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Napoleon III

Napoleon III was the only emperor of French Second Empire and the first French Republic president. Napoleon III who was known also known as Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte was born in 1803 and died in 1873 (20th April 1803 and 9th January 1873). Napoleon III is acknowledged for being the last monarch of France (Bresler, p. 5). His mother was Hortense de Beauhamais and his father Louis Bonaparte. His parents had been given power over the Kingdom of Holland which France had control over.

Louis Napoleon as a child grew up in Switzerland where he lived with his mother after the members of the Bonaparte dynasty were banished from France. This was as a result of Napoleon I downfall. In addition, Louis Napoleon received his education in Germany. As a young man, he was involved in liberal politics; a good example being his involvement with Italy’s Carbonari. The Carbonari fought the Austria’s domination in Italy. After returning to France in 1836, he tried to lead a coup against Louis-Philippe.

Though he was imprisoned for attempting to lead another coup in 1840, Louis Napoleon became a Bonapartist candidate after escaping from the Fortress of Ham where he had been imprisoned. Louis Napoleon became the president of the new French republic after winning by a landslide against his opponent during the 1848 elections. By extending his ruling term of office to ten years, Napoleon III was able to assume dictatorial powers. He later converted the French republic into the Second French Empire. Louis Napoleon took the title Napoleon III.

Napoleon III belonged to a political party that was referred to as Independent, Parti del’ordre Bonapartist. In this paper, Napoleon III’s leadership will be discussed. The political and military leadership will be looked at. Discussion Napoleon III leadership had great influence on the governing system in France. His ability and skills to be a leader were seen during his rule as the second French empire emperor and French republic president. Before assuming into power, Napoleon III as a young man had been involved in resistance organizations such as Italy’s Carbonari.

His engagement in such organizations had him engaged in liberal politics, a situation that prepared him to later become a leader (Duff, p. 26). Italy’s Carbonari was a resistance organization that fought the domination of Austria in Italy. The end of Austria’s domination in Italy led to the unification of states in Italy. Louis Napoleon political interest had him lead a coup against Louis –Philippe leadership in 1836. Louis-Philippe was the king of the French who ruled between 1830 and 1848, and he was the last king of France.

Although he is considered as being France’s last monarch, Napoleon III is said to be the last monarch after serving as an emperor. Napoleon III political ability was seen when in October 1836 he led a Bonapartist coup at Strasbourg. Although the coup failed, he returned to France yet again in 1840. He secretly tried to lead another coup against Louis-Philippe in August 1840. Unfortunately, he was caught and given a life imprisonment sentence in the Fortress of the town of Ham, Department of Somme.

Louis-Napoleon great interest in politics and leadership in France continued even after his imprisonment. He wrote about socialist economic proposals. Under imprisonment, Louis –Napoleon therefore showed his interest in politics and leadership before he became an emperor and the second republic president. Napoleon III political leadership Louis-Napoleon was involved in politics in other nations before be became the president of the second France republic. A good example is Napoleon III involvement efforts to bring the separate Italian states together by working together with the Carbonari.

The separation of the states had occurred to allow Austria to have control over the Italian states, which was supported by European leaders during the Congress of Vienna meeting. The Italian liberal and nationalists were making efforts to bring the Italian states together. These efforts led to the formation of Carbonari which was made up of secret revolutionary societies that aimed at promoting Italian Risorgimento (Smith, p. 51). By being involved in efforts to bring all separate Italian states into one state, Napoleon III encouraged political leadership changes in Italy.

After leading two coups against Louis –Philippe and being imprisoned, Louis Napoleon rose to political leadership in France by being elected as the second French republic president. The 1848 February revolution led to the deposition of king Louis-Philippe, and the formation of the second French republic provided Napoleon III with political leadership as its first president. The promulgation of the Second Republic constitution was followed by elections that were meant to have the president of the French Second Republic elected. By defeating his opponent (Louis –Eugene), Louis Napoleon assumed into presidency.

During his leadership as a president, he faced the challenge of having his serving term being limited to four years. This occurred after constitution failed to be changed to extend his term of leadership. Louis Napoleon however tried to counter this limitation by assuming dictatorial powers and having his presidency term extended. This resulted to more opposition against his leadership. President Louis Napoleon received support from those who advocated for the leadership of Orleanist and Bourbon royal households. In addition, a good number of his supporters belonged to the upper class.

The support emanated from the conviction that Louis-napoleon would bring stability and restore order in France which had been hindered by the overthrowing of the monarchy when under Louis-Philippe. A large number of people belonging to the industrial working class supported Napoleon III as president because they considered his leadership as capable of bringing economic development (Bresler, p. 71). He enjoyed political support from a large number of people who respected the Bonaparte name and the great leaders who had formerly led the French people.

For instance, Napoleon I was acknowledged for leading France to military greatness and promoting social stability. France had experienced social instability after the French revolution and Napoleon I ability to establish social stability in France had people shown faith in napoleon III political leadership. Although president Napoleon III had won presidency, he received opposition from parliamentary members who viewed his government as a temporary bridge upon which the house of Orleons or Bourbon would be restored.

During his first years of presidency, he appointed ministers while avoiding conflict with the then France’s government conservative assembly. In order to win the support of Catholics, Napoleon III assisted in the restoration of Italy’s Rome under pope’s temporal rule. He supported liberal changes in the Papal States (Italy) government and established the Code Napoleon. To win the political support of the Catholics; Napoleon III in 1851 encouraged the church to play a great role in the French educational system.

During his political leadership as the president, Louis-napoleon also tried to extend his four years term by asking the National Assembly to review the constitution so as to allow him to remain in office. According to Napoleon III argument, an extension of his term as president would allow him to implement his economic and political program fully. However, the National Assemble failed to amend the constitution. This is because, many National Assembly members were monarchists who wanted the Bourbon dynasty to be restored.

Due to the opposition he encountered from the National Assembly, Louis-napoleon tried to win the support of lieutenants who seemed loyal to him. This way, he won the support of the army (Fremont-Barnes and Todd, p 43). During his presidency, he toured various regions of the country and made speeches aimed at winning the political support of the people. To extend his term in office, Napoleon III seized power to become an emperor. The French Second Republic was converted into the French Second Empire and Louis-napoleon becomes the emperor by adopting the title ‘Napoleon III’.

Through dictatorship, Napoleon III is considered to have limited the freedom of the press by having writers exiled and newspapers censored. By 1870, he initiated liberal reforms which resulted to a limited monarchy. Labour legislation was one way through which liberalization reforms during Napoleon III rule occurred. The reforms aimed at promoting free trade and reviving the opposition parties. Napoleon III in 1868 lifted the restriction he had put on the press and granted the National Assembly freedom. His political leadership initiated great development efforts such as the construction and extension of the French railway.

In addition, the reconstruction of Paris can be attributed to napoleon III political leadership. Baron Hausseman who was the urban planner oversaw the reconstruction of Paris. Napoleon III political leadership ended after his involvement in 1970 battle against Prussia (battle of Sedan). This paved way for the establishment of French third republic. . During his rule, Napoleon III political leadership had an administrative structure that was considered to be an instrument of state, imperial and private interest. Uncertainty about political leadership led to the 1869 reforms.

This led to tension about Frances’ political leadership. Political leadership during Napoleon III rule revolved around patronage problems. This assisted the leaders to reduce uncertainty about political leadership in France but instead create loyalty. Napoleon III lived in England during his exile and died on 9th January 1873 in Camden place (Chislehurst). The defeat of Napoleon III at the battle of Sedan marked his political leadership downfall Napoleon III military leadership Napoleon III began his military leadership before he became the president.

He was a military leader during the Bonapartist coup at Strasbourg in October 1836 and the August 1840 coup against the then king Louis-Philippe. The 1836 military coup against Louis-Philippe however failed. During the 1840 coup, Louis-napoleon was accompanied by hired soldiers into Boulogne. After leading the coup, he was caught and sentenced to life imprisonment and then escaped from imprisonment in 1846 (May) by pretending to be a laborer. Napoleon III military leadership as French’s leader came into being after he became the French second republic president (Wawro, p. 17).

After being elected president, he was expected to restore order and stability in France, one way being through the French military forces. Due to lack of full support from the republic’s National Assembly, Napoleon III tried to win the support of lieutenant in the French military forces. Lieutenant who were royal to Louis napoleon assisted him to win the support of the army. He then used the French military forces to win the support of the Catholics. This he did by using the French military to ensure that the Pope’s rule over Rome was maintained even as the Italian state came together to form the Italian state.

Because Algeria was under France’s rule, Napoleon III allowed Muslims to serve in the military. In 1852, he stated that he would not use French military power to attack the other European powers so as to extend the empire. However, he warned other European nations from attacking French’s allies. He would use the French military force to fight those nations, and this formed an important aspect of Napoleon III government foreign policy. The strong foreign policy aimed at having France’s glory and power extended (Howard, p. 27).

Napoleon III during his leadership supported the French military move to participate in the Crimean war which took place between March 1854 and March 1856(Royce, p. 13). During the Crimean war, Napoleon III established an alliance with Britain. The alliance between the British and French military forces increased France’s authority in Europe after the defeat of Russia. Napoleon III military leadership extended to East Asia, whereby efforts by Napoleon III to establish a French colonial influence in Indonesia had him launches a naval expedition in 1858.

The French naval expedition aimed at introducing French presence in Asia and to protect the French catholic missionaries from mistreatment by the Vietnamese people. The 1862 invasion in Asia had ports opened for French trade, and also allowed the French warships to pass through on their way to Cambodia. The French military forces also participated in the Second Opium war in China. The French troops entered Beijing in 1860. Under Napoleon III military leadership, the second French empire military forces together with those of the British Empire fought against the Chinese Qing dynasty from 1856 to 1860.

This made China to open trade to Britain and France. The French military forces contributed to the French increased political influence in China. The French military was also involved in attacks against Korea in 1866. Napoleon III military leadership acted as a setback to Italian unification when he sent the French troops to assist Pope Pius IX to remain as the ruler of Papal States despite the 1848 revolts in Italy. This won him the support of French Catholics (Smith, p. 63). This contradicted his interest of promoting Italian nationalism and unification.

Napoleon III worked together with Cavour (Piedmont’s Prime Minister) to fight Austria in 1859. France received Nice and Savoy from Piedmont after wining the war. France in turn ceded Lombardy to piedmont. Maintaining French troops in Rome made the Italians turn against Napoleon III. Napoleon used his military leadership to support the pro-considerate European powers during the American civil war. In 1860s, France had become a continental military power However; the French troops remained in Rome to protect the Pope until 1870 when the Franco-Prussian war broke out…

Conclusion Napoleon III is acknowledged for being the First French Republic president. He still remains one of the leaders who played an important role in shaping the current French Republic. His interest in leadership began when he was still a young man. Napoleon III apart from being a leader in the First French Republic and French’s Second Empire collaborated with other nations to pursue their political interest. Political leadership of Napoleon III was marked with opposition, a situation that made his leadership very challenging.

Due to the French military force strength when Napoleon III was a leader in France, Napoleon III used his military leadership to win the support of other European nations by offering military support to them during wars. In addition, he used his military leadership to extend French leadership to new territories when the need to do so arose. Works Cited Bresler, Fenton. Napoleon III: A Life. Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1999 Duff, David. Eugenie and Napoleon III. London: Book Club Associates, 1978 Fremont-Barnes, Gregory and Todd Fisher.

The Napoleonic Wars: The Rise and fall of an Empire. Osprey, 2004 Howard, Michael. The Franco-Prussian War: The German Invasion of France 1870–1871. New York: Routledge, 2001 Royce, Simon . The Crimean War and its place in European Economic History. University of London Press, 2001 Smith, Dennis Mack. Modern Italy; a Political History. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1997 Wawro, Geoffrey. The Franco-Prussian War: The German Conquest of France in 1870–1871. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003

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