Bonaparte, Charles Louis Napoleon

Born: Apr 20, 1808 AD
Died: 1873 AD, at 64 years of age.

Nationality: French
Categories: Emperor

1808 - Born on April 20th. He gave his country two decades of prosperity under a stable, authoritarian government but finally led it to defeat in the Franco-German War.

1821 - After attending a grammar school at Augsburg, Germany, the "sweet stubborn boy" was taught by private tutors.

1830-1831 - He took part in an unsuccessful plot against the papal government in Rome and in the rebellion in central Italy, in which his beloved brother perished. He himself was saved from the Austrian troops only by his mother's bold intervention.

1832 - After the death of his cousin the Duke of Reichstadt (Napoleon I's only son), Louis-Napoléon considered himself his family's claimant to the French throne.

         - In his pamphlet "Rêveries politiques", he asserted that only an emperor could give France both glory and liberty.

1836-1837 - Convinced that as Napoleon's nephew he would be popular with the French army, he vainly tried, on October 30th, to win over the Strasbourg garrison for a coup d'état. King Louis-Philippe exiled him to the United States, from which he was recalled by his mother's last illness.

1839 - He published "Des idées napoléoniennes".

1848 - On hearing of the outbreak of the revolution, in February, he travelled to Paris but was sent back by the provisional government.

         - Evoking the Napoleonic legend with its memories of national glory, Louis-Napoléon promised to bring back those days in time of peace. He succeeded also in recommending himself to every group of the population by promising to safeguard their particular interests. He promised "order" and "prosperity" to the middle class and the farmers and assistance to the poor. In December he was the only candidate to obtain votes — totalling 5,434,226 — from among all classes of the population.

1849 - He took office, determined to free himself from dependence on the Party of Order, which had also won the parliamentary elections of May.

1850-1851 - He used the disfranchisement of 3,000,000 electors of the poorer classes by the National Assembly and an economic recession as a pretext for agitating against the parties and for advertising himself as the "strong man" against the danger of a nonexistent revolution.

1852 - He held another plebiscite in November and was confirmed as emperor after the resolution of the Senate concerning the restitution of the empire.

         - He was the emperor of France.

1853 - Failing to obtain the hand of a princess of equal birth, Napoleon III married the countess Eugénie de Montijo in January.

1869 - The emperor's failures in foreign affairs strengthened the opposition. When in the elections the government received 4,438,000 votes against the opposition's 3,355,000, Napoleon recognized that a genuine change of the regime was inevitable.

1873 - He died after undergoing an operation for the removal of bladder stones on January 9th.

Page last updated: 1:50pm, 18th Apr '07
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