Le Chapelier Law 1791

The law Le Chapelier, named after the deputies Isaac René Guy Le Chapelier, was adopted on 14 June 1791 by the Constituent Assembly.


In April 1791, the carpenters of Paris laid down their work and demanded higher wages. This wage demand was evaluated by the Paris Commune as incompatible with a free economy. She set free the employers set their wages. The carpenters formed a " Union fraternelle ", who led the walkout and called for a minimum daily wage of 50 sous by the entrepreneurs. The carpenters drafted an agreement with eight articles, which the Commune of Paris was to impose the entrepreneurs. The Commune refused their consent, turned to the Constituent Assembly and asked for help. The carpenters joined locksmiths, blacksmiths, carpenters, compositors, milliner and cobbler and also demanded higher wages.

The law Le Chapelier

The Constituent Assembly saw endangers the economic freedom. So she decided to Le Chapeliers application on 14 June 1791, the law that forbade masters, journeymen and workers to organize themselves into federations. The abolition of the guilds was confirmed. Petitions, which were written in the name of a profession, and meetings that are conducted for fixing of wages, were regarded as unlawful. Violations of the law were also appointments for recusal. Striking workers were prosecuted, their spokesmen threatened fines or imprisonment and deprivation of rights of an " active citizen ".

The law was directed against the freedom of association, however, consequently, to any type of organization that restricts individual freedom of contract and freedom of trade, such as the guilds or cartels. It continued the policy of Décret d' Allarde of March 1791 and was pointing the way for the liberalization of the economy. Comparable regulations met in 1799 in England, the Combination Act 1799 ( Full title: " An Act to preventDefault Unlawful Combinations of Workmen ," short " 39 Geo III, c 81. . ").

The strike ban was lifted in France in 1864 and the coalition prohibition by the law of 21 March 1884.