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The Jeffersonian cyclopedia;

a comprehensive collection of the views of Thomas Jefferson classified and arranged in alphabetical order under nine thousand titles relating to government, politics, law, education, political economy, finance, science, art, literature, religious freedom, morals, etc.;

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4521. LAW, Roman vs. Feudal.—
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4521. LAW, Roman vs. Feudal.—

French code, like all those of middle and
southern Europe, was originally Feudal, with
some variations in the different provinces, formerly
independent, of which the kingdom of
France had been made up. But as circumstances
changed, and civilization and commerce
advanced, abundance of new cases and
questions arose, for which the simple and unwritten
laws of Feudalism had made no provision.
At the same time, they had at hand
the legal system of a nation highly civilized,
a system carried to a degree of conformity
with natural reason attained by no other.
The study of this system, too, was become
the favorite of the age, and offering ready
and reasonable solutions of all the new cases
presenting themselves, was recurred to by a
common consent and practice; not, indeed, as
laws, formally established by the legislator of
the country, but as a Ratio Scripta, the dictate,
in all cases, of that sound reason which should
constitute the law of every country. Over
both of these systems, however, the occasional
edicts of the monarch are paramount, and
amend and control their provisions whenever
he deems amendment necessary; on the gen
eral principle that “leges posteriores priores
Subsequent laws abrogate those
which are prior.—
Batture Case. Washington ed. viii, 530.