Constitution of the Duchy of Warsaw

Constitution Of The Duchy Of Warsaw

Constitution of the Duchy of Warsaw

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Constitution of the Duchy of Warsaw was passed by Napoleon on 22 July 1807 in Dresden. Together with the Napoleonic code it was a significant reform of the Polish law and government in the new Duchy of Warsaw. The constitution provided for a bicameral Sejm and for a Council of Ministers. The new laws abolished serfdom and legal distinction by social classes (nobility, peasantry, townsfolk) by introducing a principle that all people are equal before the law. Serfdom was abolished, and personal liberty guaranteed. Duchy of Warsaw was a satellite state of France, with no diplomacy of its own. King Frederick Augustus I of Saxony became duke of Poland, and had control over foreign policy; a French representative was to reside in Warsaw and had significant influence over Duchy government. The duchy's army was subordinate to the French army. It was, nonetheless, considered a liberal constitution for its time.

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