Napoleon the Democrat

It is reported from Paris that the Emperor Napoleon has made significant changes to the French constitution in order to present himself as a constitutional ruler and heir to the French revolution.

The most significant of these changes is that legislative power now rests with the Emperor and two Chambers, the hereditary Chamber of Peers (named by the Emperor) and the elected Chamber of Representatives. This last will be renewed every five years, although the Emperor may prorogue, adjourn or dissolve it at any time. The sittings of both chambers will be public.

Among further declarations are the following: taxes will run for only a year; there will be a guarantee of freedom of religion; judges cannot be removed; and ministers will be held responsible for their decisions.

The final article states unequivocally that there will be no return to pre-revolutionary abuses such as a feudal nobility, feudal and seignurial rights or tithes, or a predominant religion.

Radicals in London are hailing these changes, some of which they believe should be introduced into the British constitution.

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