Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte Becomes Emperor of France (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte becomes emperor of France after forcibly overthrowing the Legislative Assembly of the Second Republic and gaining the approval of the French voters, thus establishing the Second Empire.
Summary of Event
The February Revolution of 1848 ended the reign of the last French king, Louis-Philippe, and established the Second Republic. Radical and moderate republicans at first cooperated in the new regime, but soon quarreled. Radicals were accused of provoking the urban worker rebellion of June days; moderates were accused of unnecessary severity and repression in restoring order in Paris. Political conservatives, the majority of them monarchists, supported the moderates and increased their own political power greatly. The growth of conservative influence was evident in the Constitution of the Second Republic, officially adopted in November. It eliminated all references to ideas identified with radicals and socialists; it divided political power between a Legislative Assembly and a president, both fairly strong and both selected by universal manhood suffrage. In the first presidential election held in December of 1848, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte won by a large margin. Prince Louis-Napoleon had lived in exile and therefore was not associated with any particular French faction or its failures. Frightened peasants and bourgeois expected a strong and stable government from Louis-Napoleon,...
(The entire section is 1391 words.)
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