Napoleon III
Louis Napoleon Bonaparte,was born in 1808 and died in 1873. He was elected President of France in 1848 then he was made emperor of France from 1852 to 1871. He was the nephew of Napoleon I. He ultimately came to power after the February Revolution of 1848. He was elected to the National Assembly, and defeated Gen. L.E. Cavaignac in the presidential election by a wide margin. Louis Napoleon's success was due largely to his name. As president of the Second Republic, he consolidated powerful conservative support and instigated the coup of Dec. 3, 1851. The legislative assembly was dissolved, and an attempted workers' uprising was brutally suppressed.
The Industrial Revolution resulted in the growth of Socialism, to which Louis Napoleon subscribed. The successes of Napoleon Bonaparte in government were associated with Louis Napoleon, giving him a greater chance in the election. France had become a Republic because the Bourbon monarchy had been overthrown for being too absolutist and for its weak foreign policy, lack of aid for the working classes, and refusal of reforms. A Republic was chosen because the middle classes now thought it to be more acceptable, and the working classes wanted one for socialist reasons.
In November of 1852 a plebiscite overwhelmingly approved the establishment of the Second Empire. He became known as Emperor Napoleon III. For eighteen years he exercised dictatorial rule, tempered by material progress. The railways were expanded, and cities were rebuilt. The Crimean War and the Congress of Paris helped to restore French leadership on the Continent. Having lost popularity, the emperor began a more liberal domestic policy. This Liberal Empire 1860-70 enabled oppositional leaders such as Jules Favre and Adolphe Theirs to become prominent figures in the public eye. The Franco-Prussian War 1870-71 brought about his downfall. Napoleon III took the field himself and was captured at Sedan. He was deposed September 4,1870 by a bloodless revolution in Paris.