- "It is not wisdom but authority that makes a law."
– Thomas Hobbes
- "At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst."
The basis of government is a unified system of laws which states what is, and what is not acceptable in a certain society. Code of Laws is the first civic available, and on game start in the Ancient Era, all civilizations begin researching this civic. The first Military and Economic Policy Cards are bestowed by this civic, offering the young ruler the first basic choices in government.
Code of Laws – a (more-or-less) systematic compilation of pronouncements that purports to (more-or-less) exhaustively cover what is and isn’t acceptable in a society – have been a feature of civilization since the ancient kingdoms of the Middle East. The Sumerian Code of Ur-Nammu (c. 2100 BC) and the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi (c. 1760 BC) are the earliest known codes, letting the citizens know how their ruler felt about misbehavior. The old Hebrew Written and Oral Torah (c. 1330 BC) laid out the law – religious and civil – for God’s Chosen People. But it was those paragons of organization that really formalized the concept, with the Corpus Juris Civilis (drafted 529 to 534 AD) of the emperor Justinian, of setting down how to deal with every dispute or … well, everything. In China, the last exclusive imperial code of laws was the Great Qing Legal Code with its 1907 statutes; despite some 30 revisions, it held sway over the civilization from 1644 to 1912.
Codes of Laws naturally conflict with an idea of autocracy - a rule by one individual's judgement. This, for instance, shaped early Chinese debates. Should, as Confucius argued, rulers be bound by a general code, or should, as Legalist scholars argued, the ruler be free of such burdens? The debate became settled over time in China, but in Europe medieval notions of divine rule made adoption of such codes scarce. But as feudalism faded and strange ideas of equality and nationalism percolated, a new generation of codes was spawned, exemplified by the Prussian Code (1794), the Code Napoleon (1804) and the German Civil Code (1896). The latter two have served as the model for the majority of modern codes in current use. Too, most codes now have two distinctive elements: a civil code to settle disputes between citizens, and a criminal or penal code to take care of those who won’t behave.
|Civilization VI Civics |
|* Future Civic is an Information Era civic until the Gathering Storm expansion.|