Napoleon III Was France’s First President And Last Emperor

Samuel Reason

When you read through modern Western history you will find the education systems have a lot of biases built into it. One of the biggest is that democracy is simply the natural form of government, which does not teach how fragile a democratic system actually can be. The main problem is that it depends entirely on if people are ready and willing to follow the rules.

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It took only fifty years from when General Pompey of Rome said “Stop quoting laws, we have swords” for the Roman Republic and 500 years of democracy to fall. And two thousand years later it took even less time for the greed of one man to topple down the Second French Republic.

Louis Napoleon Bonaparte III was born in 1808 pretty much solely to become his uncle Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte wanted an imperial heir. Napoleon and his wife Josephine had failed to have any children. So he arranged for one of his illegitimate daughters Hortense to marry his younger brother Louis. But before he could inherit the French Empire, the defeat at Waterloo led to the French Empire toppling and the old monarchy was restored.

He grew up in Germany, Switzerland, and Rome but after the French Revolution in 1830, he made a slow return to France. Many even 15 years after the fall of the Empire saw the era of the Bonaparte’s as a golden age of France, where they held a key role of power in Europe. On arrival in France, Louis was told by the king he would have to change his name, which he refused to do so. Despite this, he was allowed to stay.

And when France entered the democratic age, it was his time to strike, returning as a hero he reeled in over 74% of the vote. He was now the President of the Second French Republic. Despite the backing of the people, the Assembly and government were always against him, which caused problems for getting anything done. In the end, Napoleon III was so frustrated he simply called in his half brother who was in the military and they organized the army to help him restore the Empire.

As a result, Napoleon III became France’s first President and also its last emperor.

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