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Napoleon III and His Scheme on International Politics

One of France’s remarkable personalities was Napoleon III from the Bonaparte family. Coming from the famous and influential line of rulers, Napoleon III proved that he was indeed the rightfully heir to the Napoleon Empire. He gained many followers, although there were some who opposed him. This was due to his grand scheme of international politics. Napoleon III formulated a grand scheme for the America, as a way to reorganize the world map in order to benefit France. A Brief Biography Napoleon III was born Louis-Napoleon-Bonaparte on April 20, 1808 in Paris (Goyau).

His father was Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland and brother of the equally famous Napoleon I, while his mother was Hortense de Beauharnais, Napoleon I’s stepdaughter (“Napoleon: Bio from the Encyclopedia Britannica”). Napoleon III was descended from the famous Napoleon family, and this was said to be his major asset (Price 1). Much of his youth was spent in exile. When Napoleon I fell, all of the Bonapartes were banished from France. Hortense took her two sons in Augsburg, Germany before settling in Switzerland, where she was able to acquire the Arenenberg castle.

She has a deep influence on the life of young Louis-Napoleon by instilling in him a “longing for his lost fatherland, as well as with admiration of the genius of Napoleon I” (“Napoleon: Bio from the Encyclopedia Britannica”). Louis-Bonaparte then entered a grammar school at Germany where he was taught by private tutors (“Napoleon: Bio from the Encyclopedia Britannica”). One of them was Le Bas, a scholar and a son of a member of the Convention. During his teenage years, Louis-Napoleon was attracted by the “principle of nationalities” (Goyau).

This principle was considered to be a Bonapartist invention which was devised to spread the tyranny of the Napoleon family in France (Engels). Aside from this, Louis-Napoleon became friends with the exiled victims of the Bourbon monarchy and the suppressed people under the Austrian and the papal rule. Furthermore, he became interested in history and national liberty. These influenced him to join in an unsuccessful plot to overthrow the papal government in 1830. He also joined the rebellion in Italy in 1831 where his brother died (“Napoleon: Bio from the Encyclopedia Britannica”).

Louis-Napoleon was about to set for Poland when he learned that Russians had already entered Warsaw. With the death of the Duke of Reichstadt, who was the only son of Napoleon I in 1832, Louis-Napoleon considered himself as the next heir to the vast Napoleonic Empire. He was imprisoned at Ham for his “attempted descent on Boulogne” in 1840 but he escaped in 1846. He only returned to France when the Revolution of 1848 ended. Then, he became one of the members of the Constituent Assembly. By the end of 1848, he became the President of the Republic (Goyau). Political Background

As the next person to the Napoleonic Empire, Louis-Napoleon prepared himself by completing a military training and studying economic and social problems. He also published some of his writings about politics and military subjects. One of his writings was the “Reveries politiques” which was published in 1832. This pamphlet indicates that only an emperor has the ability to provide France with glory and liberty. The underlying goals of this pamphlet were to make his name popular, to broadcast his ideas, and to recruit supporters (“Napoleon: Bio from the Encyclopedia Britannica”).

He believed that being Napoleon I’s nephew would guarantee him popularity among the French Army; as such, Louis-Napoleon led a coup d’etat in 1836 to win the Strasbourg garrison. However, he failed and was exiled to the United States by King Louis-Philippe. Because of his mother’s last illness, he was able to return in 1837. He was again expelled in 1838 from Switzerland, after which he decided to settle in England (“Napoleon: Bio from the Encyclopedia Britannica”). Again, he published his “Des idees napoleoniennes” in 1839.

This book indicates that Bonapartism is “democratic and progressive but not republican [rather] authoritarian. ” Moreover, Louis-Napoleon himself declared that Bonapartism is “order, authority, religion, popular welfare and national dignity” (Holmberg). Further, he attempted to turn Bonapartism into a political ideology by following mystical inspirations and rationalism. He believed that ideology and politics arose from rational reflection and belief. He also believed that the main advocate was the person whom the Providence called and represented progress.

In addition to this, he set about accomplishing the mission that Napoleon I started but was not able to finish. This mission was to see about reconciling order and freedom with the people’s rights and the principles of authority (“Napoleon: Bio from the Encyclopedia Britannica”). He gained 56 followers, but their attempt was unsuccessful. This was because the garrison did not join them. He was then imprisoned, but he usefully spent his time by studying in preparation for the role he was about to take. He exchanged correspondence with the followers of the French opposition and even wrote for some newspapers.

Among his writings during his imprisonment was the “Extinction du pauperisme” in 1844. Through this writing, he was able to gain supporters (“Napoleon: Bio from the Encyclopedia Britannica”). Louis-Napoleon also engaged into some matters with Montalembert before he was elected as president. These matters involved the freedom of teaching and Pius IX’s restoration (Goyau). Presidency Upon the deposition of King Louis-Philippe during the Revolution of 1848 and the establishment of a Republic country, Louis-Napoleon was able to freely return to France (“Napoleon III of France”).

However, the provisional government ordered him to go back to the United Kingdom. With the aid of his supporters, he was nominated to be their candidate for the Constituent Assembly through a Bonapartist party they held. On the contrary, Louis-Napoleon himself refused to occupy the seat after being elected in four departements in 1848. He ran again in September, wherein five departments elected him (“Napoleon: Bio from the Encyclopedia Britannica”). As soon as he was able to return to Paris, he immediately prepared to run for the presidency.

The Party of Order, which was during the time a newly found party, supported Louis-Napoleon. The party consisted of the supporters of Louis-Philippe, Bourbons, and Catholics. They supported him because there was no another suitable candidate and they saw that Louis-Napoleon’s popularity would be a powerful tool (“Napoleon: Bio from the Encyclopedia Britannica”). In response, Louis-Napoleon used the propaganda that made him win elections before. Aside from this, his name and his descent earned him supporters.

He planned to bring back to France the times of peace, as he was inspired by the Napoleonic legend. He has also won votes because he promised to every group of the population that he would advance and protect their interests. He promised order and prosperity to the middle class and farmers and promised assistance to the poor. These tactics proved effective as shown on the day the votes for candidates were totaled. In 1848, it showed that only Louis-Napoleon was able to garner votes from all groups of population (“Napoleon: Bio from the Encyclopedia Britannica”).

As he took office, he was resolute about not being dependent on the Party of Order, although it won during the parliamentary elections of 1849. By this time, under Louis-Napoleon’s commands, a military expedition was sent to aid the Pope in re-conquering Rome. In addition, Republicans were deprived of holding their government positions and were even restricted of their liberties. However, the new president could only depend on a few members of the National Assembly who were also Bonapartists. Louis-Napoleon used every right that the constitution gave him and used it to expand his power.

Consequently, he was able to obtain key positions within the administration and in the army. Fortunately he was successful when he appointed a Cabinet wherein the members depended more on him than they did on the National Assembly (“Napoleon: Bio from the Encyclopedia Britannica”). Moreover, Louis-Napoleon traveled the country, thus earning him popularity among the people. He also took advantage of some events such as the disfranchisement of approximately three million electors from the poorer classes in 1850 by the National Assembly and the economic recession in 1851.

Through these events, he showed the people that he was the strong man “against the danger of a nonexistent revolution” (“Napoleon: Bio from the Encyclopedia Britannica”). However, he was still challenged by the fact that the parliament consisted of monarchists who did not have much faith on him. They saw Louis-Napoleon’s government as a “temporary bridge to a restoration of the House of Bourbon or of Orleans. ” Thus, he was cautious in governing during the first years of being the president. He chose his ministers from Orleanist Parti de l’Ordre monarchists and avoided conflict with the more conservative assembly.

Furthermore, he attempted to gain the Catholic support by aiding the Pope’s restoration in the papal rule in Rome, as was previously mentioned. He also approved the Loi Falloux in 1851, which gave a bigger role for the church in the educational system (“Napoleon: Bio from the Encyclopedia Britannica”). Near the end of his term, he requested the National Assembly to revise the constitution to enable the president to re-run for election. He disputed that four years were insufficient in fully implementing the president’s political and economic program.

This was his reaction against the Constitution of the Second Republic which stated that a president is to assume his power for four years but without privilege of re-election. This could be explained by the Constitution’s fear about the possibility of the president abusing his power in order to convert the Republic state to a dictatorship, wherein the president is granted power for life. The Constitution was not amended, partly because the National Assembly consisted of monarchists who wanted to restore the Bourbon dynasty (“Napoleon: Bio from the Encyclopedia Britannica”).

Grand Scheme for International Politics and World Dominance One of Louis-Napoleon’s policies was the disclaiming of foreign war and conquest. Although this policy endangered his popularity among the army, this was favored by the middle class and those who were interested or engaged in trade and commerce. As his supporters firmly believed that he could give them a peaceful and settled government, they were ready to resort to measures that would make his authority permanent. As a result, a motion was brought to the senate by the majority, which presented the proposition of elevating the president’s status to emperor.

In addition, the proposition included the provision of making the empire “hereditary to his family” (Markham 526). The voting took place on November 21 and 22, 1852, and the greatest majority of the people were in favor of the measure. Thus President Louis-Napoleon assumed the title of Napoleon III, which was somehow based on the assumption of the people that he was entitled to the rank of emperor after his father’s resignation (Markham 526). It was said that when Louis-Napoleon became emperor, many bishops and parish priests were overjoyed.

Added to this was his marriage to Eugenie de Montijo, a Spanish noblewoman also called the Countess of Teba. This seemed to secure the future of the dynasty. During this time, the Church enjoyed a number of privileges and liberty. For instance, bishops can hold synods whenever they want, cardinals can hold a position in the Senate, civil authorities can appear in religious processions, and educational institutions under the control of the Church were increasing in number (Goyau). Under Napoleon III’s governance, the country’s economy was modernized. He wanted to leave the legacy of being a “reform –minded social engineer.

” He also allowed France to be industrialized, thus the idea appealed mostly to those who have business interests and the working classes. There were changes, such as the clearing of slums, widening of streets, and construction of parks to renovate Paris. Furthermore, the working class neighborhoods were moved closer to where the factories were. These changes took place partly with the help of his supporters, including Saint-Simonians who said that Napoleon III was a “socialist emperor. ” During this time, the Saint-Simonians established a new banking institution called the Credit Mobilier.

This institution’s primary goals were to sold stock to the public and accordingly use the money for investments in the industrial enterprises in the country. This then led to a period in France characterized by rapid economic development (“Napoleon III of France”). These great changes also furthered the industrial expansion. Added to these were the gold rush in California and Australia, thus making the European money supply strong. Other economic benefit of the industrial expansion involved cases of investments and company promotion as a result of the rise of prices.

The railway system of France also improved, enabling mines and factories to establish higher rates and thus increase the productivity. Furthermore, some small rail lines were merged into major lines, and wooden ships were replaced with iron steamships. Another important advancement was the construction of the Suez Canal by a French company. Through the Suez Canal, global transportation and trade between countries greatly improved (“Napoleon III of France”). As mentioned, Napoleon III promoted the policy of disclaiming foreign wars. However, he did not stop at his plans to widen the France’s glory and power.

Also, he made it clear that he would not tolerate a European country to threaten another country. Additionally, Napoleon III supported the “principles of nationalities” which so attracted him on his youth. With this principle, he set about rearranging the map of Europe, unifying smaller principles in order to create major nation-states. This was despite the fact that it did not contribute to the material interests of France. This showed that he was still influenced by his uncle’s dream of a united Europe (“Napoleon III of France”).

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