of others.

3. Equality consists in this, that the law is the same for all, whether it protects or punishes.

Equality does not admit of any distinction of birth, nor of any inheritance of authority.

4. Security results from the co-operation of all in order to assure the rights of each.

5. Property is the right to enjoy and to dispose of one’s goods, income, and the fruit of one’s labor and industry.

6. The law is the general will expressed by the majority of the citizens or their representatives.

7. That which is not forbidden by the law cannot be prevented.

No one can be constrained to do that which it does not ordain.

8. No one can be summoned into court, accused, arrested, or detained except in the cases determined by the law and according to the forms which it has prescribed.

9. Those who incite, promote, sign, execute, or cause to be executed arbitrary acts are guilty and ought to be punished.

10. Every severity which may not be necessary to secure the person of a prisoner ought to be severely repressed by the law.

11. No one can be tried until after he has been heard or legally summoned.

12. The law ought to decree only such penalties as are strictly necessary and proportionate to the offence.

13. All treatment which increases the penalty fixed by the law is a crime.

14. No law, either civil or criminal, can have retroactive effect.

15. Every man can contract his time and his services, but he cannot sell himself nor be sold; his person is not an alienable property.

16. Every tax is established for the public utility; it ought to be apportioned among those liable for taxes, according to their means.

17. Sovereignty resides essentially in the totality of the citizens.

18. No individual nor assembly of part of the citizens can assume the sovereignty.

19. No one can without legal delegation exercise any authority or fill any public function.

20. Each citizen has a legal right to participate directly or indirectly in the formation of the law and in the selection of the representatives of the people and of the public functionaries.

21. The public offices cannot become the property of those who hold them.

22. The social guarantee cannot exist if the division of powers is not established, if their limits are not fixed, and if the responsibility of the public functionaries is not assured.

Duties.

1. The declaration of rights contains the obligations of the legislators; the maintenance of society requires that those who compose it should both know and fulfill their duties.

2. All the duties of man and citizen spring from these two principles graven by nature in every heart:

Not to do to others that which you would not that they should do to you.

Do continually for others the good that you would wish to receive from them.

3. The obligations of each person to society consist in defending it, serving it, living in submission to the laws, and respecting those who are the agents of them.

4. No one is a good citizen unless he is a good son, good father, good brother, good friend, good husband.

5. No one is a virtuous man unless he is unreservedly and religiously an observer of the laws.

6. The one who violates the laws openly declares himself in a state of war with society.

7. The one who, without transgressing the laws, eludes them by stratagem or ingenuity wounds the interests of all; he makes himself unworthy of their good will and their esteem.

8. It is upon the maintenance of property that the cultivation of the land, all the productions, all means of labor, and the whole social order rest.

9. Every citizen owes his services to the fatherland and to the maintenance of liberty, equality, and property whenever the law summons him to defend them.

Constitution.

1. The French Republic is one and indivisible.

2. The totality of the French citizens is the sovereign.

Title I.

3. France is divided into — departments.

These departments are . . . [list omitted].

4. The boundaries of the departments can be changed or rectified by the legislative body; but in that case, the area of a department cannot exceed one hundred square myriameters (four hundred common square leagues).

5. Each department is divided into cantons, each canton into communes.

The cantons preserve their present circumscriptions.

Their boundaries, nevertheless, can be changed or rectified by the legislative body; but in that case there shall not be more than one myriameter (two common leagues of two thousand five hundred and sixty-six toises each) of the commune the most remote from the head-town of the canton.

6. The French colonies are integral parts of the Republic and are subject to the same constitutional law.

7. They are divided into departments as follows:

The island of Saint Domingo, of which the legislative body shall determine the division, into four departments at least and into six at most;

Guadaloupe, Marie Galante, Désirade, the Saintes, and the French part of Saint Martin;

Martinique;

French Guiana and Cayenne;

Saint Lucia and Tabago.

The Isle of France, the Seychelles, Rodriguez, the settlements of Madagascar;

The Island of Réunion;

The East Indies, Pondicherry, Chandernagor, Mahé, Karikal and other settlements.

Title II. Political Condition of the Citizens.

8. Every man born and residing in France, fully twenty-one years of age, who has had himself enrolled upon the civic register of his canton, who has lived for a year past upon the soil of the Republic, and who pays a direct land or personal property tax, is a French citizen.

9. Frenchmen who shall have made one or more campaigns for the establishment of the Republic are citizens, without condition as to tax.

10. A foreigner becomes a French citizen when, after having fully reached the age of twenty-one years and having declared an intention to settle in France, he has resided here for seven consecutive years; provided he pays a direct tax, and in addition possesses real estate or an agricultural or commercial establishment, or has married a French woman.

11. Only French citizens can vote in the primary assemblies and be summoned to the offices established by the constitution.

12. The exercise of the rights of citizenship is lost:

1st. By naturalization in a foreign country;

2d. By affiliation with any foreign corporation which may imply distinctions of birth or which may demand religious vows;

3d. By the acceptance of positions or pensions offered by a foreign government;

4th. By condemnation to afflictive or infamous penalties until rehabilitation.

13. The exercise of the rights of citizenship is suspended:

1st. By judicial inhibition because of delirium, insanity, or imbecility;

2d. By the condition of bankruptcy or by the direct inheritance by gratuitous title of the whole or of part of the succession of a bankrupt;

3d. By the condition of domestic service for wages either for a person or a household;

4th. By the condition of accusation;

5th. By a judgment of contempt of court, as long as the judgment is not annulled.

14. The exercise of the rights of citizenship is neither lost nor suspended except in the cases enumerated in the two preceding articles.

15. Every citizen who shall have resided for seven consecutive years outside of the territory of the Republic, without commission or authorisation given in the name of the Republic, is reputed a foreigner; he becomes a French citizen again only after having conformed to the conditions prescribed in article 10.

16. Young men cannot be enrolled upon the civic register unless they prove that they know how to read and write and to follow a mechanical calling.

The manual operations of agriculture belong to the mechanical callings.

This article shall have effect only dating from the Year XII of the Republic.

Title III. Primary Assemblies.

17. The primary assemblies are composed of the citizen, residing in the same canton.

The domicile requisite for voting in these assemblies is acquired only by residence for one year and is lost only by a year of absence.

18. No one can act by proxy in the primary assemblies or vote upon the same matter in more than one of these assemblies.

19. There is at least one primary assembly per canton.

When there are several of them, each is composed of four hundred citizens at least, of nine hundred at most.

These numbers include the citizens, present or absent, having the right to vote there.

20. The primary assemblies constitute themselves provisionally under the presidency of the most aged; the youngest discharges provisionally the duties of secretary.

21. They are definitely constituted through the selection by ballot of a president, secretary, and three tellers.

22. If difficulties arise over the qualifications requisite for voting, the assembly decides provisionally, reserving recourse to the civil tribunal of the department.

23. In every other case the legislative body alone pronounces upon the validity of the operations of the primary assemblies.

24. No one can appear in arms in the primary assemblies.

25. Their policing belongs to themselves.

26. The primary assemblies meet:

1st. In order to accept or reject changes in the constitutional act proposed by the assemblies of revision;

2d. To conduct the elections which belong to them according to the constitutional act.

27. They meet with perfect right upon 1 Germinal of each year and proceed, according as there is occasion, to the selection:

1st. Of the members of the electoral assembly;

2d. The justice of the peace and his assessors;

3d. The president of the municipal administration of the canton, or the municipal officers in the communes of above five thousand inhabitants.

28. Immediately after these elections, in the communes of under five thousand inhabitants, the communal assemblies are held, which elect the agents of each commune and their assistants.

29. Whatever is done in a primary or communal assembly that is beyond the purpose of its convocation and contrary to the forms settled by the constitution is null.

30. The assemblies, whether primary or communal, carry on no elections other than those which are assigned to them by the constitutional act.

31. All the elections are carried on by secret ballot.

32. Every citizen who is legally convicted of having sold or purchased a vote is excluded from the primary and communal assemblies and from every public office for twenty years; in case of repetition, forever.

Title IV. Electoral Assemblies.

33. Each primary assembly selects one elector for each two hundred citizens, present or absent, having the right to vote in the said assembly. For citizens up to the number of three hundred inclusive, only one elector is chosen.

Two of them are selected for three hundred-one up to five hundred;

Three for five hundred-one up to seven hundred;

Four for seven hundred-one up to nine hundred.

34. The members of the electoral assemblies are selected each year and can be re-elected only after an interval of two years.

35. No one can be chosen elector unless he is fully twenty-five years of age and unites to the qualifications necessary for the exercise of the rights of French citizenship one of the following conditions, to wit:

In the communes of above six thousand inhabitants, that of being proprietor or usufructuary of a property valued at an income equal to the local value of two hundred days of labor, or that of being occupant either of a habitation valued at an income equal to the value of one hundred and fifty days of labor, or of a rural property valued at two hundred days of labor;

In the communes of under six thousand inhabitants, that of being proprietor or usufructuary of a property valued at an income equal to the local value of one hundred and fifty days of labor, or that of being occupant either of a habitation valued at an income equal to the value of one hundred days of labor or of rural property valued at one hundred days of labor;

And in the country that of being proprietor or usufructuary of a property valued at an income equal to the local value of one hundred and fifty days of labor, or that of being the farmer or métayer of properties appraised at the value of two hundred days of labor.

With respect to those who shall be at the same time proprietors or usufructuaries for one part and occupants, farmers, or métayers for the other, their properties by these different titles shall be cumulated to the amount necessary to establish their eligibility.

36. The electoral assembly of each department meets on 20 Germinal of each year and concludes, in a single session of ten days at most and without power to adjourn, all the elections which are to occur; after that it is dissolved ipso facto.

37. The electoral assemblies cannot busy themselves with any matter foreign to the elections with which they are charged; they cannot send or receive any address, any petition, or any deputation.

38. The electoral assemblies cannot correspond among themselves.

39. No citizen, having been a member of an electoral assembly, can take the title of elector or meet in that capacity with those who have been with him members of that same assembly.

Infraction of the present article is an attempt against the general security.

40. Articles 18, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 29, 30, 31 and 32 of the preceding title, upon the primary assemblies, are common to the electoral assemblies.

41. The electoral assemblies elect, according as there is occasion:

1st. The members of the legislative body; to wit, the members of the Council of Ancients, then the members of the Council of the Five Hundred;

2d. The members of the tribunal of cassation;

3d. The high jurors;

4th. The department administrators;

5th. The president, public accuser, and recorder of the criminal tribunal;

6th. The judges of the civil tribunals.

42. When a citizen is elected by the electoral assemblies in order to replace a deceased, resigned, or dismissed functionary, this citizen is elected only for the time which remained to the replaced functionary.

43. The commissioner of the Executive Directory near the administration of each department is required, under penalty of dismissal, to inform the Directory of the opening and closing of the electoral assemblies; this commissioner can neither stop nor suspend the operations, nor enter into the place of the sittings; but he has the right to call for communication of the minutes of each session within the twenty-four hours which follow it, and he is required to inform the Directory of the infractions which may be made of the constitutional act.

In all cases the legislative body alone passes upon the validity of the operations of the electoral assemblies.

Title V. Legislative Power.

General Provisions.

44. The legislative body is composed of a Council of Ancients and a Council of the Five Hundred.

45. In no case can the legislative body delegate to one or several of its members, nor to anybody whomsoever, any of the functions which are assigned to it by the present constitution.

46. It cannot itself or by delegates discharge the executive or the judicial power.

47. The position of member of the legislative body and the discharge of any other public function, except that of archivist of the Republic, are incompatible.

48. The law determines the method of permanently or temporarily replacing the public functionaries who have been elected members of the legislative body.

49. Each department contributes, in proportion to its population alone, to the selection of the members of the Council of Ancients and of the members of the Council of the Five Hundred.

50. Every ten years the legislative body, according to the lists of population which are sent to it, determines the number of members of each council which each department shall furnish.

51. No change can be made in this apportionment during this interval.

52. The members of the legislative body are not representatives of the department which has selected them, but of the entire nation, and no instructions can be given to them.

53. Both councils are renewed every year by a third.

54. The members retiring after three years can be immediately re-elected for the three following years, after which there must be an interval of two years before they can be elected again.

55. No one in any case can be a member of the legislative body during more than six consecutive years.

56. If through extraordinary circumstances either of the two councils finds itself reduced to less than two-thirds of its members, it gives notice thereof to the Executive Directory, which is required to convoke without delay the primary assemblies of the departments, which have members of the legislative body to replace through the effect of these circumstances: the primary assemblies immediately select the electors, who proceed to the necessary replacements.

57. The newly elected members for both of the councils meet upon 1 Prairial of each year in the commune which has been indicated by the preceding legislative body, or in the same commune where it has held its last sittings, if it has not designated another.

58. The two councils always reside in the same commune.

59. The legislative body is permanent; nevertheless, it can adjourn for periods which it designates.

60. In no case can the two councils meet in a single hall.

61. Neither in the Council of Ancients nor in the Council of the Five Hundred can the functions of president and secretary exceed the duration of one month.

62. The two councils respectively have the right of police in the place of their sittings and in the environs which they have determined.

63. They have respectively the right of police over their members; but they cannot pronounce any penalty more severe than censure, arrests for eight days, or imprisonment for three.

64. The sittings of both councils are public: the spectators cannot exceed in number half of the members of each council respectively.

The minutes of the sittings are printed.

65. Every decision is taken by rising and sitting; in case of doubt, the roll call is employed, but in that case the votes are secret.

66. Upon the request of one hundred of its members each council can form itself into secret committee of the whole but only in order to discuss, not to resolve.

67. Neither of these councils can create any permanent committee within its own body.

But each council has the power, when a matter seems to it susceptible of a preparatory examination, to appoint from among its members a special commission, which confines itself exclusively to the matter that led to its formation.

This commission is dissolved as soon as the council has legislated upon the matter with which it was charged.

68. The members of the legislative body receive an annual compensation; it is fixed for both councils at the value of three thousand myriagrams of wheat (six hundred and thirty quintals, thirty-two pounds).

69. The Executive Directory cannot cause any body of troops to pass or to sojourn within six myriameters (twelve common leagues) of the commune where the legislative body is holding its sittings, except upon its requisition or with its authorisation.

70. There is near the legislative body a guard of citizens. taken from the reserve national guard of all the departments and chosen by their brothers in arms.

This guard cannot be less than fifteen hundred men in active service.

71. The legislative body fixes the method of this service and its duration.

72. The legislative body is not to be present at any public ceremony nor does it send deputations to them.

Council of the Five Hundred.

73. The Council of the Five Hundred is unalterably fixed at that number.

74. In order to be elected a member of the Council of the Five Hundred it is necessary to be fully thirty years of age and to have been domiciled upon the soil of France for the ten years which shall have immediately preceded the election.

The condition of thirty years of age shall not be required before the seventh year of the Republic: until that date the age of twenty-five shall be sufficient.

75. The Council of the Five Hundred cannot deliberate, unless the sitting is composed of at least two hundred members.

76. The proposal of the laws belongs exclusively to the Council of the Five Hundred.

77. No proposition can be considered or decided upon in the Council of the Five Hundred, except in observance of the following forms.

There shall be three readings of the proposal; the interval between two of these readings cannot be less than ten days.

The discussion is open after each reading; nevertheless, the Council of the Five Hundred can declare that there is cause for adjournment, or that there is no occasion for consideration.

Every proposal shall be printed and distributed two days before the second reading.

After the third reading the Council of the Five Hundred decides whether or not there is cause for adjournment.

78. No proposition, which after having been submitted to discussion, has been definitely rejected after the third reading, can be renewed until after a year has elapsed.

79. The propositions adopted by the Council of the Five Hundred are called Resolutions.

80. The preamble of every resolution states:

1st. The dates of the sittings upon which the three readings of the proposition shall have occurred;

2d. The act by which after the third reading it has been declared that there was not cause for adjournment.

81. The propositions recognized as urgent by a previous declaration of the Council of the Five Hundred are exempt from the forms prescribed by article 77.

This declaration states the motives for urgency and mention shall be made of them in the preamble of the resolution.

Council of Ancients.

82. The Council of Ancients is composed of two hundred and fifty members.

83. No one can be elected a member of the Council of Ancients,

Unless he is fully forty years of age;

Unless, moreover, he is married or a widower;

And unless he has been domiciled upon the soil of the Republic for the fifteen years which shall have immediately preceded the election.

84. The condition of domicile required by the preceding article and that prescribed by article 74 do not affect the citizens who are away from the soil of the Republic upon a mission of the government.

85. The Council of Ancients cannot deliberate unless the sitting is composed of at least one hundred and twenty-six members.

86. It belongs exclusively to the Council of Ancients to approve or reject the resolutions of the Council of the Five Hundred.

87. As soon as a resolution of the Council of the Five Hundred has reached the Council of Ancients the president directs the reading of the preamble.

88. The Council of Ancients refuses to approve the resolutions of the Council of the Five Hundred which have not been taken in the forms prescribed by the constitution.

89. If the proposition has been declared urgent by the Council of the Five Hundred, the Council of Ancients decides to approve or reject the act of urgency.

90. If the Council of Ancients rejects the act of urgency it does not pass upon the matter of the resolution.

91. If the resolution is not preceded by an act of urgency there shall be three readings of it: the interval between two of these readings cannot be less than five days.

The debate is open after each reading.

Every resolution is printed and distributed at least two days before the second reading.

92. The resolutions of the Council of the Five Hundred adopted by the Council of Ancients are called Laws.

93. The preamble of the laws states the dates of the sittings of the Council of Ancients upon which the three readings have occurred.

94. The decree by which the Council of Ancients recognizes the urgency of a law is adduced and mentioned in the preamble of that law.

95. The proposition for a law made by the Council of the Five Hundred embraces all the articles of a single project; the council shall reject them all or approve them in their entirety.

96. The approval of the Council of Ancients is expressed upon each proposition of law by this formula signed by the president and the secretaries: The Council of Ancients approves . . .

97. The refusal to adopt because of the omission of the forms indicated in article 77 is expressed by this formula, signed by the president and the secretaries: The Constitution annuls . . .

98. The refusal to approve the principle of the law is expressed by this formula, signed by the president and secretaries: The Council of Ancients cannot adopt . . . .

99. In the case of the preceding article, the rejected project of law cannot be again presented by the Council of the Five Hundred until after a year has elapsed.

100. The Council of the Five Hundred, nevertheless, can present at any date whatsoever a project of law which contains articles included in a project which has been rejected.

101. The Council of Ancients within the day sends the laws which it has adopted to the Council of the Five Hundred as well as to the Executive Directory.

102. The Council of Ancients can change the residence of the legislative body; it indicates in this case a new place and the date at which the two councils are required to repair thence.

The decree of the Council of Ancients upon this subject is irrevocable.

103. Upon the day of this decree neither of the councils can deliberate any further in the commune where they have until then resided.

The members who may continue their functions there make themselves guilty of an attempt against the security of the Republic.

104. The members of the Executive Directory who may retard or refuse to seal, promulgate, and dispatch the decree of transfer of the legislative body are guilty of the same offence.

105. If, within the twenty days after that fixed by the Council of Ancients, the majority of each of the two councils have not made known to the Republic their arrival at the new place indicated or their meeting in some other place, the department administrators, or in their default, the department civil tribunals, convoke the primary assemblies in order to select the electors who proceed forthwith to the formation of a new legislative body by the election of two hundred and fifty deputies for the Council of Ancients and five hundred for the other council.

106. The department administrators, who, in the case of the preceding article may be remiss in convoking the primary assemblies, make themselves guilty of high treason and of an attempt against the security of the Republic.

107. All citizens who interpose obstacles to the convocation of the primary and electoral assemblies in the case of article 106 are guilty of the same offence.

108. The members of the new legislative body assemble in the place to which the Council of Ancients had transferred its sittings.

If they cannot meet in that place, in whatever place there is a majority there is the legislative body.

109. Except in the case of article 102 no proposition of law can originate in the Council of Ancients.

Of the Guaranty of the Members of the Legislative Body.

110. The citizens who are or have been members of the legislative body cannot be questioned, accused, or tried at any time for what they have said or written in the discharge of their functions.

111. The members of the legislative body, from the moment of their selection to the thirtieth day after the expiration of their functions, cannot be put on trial except in the forms prescribed by the articles that follow.

112. For criminal acts they can be seized in the very act; but notice thereof is given without delay to the legislative body and the prosecution shall be continued only after the Council of the Five Hundred shall have proposed proceeding with the trial and the Council of Ancients shall have decreed it.

113. Outside of the case of flagrante delicto the members of the legislative body cannot be brought before the police officers nor put in a state of arrest until after the Council of the Five Hundred has proposed proceeding with the trial and the Council of Ancients has decreed it.

114. In the case of the two preceding articles a member of the legislative body cannot be brought before any other tribunal than the high court of justice.

115. They are brought before the same court for acts of treason, squandering, maneuvers to overthrow the constitution, and attempts against the internal security of the Republic.

116. No denunciation against a member of the legislative body can give rise to a prosecution unless it is reduced to writing, signed, and addressed to the Council of the Five Hundred.

117. If, after having deliberated in the form prescribed by article 77, the Council of the Five Hundred accepts the denunciation, it so declares in these terms:

The denunciation against . . . for the act of . . dated . . . signed . . . is accepted.

118. The accused is then summoned: he has a period of three full days in which to make his appearance, and when he appears, he is heard in the interior of the place of the sittings of the Council of the Five Hundred.

119. Whether the accused be present or not, the Council of the Five Hundred declares after this period whether there is occasion or not for the examination of his conduct.

120. If the Council of the Five Hundred declares that there is occasion for an examination, the accused is summoned by the Council of Ancients: he has a period of two full days in which to appear; and if he appears, he is heard in the interior of the place of the sittings of the Council of Ancients.

121. Whether the accused be present or not, the Council of Ancients, after this period, and after having deliberated in the forms prescribed by article 91, pronounces the accusation if there is occasion and sends the accused before the high court of justice, which is required to proceed with the trial without any delay.

122. All discussion in either council relative to complaint against or accusation of a member of the legislative body takes place in committee of the whole.

Every decision upon the same matters is taken by roll call and secret ballot.

123. Accusation pronounced against a member of the legislative body entails suspension.

If he is acquitted by the judgment of the high court of justice he resumes his functions.

Relations of the Two Councils between Themselves.

124. When the two councils are definitively constituted they give notice thereof reciprocally by a messenger of state.

125. Each council appoints four messengers of state for its service.

126. They carry the laws and acts of the legislative body to each of the councils and to the Executive Directory; they have entrance for that purpose into the place of the sittings of the Executive Directory.

They go preceded by two ushers.

127. Neither of the two councils can adjourn beyond five days without the consent of the other.

Promulgation of the Laws.

128. The Executive Directory causes the laws and other acts of the legislative body to be sealed and published within two days after their reception.

129. It causes to be sealed and promulgated, within a day, the laws and acts of the legislative body which are preceded by a decree of urgency.

130. The publication of the law and the acts of the legislative body is prescribed in the following form:

"In the name of the French Republic, (law) or (act of the legislative body) . . . the Directory orders that the above law or legislative act shall be published, executed, and that it shall be provided with the seal of the Republic."

131. Laws whose preambles do not attest the observation of the forms prescribed by articles 77 and 91 cannot be promulgated by the Executive Directory, and its responsibility in this respect lasts six years.

Laws are excepted for which the act of urgency has been approved by the Council of Ancients.

Title VI. Executive Power.

132. The executive power is delegated to a Directory of five members appointed by the legislative body, performing then the functions of an electoral body in the name of the nation.

133. The Council of the Five Hundred forms by secret ballot a list of ten times the number of the members of the Directory to be appointed and presents it to the Council of Ancients, which chooses, also by secret ballot, within this list.

134. The members of the Directory shall be at least forty years of age.

135. They can be taken only from among the citizens who have been members of the legislative body or ministers.

The provision of the present article shall be observed only commencing with the ninth year of the Republic.

136. Counting from the first day of the Year V of the Republic the members of the legislative body cannot be elected members of the Directory or ministers, either during the continuance of their legislative functions or during the first year after the expirations of these same functions.

137. The Directory is renewed in part by the election of one new member each year.

During the first four years, the lot shall decide upon the order of retirement of those who shall have been appointed for the first time.

138. None of the retiring members can be re-elected until after an interval of five years.

139. The ancestor and the descendant in the direct line, brothers, uncle and nephew, cousins of the first degree, and those related by marriage in these various degrees, cannot be at the same time members of the Directory, nor can they succeed them until after an interval of five years.

140. In case of the removal of one of the members of the Directory by death, resignation or otherwise, his successor is elected by the legislative body within ten days at the latest.

The Council of the Five Hundred is required to propose the candidates within the first five days and the Council of Ancients shall complete the election within the last five days.

The new member is elected only for the term of office which remained to the one whom he replaces.

Nevertheless, if this time does not exceed six months, the one who is elected remains in office until the end of the fifth year following.

141. Each member of the Directory presides over it in his turn for three months only.

The president has the signature and the keeping of the seal.

The laws and the acts of the legislative body are addressed to the Directory in the person of its president.

142. The Executive Directory cannot deliberate if there are not at least three members present.

143. It chooses for itself outside of its own body a secretary who countersigns the despatches and records the transactions in a register, where each member has the right to cause to be inscribed his opinion with his motives.

two years which immediately follow the expiration of these without the presence of its secretary; in this case the transactions are recorded in a special register by one of the members of the Directory.

144. The Directory provides, according to the laws, for the external and internal security of the Republic.

It can issue proclamations in conformity with the laws and for their execution.

It disposes of the armed force, without the Directory collectively or any of its members being able in any case to command them during the time of their functions or during the two years which immediately follow the expiration of these same functions.

145. If the Directory is informed that some conspiracy is being plotted against the external or internal security of the state, it can issue warrants of apprehension and arrest against those who are presumed to be authors or the accomplices thereof; it can question them: but it is required under the penalties provided for the crime of arbitrary imprisonment to send them into the presence of the police officer within the period of two days, in order to proceed according to the laws.

146. The Directory appoints the generals-in-chief; it cannot choose them from among the blood or marriage relations of its members within the degrees expressed in article 139.

147. It supervises and secures the execution of the laws in the administrations and tribunals by commissioners of its appointment.

148. It appoints, from outside of its own body, the ministers and dismisses them when it thinks expedient.

It cannot choose those under the age of thirty years, nor from among the blood or marriage relations of its members within the degrees set forth in article 139.

149. The ministers correspond directly with the authorities who are subordinate to them.

150. The legislative body determines the prerogatives and the number of the ministers.

This number is from six at the least to eight at the most.

151. The ministers do not form a council.

152. The ministers are individually responsible for the non-execution of the laws as well as for the non-execution of the orders of the Directory.

153. The Directory appoints the receiver of direct taxes of each department.

154. It appoints the superintendents in chief for the administrations of the indirect taxes and for the administration of the national lands.

155. All the public functionaries in the French colonies. except the departments of the islands of France and Réunion, shall be appointed by the Directory until the peace.

156. The legislative body can authorise the Directory to send into any of the French colonies, according to the need of the case, one or several special agents appointed by it for a limited time.

The special agents shall exercise the same functions as the Directory and shall be subordinate to it.

157. No member of the Directory can leave the soil of the Republic until two years after the cessation of his functions.

158. He is required during that interval to furnish to the legislative body proofs of his residence.

Article 112 and the following to article 123 inclusive, relative to the guarantee of the legislative body, are common to the members of the Directory.

159. In the case where more than two of the Directory may be put on trial, the legislative body shall provide in the usual forms for their provisional replacement during the trial.

160. Outside of the cases of articles 119 and 120 the Directory or any of its members cannot be summoned by the Council of the Five Hundred nor by the Council of Ancients.

161. The reports and explanations called for by either of the councils are furnished in writing.

162. The Directory is required to present to both councils each year in writing a statement of the expenses, the situation of the finances, and the list of the existing pensions, as well as a project for those which it believes ought to be established.

It shall indicate the abuses which have come to its knowledge.

163. The Directory can at any time in writing invite the Council of the Five Hundred to take a subject into consideration; it can propose measures to it, but not drawn up in the form of projects of law.

164. No member of the Directory can be absent more than five days nor go away beyond four myriameters (eight common leagues) from the place of the residence of the Directory without the authorisation of the legislative body.

165. The members of the Directory, when engaged in the exercise of their functions, whether upon the outside or within the interior of their residences, can appear only in the costume which is appropriate for them.

166. The Directory has its guard, paid and clothed at the expense of the Republic, composed of one hundred and twenty infantry and one hundred and twenty cavalry.

167. The Directory is accompanied by its guard in the public ceremonies and processions, where it has always the first rank.

168. Each member of the Directory when abroad is accompanied by two guards.

169. Every army post owes to the Directory and to each of its members the higher military honors.

170. The Directory has four messengers of state whom it appoints and whom it can dismiss.

They carry to the two legislative councils the letters and memoirs of the Directory; they have entrance for that purpose into the place of the sittings of the legislative councils.

They go preceded by two ushers.

171. The Directory resides in the same commune as the legislative body.

172. The members of the Directory are lodged at the expense of the Republic and in a single edifice.

173. The compensation of each of them for each year is fixed at the value of fifty thousand myriagrammes of wheat (ten thousand two hundred and twenty-two quintals).

Title VII. Administrative and Municipal Bodies.

174. There is in each department a central administration and in each canton at least one municipal administration.

175. Every member of a department or municipal administration shall be at least twenty-five years of age.

176. The ancestor and the descendant in the direct line, brothers, uncle and nephew, and those related by marriage in the same degrees, cannot be at the same time members of the same administration, nor can they succeed them until after an interval of two years.

177. Each department administration is composed of five members; it is renewed by a fifth each year.

178. Every commune whose population runs from five thousand to a hundred thousand inhabitants has a municipal administration of its own.

179. There are in every commune whose population is less than five thousand inhabitants a municipal agent and an assistant.

180. The union of the municipal agents from each commune forms the cantonal municipality.

181. There is, moreover, chosen in every canton a president of the municipal administration.

182. In the communes whose population runs from five to ten thousand inhabitants there are five municipal officers;

Seven for ten thousand to fifty thousand.

Nine for fifty thousand to one hundred thousand.

183. In the communes whose population exceeds one hundred thousand there are at least three municipal administrations.

In these communes the division of the municipalities is made in such a manner that the population of the district of each does not exceed fifty thousand persons and is not less than thirty thousand.

The municipality of each district is composed of seven members.

184. There is, in the communes which are divided into several municipalities, a central bureau for the subjects considered indivisible by the legislative body.

This bureau is composed of three members appointed by the department administration and confirmed by the executive power.

185. The members of every municipal administration are appointed for two years and renewed each year by half or the part nearest a half and by the larger and the smaller fraction alternately.

186. The department administrators and the members of the municipal administrations can be re-elected once without an interval.

187. Any citizen who has been elected department administrator or member of a municipal administration twice in succession and who has discharged the duties in virtue of both elections cannot be elected again until after an interval of two years.

188. In case a department or municipal administration should lose one or several of its members by death, resignation, or otherwise, the remaining administrators in filling the places can add to themselves temporary administrators who act in that capacity until the following elections.

189. The department and municipal administrators cannot alter the acts of the legislative body, nor those of the Executive Directory, nor suspend the execution of them.

They cannot meddle with matters belonging to the judicial body.

190. The administrators are particularly charged with the apportionment of the direct taxes and with surveillance over the monies accruing from the public revenues in their territory.

The legislative body determines the regulations and the method of their functions upon these subjects as well as upon other parts of the internal administration.

191. The Executive Directory appoints over each department and municipal administration a commissioner whom it recalls when it deems expedient.

This commissioner watches over and requires the execution of the laws.

192. The commissioner for each local administration shall be taken from among the citizens domiciled for a year past in the department where that administration is established.

He must be at least twenty-five years of age.

193. The municipal administrations are subordinate to the department administrations and these to the ministers.

In consequence, the ministers can annul, each on his part, the acts of the department administrations, and these the acts of the municipal administrations, when these acts are contrary to the laws or the orders of the higher authorities.

194. The ministers can also suspend the department administrations which have contravened the laws or the orders of the higher authorities, and the department administrators have the same right with respect to the members of the municipal administrations.

195. No suspension or annulment becomes definitive without the formal confirmation of the Executive Directory.

196. The Directory can also annul directly the acts of department or municipal administrations.

It can also suspend or dismiss directly when it thinks necessary either the department or the canton administrators and send them before the tribunals of the department when there is occasion.

197. Every order providing for the annulment of acts, suspension, or dismissal of an administrator must include a statement of the reasons.

198. When five members of a department administration are dismissed, the Executive Directory provides for their replacement until the following election; but it can choose their substitutes only from among the former administrators of the same department.

199. The administrations, whether department or canton, can correspond among themselves only upon matters assigned to them by the law and not upon the general interests of the Republic.

200. Every administration shall annually render an account of its management.

The reports rendered by the department administrations are to be printed.

201. All the acts of the administrative bodies are made public by the deposit of the register wherein they are recorded, which is open to all persons under the administration.

This register is closed every six months and is deposited only from that day that it has been closed.

The legislative body can postpone, according to circumstances, the day fixed for this deposit.

Title VIII. Judicial Power.

General Provisions.

202. The judicial functions cannot be exercised by the legislative body nor by the executive power.

203. The judges cannot interfere in the exercise of the legislative power nor make any regulation.

They cannot stop or suspend the execution of any law nor cite before them the administrators on account of their functions.

204. No one can be deprived of the judges that the law assigns to him by any commission nor by other authorities than those which are fixed by a prior law.

205. Justice is rendered gratuitously.

206. The judges cannot be dismissed except for legally pronounced forfeiture, nor suspended except by an accepted accusation.

207. The ancestor and the descendant in the direct line, brothers, uncle and nephew, cousins of the first degree, and those related by marriage in these various degreees, cannot be at the same time members of the same tribunal.

208. The sittings of the tribunal are public; the judges deliberate in secret; the judgments are pronounced orally; they include a statement of reasons and in them is set forth the terms of the law applied.

209. No citizen, unless he is fully thirty years of age, can be elected judge of a department tribunal, or justice of the peace, or assessor of a justice of the peace, or judge of a tribunal of commerce, or member of the tribunal of cassation, or juror, or commissioner of the Executive Directory before the tribunals.

Of Civil Justice.

210. The right to have differences passed upon by arbitrators chosen by the parties cannot be impaired.

211. The decision of these arbitrators is without appeal and without recourse in cassation, unless the parties have expressly reserved it.

212. There are in each district fixed by law a justice of the peace and his assessors.

They are all elected for two years and can be immediately and indefinitely re-elected.

213. The law determines the matters over which the justices of the peace and the assessors have jurisdiction in the last resort.

It assigns to them the others over which they pronounce judgment subject to appeal.

214. There are special tribunals for land and maritime commerce; the law fixes the places where it is permissible to establish them.

Their power to pronounce judgment in the last resort cannot be extended beyond the value of five hundred myriagrams of wheat (a hundred and two quintals, twenty-two pounds).

215. Cases of which the trial belongs neither to the justices of the peace nor to the tribunals of commerce, either in the last resort or subject to appeal, are brought directly before the justice of the peace and his assessors in order to be conciliated.

If the justice of the peace cannot conciliate them, he sends them before the civil tribunal.

216. There is one civil tribunal per department.

Each civil tribunal is composed of twenty judges at least, one commissioner and one substitute approved and removable by the Executive Directory, and one recorder.

The election of all the members of a tribunal takes place every five years.

The judges can be re-elected.

217. At the time of the election of the judges five substitutes are selected, three of whom are taken from among the citizens residing in the commune where the tribunal sits.

218. The civil tribunal pronounces in the last resort, in the cases determined by law, upon appeals from judgments either of justices of the peace, or of the arbitrators, or of the tribunals of commerce.

219. The appeal from the judgments pronounced by the civil tribunal goes to the civil tribunal of one of the three nearest departments, as is determined by law.

220. The civil tribunal is divided into sections.

A section with less than five judges cannot pronounce judgment.

221. The assembled judges in each tribunal select among themselves by secret ballot the president of each section.

Of Correctional and Criminal Justice.

222. No one can be seized except in order to be brought before the officer of police; and no one can be put under arrest or detained except in virtue of a warrant of arrest from the officers of police or from the Executive Directory, in the case of article 145, or an order of arrest either from a tribunal or the foreman of the jury of accusation, or of a decree of accusation from the legislative body in the case where it has authority to pronounce, or of a judicial judgment of condemnation to prison or correctional detention.

223. In order that the warrant which orders the arrest may be executed, it is necessary:

1st. That it set forth formally the cause for the arrest and the law in conformity with which it is ordered;

2d. That it has been made known to the one who is the subject of it and that he has been left a copy thereof.

224. Every person seized and brought before the officer of police shall be examined immediately or within a day at the latest.

225. If the examination discloses that there is no matter for inculpation against him, he shall be put at liberty at once; or, if there is occasion to send him to jail, he shall be brought there within the shortest period possible, which in any case shall not exceed three days.

226. No arrested person can be detained, if he gives sufficient bail, in any of the cases where the law permits him to remain free under bail.

227. No person, in a case in which his detention is authorised by the law, can be brought to or detained except in the places legally and publicly designated to serve for jails, court houses, or houses of detention.

228. No custodian or jailer can receive or retain any person except in virtue of a warrant of arrest according to the forms prescribed by articles 222 and 223, an order for the taking of the body, a decree of accusation, or a judicial decision of condemnation to prison or correctional detention, and unless the transcript of it has been entered upon his register.

229. Every custodian or jailer is required, without any order being able to dispense therewith, to present the detained person to the civil officer having the police of the house of detention, whenever he shall be so required by that officer.

230. Production of the detained person cannot be refused to his relatives and friends who are bearers of an order of the civil officer, who shall always be required to accord it, unless the custodian or jailer presents an order of the judge, transcribed upon his register, to keep the arrested person in secret.

231. Any man, whatever his place or employment, other than those to whom the law has given the right of arrest, who shall give, sign, execute or cause to be executed an order for the arrest of any person, or whoever, even in the case of an arrest authorised by the law, shall bring to, receive, or detain a person in a place of detention not publicly and legally designated, and all custodians of jailers who shall contravene the provisions of the three preceding articles, shall be guilty of the crime of arbitrary imprisonment.

232. All severities employed in arrests, detention, or executions, other than those prescribed by the law, are crimes.

233. In each department there are at least three and not more than six correctional tribunals for the trial of offences for which the punishment is neither afflictive nor infamous.

These tribunals cannot pronounce penalties more severe than imprisonment for two years.

Jurisdiction over offences for which the penalty does not exceed the value of three days of labor or imprisonment for three days is delegated to the justice of the peace, who pronounces in the last resort.

234. Each correctional tribunal is composed of a president, two justices of the peace or assessors of justices of the peace of the commune where it is established, a commissioner of the executive power, and a recorder.

235. The president of each correctional tribunal is taken every six months and in turn from among the members of the sections of the civil tribunal of the department, the presidents excepted.

236. There is an appeal from the judgment of the correctional tribunal before the department criminal tribunal.

237. In the matter of offences involving afflictive or infamous punishment, no person can be tried except upon an accusation accepted by the jurors or decreed by the legislative body, in case it belongs to that body to decree accusation.

238. A first jury declares whether the accusation ought to be accepted or rejected: the facts are passed upon by a second jury, and the penalty fixed by the law is applied by the criminal tribunals.

239. The jurors vote only by secret ballot.

240. There are in each department as many accusation juries as there are correctional tribunals.

The presidents of the correctional tribunals are the foremen thereof, each in his own district.

In the communes of over fifty thousand souls there can be established by law, besides the president of the correctional tribunal, as many foremen of accusation juries as the transaction of business shall require.

241. The functions of commissioner of the executive power and recorder for the foreman of the accusation jury are discharged by the commissioner and recorder of the correctional tribunal.

242. Each foreman of the accusation jury has the immediate surveillance over all the police officers of his district.

243. The foreman of the accusation jury, as police officer, on account of the denunciations made to him by the public accuser, whether ex-officio or in accordance with the orders of the Executive Directory, immediately prosecutes:

1st. Attacks upon the liberty or personal security of the citizens;

2d. Those committed against the laws of nations;

3d. Resistance to the execution of the judicial decisions or any of the executive acts emanating from the constituted authorities;

4th. Disturbances caused and assaults committed in order to hinder the collection of taxes and the free circulation of provisions and other articles of commerce.

244. There is one criminal tribunal for each department.

245. The criminal tribunal is composed of a president, a public accuser, four judges taken from the civil tribunal, the commissioner of the executive power before the tribunal or his substitute, and a recorder.

There is in the criminal tribunal of the department of the Seine, a vice-president and a substitute for the public accuser; this tribunal is divided into two sections; eight members of the civil tribunal discharge there the duties of judges.

246. The presidents of the sections of the civil tribunals cannot fill the positions of judges upon the criminal tribunal.

247. The other judges, each in his turn for six months in the order of his appointment, perform their duty there and they cannot discharge any functions in the civil tribunal during that time.

248. The public accuser is charged:

1st. To prosecute the offences according to the warrants of accusation accepted by the first juries;

2d. To transmit to the police officers the denunciations which are addressed directly to him;

3d. To watch over the police officers of the department and to proceed against them, according to the law, in cases of negligence or more serious acts.

249. The commissioner of the executive power is charged:

1st. To require regularity of forms in the course of the proceedings before the decision, and the application of the law.

2d. To obtain the execution of the decisions rendered by the criminal tribunal.

250. The judges cannot propound to the jurors any complex question.

251. The trial jury consists of at least twelve jurors: the accused has the right to reject the number of them which the law determines.

252. The proceedings before the trial jury are public and the accused cannot be denied the assistance of counsel whom he has chosen or who has been selected for him ex-officio.

253. No person acquitted by a legal jury can be re-arrested or accused for the same offence.

Tribunal of Cassation.

254. There is in the whole republic one tribunal of cassation.

It decides:

1st. Upon the petitions in cassation against the judicial decisions in the last resort rendered by the tribunals;

2d. Upon petitions for removal from one court to another, on account of legitimate suspicion or public security;

3d. Upon the orders of judges and the complaints of partiality of a whole court.

255. The tribunal of cassation can never have jurisdiction over the facts of the actions; but it reverses the judgments rendered upon proceedings in which the forms have been violated or which contain any express contravention of the law, and it sends back the facts of the suit to the tribunal which shall have jurisdiction therein.

256. When after one cassation the second judgment upon the matter is attacked by the same means as the first, the question cannot be discussed again before the tribunal of cassation without having been submitted to the legislative body, which provides a law to which the tribunal of cassation is required to conform itself.

257. Each year the tribunal of cassation is required to send to each of the sections of the legislative body a deputation which presents to it the list of the judgments rendered, with marginal notes and the text of the laws which have determined the judgment.

258. The number of the judges of the tribunal of cassation cannot exceed three-fourths of the number of the departments.

259. This tribunal is renewed every year by a fifth.

The electoral assemblies of the departments select successively and alternately the judges who shall replace those who retire from the tribunal of cassation.

The judges of this tribunal can always be re-elected.

260. Each judge of the tribunal of cassation has a substitute elected by the same electoral assembly.

261. There are before the tribunal of cassation a commissioner and substitutes appointed and removable by the Executive Directory.

262. The Executive Directory informs the tribunal of cassation, by means of its commissioner and without prejudice to the right of the interested parties, of the acts in which the judges have exceeded their powers.

263. The tribunal annuls these acts; and if they give cause for forfeiture the fact is announced to the legislative body, which renders the decree of accusation, after having heard or summoned the accused.

264. The legislative body can annul the judgments of the tribunal of cassation, reserving the personal prosecution of the judges who may have incurred forfeiture.

High Court of Justice.

265. There is a high court of justice to try the accusations accepted by the legislative body against either its own members or those of the Executive Directory.

266. The high court of justice is composed of five judges and two national accusers drawn from the tribunal of cassation and of high jurors selected by the electoral assemblies of the departments.

267. The high court of justice constitutes itself only in virtue of a proclamation of the legislative body drawn up and published by the Council of the Five Hundred.

268. It constitutes itself and holds its sittings in the place designated by the proclamation of the Council of the Five Hundred.

This place cannot be nearer than twelve myriameters to that where the legislative body resides.

269. When the legislative body has proclaimed the formation of the high court of justice, the tribunal of cassation in a public sitting draws by lot fifteen of its members; it selects in the same sitting five of these fifteen, one after another, by means of secret ballot; the five judges thus selected are the judges of the high court of justice; they choose a president from among themselves.

270. The tribunal of cassation selects by ballot, in the same sitting and by majority, two of its members to discharge for the high court of justice the functions of national accusers.

271. The bills of accusation are drawn up and put into form by the Council of the Five Hundred.

272. The electoral assemblies of each department select every year a jury for the high court of justice.

273. The Executive Directory causes to be printed and published, one month after the date of the elections, the list of the jurors appointed by the high court of justice.

Title IX. Of the Armed Force.

274. The armed force is established in order to defend the state against enemies from without and to assure within the maintenance of order and the execution of the laws.

275. The armed force is essentially obedient: no armed force can deliberate.

276. It is divided into the reserve national guard and the active national guard.

Of the Reserve National Guard.

277. The reserve national guard is composed of all citizens and sons of citizens in condition to bear arms.

278. Its organization and its discipline are the same for the whole Republic; they are fixed by law.

279. No Frenchman can exercise the rights of citizenship if he is not registered upon the roll of the reserve national guard.

280. The distinctions of rank and subordination exist there only in relation to the service and during its continuance.

281. The officers of the reserve national guard are elected at stated times by the citizens who compose it and can be reelected only after an interval.

282. The command of the national guard of an entire department cannot be entrusted ordinarily to a single citizen.

283. If it is deemed necessary to assemble the whole national guard of a department, the Executive Directory can appoint a temporary commander.

284. The command of the reserve national guard in a city of a hundred thousand and upwards cannot ordinarily be entrusted to a single man.

Of the Active National Guard.

285. The Republic maintains in its pay, even in time of peace, under the name of the active national guards, an army and a navy.

286. The army is formed by voluntary enlistment, and in case of need, by the method which the law determines.

287. No foreigner who has not acquired the rights of French citizenship can be admitted into the French armies, unless he has made one or more campaigns for the establishment of the Republic.

288. The commanders or heads of the army or navy are appointed only in case of war. They receive from the Directory commissions revocable at will. The duration of these commissions is confined to one campaign; but they can be continued.

289. The command of the armies of the Republic cannot be confided to a single man.

290. The army and navy are subject to special laws for discipline, for the form of trials, and for the nature of the penalties.

291. No part of the reserve national guard or of the active national guard can act in the internal service of the Republic except upon the written requisition of the civil authority in the forms prescribed by the law.

292. The public force cannot be requisitioned by the civil authorities except within the extent of their territory; it cannot be transported from one canton to another, without this being authorised by the administration of the department, nor from one department into another without the orders of the Executive Directory.

293. Nevertheless, the legislative body determines the methods to secure by the armed force the execution of the judicial decisions and the prosecution of the accused upon all the French territory.

294. In case of imminent danger the municipal administration of the canton can make requisition upon the national guard of the neighboring cantons; in this case, the administration which has made requisition and the leaders of the national guards who have been requisitioned are likewise required to make instant report of it to the department administration.

295. No foreign troops can be introduced upon French territory without the previous consent of the legislative body.

Title X. Public Instruction.

296. There are in the Republic primary schools where the pupils may learn reading, writing, the elements of computation and those of morality. The Republic provides for the expense of the lodgings of the instructors who preside over these schools.

297. There are in the different parts of the Republic schools higher than the primary schools, the number of which shall be such that there shall be at least one of them for every two departments.

298. There is for the whole Republic a national institute charged with the collection of discoveries and the perfecting of the arts and sciences.

299. The different establishments of public instruction have between them no relation of subordination nor of administrative correspondence.

300. Citizens have the right to form private establishments for education and instruction as well as free societies to promote the progress of science, letters, and the arts.

301. There shall be national festivals established in order to maintain fraternity among the citizens and to attach them to the constitution, the fatherland, and the laws.

Title XI. Taxes.

302. The public taxes are considered and fixed each year by the legislative body. The imposition of them belongs to it alone. They cannot continue more than one year unless they are expressly renewed.

303. The legislative body can create any kind of tax that it shall believe necessary; but it shall establish each year a land tax and a personal property tax.

304. Every person, who, not being included in the case of articles 12 and 13 of the constitution, has not been included on the roll of the direct taxes, has the right to present himself to the municipal administration of his commune and to be enrolled there for a personal tax equal to the local value of three days of agricultural labor.

305. The registration mentioned in the preceding article can be effected only in the month of Messidor of each year.

306. Taxes of every sort are apportioned among those liable for taxes, in accordance with their means.

307. The Executive Directory directs and watches over the collection and the deposit of the taxes and gives all the orders necessary for that purpose.

308. The detailed accounts of the expenditure of the ministers, signed and certified by them, are made public at the commencement of each year.

The same thing shall be done for the lists of receipts for the different taxes and all the public revenues.

309. The accounts of these expenses and receipts are distinguished according to their nature; they show the sums received and expended year by year in each part of the general administration.

310. The accounts of the special expenses of the departments and those which relate to the tribunals, administrations, the progress of the sciences, and all public works and establishments are likewise published.

311. The department administrations and the municipalities cannot make any assessment beyond the sums fixed by the legislative body, nor, without being authorized by it, consider or allow any local loan at the expense of the citizens of the department, commune or canton.

312. The right to regulate the manufacture and issue of every sort of monies, to fix the values and weights thereof, and to determine the type thereof, belongs to the legislative body alone.

313. The Executive Directory watches over the manufacture of the monies and appoints the officers charged with the immediate conduct of this inspection.

314. The legislative body determines the taxes of the colonies and their commercial relations with the mother country.

National Treasury and Book-keeping.

315. There are five commissioners of the national treasury elected by the Council of Ancients from a triple list presented by that of the Five Hundred.

316. The duration of their functions is five years: one of them is renewed every year and can be re-elected indefinitely without interval.

317. The commissioners of the treasury are charged to watch over the receipt of all the national monies;

To order the movements of funds and the payment of all the public expenses consented to by the legislative body;

To keep an open expense and receipt account with the receiver of the direct taxes of each department, with the different national customs-administrations, and with the paymasters who may be established in the departments;

To maintain with the said receivers and paymasters, with the customs-administrations, the correspondence necessary to secure exact and regular returns regarding the funds.

318. Under penalty of forfeiture they cannot make any payment except in virtue:

1st. Of a decree of the legislative body and to the amount of the funds decreed by it for each purpose;

2d. Of a decision of the Directory;

3d. Of the signature of the minister who orders the expenditure.

319. Under penalty of forfeiture also, they cannot approve any payment, unless the warrant, signed by the minister whom that kind of expenditure concerns, sets forth the date of the decision of the Executive Directory, as well as of the decrees of the legislative body which authorise the payment.

320. The receivers of the direct taxes in each department, the different national customs-administrations, and the paymasters in the departments remit to the national treasury their respective reports; the treasury verifies and allows them.

321. There are five commissioners of the national bookkeeping, elected by the legislative body at the same dates and according to the same forms and conditions as the commissioners of the treasury.

322. The general report of the receipts and expenditures of the Republic, supported by the special reports and the vouchers, is presented by the commissioners of the treasury to the commissioners of the book-keeping, who verify and allow it.

323. The commissioners of the book-keeping give information to the legislative body of the abuses, defalcations, and all cases of responsibility which they discover in the course of their operations; they propose on their part the measures suitable to the interests of the Republic.

324. The result of the accounts allowed by the commissioners of the book-keeping is printed and made public.

325. The commissioners, both of the national treasury and of the book-keeping, cannot be suspended or removed except by the legislative body.

But during the adjournment of the legislative body the Executive Directory can provisionally suspend and replace the commissioners of the national treasury to the number of two at most, subject to the reference of it to one or the other council of the legislative body as soon as they have resumed their sittings.

Title XII. Foreign Relations.

326. War can be declared only by a decree of the legislative body upon the formal and urgent proposal of the Executive Directory.

327. The two councils unite in the usual forms upon the decree by which war is declared.

328. In case of imminent or actually begun hostilities, of threats or preparations for war against the French Republic, the Executive Directory is required to employ, for the defence of the state, the means placed at its disposal, subject to giving information thereof without delay to the legislative body. Also, it can indicate in this case the augmentations of force and the new legislative measures which the circumstances may require.

329. The directory alone can maintain political relations abroad, conduct negotiations, distribute the forces of the army and the navy as it deems suitable and determine the direction of them in case of war.

330. It is authorised to make preliminary stipulations such as armistices and neutralizations; it can also arrange secret conventions.

331. The Executive Directory negotiates, signs or causes to be signed all the treaties of peace, alliance, truce, neutrality, commerce and other conventions with foreign powers which it deems necessary for the welfare of the state.

These treaties and conventions are negotiated in the name of the French Republic by the diplomatic agents appointed by the Executive Directory and subject to its instructions.

332. In case a treaty includes secret articles, the provisions of these articles cannot be destructive of the open articles nor contain any alienation of the territory of the Republic.

333. Treaties are valid only after having been examined and ratified by the legislative body; nevertheless the secret conditions can receive their execution provisionally from the very moment when they are arranged by the Directory.

334. Neither of the legislative councils deliberates over war or peace except in committee of the whole.

335. Foreigners, whether established in France or not, inherit from their kinsmen, whether French or foreign; they contract for, acquire, and receive estates situated in France, and dispose of them, just as French citizens, by all the means authorised by law.

Title XIII. Revision of the Constitution.

336. If experience makes known inconveniences from any articles of the constitution, the Council of Ancients may propose the revision of them.

337. The proposal of the Council of Ancients is in this case submitted for ratification to the Council of the Five Hundred.

338. When, within a space of nine years, the proposal of the Council of Ancients, ratified by the Council of the Five Hundred, has been made at three dates removed from one another by at least three years, an assembly of revision is convoked.

339. This assembly is formed of two members per department, all elected in the same manner as the members of the legislative body and meeting the same conditions as those demanded for the Council of Ancients.

340. The Council of Ancients designates, for the meeting of the assembly of revision, a place at least twenty myriameters distant from that where the legislative body sits.

341. The assembly of revision has the right to change the place of its residence, observing the distance prescribed in the preceding article.

342. The assembly of revision does not exercise any legislative or governmental function; it confines itself to the revision of the articles alone which have been designated by the legislative body.

343. All the articles of the constitution, without exception, continue in force until the changes proposed by the assembly of revision have been accepted by the people.

344. The members of the assembly of revision deliberate in common.

345. The citizens who are members of the legislative body at the moment when an assembly of revision is convoked cannot be elected members of this assembly.

346. The assembly of revision despatches directly to the primary assemblies the project of reform which it has agreed upon. It is dissolved when this project has been despatched to them.

347. The duration of the assembly of revision cannot in any case exceed three months.

348. The members of the assembly of revision cannot be questioned, accused, nor tried at any time for what they have said or written in the exercise of their functions.

During the continuance of these functions they cannot be put on trial except by a decision of their fellow members of the assembly of revision.

349. The assembly of revision does not participate in any public ceremony; its members receive the same compensation as that of the members of the legislative body.

350. The assembly of revision has the right to exercise or to cause to be exercised the police power in the commune where it resides.

Title XIV. General Provisions.

351. There exists among the citizens no other superiority than that of the public functionaries and that only in relation to the exercise of their functions.

352. The law does not recognize religious vows nor any obligation contrary to the natural rights of man.

353. No one can be prevented from speaking, writing, printing, or publishing his ideas.

Writings cannot be made subject to any censorship before their publication.

No one can be held responsible for what he has written or published, except in the cases provided for by law.

354. No one can be prevented from engaging in the worship which he has chosen, while he conforms to the laws.

No one can be forced to contribute to the expenses of a religion. The Republic does not pay a stipend to any of them.

355. There is neither privilege, nor mastership, nor jurande, nor limitation upon the liberty of the press, of commerce, and the pursuit of industry and the arts of every kind.

Every prohibitive law of this sort, when circumstances render it necessary, is essentially provisional and has effect only for one year at most, unless it be formally renewed.

356. The law particularly watches over the professions which affect the public morals, the security and the health of the citizens; but admission to the practice of these professions cannot be made dependent upon any pecuniary payment.

357. The law shall provide for the reward of inventors or for the maintenance of an exclusive property in their discoveries or their productions.

358. The constitution guarantees the inviolability of all properties or just indemnification for those of which legally established public necessity may demand the sacrifice.

359. The house of each citizen is an inviolable asylum; during the night no one has the right to enter it except in the case of fire, flood, or call from the interior of the house.

During the day the orders of the constituted authorities can be put into execution there.

No domiciliary visit can take place except in virtue of a law and for the person or object expressly designated in the document which orders the visit.

360. Corporations or associations contrary to the public order cannot be formed.

361. No assembly of citizens can style itself a popular society.

362. No private society occupying itself with political questions can correspond with another, or affiliate with it, or hold public sittings composed of the members of the society and of associates distinguished from one another, or impose conditions of admission and eligibility, or arrogate to itself rights of exclusion, or cause its members to wear any external sign of their association.

363. Citizens cannot exercise their political rights except in the primary or communal assemblies.

364. All persons are free to address petitions to the public authorities; but they shall be individual; no association can present them collectively, except the constituted authorities, and only for matters appropriate to their province.

The petitioners must never forget the respect due to the constituted authorities.

365. Every armed mob is an attack upon the constitution; it shall be dispersed immediately by force.

366. Every unarmed mob shall likewise be dispersed, at first by way of verbal command, and if necessary by the display of armed force.

367. Several constituted authorities can never unite in order to deliberate together; any document emanating from such a meeting cannot be executed.

368. No one can wear distinctive badges which recall functions formerly exercised or services rendered.

369. The members of the legislative body and all the public functionaries wear in the discharge of their functions the costume or symbol of the authority with which they are invested: the law determines the form thereof.

370. No citizen can renounce in whole or in part compensation or salary which is assigned to him by law, on account of public functions.

371. There is uniformity of weights and measures in the Republic.

372. The French era commences September 22, 1792, the day of the foundation of the Republic.

373. The French nation declares that in any case it will not permit the return of the French who, having abandoned their fatherland since July 15, 1789, are not included in the exceptions contained in the laws against the émigrés; and it forbids the legislative body to create new exceptions upon this point.

The estates of the émigrés are irrevocably acquired for the profit of the Republic.

374. The French nation likewise proclaims, as a guarantee of the public faith, that after a legally consummated award of national lands, whatever the origin thereof, the lawful acquirer cannot be dispossessed of them; saving to third claimants, if there be need, indemnification by the national treasurer.

375. None of the powers instituted by the constitution has the right to change it in its entirety or in any of its parts, saving the reforms which can be effected by way of revision in accordance with the provisions of the title xiii.

376. The citizens shall recall without ceasing that it is upon the wisdom of the choices in the primary and electoral assemblies that the duration, preservation and prosperity of the Republic principally depend.

377. The French people entrust the safe keeping of the present constitution to the fidelity of the legislative body, the Executive Directory, the administrators and the judges: to the vigilance of the fathers of families; to the husbands and the mothers; to the affection of the young citizens; to the courage of all the French.

Contents:

Related Resources

French Revolution

Download Options


Title: The Constitutions and Other Select Documents Illustrative of the History of France 1789-1907

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options


Title: The Constitutions and Other Select Documents Illustrative of the History of France 1789-1907

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: Duvergier, J. B., ed., "Constitution of the Year III.," The Constitutions and Other Select Documents Illustrative of the History of France 1789-1907 in The Constitutions and Other Select Documents Illustrative of the History of France 1789-1907, ed. Frank Maloy Anderson (New York: Russell Russell, 1908), 212–229. Original Sources, accessed December 6, 2022, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=7QYAXM47QNVMZGC.

MLA: . "Constitution of the Year III." The Constitutions and Other Select Documents Illustrative of the History of France 1789-1907, edited by Duvergier, J. B., Vol. VIII, in The Constitutions and Other Select Documents Illustrative of the History of France 1789-1907, edited by Frank Maloy Anderson, New York, Russell Russell, 1908, pp. 212–229. Original Sources. 6 Dec. 2022. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=7QYAXM47QNVMZGC.

Harvard: (ed.), 'Constitution of the Year III.' in The Constitutions and Other Select Documents Illustrative of the History of France 1789-1907. cited in 1908, The Constitutions and Other Select Documents Illustrative of the History of France 1789-1907, ed. , Russell Russell, New York, pp.212–229. Original Sources, retrieved 6 December 2022, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=7QYAXM47QNVMZGC.