2 December 1852 – 4 September 1870
|Preceded by||de facto, himself, as President of the Second Republic
Louis-Eugène Cavaignac as de facto Head of State before him.
de jure, Louis-Philippe I as previous monarch.
|Succeeded by||Monarchy abolished
de facto Louis Jules Trochu as Chairman of the Government of National Defense
in pretence, Napoleon IV
20 December 1848 – 2 December 1852
|Prime Minister||Odilon Barrot, Alphonse Henri, comte d'Hautpoul, Léon Faucher|
|Preceded by||Louis-Eugène Cavaignac
Prime Minister and de facto Head of State
|Succeeded by||Second French Empire
with Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte as emperor. Next President was Adolphe Thiers starting 1871 as President of the Third Republic
|Born||20 April 1808
|Died||9 January 1873 (aged 64)
Chislehurst, London, United Kingdom
|Political party||Independent, Bonapartist|
|Spouse(s)||Eugénie de Montijo|
|Issue||Louis Napoléon, Prince Imperial|
|Full name||Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte|
|Mother||Hortense de Beauharnais|
Napoleon III (20 April 1808 – 9 January 1873), also known as Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, né Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte, was the President of the French Second Republic and the ruler of the Second French Empire. He was also the nephew of Napoleon I. Elected President by popular vote in 1848, he undertook a coup d'état in 1851, becoming dictator before ascending to the throne as Napoleon III on 2 December 1852, the forty-eighth anniversary of Napoleon I's coronation. He ruled as Emperor of the French until September 4, 1870. He holds the unusual distinction of being both the first titular president and the last monarch of France.
Napoleon III is primarily remembered for renovating Paris, and several military ventures, including French participation in the Crimean War, the conquest of Senegal, the Second Opium War, the Cochinchina Campaign, the Second Italian War of Independence, the Franco-Mexican War, the Taiping Rebellion, the 1866 campaign against Korea, the Boshin War, and the Franco-Prussian War. The Second French Empire was overthrown three days after Napoleon's disastrous surrender at the Battle of Sedan in 1870, which resulted in both the proclamation of the French Third Republic and the cession of the territory of Alsace-Lorraine to the newly-formed German Empire.
Napoleon III, known as "Louis-Napoléon" prior to becoming Emperor, was the nephew of Napoleon I by his brother Louis Bonaparte, who married Hortense de Beauharnais, the daughter by the first marriage of Napoleon's wife Josephine de Beauharnais. The Empress Josephine proposed the marriage as a way to produce an heir for the Emperor, who agreed, as Josephine was by then infertile. Louis's paternity has been brought into question (see Ancestry). Louis Bonaparte also harboured a lifelong suspicion about his legitimacy, although most historians have concluded that he was conceived by Louis Bonaparte and Hortense.
During Napoleon I's reign, Louis-Napoléon's parents had been made king and queen of a French puppet state, the Kingdom of Holland. After Napoleon I's military defeats and deposition in 1815 and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy in France, all members of the Bonaparte dynasty were forced into exile. The little Louis-Napoléon was brought up in Switzerland, living with his mother in Arenenberg Castle in the canton of Thurgau, and in Germany, receiving his education at the gymnasium school at Augsburg, Bavaria. As a young man he settled in Italy, where he and his elder brother Napoléon Louis espoused liberal politics and became involved with the Carbonari, an organization fighting Austria's domination of northern Italy. On March 17, 1831, while attempting to flee Italy due to a crackdown on revolutionary activity by Papal and Austrian troops, Louis-Napoléon's brother, suffering from measles, died in his arms. His experiences in Italy later had a profound effect on his foreign policy.
Meanwhile, France was under first the Bourbon and then the Orleanist monarchies. Under the latter emerged a Bonapartist movement that wanted to restore a Bonaparte to the throne. According to the law of succession Napoleon I had made when he was Emperor, the claim passed first to his son, the Duke of Reichstadt, known by Bonapartists as Napoleon II, or as "the King of Rome", the title his father had given him before the collapse of the Empire, a sickly youth living under virtual imprisonment at the court of Vienna. Next in line was Napoleon I's eldest brother Joseph Bonaparte, followed by Louis Bonaparte and his sons. Since Joseph had no male children, and because Louis-Napoléon's own elder brother had died in 1831, the death of the Duke of Reichstadt in 1832 made Louis-Napoléon the Bonaparte heir in the next generation. His uncle and father, relatively old men by then, left to him the active leadership of the Bonapartist cause.
Thus he secretly returned to France in October 1836, for the first time since his childhood, to try to lead a Bonapartist coup at Strasbourg. Louis-Philippe had established the July Monarchy in 1830, and was confronted with opposition from the Legitimists, the Independents and the Bonapartists. The coup failed and Louis-Napoléon returned to Switzerland. When Louis-Philippe demanded his extradition, the Swiss refused to hand over a man who was a citizen and a member of their armed forces. In order to avoid a war, Louis-Napoléon left Switzerland of his own accord.
He was quietly exiled to the United States of America, and spent four years in New York. He also sailed to Central America. He secretly returned to France and attempted yet another coup in August 1840, sailing with some hired soldiers into Boulogne. This time, he was caught and sentenced to life imprisonment, albeit in relative comfort, in the fortress of the town of Ham in the Department of the Somme. While in the Ham fortress, his eyesight reportedly became poor. During his years of imprisonment, he wrote essays and pamphlets that combined his claim to be emperor with progressive, mildly socialist economic proposals, which he came to define as Bonapartism. In 1844, his uncle Joseph died, making him the heir apparent to the Bonaparte claim. He finally escaped to Southport, England in May 1846 by exchanging clothes with a mason working at the fortress. His enemies would later derisively nickname him "Badinguet", the name of the mason whose identity he assumed. A month later, his father Louis died, making Louis-Napoléon the clear Bonapartist candidate to rule France.
Louis-Napoléon lived within the borders of the United Kingdom until the revolution of February 1848 in France deposed Louis-Philippe and established a Republic. He was now free to return to France, which he immediately did. However, he found himself being asked to leave by the provisional government, which felt that he was an unnecessary distraction. Back in England, he volunteered to be a special constable in the event of Chartist rioting. In the same month, April, he ran for, and won, a seat in the [French Constituent Assembly] elected to draft a new constitution. He did not make a great contribution and, as a mediocre public orator, failed to impress his fellow members. Some even thought that, having lived outside of France almost all his life, he spoke French with a slight German accent. His temporary exile in 1848 proved to be a blessing in disguise for the December presidential election, as it meant he played no part in the June Days, and was able to enhance his image as "all things to all men" against his main opponent, Louis-Eugène Cavaignac, who had led the repression against the working-class of Paris.
When the constitution of the Second Republic was finally promulgated and direct elections for the presidency were held on 10 December 1848, Louis-Napoléon won a surprising landslide victory, with 5,587,759 votes (around 75% of the total); his closest rival, Cavaignac, received only 1,474,687 votes. Louis-Napoléon had no long political career behind him and was able to depict himself as "all things to all men". The Monarchist right (supporters of either the Bourbon or Orléanist royal households) and much of the upper class supported him as the "least bad" candidate, as a man who would restore order, end the instability in France which had continued since the overthrow of the monarchy in February, and prevent a proto-communist revolution (in the vein of Friedrich Engels). A good proportion of the industrial working class, on the other hand, were won over by Louis-Napoléon's vague indications of progressive economic views. His overwhelming victory was above all due to the support of the non-politicized rural masses, to whom the name of Bonaparte meant something, as opposed to the other, little-known contenders. Louis-Napoléon's platform was the restoration of order after months of political turmoil, strong government, social consolidation, and national greatness, to which he appealed with all the credit of his name, that of France's national hero, Napoleon I, who in popular memory was credited with raising the nation to its pinnacle of military greatness and establishing social stability after the turmoil of the French Revolution. During his term as President, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte styled himself the Prince-President (Le Prince-Président).
Despite his landslide victory, Louis-Napoléon was faced with a Parliament dominated by monarchists, who saw his government only as a temporary bridge to a restoration of either the House of Bourbon or of Orléans. Louis-Napoléon governed cautiously during his first years in office, choosing his ministers from among the more "centre-right" Orleanist Parti de l'Ordre monarchists, and generally avoiding conflict with the conservative assembly. He courted Catholic support by assisting in the restoration of the Pope's temporal rule in Rome, although he tried to please secularist conservative opinion at the same time by combining this with peremptory demands that the Pope introduce liberal changes to the government of the Papal States, including appointing a liberal government and establishing the Code Napoleon there, which angered the Catholic majority in the assembly. He soon made another attempt to gain Catholic support, however, by approving the Loi Falloux in 1851, which restored a greater role for the Church in the French educational system.
In the third year of his four-year mandate, President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte asked the National Assembly for a revision of the constitution to enable the president to run for re-election, arguing that four years were not enough to implement his political and economic program fully. The Constitution of the Second Republic stated that the Presidency of the Republic was to be held for a single term of four years, with no possibility of re-election, a restriction written in the Constitution for fear that a President would abuse his power to transform the Republic into a dictatorship with a president for life. The National Assembly, dominated by monarchists who wished to restore the Bourbon dynasty, refused to amend the Constitution.
The National Assembly law placed restrictions on universal male suffrage, imposing a three-year residency requirement. It prevented a large proportion of the lower class, which was itinerant, from voting. In spite of his limited powers forcing him to acquiesce to this law, Louis-Napoléon was able to seize the opportunity and break with the Assembly and the conservative ministers opposing his projects in favour of the dispossessed. He surrounded himself with lieutenants completely loyal to him, such as Morny and Persigny, secured the support of the army, and toured the country making populist speeches condemning the assembly and presenting himself as the protector of universal male suffrage.
After months of stalemate, and using the money of his mistress, Harriet Howard, he staged a coup d'état and seized dictatorial powers on 2 December 1851, the 47th anniversary of Napoleon I's crowning as Emperor, and also the 46th anniversary of the famous Battle of Austerlitz (hence another of Louis-Napoléon's nicknames: "The Man of December", "l'homme de décembre"). The coup was later declared to have been approved by the French people in a national referendum, the fairness and legality of which has been questioned by Napoleon III's detractors ever since. The coup of 1851 definitely alienated the reactionary and careerist elements in the Assembly. Victor Hugo, who had hitherto shown support for Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, decided to go into exile after the coup, and became one of the harshest critics of Napoleon III, despite the amnesty of political opponents in 1859.
New constitutional statutes were passed which officially maintained an elected Parliament and re-established universal male suffrage. However, the Parliament now became irrelevant as real power was completely concentrated in the hands of Louis-Napoléon and his bureaucracy. Exactly one year after the coup, on 2 December 1852, after approval by another referendum, the Second Republic was officially ended and the Empire restored, ushering in the Second French Empire. President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte became Emperor Napoleon III. The numbering of Napoleon's reign treats Napoleon II, who never actually ruled, as a true Emperor (he had been briefly recognized as emperor from 22 June to 7 July 1814). That same year, Napoleon III began shipping political prisoners and criminals to penal colonies such as Devil's Island or (in milder cases) New Caledonia.
The emperor, hitherto a bachelor, began quickly to look for a wife to produce a legitimate heir. Most of the royal families of Europe were unwilling to marry into the parvenu Bonaparte family, and after rebuffs from Princess Carola of Sweden and from Queen Victoria's German niece Princess Adelheid of Hohenlohe-Langenburg, Napoleon decided to lower his sights somewhat and "marry for love", choosing the Countess of Teba, Eugénie de Montijo, a Spanish noblewoman of partial Scottish ancestry who had been brought up in Paris. In 1856, Eugenie gave birth to a legitimate son and heir, Louis Napoléon, the Prince Impérial.
Until about 1861, Napoleon's regime exhibited decidedly authoritarian characteristics, using press censorship to prevent the spread of opposition, manipulating elections, and depriving the Parliament of the right to free debate or any real power.
In the decade of the 1860s, Napoleon III made more concessions to placate his liberal opponents. This change began by allowing free debates in Parliament and public reports of parliamentary debates, continued with the relaxation of press censorship, and culminated in the appointment of the Liberal Émile Ollivier, previously a leader of the opposition to Napoleon's regime, as (effectively) Prime Minister in 1869. This later period is described by historians as the Liberal Empire.
The French economy was rapidly modernized under Napoleon III, who desired a legacy as a reform-minded social engineer. The industrialization of France during this period, in general, appealed to members of both the business interests and the working classes. Downtown Paris was renovated with the clearing of slums, the widening of streets, and the construction of parks according to Baron Haussmann's plan. Working class neighbourhoods were moved to the outskirts of Paris, where factories utilized their labour. Some of his main backers were Saint-Simonians, and these supporters described Napoleon III as the "socialist emperor." Saint-Simonians at this time founded a new type of banking institution, the Crédit Mobilier, which sold stock to the public and then used the money raised to invest in industrial enterprises in France. This sparked a period of rapid economic development.
Napoleon's Empire has been said to be the first regime in France to give "distinct priority to economic objectives". Napoleon sought to advance his belief in free trade, cheap credit, and the need to develop infrastructure as ways of ensuring progress and prosperity through government policy. Napoleon, like Haussmann and Pesigny, believed that the budget deficits that the state incurred due to its high contributions would be offset by subsequent high profits. His regime has also been cited as one of the few in French history to make a concerted effort towards breaking down trade barriers.
As it turned out, this time period was favourable for industrial expansion. The gold rush in California, and later Australia, increased the European money supply. In the early years of the Empire, the economy also benefited from the coming of age of those born during the baby boom of the Restoration period. The steady rise of prices caused by the increase of the money supply encouraged company promotion and investment of capital. The mileage of railways in France increased from 3,000 to 16,000 kilometres during the 1850s, and this growth of railways allowed mines and factories to operate at higher rates of productivity. The 55 smaller rail lines of France were merged into 6 major lines, while new iron steamships replaced wooden ships. Between 1859 and 1869, a French company built the Suez Canal, opening a new chapter in global transportation and trade.
Algeria had been under French rule since 1830. Compared to previous administrations, Napoleon was far more sympathetic to the native Algerians, who appealed to his romantic sentiments. Because of this he halted European migration inland, restricting them to the coastal zone. Moreover, he freed the Algerian rebel leader Abd al Qadir (who had been promised freedom on surrender but was imprisoned by the previous administration) and gave him a stipend of 150,000 francs. He also allowed Muslims to serve in the military and civil service on theoretically equal terms and allowed them to migrate to France. In addition, he gave the option of citizenship; however, for Muslims to take this option they had to accept all of the French civil code, including parts governing inheritance and marriage which might conflict with Muslim tradition, and they had to reject the competence of religious courts. This was interpreted by some Muslims as requiring them to give up parts of their religion to obtain citizenship and was resented.
One of the most influential decisions Louis Napoleon made in Algeria was to change its system of land tenure. While ostensibly well-intentioned, in effect this move destroyed the traditional system of land management and deprived many Algerians of land. While Napoleon did renounce state claims to tribal lands, he also began a process of dismantling tribal land ownership in favour of individual land ownership over the course of three generations, though this process was accelerated by later administrations. This process was corrupted by French officials sympathetic to French in Algeria who took much of the land they surveyed into public domain; in addition many tribal leaders, chosen for loyalty to the French rather than influence in their tribe, immediately sold communal land for cash.
In his speech at Bordeaux in 1852, Napoleon III famously proclaimed that "The Empire means peace" ("L'Empire, c'est la paix", literally 'The Empire, it is peace'), reassuring foreign governments that the new Emperor Napoleon would not attack other European powers in order to extend the French Empire. He was, however, thoroughly determined to follow a strong foreign policy to extend France's power and glory, and warned that he would not stand by and allow another European power to threaten its neighbour. He was also a partisan of a "policy of nationalities" (literally "politique de nationalités") re-casting the map of Europe, sweeping away small principalities to create unified nation-states, even when this seemed to have little relevance to France's material interests. In this he remained influenced by the themes of his uncle's policy, as related in the Mémorial de Sainte-Hélène, such as Italian unification and a united Europe. These two factors led Napoleon to a certain adventurism in foreign policy, in the opinion of some contemporaries, although this was tempered by pragmatism.
Napoleon's challenge to Russia's claims to influence in the Ottoman Empire led to France's successful participation in the Crimean War (March 1854–March 1856). During this war Napoleon established a French alliance with Britain, which continued after the war's close. The defeat of Russia and the alliance with Britain gave France increased authority in Europe. This was the first war between European powers since the close of the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna, marking a breakdown of the alliance system that had maintained peace for nearly half a century. The war also effectively ended the Concert of Europe and the Quadruple alliance, or "Waterloo Coalition" that the other four powers had established. The Paris Peace Conference of 1856 represented a high-water mark for the regime in foreign affairs, when Napoleon had followed through with his ideas set out in Les Idées Napoleoniennes.
In East Asia, Napoleon took the first steps to establishing a French colonial influence in Indochina. He approved the launching of a naval expedition under Charles Rigault de Genouilly in 1858 to punish the Vietnamese for their mistreatment of French Catholic missionaries and force the court to accept a French presence in the country. An important factor in his decision was the belief that France risked becoming a second-rate power by not expanding its influence in East Asia. Also, the idea that France had a civilizing mission was spreading.
This eventually led to a full-out invasion in 1861. By 1862 the war was over and Vietnam conceded three provinces in the south, called by the French Cochin-China, opened three ports to French trade, allowed free passage of French warships to Cambodia (which led to a French protectorate over Cambodia in 1863), allowed freedom of action for French missionaries and gave France a large indemnity for the cost of the war. France did not intervene, however, in the Christian-supported Vietnamese rebellion in Bac Bo, despite the urging of missionaries, or in the subsequent slaughter of thousands of Christians after the rebellion.
In China, France took part in the Second Opium War along with the United Kingdom, and in 1860 French troops entered Beijing. China was forced to concede more trading rights, allow freedom of navigation of the Yangtze, give full civil rights and freedom of religion to Christians, and give France and Britain a huge indemnity. This combined with the intervention in Vietnam set the stage for further French influence in China leading up to a sphere of influence over parts of southern China.
In 1866, French naval troops attacked Korea in response to the execution of French missionaries there. Though the campaign against Korea was primarily the work of the ranking French diplomat in China and not formally authorized by the French government, its failure nevertheless resulted in the decline of French influence in the region. In 1867, a military mission to Japan played a key role in modernizing the troops of the Shogun Tokugawa Yoshinobu, and even participated on his side against Imperial troops during the Boshin war.
As President of the Republic, Louis-Napoléon sent French troops to help restore Pope Pius IX as ruler of the Papal States in 1849 after his rule had been overthrown by the revolutionaries led by Giuseppe Mazzini and Giuseppe Garibaldi who had proclaimed the Roman Republic (although as a Carbonaro he had been involved in plotting a similar revolt in the Papal States during his youth in Italy). This won him support in France from Catholics (although many remained supporters of the Bourbon monarchy at heart). Yet at the same time he had sent an emissary to negotiate with the revolutionary Italian nationalist Mazzini. The Catholic Encyclopedia observes: "In this way the difficulties of the future emperor reveal themselves from the beginning; he wished to spare the religious susceptibilities of French Catholics" and yet to support "the national susceptibilities of the Italian revolutionists -- a double aim which explains many an inconsistency" in his policy.
Napoleon remained attached to the ideal of Italian nationalism which he had embraced in his youth, and wished particularly to end Austrian rule in Lombardy and Venice (he always nursed a dislike for Austria as the incarnation of reactionary, legitimate monarchy and the great barrier to the reconstruction of Europe on nationalist lines, again traceable back to his Carbonaro days). As Emperor, Napoleon dreamed of doing this, and thus satisfying his own inclinations and winning over liberal and left-wing opinion in France (which was passionately in favour of Italian unification) while at the same time supporting the Pope in Rome and thus maintaining conservative and Catholic support in France. These contradictory desires were evident in his policy in Italy.
In April-July 1859 Napoleon made a secret deal at Plombières-les-Bains with Cavour, Prime Minister of Piedmont, for France to assist in expelling Austria from the Italian peninsula and bringing about a united Italy, or at least a united northern Italy, in exchange for Piedmont ceding to France Savoy and the Nice region (which was destined to become the so-called French Riviera). He went to war with Austria in 1859 and won victories at Magenta and Solferino, which resulted in the ceding of Lombardy to Piedmont by Austria (and in return received Savoy and Nice from Piedmont as promised in 1860). After this had been done, however, Napoleon decided to end French involvement in the war. This early withdrawal, however, failed to prevent central Italy, including most of the Papal states, being incorporated into the new Italian state. This led Catholics in France to turn against Napoleon. Napoleon tried to redress the damage by maintaining French troops in the city of Rome itself, which prevented the Italian government seizing it from the Pope, a policy which Napoleon's devoutly Catholic wife Eugenie fervently supported. However, Napoleon on the whole failed to win back Catholic support at home (and made moves to appeal instead to the anti-Catholic left in his domestic policy in the 1860s, most notably by appointing the anti-clerical Victor Duruy Minister for Education, who further secularised the schooling system). Nonetheless, French troops remained in Rome to protect the Pope until the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870.
Napoleon III envisioned a "Grand Scheme for the Americas," which would consist of three general points. The first involved recognition of the Confederate States of America and a military alliance with them. The second involved reintroducing monarchical rule to Latin America, in the form of Maximillian I in Mexico, and increasing French trade throughout Latin America. The third and final point involved control over Mexico with the creation of a large buffer state from the Rio Grande to the Californian Baja.
Another example of Napoleon's adventurism in foreign policy was the French intervention in Mexico (January 1862–March 1867). Napoleon, using as a pretext the Mexican Republic's refusal to pay its foreign debts, planned to establish a French sphere of influence in North America by creating a French-backed monarchy in Mexico, a project that was supported by Mexican conservatives who resented the Mexican Republic's laicism. The United States was unable to prevent this contravention of the Monroe Doctrine because of the American Civil War; Napoleon hoped that the Confederates would be victorious in that conflict, believing they would accept the new regime in Mexico.
But his imperial dreams would not be so easy to achieve. In Mexico the French army suffered its first military defeat in 50 years, on the Fifth of May, 1862 in Puebla when the Mexican army under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza defeated a much better-equipped French army. The defeat not only surprised the world, but served to revitalize the national spirit of Mexicans, helping to sustain a guerrilla warfare that lasted 5 years. In the end, it remained the Second Mexican Empire.
With the support of Mexican conservatives and French troops, in 1863 Napoleon installed Maximilian I of Mexico, a Habsburg prince, as emperor. Ruling President Benito Juarez and his Republican forces retreated to the countryside and fought against the French troops and the Mexican monarchists.
The combined Mexican monarchist and French forces won victories up until 1865, but then the tide began to turn against them, in part because the American Civil War had ended. The U.S. government was now able to give practical support to the Republicans, supplying them with arms and establishing a naval blockade to prevent French reinforcements arriving from Europe. Due to continued losses inflicted by the Mexican guerrillas loyal to the Republic and the threat of an American military intervention, Napoleon withdrew French troops from Mexico in 1866, which left Maximilian and the Mexican monarchists doomed to defeat in 1867. Despite Napoleon's pleas that he abdicate and leave Mexico, Maximilian refused to abandon the Mexican conservatives who had supported him, and remained alongside them until the bitter end, when he was captured by the Republicans and then shot on 19 June 1867. The complete failure of the Mexican intervention was a humiliation for Napoleon, and he was widely blamed across Europe for Maximilian's death. However, letters have since shown that Napoleon III and Leopold of Belgium both warned Maximilian not to depend on European support. Empress Eugénie has also been largely blamed for the fiasco, the implication being that she tried to meddle in affairs of state in order to get over her husband's affairs of the heart.
Empress Carlota of Mexico visited Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie at Les Tuileries to request financial and military aid to rescue the agonizing empire, but her petitions were rejected. Carlota in turn insulted the Emperor and his wife by mocking their humble origins. She subsequently declined into mental illness.
In the beginning of the 1860s, the objectives of the Emperor in foreign policy had been met: France scored several military victories in Europe and abroad, the defeat at Waterloo had been exorcised, and France was once again a significant continental military power.
During the American Civil War, Napoleon III positioned France to lead the pro-Confederate European powers. For a time, Napoleon III inched steadily toward officially recognizing the Confederacy, especially after the crash of the cotton industry and his exercise in regime-changing in Mexico. Some historians have also suggested that he was driven by a desire to keep the American states divided. Through 1862, Napoleon III entertained Confederate diplomats, raising hopes that he would unilaterally recognize the Confederacy. The Emperor, however, could do little without the support of the United Kingdom, and never officially recognized the Confederacy.
A far more dangerous threat to Napoleon, however, was looming. France saw its dominance on the continent of Europe eroded by Prussia's crushing victory over Austria in the Austro-Prussian War in June–August 1866. Due in part to his Carbonaro past, Napoleon was unable to ally himself with Austria, despite the obvious threat that a victorious Prussia would pose to France. Napoleon felt secure in the presumption that the war with Austria would be drawn out, or would result in Austrian victory, when he agreed not to intervene in 1864. Yet, having decided not to prevent the Prussian rise to power by allying against her, Napoleon also failed to take the opportunity to demand Prussian consent to French territorial expansion in return for France's neutrality. Napoleon only requested that Prussia agree to French annexation of Belgium and Luxembourg after Prussia had already defeated Austria, by which time France's neutrality was no longer needed by Prussia. This extraordinary foreign policy failure saw France gain nothing while allowing Prussia's strength to increase greatly. In part the reason for the Emperor's blunder must be laid on his deteriorating health during this period—he had begun to suffer from a bladder stone that caused him great pain, even preventing him from riding a horse.
Napoleon's later attempt in 1867 to re-balance the scales by purchasing Luxembourg from its ruler, William III of the Netherlands, was thwarted by a Prussian threat of war. The Luxembourg Crisis ended with France renouncing any claim to Luxembourg in the Treaty of London (1867).
Napoleon III paid the price for his failure to help defend Austria from Prussia in 1870 when, goaded by the diplomacy of the Prussian Prime Minister (and chancellor of the North German Confederation, and soon of the new German Empire) Otto von Bismarck, he began the Franco-Prussian War. This war proved disastrous for France, and was instrumental in giving birth to the German Empire, which would take France's place as the major land power in continental Western Europe until the end of World War I. In battle against Prussia in July 1870 the Emperor was captured at the Battle of Sedan (2 September) and was deposed by the forces of the Third Republic in Paris two days later.
Napoleon spent the last few years of his life in exile in England, with Eugenie and their only son. The family lived at Camden Place Chislehurst, (then in Kent), where he died on 9 January 1873. He was haunted to the end by bitter regrets and by painful memories of the battle at which he lost everything; Napoleon's last words, addressed to Dr. Henri Conneau standing by his deathbed, reportedly were, "Were you at Sedan?" ("Etiez-vous à Sedan?")
The Emperor died during a multistage process to break up a bladder stone. The surgeon Sir Henry Thompson, sounded the emperor and detected a bladder stone. Lithotripsy (a technique to fragment the stone so that it could be passed) was performed on 2 January and 6 January under chloroform anaesthesia delivered by Joseph Thomas Clover. The cause of death was reportedly kidney failure and septicaemia. Clover and Thompson signed the post-mortem report with four other physicians; however, it has long been suspected that the operation was botched due to the arrogance of Thompson, resulting in the Emperor's untimely death.
Napoleon was originally buried at St. Mary's, the Catholic Church in Chislehurst. However, after his son died in 1879 fighting in the British Army against the Zulus in South Africa, the bereaved Eugenie decided to build a monastery. The building would house monks driven out of France by the anti-clerical laws of the Third Republic, and would provide a suitable resting place for her husband and son. Thus, in 1888, the body of Napoleon III and that of his son were moved to the Imperial Crypt at St Michael's Abbey, Farnborough, Hampshire, England. Eugenie, who died many years later, in 1920, now rests there with them. It was reported in 2007 that the French Government was seeking the return of his remains to be buried in France, but that this is opposed by the monks of the abbey.
Louis Napoleon has a reputation as a womanizer, yet he referred to his behaviour in the following manner: "It is usually the man who attacks. As for me, I defend myself, and I often capitulate." He had many mistresses. During his reign, it was the task of Count Felix Bacciochi, his social secretary, to arrange for trysts and to procure women for the emperor's favours. His affairs were not trivial sideshows: they distracted him from governing, affected his relationship with the empress, and diminished him in the views of the other European courts. Among his numerous love affairs and mistresses were:
His wife, Eugenie, resisted his advances prior to marriage. She was coached by her mother and her friend, Prosper Mérimée. "What is the road to your heart?" Napoleon demanded to know. "Through the chapel, Sire," she purportedly answered.  Yet, after marriage, it took not long for him to stray as Eugenie found sex with him "disgusting". It is doubtful that she allowed further approaches by her husband once she had given him an heir.
By his late forties, Napoleon started to suffer from numerous medical ailments, including kidney disease, bladder stones, chronic bladder and prostate infections, arthritis, gout, obesity, and the effects of chronic smoking. In 1856 Dr. Robert Ferguson, a consultant called from London, diagnosed a "nervous exhaustion" that had a "debilitating impact upon sexual ... performance" and reported this also to the British government.
An important legacy of Napoleon III's reign was the rebuilding of Paris. Part of the design decisions were taken in order to reduce the ability of future revolutionaries to challenge the government by capitalizing on the small, medieval streets of Paris to form barricades. However, this should not overshadow the fact that the main reason for the complete transformation of Paris was Napoleon III's desire to modernize Paris based on what he had seen of the modernizations of London during his exile there in the 1840s. With his characteristic social approach to politics, Napoleon III desired to improve health standards and living conditions in Paris with the following goals: build a modern sewage system to improve health, develop new housing with larger apartments for the masses, create green parks all across the city to try to keep working classes away from the pubs on Sunday, etc. Large sections of the city were thus flattened and the old winding streets replaced with large thoroughfares and broad avenues. The rebuilding of Paris was directed by Baron Haussmann (1809–1891; Prefect of the Seine département 1853–1870). It was this rebuilding that turned Paris into the city of broad tree-lined boulevards and parks so beloved of tourists today. With Prosper Mérimée, Napoleon III continued to seek the preservation for numerous medieval buildings in France, which had been left disregarded since the French revolution (a project Mérimée had begun during the July Monarchy). With Viollet-le-Duc acting as chief architect, many buildings were saved, including some of the most famous in France: Notre Dame Cathedral, Mont Saint-Michel, Carcassonne, Vézelay Abbey, Pierrefonds, Roquetaillade castle, and others.
Napoleon III also directed the building of the French railway network, which greatly contributed to the development of the coal mining and steel industry in France, and thereby radically changing the nature of the French economy, which entered the modern age of large-scale capitalism. The French economy, the second largest in the world at the time (behind the United Kingdom), experienced a very strong growth during the reign of Napoleon III. Names such as steel tycoon Eugène Schneider or banking mogul James de Rothschild are symbols of the period. Two of France's largest banks, Société Générale and Crédit Lyonnais, still in existence today, were founded during that period. The French stock market also expanded prodigiously, with many coal mining and steel companies issuing stocks.
Although largely forgotten by later Republican generations, which only remembered the non-democratic nature of the regime, the economic successes of the Second Empire are today recognized as impressive by historians. The emperor himself, who had spent several years in exile in Victorian Lancashire, was largely influenced by the ideas of the Industrial Revolution in England, and he took particular care of the economic development of the country. He is recognized as the first ruler of France to have taken great care of the economy; previous rulers considering it secondary.
His military adventurism is sometimes considered a fatal blow to the Concert of Europe, which based itself on stability and balance of powers, whereas Napoleon III attempted to rearrange the world map to France's favour even when it involved radical and potentially revolutionary changes in politics.
Napoleon III, to this day, lacks the favourable historical reputation that Napoleon I enjoyed. Victor Hugo portrayed him as "Napoleon the Small" (Napoléon le Petit), a mere mediocrity, in contrast with Napoleon I "The Great", presented as a military and administrative genius. In France, such arch-opposition from the age's central literary figure, whose attacks on Napoleon III were obsessive and powerful, made it impossible for a very long time to assess his reign objectively. Karl Marx, in The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon, famously mocked Napoleon III by saying that historical facts and personages often appear twice: "The first time as tragedy, the second time as farce." Napoleon III has often been seen as an authoritarian but ineffectual leader who brought France into dubious, and ultimately disastrous, foreign military adventures.
Historians have also emphasized his attention to the fate of working classes and poor people. His book Extinction du paupérisme ("Extinction of pauperism"), which he wrote while imprisoned at the Fort of Ham in 1844, contributed greatly to his popularity among the working classes and thus his election in 1848. Throughout his reign the emperor worked to alleviate the sufferings of the poor, on occasion breaching the nineteenth-century economic orthodoxy of complete laissez-faire and using state resources or interfering in the market. Among other things, the Emperor granted the right to strike to French workers in 1864, despite intense opposition from corporate lobbies. Marxist sociologist Goran Therborn has characterized the reign of Napoleon III as the "first modern bourgeois regime": one which combined a movement of mass support with bourgeois rule, albeit through authoritarian statist means. According to Therborn, such a form of rule, ossified upon the point of crisis, proves fatal to such regimes once major external crises emerge.
The Emperor also ordered the creation of three large parks in Paris (Parc Monceau, Parc Montsouris, and Parc des Buttes Chaumont) with the clear intention of offering them for poor working families as an alternative to the pub (bistrot) on Sundays, much as Victoria Park in London was also built with the same social motives in mind.
Speculation about his paternity was a favourite topic of his detractors,  as his parents were estranged and his mother Hortense was known to have multiple lovers. However, the parents met briefly between 23 June and 6 July 1807, nine and a half months prior to his birth, and there is no reason to assume that Louis was not his father. Additionally, Article 312 of the Napoleonic Code stated (and still states) that the father of any child born within wedlock is the mother's husband. The meeting prior to his birth meant that there was no "impossibility" of conception, and that the Article 312 designated Louis as the father of the future Napoleon III. 
|Ancestors of Napoleon III of France|
Napoleon III of FranceBorn: 20 April 1808 Died: 9 January 1873
|President of the French Second Republic
20 December 1848 – 2 December 1852
|Head of State of France
20 December 1848 – 4 September 1870
Louis Jules Trochu
Louis-Philippe of France
as King of the French
|Emperor of the French
2 December 1852 – 4 September 1870
|Titles in pretence|
|— TITULAR —
Emperor of the French
25 July 1846 – 2 December 1852
Reason for succession failure:
|Loss of title
||— TITULAR —
Emperor of the French
4 September 1870 – 9 January 1873
Redirecting to Napoleon III of France
NAPOLEON III. [[[Charles (Charles Louis De Bourbon)|CHARLES LOUIS]] NAPOLEON BONAPARTE] (1808-1873), emperor of the French, was born on the 20th of April 1808 in Paris at 8 rue Cerutti (now rue Laffitte), and not at the Tuileries, as the official historians state. He was the third son of Louis Bonaparte (see Bonaparte), brother of Napoleon and from 1806 to 1810 king of Holland, and of Hortense de Beauharnais, daughter of General (de) Beauharnais and Josephine Tascher de la Pagerie, afterwards the empress Josephine; hence he was at the same time the nephew and the adopted grandson of the great emperor. Of the two other sons of Louis Bonaparte and Hortense, the elder, Napoleon Charles (1802-1807), died of croup at The Hague; the second, Napoleon Louis (1804-1831), died in the insurrection of the Romagna, leaving no children. Doubts have been cast on the legitimacy of Louis Napoleon; for the discord between Louis Bonaparte, who was ill, restless and suspicious, and his pretty and capricious wife was so violent and open as to justify all conjectures. But definite evidence, in the shape of letters and references in memoirs, enables us to deny that the Dutch Admiral Verhuell was the father of Louis Napoleon,and there is strong evidence of resemblance in character between King Louis and his third son. He early gave signs of a grave and dreamy character. Many stories have been told about his childhood, for example the remark which Napoleon I. is said to have made about him: "Who knows whether the future of my race may not lie in this child." It is certain that, after the abdication and exile of Louis, Hortense lived in France with her two children, in close relation with the imperial court. During the Hundred Days, Louis Napoleon, then a child of seven, witnessed the presentation of the eagles to 50,000 soldiers; but a few weeks later, before his departure for Rochefort, the defeated Napoleon embraced him for the last time, and his mother had to receive Frederick William III. of Prussia and his two sons at the château of Saint-Leu; here the victor and the vanquished of Sedan met for the first time, and probably played together.
After Waterloo, Hortense, suspected by the Bourbons of having arranged the return from Elba, had to go into exile. The exking Louis, who now lived at Florence, had compelled her by a scandalous law-suit to give up to him the elder of her two children. With her remaining child she wandered, under the name of duchesse de Saint-Leu, from Geneva to Aix, Carlsruhe and Augsburg. In 1817 she bought the castle of Arenenberg, in the canton of Turgau, on a wooded hill looking over the Lake of Constance. Hortense supervised her son's education in person, and tried to form his character. His tutor was Philippe Le Bas, son of the well-known member of the Convention and follower of Robespierre, an able man, imbued with the ideas of the Revolution, while Vieillard, who instructed him in the rudiments, was a democratic imperialist also inspired with the ideal of nationalism. The young prince also studied at the gymnasium at Augsburg, where his love of work and his mental qualities were gradually revealed; he was less successful in mathematics than in literary subjects, and he became an adept at physical exercises, such as fencing, riding and swimming. It was at this time that he acquired the slight German accent which he never lost. Those who educated him never lost sight of the future; but it was above all his mother, fully. confident of the future destiny of the Bonapartes, who impressed on him the idea that he would be king, or at any rate, that he would accomplish some great works. "With your name," she said, "you will always count for something, whether in the old world of Europe or in the new." If we may believe Mme Cornu, he already at the age of twelve had dreams of empire.
In 1823 he accompanied his mother to Italy, visiting his father at Florence, and his grandmother Letitia at Rome, and dreaming with Le Bas on the banks of the Rubicon. He returned to Arenenburg to complete his military education under Colonel Armandi and Colonel Dufour, who instructed him in artillery and military engineering. At the age of twenty he was a "Liberal," an enemy of the Bourbons and of the treaties of 1815; but he was dominated by the cult of the emperor, and for him the liberal ideal was confused with the Napoleonic.
The July revolution of 1830, of which he heard in Italy, roused all his young hopes. He could not return to France, for the law of 1816 banishing all his family had not been abrogated. But the liberal revolution knew no frontiers. Italy shared in the agitation. He had already met some of the conspirators at Arenenberg, and it is practically established that he now joined the associations of the Carbonari. Following the advice of his friend the Count Arese and of Menotti, he and his brother were among the revolutionaries who in February 1831 attempted a rising in Romagna and the expulsion of the pope from Rome. They distinguished themselves at Civita Castellana, a little town which they took; but the Austrians arrived in force, and during the retreat Napoleon Louis, the elder son, took cold, followed by measles, of which he died. Hortense hurried to the spot and took steps which enabled her to save her second son from the Austrian prisons. He escaped into France, where his mother, on the plea of his illness, obtained permission from Louis Philippe for him to stay in Paris. But he intrigued with the republicans, and Casimir - Perier insisted on the departure of both mother and son. In May 1831 they went to London, and afterwards returned to Arenenberg.
For a time he thought of responding to the appeal of some of the Polish revolutionaries, but Warsaw succumbed (September 1831) before he could set out. Moreover the plans of this young and visionary enfant du siecle were becoming more definite. The duke of Reichstadt died in 1832. His uncle, Joseph, and his father, Louis, showing no desire to claim the inheritance promised them by the constitution of the year XII., Louis Napoleon henceforth considered himself as the accredited representative of the family. Those who came in contact with him noticed a transformation in his character; he tried to hide his natural sensibility under an impassive exterior, and concealed his political ambitions. He became indeed "doux entete" (gentle but obstinate) as his mother called him, persistent in his ideas and always ready to return to them, though at the same time yielding and drawing back before the force of circumstances. He endeavoured to define his ideas, and in 1833 published his Reveries politiques, suivies d'un projet de constitution, and Considerations politiques et militaires sur la Suisse; in 1836, as a captain, in the Swiss service, he published a Manuel d'artillerie, in order to win popularity with the French army. A phrase of Montesquieu, placed at the head of this work, sums up the views of the young theorist: "The people, possessing the supreme power, should do for itself all that it is able to do; what it cannot do well, it must do through its elected representatives." The supreme authority entrusted to the elect of the people was always his essential idea. But the problem was how to realize it. Louis Napoleon could feel vaguely the state of public opinion in France, the longing for glory from which it suffered, and the deep-rooted discord between the nation and the king, Louis Philippe, who though sprung from the national revolution against the treaties of 1815, was yet a partisan of peace at any price. Both Chateaubriand and Carrel had praised the prince's first writings. Bonapartists and republicans found common ground in the glorious tradition sung by Beranger. A military conspiracy like those of Berton or the sergeants of La Rochelle, seemed feasible to Napoleon. A new friend of his, Fialin, formerly a non-commissioned officer and a journalist, an energetic and astute man and a born conspirator, spurred him on to action.
With the aid of Fialin and Eleonore Gordon, a singer, who is supposed to have been his mistress, and with the co-operation of certain officers, such as Colonel Vaudrey, an old soldier of the Empire, commanding the 4th regiment of artillery, and Lieutenant Laity, he tried to bring about a revolt of the garrison of Strassburg (October 30, 1836). The conspiracy was a failure, and Louis Philippe, fearing lest he might make the pretender popular either by the glory of an acquittal or the aureole of martyrdom, had him taken to Lorient and put on board a ship bound for America, while his accomplices were brought before the court of assizes and acquitted (February 1837). The prince was set free in New York in April; by the aid of a false passport he returned to Switzerland in August, in time to see his mother before her death on the 3rd of October 1837.
At any other time this attempt would have covered its author with ridicule. Such, at least, was the opinion of the whole of the family of Bonaparte. But his confidence was unshaken, and in the woods of Arenenberg the romantic-minded friends who remained faithful to him still honoured him as emperor. And now the government of Louise Philippe, by an evil inspiration, began to act in such a way as to make him popular. In 1838 it caused his partisan Lieutenant Laity to be condemned by the Court of Peers to five years' imprisonment for a pamphlet which he had written to justify the Strassburg affair; then it demanded the expulsion of the prince from Switzerland, and when the Swiss government resisted, threatened war. Having allowed the July monarch to commit himself, Louis Napoleon at the last moment left Switzerland voluntarily. All this served to encourage the mystical adventurer. In London, where he had taken up his abode, together with Arese, Fialin (says Persigny), Doctor Conneau and Vaudrey, he was at first well received in society, being on friendly terms with Count d'Orsay and Disraeli, and frequenting the salon of Lady Blessington. He met with various adventures, being present at the famous tournament given by Lord Eglinton, and yielded to the charm of his passionate admirer Miss Howard. But it was a studious life, as well as the life of a dandy, that he led at Carlton House Terrace. Not for a minute did he forget his mission: "Would you believe it," the duke of Wellington wrote of him, "this young man will not have it said that he is not going to be emperor of the French. The unfortunate affair of Strassburg has in no way shaken this strange conviction, and his chief thoughts are of what he will do when he is on the throne." He was in fact evolving his programme of government, and in 1839 wrote and published his book: Des Idees napoleoniennes, a curious mixture of Bonapartism, socialism and pacificism, which he represented as the tradition of the First Empire. He also followed attentively the fluctuations of French opinion.
Since 1838 the Napoleonic propaganda had made enormous progress. Not only did certain newspapers, such as the Capitole and the Journal du Commerce, and clubs, such as the Culottes de peau carry it on zealously; but the diplomatic humiliation of France in the affair of Mehemet Ali in 1840, with the outburst of patriotism which accompanied it, followed by the concessions made by the government to public opinion, such as, for example, the bringing back of the ashes of Napoleon I., all helped to revive revolutionary and Napoleonic memories.
The pretender, again thinking that the moment had come, formed a fresh conspiracy. With a little band of fifty-six followers he attempted to provoke a rising of the 42nd regiment of the line at Boulogne, hoping afterwards to draw General Magnan to Lille and march upon Paris. The attempt was made on the 6th of August 1840, but failed; he saw several of his supporters fall on the shore of Boulogne, and was arrested together with Montholon, Persigny and Conneau. This time he was brought before the Court of Peers with his accomplices; he entrusted his defence to Berryer and Marie, and took advantage of his trial to appeal to the supremacy of the people, which he alleged, had been disregarded, even after 1830. He was condemned to detention for life in a fortress, his friend Aladenize being deported, and Montholon, Parquin, Lombard and Fialin being each condemned to detention for twenty years. On the 15th of December, the very day that Napoleon's ashes were deposited at the Invalides, he was taken to the fortress of Ham. The country seemed to forget him; Lamartine alone foretold that the honours paid to Napoleon I. would shed lustre on his nephew. His prison at Ham was unhealthy, and physical inactivity was painful to the prince, but on the whole the regime imposed upon him was mild, and his captivity was lightened by Alexandrine Vergeot, "la belle sabotiere," or Mdlle Badinguet (he was later nicknamed Badinguet by the republicans). His more intellectual friends, such as Mme Cornu, also came to visit him and assisted him in his studies. He corresponded with Louis Blanc, George Sand and Proudhon, and collaborated with the journalists of the Left, Degeorge, Peauger and Souplet. For six years he worked very hard "at this University of Ham," as he said. He wrote some Fragments historiques, studies on the sugarquestion, on the construction of a canal through Nicaragua, and on the recruiting of the army, and finally, in the Progres du Pas-de-Calais, a series of articles on social questions which were later embodied in his Extinction du pauperisme (1844). But the same persistent idea underlay all his efforts. "The more closely the body is confined," he wrote, "the more the mind is disposed to indulge in flights of imagination, and to consider the possibility of executing projects of which a more active existence would never perhaps have left it the leisure to think." On the 25th of May 1846 he escaped to London, giving as the reason for his decision the dangerous illness of his father. On the 27th of July his father died, before he could accomplish a journey undertaken in spite of the refusal of a passport by the representative of Tuscany.
He was again well received in London, and he "made up for his six years of isolation by a furious pursuit of pleasure." The duke of Brunswick and the banker Ferrere interested themselves in his future, and gave him money, as did also Miss Howard, whom he later made comtesse de Beauregard, after restoring to her several millions. He was still full of plans and new ideas, always with the same end in view; and for this reason, in spite of his various enterprises, which were sometimes ridiculous, sometimes unpleasant in their consequences, and his unscrupulousness as to the men and means he employed, he always had a kind of greatness. He always retained his faith in his star. "They will come to me without any effort of my own," he said to Taglioni the dancer; and again to Lady Douglas, who was counselling resignation, he replied, "Though fortune has twice betrayed me, yet my destiny will none the less surely be fulfilled. I wait." He was not to wait much longer.
As he well perceived, the popularity of his name, the vague "legend" of a Napoleon who was at once a democrat, a soldier and a revolutionary hero, was his only strength. But by his abortive efforts he had not yet been able to win over this immense force of tradition and turn it to his own purposes. The events which occurred from 1848 to 1852 enabled him to do so. He behaved with extraordinary skill, displaying in the heat of the conflict all the abilities of an experienced conspirator, knowing, "like the snail, how to draw in his horns as soon as he met with an obstacle" (Thiers), but supple, resourceful and unscrupulous as to the choice of men and means in his obstinate struggle for power.
At the first symptoms of revolutionary disturbance he returned to France; on the 25th of February he offered his services to the Provisional Government, but, on being requested by it to depart at once, resigned himself to this course. But Persigny, Mocquard and all his friends devoted themselves to an energetic propaganda in the press, by pictures and by songs. After the 15th of May had already shaken the strength of the young republic, he was elected in June 1848 by four departments, Seine, Yonne, CharenteInferieure and Corsica. In spite of the opposition of the executive committee, the Assembly ratified his election. But he had learnt to wait. He sent in his resignation from London, merely hazard ing this appeal: "If the people impose duties on me, I shall know how to fulfil them." This time events worked in his favour; the industrial insurrection of June made the middle classes and the mass of the rural population look for a saviour, while it turned the industrial population towards Bonapartism, out of hatred for the republican bourgeois. The Legitimists seemed impossible, and the people turned instinctively towards a Bonaparte.
On the 26th of September he was re-elected by the same departments; on the 11th of October the law decreeing the banishment of the Bonapartes was abrogated; on the 26th he made a speech in the Assembly defending his position as a pretender, and cut such a sorry figure that Antony Thouret contemptuously withdrew the amendment by which he had intended to bar him from rising to the presidency. Thus he was able to be a candidate for this formidable power, which had just been defined by the Constituent Assembly and entrusted to the choice of the people, "to Providence," as Lamartine said. In contrast to Cavaignac he was the candidate of the advanced parties, but also of the monarchists, who reckoned on doing what they liked with him, and of the Catholics, who gave him their votes on condition of his restoring the temporal power to Rome and handing over education to the Church. The former rebel of the Romagna, the Liberal Carbonaro, was henceforth to be the tool of the priests. In his very triumph appeared the ultimate cause of his downfall. On the 10th of December he was elected president of the Republic by 5,434,226 votes against 1,448,107 given to Cavaignac. On the 10th of December he took the oath "to remain faithful to the democratic Republic. .. to regard as enemies of the nation all those who may attempt by illegal means to change the form of the established government." From this time onward his history is inseparable from that of France. But, having attained to power, he still endeavoured to realize his cherished project. All his efforts, from the 10th of December 1848 to the 2nd of December 1852 tended towards the acquisition of absolute authority, which he wished to obtain, in appearance, at any rate, from the people.
It was with this end in view that he co-operated with the party of order in the expedition to Rome for the destruction of the Roman republic and the restoration of the pope (March 31, 1849), and afterwards in all the reactionary measures against the press and the clubs, and for the destruction of the Reds. But in opposition to the party of order, he defined his own personal policy, as in his letter to Edgard Ney (August 16, 1849), which was not deliberated upon at the council of ministers, and asserted his intention "of not stifling Italian liberty," or by the change of ministry on the 31st of October 1849, when, "in order to dominate all parties," he substituted for the men coming from the Assembly, such as Odilon Barrot, creatures of his own, such as Rouher and de Parieu, the Auvergne avocats, and Achille Fould, the banker. "The name of Napoleon," he said on this occasion, "is in itself a programme; it stands for order, authority, religion and the welfare of the people in internal affairs, and in foreign affairs for the national dignity." In spite of this alarming assertion of his personal policy, he still remained in harmony with the Assembly (the Legislative Assembly, elected on the 28th of May 1849) in order to carry out "a Roman expedition at home," i.e. to clear the administration of all republicans, put down the press, suspend the right of holding meetings and, above all, to hand over education to the Church (law of the 15th of March 1850). But the machiavellian pretender, daily growing more skilful at manoeuvring between different classes and parties, knew where to stop and how to keep up a show of democracy. When the Assembly, by the law of the 31st of May 1850, restricted universal suffrage and reduced the number of the electors from 9 to 6 millions, he was able to throw upon it the whole responsibility for this coup d'etat bourgeois. " I cannot understand how you, the offspring of universal suffrage, can defend the restricted suffrage," said his friend Mme Cornu. "You do not understand," he replied, "I am preparing the ruin of the Assembly." "But you will perish with it," she answered. "On the contrary, when the Assembly is hanging over the precipice, I shall cut the rope." In fact, while trying to compass the destruction of the republican movement of the Left, he was taking careful steps to gain over all classes. "Prince, altesse, monsieur, monseigneur, citoyen" (he was called by all these names indifferently at the Elysee), he appeared as the candidate of the most incompatible interests, flattering the clergy by his compliments and formal visits, distributing cigars and sausages to the soldiers, promising the prosperous bourgeoisie "order in the street" and business, while he posed as the "father of the workers," and won the hearts of the peasants. At his side were his accomplices, men ready for anything, whose only hopes were bound up with his fortunes, such as Morny and Rouher; his paid publicists, such as Romieu the originator of the "red spectre"; his cudgel-bearers, the "Ratapoils" immortalized by Daumier, who terrorized the republicans. From the Elysee by means of the mass of officials whom they had at their command, the conspirators extended their activities throughout the whole country.
He next entered upon that struggle with the Assembly, now discredited, which was to reveal to all the necessity for a change, and a change in his favour. In January 1851 he deprived Changarnier of his command of the garrison of Paris. "The Empire has come," said Thiers. The pretender would have preferred, however, that it should be brought about: legally, the first step being his re-election in 1852. The Constitution forbade his re-election; therefore the Constitution must be revised. On. the 19th of July the Assembly threw out the proposal for revision, thus signing its own death-warrant, and the coup d'etat was resolved upon. He prepared for it systematically. The cabinet of the 26th of October 1851 gave the ministry for war to his creature Saint-Arnaud. All the conspirators were at their posts - Maupas at the prefecture of police, Magnan at the head of the troops in Paris. At the Elysee, Morny, adulterine son of Hortense, a hero of the Bourse and successful gambler, supported his half-brother by his energy and counsels. The ministry proposed to abrogate the electoral law of 1850, and restore universal suffrage; the Assembly by refusing made itself still more unpopular. By proposing to allow the president of the Assembly to call in armed force, the questors revealed the Assembly's plans for defence, and gave the Elysee a weapon against it ("donnent barre contre elle a l'Elysee"). The proposition was rejected (November 17), but Louis-Napoleon saw that it was time to act. On the 2nd of December he carried out his coup d'etat. But affairs developed in a way which disappointed him. By dismissing the Assembly, by offering the people "a strong government," and re-establishing "a France regenerated by the Revolution of '89 and organized by the emperor," he had hoped for universal applause. But both in Paris and the provinces he met with the resistance of the Republicans, who had reorganized in view of the elections of 1852. He struck at them by mixed commissions, deportations and the whole range of police measures. The decrets-lois of the year 1852 enabled him to prepare the way for the new institutions. On the 1st of December 1852 he became in name what he was already in deed, and was proclaimed Emperor of the French. He was then 44 years old. "The impassibility of his face and his lifeless glance" showed observers that he was still the obstinate dreamer that he had been in youth, absorbed in his Idea. His unshaken conviction of his mission made him conscious of the responsibility which rested on him, but hid from him the hopeless defect in the coup d'etat. To carry out his conviction, he had still only a timid will, working through petty expedients; but here again his confidence in the future made him bold. Ina people politically decimated and wearied, he was able to develop freely all the Napoleonic ideals. Rarely has a man been able to carry out his system so completely, though perhaps in these first years he had to take more disciplinary measures than he had intended against the Reds, and granted more favours than was fitting to the Catholics, his allies in December 1848 and December 1858.
The aim which the emperor had in view was, by a concentration of power which should make him "the beneficent motive force of the whole social order" (constitution of the 14th of January 1852; administrative centralization; subordination of the elected assemblies; control of the machinery of universal suffrage) to unite all classes in "one great national party" attached to the dynasty. His success, from 1852 to 1856, was almost complete. The nation was submissive, and a few scattered plots alone showed that republican ideas persisted among the masses. As "restorer of the overthrown altars," he won over the "men in black," among them Veuillot, editor-in-chief of l' Univers, and allowed them to get the University into their hands. By the aid of former Orleanists, such as Billault, Fould and Morny, and Saint-Simonians such as Talabot and the Pereires, he satisfied the industrial classes, extended credit, developed means of communication, and gave a strong impetus to the business of the nation. By various measures, such as subsidies, charitable gifts and foundations, he endeavoured to show that "the idea of improving the lot of those who suffer and struggle against the difficulties of life was constantly present in his mind." His was the government of cheap bread, great public works and holidays. The imperial court was brilliant. The emperor, having failed to obtain the hand of a Vasa or Hohenzollern, married, on the 29th of January 1853, Eugenie de Montijo, comtesse de Teba, aged twenty-six and at the height of her beauty.
France was "satisfied" in the midst of order, prosperity and peace. But a glorious peace was required; it must not be said that "France is bored," as Lamartine had said when the Napoleonic legend began to spread. The foreign policy of the Catholic party, by the question of the Holy Places and the Crimean War (1853-1856), gave him the opportunity of winning the glory which he desired, and the British alliance enabled him to take advantage of it. In the spring of 1855, as a definite success was still slow to come, he contemplated for a time taking the lead of the expedition in person, but his advisers dissuaded him from doing so, for fear of a revolution. In January 1856 he had the good fortune to win a diplomatic triumph over the new tsar, Alexander II. It was at Paris (February 25 - March 30) that the conditions of peace were settled.
The emperor was now at the height of his power. He appeared to the people as the avenger of 1840 and 1815, and the birth to him of a son, Eugene Louis Jean Joseph, on the 16th of March 1856, assured the future of the dynasty. It was then that, strong in "the esteem and admiration with which he was surrounded," and "foreseeing a future full of hope for France," he dreamed of realizing the Napoleonic ideal in its entirety. This disciple of the German philologists, this crowned Carbonaro, the friend of the archaeologists and historians who were to help him to write the Histoire de Cesar, dreamed of developing the policy of nationalism, and of assisting the peoples of all countries to enfranchise themselves.
From 1856 to 1858 he devoted his attention to the Rumanian nationality, and supported Alexander Cuza. But it was above all the deliverance of Italy which haunted his imagination. By this enterprise, which his whole tradition imposed upon him, he reckoned to flatter the amour-propre of his subjects, and rally to him the liberals and even the republicans, with their passion for propagandism. But the Catholics feared that the Italian national movement, when once started, would entail the downfall of the papacy; and in opposition to the emperor's Italian advisers, Arese and Prince Jerome Napoleon, they pitted the empress, who was frivolous and capricious, but an ardent Catholic. Napoleon III. was under his wife's influence, and could not openly combat her resistance. It was the Italian Orsini who, by attempting to assassinate him as a traitor to the Italian nation on the 14th of January 1858, gave him an opportunity to impose his will indirectly by convincing his wife that in the interests of his own security he must "do something for Italy." Events followed each other in quick succession, and now began the difficulties in which the Empire was to be irrevocably involved. Not only did the Italian enterprise lead to strained relations with Great Britain, the alliance with whom had been the emperor's chief support in Europe, and compromised its credit; but the claims of parties and classes again began to be heard at home.
The Italian war aroused the opposition of the Catholics. After Magenta (June 4, 1859), it was the fears of the Catholics and the messages of the empress which, even more than the threats of Prussia, checked him in his triumph and forced him into the armistice of Villafranca (July 11, 1859). But the spread of the Italian revolution and the movement for annexation forced him again to intervene. He appealed to the Left against the Catholics, by the amnesty of the 17th of April 1859. His consent to the annexation of the Central Italian states, in exchange for Savoy and Nice (Treaty of Turin, March 24, 1860) exposed him to violent attacks on the part of the ultramontanes, whose slave he had practically been since 1848. At the same time, the free-trade treaty with Great Britain (January 5, 1860) aroused a movement against him among the industrial bourgeoisie. Thus at the end of 1860, the very time when he had hoped that his personal policy was to rally round him once for all the whole of France, and assure the future of his dynasty, he saw, on the contrary, that it was turning against him his strongest supporters. He became alarmed at the responsibilities which he saw would fall upon him, and imagined that by an appearance of reform he would be able to shift on to others the responsibility for any errors he might commit. Hence the decrees of the 24th of November 1860 (right of address, ministers without portfolio) and the letter of the 14th of November 1861 (financial reform). From this time onward, in face of a growing opposition, anxiety for the future of his regime occupied the first place in the emperor's thoughts, and paralysed his initiative. Placed between his Italian counsellors and the empress, he was ever of two minds. His plans for remodelling Europe had a certain generosity and grandeur; but internal difficulties forced him into endless manoeuvre and temporization, which led to his ruin. Thus in October 1862, after Garibaldi's attack on Rome, the clerical coterie of the Tuileries triumphed. But the replacing of M. Thouvenel by M. Drouin de Lhuys did not satisfy the more violent Catholics, who in May 1863 joined the united opposition. Thirty-five opposers of the government were appointed, Republicans, Orleanists, Legitimists or Catholics. The emperor dismissed Persigny, and summoned moderate reformers such as Duruy and Behic. But he was still possessed with the idea of settling his throne on a firm basis, and uniting all France in some glorious enterprise which should appeal to all parties equally, and "group them under the mantle of imperial glory." From January to June 1863 he sought this appearance of glory in Poland, but only succeeded in embroiling himself with Russia. Then, after Syria and China, it was the "great inspiration of his reign," the establishment of a Catholic and Latin empire in Mexico, enthusiasm for which he tried in vain from 1863 to 1867 to communicate to the French.
But while the strength of France was wasting away at Puebla or Mexico, Bismarck was founding German unity. In August 1864 the emperor, held back by French public opinion, which was favourable to Prussia, and by his idea of nationality, allowed Prussia and Austria to seize the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. After his failure in Poland and Mexico and in face of the alarming presence of Germany, only one alliance remained possible for Napoleon III., namely with Italy. He obtained this by the convention of the 15th of September 1864 (involving the withdrawal of the French troops from Rome). But the Catholic party redoubled its violence, and the pope sent out the encyclical Quanta Cura and the Syllabus, especially directed against France. In vain the emperor sought in German affairs a definitive solution of the Italian question. At Biarritz he prepared with Bismarck the Franco-Prussian alliance of April 1866; and hoped to become, to his greater glory, arbiter in the tremendous conflict which was about to begin. But suddenly, while he was trying to rouse public opinion against the treaties of 1815, the news of the battle of K6niggratz came as a bolt from the blue to ruin his hopes. French interests called for an immediate intervention. But the emperor was ill, weary and aged by the life of pleasure which he led side by side with his life of work (as is proved by the letters to Mdlle Bellanger); he was suffering from a first attack of his bladder complaint. He knew, moreover, the insufficiency of his troops. After days of terrible suffering, he resigned himself to the annexation by Prussia of northern Germany. "Now," said M Drouin de Lhuys, "we have nothing left but to weep." Henceforth the brilliant dream, a moment realized, the realization of which he had thought durable, was at an end. The Empire had still an uncertain and troubled brilliancy at the Exhibition of 1867. But Berezowski's pistol shot, which accentuated the estrangement from the tsar, and the news of the death of Maximilian at Queretaro, cast a gloom over the later fetes. In the interior the industrial and socialist movement, born of the new industrial development, added fresh strength to the Republican and Liberal opposition. The moderate Imperialists felt that some concessions must be made to public opinion. In opposition to the absolutist "vice-emperor" Rouher, whose influence over Napoleon had become stronger and stronger since the death of Morny, Emile 0111vier grouped the Third Party. Anxious, changeable and distraught, the emperor made the Liberal concessions of the 19th of January 1867 (right of interpellation), and then, when 0111vier thought that his triumph was near, he exalted Rouher (July) and did not grant the promised laws concerning the press and public meetings till 1868. The opposition gave him no credit for these tardy concessions. There was an epidemic of violent attacks on the emperor; the publication of the Lanterne and the Baudin trial, conducted by Gambetta, were so many death-blows to the regime. The Internationale developed its propaganda. The election cf May 1869 resulted in 4,438,000 votes given for the government, and 3,355, 000 for the opposition, who also gained 90 representatives. The emperor, disappointed and hesitating, was slow to return to a parliamentary regime. It was not till December that he instructed 0111vier to "form a homogeneous cabinet representing the majority of the Corps Legislatif" (ministry of the 2nd of January 1870). But, embarrassed between the Arcadiens, the partisans of the absolute regime, and the republicans, 0111vier was unable to guide the Empire in a constitutional course. At the Tuileries Rouher's counsel still triumphed. It was he who inspired the ill and wearied emperor, now without confidence or energy, with the idea of resorting to the plebiscite. " To do away with the risk of a Revolution," "to place order and liberty upon a firm footing," "to ensure the transmission of the crown to his son," Napoleon III. again sought the approbation of the nation. He obtained it with brilliant success, for the last time, by 7,358,786 votes against 1,571,939, and his work now seemed to be consolidated.
A few weeks later it crumbled irrevocably. Since 1866 he had been pursuing an elusive appearance of glory. Since 1866 France was calling for "revenge." He felt that he could only rally the people to him by procuring them the satisfaction of their national pride. Hence the mishaps and imprudences of which Bismarck made such an insulting use. Hence the negotiations of Nikolsburg, the "note d'aubergiste" (innkeeper's bill) claiming the left bank of the Rhine, which was so scornfully rejected; hence the plan for the invasion of Belgium (August 1866), the Luxemburg affair (March 1867), from which M. de Moustier's diplomacy effected such a skilful retreat; hence the final folly which led this government into the war with Prussia (July 1870).
The war was from the first doomed to disaster. It might perhaps have been averted if France had had any allies. But Austria, a possible ally, could only join France if satisfied as regards Italy; and since Garibaldi had threatened Rome (Mentana, 1867), Napoleon III., yielding to the anger of the Catholics, had again sent troops to Rome. Negotiations had taken place in 1869. The emperor, bound by the Catholics, had refused to withdraw his troops. It was as a distant but inevitable consequence of his agreement of December 1848 with the Catholic party that in 1870 the emperor found himself without an ally.
His energy was now completely exhausted. Successive attacks of stone in the bladder had ruined his physique; while his hesitation and timidity increased with age. The influence of the empress over him became supreme. On leaving the council in which the war was decided upon the emperor threw himself, weeping, into the arms of Princess Mathilde. The empress was delighted at this war, which she thought would secure her son's inheritance.
On the 28th of July father and son set out for the army. They found it in a state of utter disorder, and added to the difficulties by their presence. The emperor was suffering from stone and could hardly sit his horse. After the defeat of Reichshoffen, when Bazaine was thrown back upon Metz, he wished to retreat upon Paris. But the empress represented to him that if he retreated it would mean a revolution. An advance was decided upon which ended in Sedan. On the 2nd of September, Napoleon III. surrendered with 80,000 men, and on the 4th of September the Empire fell. He was taken as a prisoner to the castle of Wilhelmshohe, near Cassel, where he stayed till the end of the war. After the intrigues of Bazaine, of Bismarck, and of the empress, the Germans having held negotiations with the Republic, he was de facto deposed. On the 1st of March the assembly of Bordeaux confirmed this deposition, and declared him "responsible for the ruin, invasion and dismemberment of France." Restored to liberty, he retired with his wife and son to Chislehurst in England. Unwilling even now to despair of the future, he still sought to rally his friends for a fresh propaganda. He had at his service publicists such as Cassagnac, J. Amigues and Hugelmann. He himself also wrote unsigned pamphlets justifying the campaign of 1870. It may be noted that, true to his ideas, he did not attempt to throw upon others the responsibility which he had always claimed for himself. He dreamed of his son's future. But he no longer occupied himself with any definite plans. He interested himself in pensions for workmen and economical stoves. At the end of 1872 his disease became more acute, and a surgical operation became necessary. He died on the 9th of January 1873, leaving his son in the charge of the empress and of Rouher. The young prince was educated at Woolwich from 1872 to 1875, and in 1879 took part in the English expedition against the Zulus in South Africa, in which he was killed. By his death vanished all hope of renewing the extraordinary fortune which for twenty years placed the descendant of the great emperor, the Carbonaro and dreamer, at once obstinate and hesitating, on the throne of France.
The Ouvres of Napoleon II I.have been published in four volumes (1854-1857) and his Histoire de Jules Cesar in two volumes (1865-1869); this latter work has been translated into English by T. Wright. See also Ebeling, Napoleon III. and sein Hof (1891-1894); H. Thirria, Napoleon III. avant l'Empire (1895) Sylvain-Blot, Napoleon III. (1899); Giraudeau, Napoleon III. intime (1895); Sir W. A. Fraser, Napoleon III. (London, 1895); A. Forbes, Life of Napoleon III. (1898); A. Lebey, Les Trois coups d'etat de Louts Napoleon Bonaparte (1906); Louis Napoleon Bonaparte et la revolution de 1848 (1908); and F. A. Simpson, The Rise of Louis Napoleon (1909). General works which may be consulted are Taxile-Delord, Histoire du second Empire (1868-1875); P. de La Gorce, Histoire du second Empire (1894-1905); A. Thomas, Le Second Empire (1907); and E. 0111vier, L'Empire liberal (14 vols., 1895-1909). (A. Ts.)
<< Napoleon II
Originally known as Louis-Napoléon-Bonaparte, Emperor of the French; b. at Paris, 20 April, 1808; d. at Chiselhurst, England, 6 January, 1873; third son of Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland and Hortense de Beauharnais, daughter of the Empress Josephine.
After the fall of the First Empire, Hortense, who had been separated from her husband, took her two sons to Geneva, Aix in Savoy, Augsburg, and then (1824) to the castle of Arenenberg in Switzerland. Louis Napoleon had for tutor the scholar Le Bas, son of a member of the Convention. The "principle of nationalities" attracted him in youth, and with his brother, he took part in an attempted insurrection in the States of the Church, in 1831. He was on the point of setting out for Poland when he heard that the Russians had entered Warsaw. On the death of the Duke of Reichstadt (1832) he regarded himself as the heir of the Napoleonic Empire. The Republican press, engaged in a struggle with Louis Philippe's government, manifested a certain sympathy for Louis Napoleon. Though Casimir Périer had expelled him from France in 1831, he and a few officers from Strasburg attempted, but failed in, a coup de main (1836). In his book, "Idées Napoléoniennes", published in 1838, he appears as the testamentary executor of Napoleon I and a bold social reformer. His attempted descent on Boulogne, in August, 1840, resulted in a sentence of life imprisonment, notwithstanding his defence by Berryer. While in prison at Ham, he wrote, among other brochures, one on the "Extinction of Pauperism". He escaped from Ham in 1846. After the Revolution of 1848 he returned to Paris, became a member of the Constituent Assembly, and finally was elected President of the Republic by 5,562,834 votes, on 10 December, 1848.
Presidency of Louis Napoleon
Before his election Louis Napoleon had entered into certain engagements with Montalembert in regard to freedom of teaching and the restoration of Pius IX, who had been driven to Gaeta by the Roman Revolution. When General Oudinot's expedition made its direct attack on the Roman Republic, April, 1849, and the Constituent Assembly passed a resolution of protest (7 May, 1849), a letter from Louis Napoleon to Oudinot requested him to persist in his enterprise and assured him of reinforcements (8 May, 1849); at the same time, however, Louis Napoleon sent Ferdinand de Lesseps to Rome to negotiate with Mazzini, an agreement soon after disavowed. In this way the difficulties of the future emperor reveal themselves from the beginning; he wished to spare the religious susceptibilities of French Catholics and to avoid offending the national susceptibilities of the Italian revolutionists -- a double aim which explains many an inconsistency and many a failure in the religious policy of the empire. "The more we study his character, the more nonplussed we are", writes his historian, de la Gorce. Oudinot's victory (29 June, 1849) having crushed the Roman Republic, Napoleon, ignoring the decided Catholic majority in the Legislative Assembly elected on 18 May, addressed to Colonel Ney, on 18 August, 1849, a sort of manifesto in which he asked of Pius IX a general amnesty, the secularization of his administration, the establishment of the Code Napoléon, and a Liberal Government. The Legislative Assembly, on Montalembert's motion, voted approval of the "Motu Proprio" of 12 September, by which Pius IX promised reforms without yielding to all the president's imperative demands. The president was dissatisfied, and forced the Falloux Cabinet to resign; but he was soon working with all the influence of his position for the passage of the Falloux Law on freedom of teaching -- a law which involved a great triumph for the Catholics -- while, in the course of his journeys through France, his deferential treatment of the bishops was extremely marked. And when, by the Coup d'Etat of 2 December, 1851, Louis Napoleon had dissolved the Assembly, and by the plébiscite appealed to the French people as to the justice of that act, many Catholics, following Montalembert and Louis Veuillot, decided in his favour; the prince-president obtained 7,481,231 votes (21 November, 1852). The Dominican Lacordaire, the Jesuit Ravignan, and Bishop Dupanloup were more reserved in their attitude. Lacordaire went so far as to say: "If France becomes accustomed to this order of things, we are moving rapidly towards the Lower Empire".
Dictatorial Period of the Empire, 1852-60
The first acts of the new government were decidedly favourable to the Church. By the "Decree Law" of 31 January, 1852, the congregations of women, which previously could be authorized only by a legislative act, were made authorizable by simple decrees. A great many bishops and parish priests hailed with joy the day on which Louis Napoleon was proclaimed emperor and the day (30 January, 1853) of his marriage with the Spanish Eugénie de Montijo, which seemed to assure the future of the dynasty. At this very time Dupanloup, less optimistic, published a pastoral letter on the liberty of the Church, while Montalembert began to perceive symptoms which made him fear that the Church would not always have reason to congratulate itself on the new order. For some years the Church enjoyed effective liberty: the bishops held synods at their pleasure; the budget of public worship was forthcoming; cardinals sat in the Senate as of right; the civil authorities appeared in religious processions; missions were given; from 1852-60 the State recognized 982 new communities of women; primary and secondary educational institutions under ecclesiastical control increased in number, while, in 1852, Péres Petetot and Gratry founded the Oratory as a Catholic centre of science and philosophy. Catholics like Ségur, Cornudet, Baudon, Cochin, and the Vicomte de Melun founded many charitable institutions under state protection. Napoleon III was anxious that Pius IX should consent to come to crown him at Notre Dame. This request he caused to be preferred by Mgr de Ségur, auditor of the Rota, and Pius IX explained that, if he crowned Napoleon III, he would also be obliged to go and crown Francis Joseph of Austria, hinting, at the same time, that Napoleon could come to Rome; and he gave it to be understood that, if the emperor were willing to suppress the Organic Articles, he, the pope, might be able to accede to his request at the end of three months. Pius IX also wished Napoleon III to make the Sunday rest obligatory and abrogate the legal necessity of civil marriage previous to the religious ceremony. After two years of negotiations the emperor gave up this idea (1854), but thereafter his relations with the Church seemed to be somewhat less cordial. The Bull in which Pius IX defined the Immaculate Conception was admitted into France grudgingly, and after some very lively opposition on the part of the Council of State (1854). Dreux Brézé, Bishop of Moulins, was denounced to the Council of State for infringement of the Organic Articles, while the "Correspondant" and the "Univers", having defended the bishop, were rigorously dealt with by the authorities. Lastly, the return to the Cour de Cassation (Court of Appeals) of the former procureur général Dupin, who had resigned in 1852, was looked upon as a victory for Gallican ideas.
The Crimean War (1853-56) was undertaken by Napoleon, in alliance with England, to check Russian aggression in the direction of Turkey. The Fall of Sebastopol (8 September, 1855) compelled Alexander II to sign the Treaty of Paris (1856). In this war Piedmont, thanks to its minister, Cavour, had had a part, both military and diplomatic; for the first time Piedmont was treated as one of the Great Powers. After all, the Italian Question interested the emperor more than any other, and upon this ground difficulties were about to arise between him and the Church. As early as 1856 Napoleon knew, through Cavour, that the Piedmontese programme involved the dismemberment of the Pontifical States; at the promptings of the French Government the Congress of Paris expressed a wish that the pope should carry out liberal reforms, and that the French and Austrian troops should soon leave his territories. The attempt on the emperor's life by the Italian Orsini (14 January, 1858), set in motion a policy of severe repression ("Law of General Security" and proceedings against Proudhon, the socialist). But the letter which Orsini wrote from his prison to Napoleon, beseeching him to give liberty to twenty-five million Italians, made a lively impression upon the emperor's imagination. Pietri, the prefect of police obtained from Orsini another letter, pledging his political friends to renounce all violent methods, with the understanding that the enfranchisement of Italy was the price to be paid for this assurance. From that time, it was Napoleon's active wish to realize Italian unity. On 21 July, 1858, he had an interview with Cavour at Plombiéres. It was agreed between them that France and Piedmont should drive the Austrians from Italy, and that Italy should become a confederation, under the rule of the King of Sardinia, though the pope was to be its honorary president. The result of this interview was the Italian War. For this war public opinion had been schooled by a series of articles in Liberal and government organs -- the "Siécle", "Presse", and "Patrie" -- by Edmond About's articles on the pontifical administration, published in the "Moniteur", and by the anonymous brochure "L'Empereur Napoléon III et l'Italie" (really the work of Arthur de la Guéronniére), which denounced the spirit of opposition to reform shown by the italian governments. Catholics tried to obtain Napoleon's assurance that he would not aid the enemies of Pius IX. In the House of Representatives (Corps Législatif) the Republican Jules Favre asked: "If the government of the cardinals is overthrown shall we shed the blood of the Romans to restore it?" And the minister, Baroche, made no answer (26 April, 1859). But Napoleon, in the proclamation announcing his departure for Italy (10 May, 1859), declared that he was going to deliver Italy as far as the Adriatic, and that the pope's power would remain intact. The victories of the French troops at Magenta (4 June. 1859) and Solferino (24 June, 1859) coincided with insurrectionary movements against the papal authority. Catholics were alarmed, and so was the emperor; he would not appear as an accomplice of these movements, and on 11 July he signed the treaty of Villafranca. Austria ceded Lombardy to France, and France retroceded it to Sardinia. Venetia was still to belong to Austria, but would form part of the Italian Confederation which would be under the honorary presidency of the pope. The pope would be asked to introduce the indispensable reforms in his state. In November, 1859, at Zurich, these preliminaries were formally embodied in a treaty.
Neither the pope nor the Italians were pleased with the emperor. On the one hand the pope did not thank Napoleon for his hints on the way to govern the Romagna, and an eloquent brochure from the pen of Dupanloup denounced the schemes which menaced the pope. On the other hand it was plain to the Italians that the emperor had halted before enfranchising Italy as far as the Adriatic. Napoleon then dreamed of settling the affairs of Italy by means of a congress, and Arthur de la Guéronniére's pamphlet, "Le pape et le congrés", demanded of Pius IX, in advance, the surrender of his temporal power. On 1 January, 1860, Pius IX denounced this pamphlet as a "monument of hypocrisy", and on 9 January he answered with a formal refusal a letter from Napoleon advising him to give up the Legations. A few months later, the Legations themselves joined Piedmont, while Napoleon, by making Thouvenel his minister of foreign affairs and by negotiating with Cavour the annexation of Nice and Savoy to France, proved that he was decidedly more devoted to the aspirations of Piedmont than to the temporal power of the pope. Meanwhile the Catholics in France commenced violent press campaigns under the leadership of the "Univers" and the "Correspondant". On 24 January, 1869, the "Univers" was suppressed. The minister of state, Billaut, prosecuted the Catholic publications and pulpit utterances deemed seditious. To be sure Baroche, on 2 April, announced in the Corps Législatif, that the French troops would not leave Rome so long as the pope was unable to defend himself. But Napoleon, only too anxious to withdraw his troops, at one moment thought of having them replaced by Neapolitan troops, and then proposed to Pius IX, though in vain, that the Powers of the second order should be induced to organize a body of papal troops, to be paid by all the Catholic states jointly. Pius IX, on the other hand, allowed Mgr de Mérode to make an appeal to the aristocracy of France and Belgium for the formation of a special corps of pontifical troops, which should enable the pope to do without the emperor's soldiers. Among these soldiers of the pope were a large number of French Legitimists; Lamericiére, their commander, had always been a foe of the imperial regime. Napoleon III was annoyed, and ordered his ambassador at Rome to enter into negotiations for the withdrawal of the French troops: on 11 May, 1860, it was decided that within three months the soldiers given to the pope by Napoleon III should return to France.
In the meantime, however, Garibaldi's campaign in Sicily and Calabria opened. Farini and Cialdini, sent by Cavour to Napoleon, represented to him (28 August) the urgent necessity of checking the Italian revolution, that Garibaldi was about to march on Rome, and that France ought to leave to Piedmont the task of preserving order in Italy, for which purpose the Piedmontese must be allowed to cross the pontiffcal territories so as to reach the Neapolitan frontier. "Faites vite (act quickly)", said the emperor, and himself left France, travelling in Corsica and Algeria, while the Piedmontese troops invaded Umbria and the Marches, defeated the troops of Lamoriciére at Castelfidardo, captured Ancona, and occupied all the States of the Church except Rome and the province of Viterbo. Napoleon publicly warned Victor Emmanuel that, if he attacked the pope without legitimate provocation, France would be obliged to oppose him; he withdrew his minister from Turin, leaving instead only a chargé d'affaires, and was a mere spectator of that series of events which, in February, 1861, ended in Victor Emmanuel's being proclaimed King of Italy. The expedition to Syria (1859), in which 80,000 French troops went to the relief of the Maronite Christians, who were being massacred by the Druses with the connivance of the Turks, the two expeditions to China (1857 and 1860), in co-operation with England, which resulted, among other things, in the restoration to the Christians of their religious establishments, and the joint expedition of France and Spain (1858-62) against the Annamese Empire, which avenged the persecution of Christians on Annam and ended in the conquest of Cochin China by France, merited for the armies of France the gratitude of the Church. Still the attitude of Napoleon III in regard to Italian affairs caused great pain to Catholics. Falloux in an article entitled "Antécédents et conséquences de la situation actuelle", published in the "Correspondant", implied that Napoleon was an accomplice in the Italian revolution. The Catholic associations formed to collect subscriptions for the pope's benefit were suppressed, and Pius IX, in the consistorial allocution of 17 December, 1860, accused the emperor of having "feigned" to protect him.
Liberal Period of the Empire, 1860-70
It was just at this time that the emperor, by the decree of 24 November, 1860, made his first concession to the Opposition, and to Liberal ideas, by granting more independence and power of initiative to the Legislature. But the Liberal opposition was not disarmed, and the Catholic discontent was aggravated by his Italian policy, The emperor replied to Pius IX by publishing la Guéronniére's book, "La France, Rome et l'Italie", a violent arraignment of Rome. Then Bishop Pie of Poitiers published his pastoral charge in which the words, "Lavetes mains, O Pilate" (Wash thy hands, O Pilate), were addressed to Napoleon III. In the Senate, an amendment in favour of the temporal power of the pope was lost by only a very small majority; in the Corps Législatif, one-third of the deputies declared themselves for the pontifical cause. The emperor asserted his Italian sympathies more and more clearly: in June, 1862, he recognized the new kingdom; he sent an ambassador to Turin, and to Rome two partisans of Italian unity; and he used his influence with Russia and Prussia to procure their recognition of the Kingdom of Italy. One striking symptom of the emperor's changed feelings towards the Church was the circular of January, 1862, by which Persigny declared all the St. Vincent de Paul societies dissolved. Following upon Garibaldi's blow at the Pontifical States, which had been stopped by his defeat at Aspramonte (29 August, 1862), General Durando, minister of foreign affairs in Ratazzi's cabinet, declared in a circular that "the whole Italian nation demanded its capital". Thus were the Italians proclaiming their eagerness to be installed at Rome. Fearing that at the forthcoming legislative elections the Catholics would revolt from the imperial party, Napoleon suddenly manifested a much colder feeling for Italy. The Catholic influence of the empress gained the upper hand of Prince Napoleon's anti-religious influence. Thouvenel was supplanted by Drouin de Lhuys (15 October, 1862), who was made to give out a curt statement that the French Government had no present intention of taking any action in consequence of the Durando circular, thus bringing about the fall of the Ratazzi cabinet in Italy. A great many Catholics recovered their confidence in Napoleon; but a political alliance between a certain number of Liberal Catholics, devoted to the Royalist cause and members of the Republican party resulted, in June, 1863, in the return of thirty-five Opposition members to the Chamber, mostly men of great ability. Republicans and Monarchists, Freethinkers and Catholics, they grouped themselves around Thiers, who had been Louis Philippe's minister, and who won the confidence of Catholics by pronouncing unequivocally in favour of the temporal power, But the alliance between Republicans who wanted Napoleon to desist from protecting the temporal power and Catholics who thought he did not protect it enough, could not be very stable. From 1862 to 1864 the emperor did nothing in regard to Italy that could cause Pins IX any uneasiness. He was at that period busy with the early stages of the Mexican War, in which he had very imprudently allowed himself to become involved. Four years of fighting against President Juarez were destined to end in the evacuation of Mexico by the French troops, early in 1867, and the execution of Maximilian, brother of the Emperor of Austria, whom France had caused to be proclaimed Emperor of Mexico. The impression created by this disaster notably increased the strength of the Opposition in France.
Negotiations between Napoleon III and Italy recommenced in 1864, the Italian Government beseeching the emperor to put an end to the French occupation of the Pontifical States. The Convention of 15 September, 1864, obliged Italy to refrain from attacking the actual possessions of the Holy See and, on the contrary, to defend them, while France promised to withdraw her troops within a period of not more than two years, pari passu, with the organization of the pope's army. This arrangement caused profound sorrow at the Vatican; Pius IX drew the conclusion that Napoleon was preparing to leave the States of the Church at the mercy of the Italians. The diplomatic remonstrances with which the emperors government replied to the Syllabus, its prohibition against the circulation of that document, and Duruy's project to organize primary education without the concurrence of the Church, were causes of dissatisfaction to Rome and to the Catholics. The speech of Thiers against Italian unity, denouncing the imprudence of the Imperial policy, was loudly applauded by the faithful supporters of the HoIy See. Napoleon III, always a prey to indecision, no doubt asked himself from time to time whether his policy was a wise one, but the circumstances which he himself had created carried him along. Late in 1864 he thought of negotiating an alliance between the Courts of Berlin and Turin against Austria, so as to allow Italy to get possession of Venetia. Having paved the way for Italian unity, he was inaugurating a policy by means of which Prussia was to achieve German unity. He did nothing to prevent the conquest of Austria by Prussia at Sadowa (1866), and when he made a vain attempt to have Luxemburg ceded to him, Bismarck exploited the proceedings to convince public opinion in Germany of the danger of French ambition and the serious necessity of arming against France. By the end of 1866 the withdrawal of the French troops which had guarded the pope was complete. But Napoleon at the very time when he was thus carrying out the Convention of 15 September was organizing at Antibes a legion to be placed at the disposal of the pope; he once more exacted of Italy a pledge not to invade the Papal States; he conceived a plan to obtain from the Powers a collective guarantee of the pope's temporal sovereignty. On 3 November, 1866, he wrote to his friend Francesco Arese: "People must know that I will yield nothing on the Roman question, and that my mind is made up, while carrying out the Convention of 15 September, to support the temporal power of the pope by all possible means". But the season of ill-luck and of blundering was setting in for the Imperial diplomacy. None of the Powers responded to Napoleon's appeal. Italy, displeased at the organization of the Antibes Legion and the confidence reposed by the emperor in Rouher, a devoted champion of Catholic interests, complained bitterly: Napoleon answered by complaining of the Garibaldian musters that threatened the pope's territories. When the Garibaldians made an actual incursion, on 25 October, 1867, the French troops which had for some weeks been concentrated at Toulon, embarked for Civiti� Vecchia and helped the papal troops defeat the invaders at Mentana. Cardinal Antonelli asked that the French forces should be directed against those of Victor Emmanuel, but the emperor refused. Menabrea, Victor Emmanuel's minister, though he gave orders for the arrest of the Garibaldians, published in spite of Napoleon, a circular affirming Italy's right to possess Rome. Napoleon found it increasingly difficult to extricate himself from the coils of the Roman Question; he was still thinking of a European congress, but Europe declined. At the close of 1867, Thier's speech in support of the temporal power gave Rouher occasion to say, amid the applause of the majority, "We declare it in the name of the French government, Italy shall not take possession of Rome. Never, never will France tolerate such an assault upon her honour and her Catholicity". That never was extremely unpleasant to the Italian patriots. The emperor had offended both the pope and Italy at the same time. When the Vatican Council was convoked the imperial government manifested no antagonism. M. Emile Ollivier, president of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, opined, on 2 January, 1870, that the States ought not to interfere in the deliberations of the council. His colleague Daru instructed Banneville, the French ambassador to Rome, on 20 February, to protest in the name of French Constitutional law against the programme of enactments "De ecclesia", and tried to bring about concerted action of the Powers; but, after Antonelli's demurrer of 10 March, Daru confined himself to reiterating his objections in a memorandum (5 April) which Pius IX declined to submit to the council. M. Ollivier, against the requests of certain anti-infallibilist prelates, directed Banneville not to try to meddle in the proceedings of the council. In 1870 Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern's claim to the crown of Spain brought on a conflict between France and King William of Prussia. A dispatch relating to a conversation which took place at Ems, between WilIiam and Napoleon's ambassador, Benedetti, was, as Bismarck himself afterwards confessed, tampered with in such a way as to make war inevitable. Bismarck's own "Recollections" thus supply the refutation of the charge made by him in the Reichstag (5 December, 1874), that the empress and the Jesuits had desired the war and driven him into it. The German historian Sybel has formally cleared the empress and the Jesuits of this accusation. (On this point, which has provoked numerous polemics, see D�hr, "Jesuitenfabeln", 4th ed., Freiburg, 1904, pp. 877-79). Pius IX wrote to Emperor William offering his good offices as mediator (22 July, 1870), but to no purpose. As for the Italian government, on 16 July, 1870, it refused an alliance with France because Napoleon had refused it Rome. On 20 July Napoleon promised that the imperial troops should be recalled from Rome, but no more, and so, as usual, he offended both the pope, whom he was about to leave defenceless, and Italy, whose highest ambitions he was balking. The negotiations between France and Italy were continued in August, by Prince Napoleon, who made a visit to Florence. Italy absolutely insisted upon being allowed to take Rome, and, on 29 August, Visconti Venosta, minister of foreign affairs, affirmed the right of the Italians to have Rome for their capital. The anti-Catholic controversialists of France have often made use of these facts to support their allegation that the emperor would have had the Italian alliance in the War of 1870 if he had not persisted in his demand that the pope should remain master of Rome, and that Italy's abstention entailed that of Austria, which would have helped France if Italy had. M. Welschinger has proved that in 1870 these two powers were in no condition to be of material assistance to France. After the surrender of Sedan (2 September, 1870), Napoleon was sent, a prisoner, to Wilhelmsh�he, where he learned that the Republic had been proclaimed at Paris, 4 September, and that the Piedmontese had occupied Rome (20 September). The National Assembly of Bordeaux, on 28 February, 1871, confirmed the emperor's dethronement. After the Peace of Frankfort he went to reside at Chiselburst, where he died. His only son, Eug�ne-Louis-Jean-Joseph,Napoléon, born 16 March, 1856, was killed by the Zulus, 23 June, 1879. Napoleon III left unfinished a "Vie de César", begun in 1865, with the assistance of the historian Duruy, and of which only three volumes were published. His history still affords occasion for numerous polemics animated by party feeling. The portrait of him drawn by Victor Hugo in "Les Ch�timents" is extremely unfair. Napoleon was a tender-hearted dreamer, kindness was one of his most evident qualities. As regards his personal practice of religion, he was faithful to his Easter duties. Much of the censure which his foreign policy has merited is equally applicable to the anticlericals and the Republicans of his time, whose press organs were clamouring for French aid towards the speedy realization of Italian unity, while their systematic opposition, in 1868, to the Government programme for strengthening the army was partly responsible for the military weakness of France in 1870.