PORTALIS, Jean-Etienne-Marie

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(c) Fondation Napoléon


Born Beausset (Var) 1 April 1746, Died Paris, 25 August, 1807.
1765 lawyer at the Parlement d'Aix
1778 to 1781 Assesseur d'Aix
From 1794 lawyer in Paris
1795 member of the Conseil des Anciens then deported after the Fructidor Coup d'Etat
1798 Government Commissaire at the Conseil des Prises (Prize booty commission)
1800 to 1804 Conseiller d'Etat attached to the Section de Législation.
1801 negotiator for Bonaparte for the Concordat
From 1801, he was appointed as director of religious administration
January 1803 entered the Académie Française, in the Class of French literature and language
1804 to 1807 Ministre des Cultes et de l'Intérieur (Religious and Interior Minister)
A precociously brilliant lawyer from a grand bourgeois Provençal family, (and a 'gran parlatore' (big talker), as Pius VII put it), J.E.M. Portalis's role in both the redaction of the Code Civil and in the negotiations and subsequent application of the Concordat was crucial. Indeed in An X, An XI, and An XII (1800-1802), he was the government chargé d'affaires for absolutely all religious matters. He received the Grand Aigle of the Légion d'honneur.
Jean-Luc A. Chartier, Portalis, père du Code civil, Paris: Editions Fayard, 2004, 441 p.

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