In the history of France there were two empires. The first existed in 1804-1814 and 1815. It was created by the famous commander Napoleon Bonaparte. After his overthrow and exile in France, the monarchical system constantly alternated with the republican system. The period 1852-1870 years. is considered the period of the Second Empire, when the nephew of Napoleon I ruled Napoleon III.

Emperor of the French

The creator of the First Empire Napoleon Bonaparte establisheda new state on May 18, 1804. According to the revolutionary calendar, it was 28 floreal. On that day, the Senate adopted a new Constitution, according to which Napoleon was officially proclaimed emperor. Some attributes of the old monarchy (for example, the rank of marshal in the army) were restored.

The French Empire was ruled not only by the firstthe face of the state, but also by the imperial council, which included several high dignitaries (the arch-chancellor, the supreme elector, the arch-treasurer, the great admiral and the great constable). As before, Napoleon tried to make his own individual decisions legitimate by popular vote. At the first plebiscite in the empire, for example, it was decided to return the rite of coronation. She was returned, despite the resistance of the State Council.

French Empire

The Third Coalition

Created by Napoleon the First French Empire withThe very beginning of its existence was opposed to the whole Old World. Conservative European powers opposed the ideas that Bonaparte was carrying. For monarchs, he was the heir of the revolution and a man who posed a danger to their existence. In 1805, according to the Petersburg Union Treaty, the Third Anti-French Coalition was formed. It includes Great Britain, Russia, Austria, Sweden and the Neapolitan Kingdom.

This agreement rallied almost all Europeanpeoples. Against the French Empire came a powerful conglomeration of opponents. At the same time, Paris managed to persuade Prussia to maintain such a welcome neutrality. Then another large-scale war began. The first Napoleon punished the kingdom of Naples, the monarch of which he made his brother Joseph.

peoples against the French empire

The new successes of the empire

In 1806, the First French Empire achievedthe creation of the Rhine Union. It included vassals from Bonaparte German states: kingdoms, duchies and principalities. On their territory, Napoleon initiated reforms. He dreamed of establishing in Europe a new order according to his famous Code.

So, after the victory over the Third CoalitionThe French empire began to systematically strengthen its influence in disunited Germany. Such a turn of events did not like Prussia, which naturally considered its native land a zone of its own responsibility. In Berlin, Bonaparte was put forward an ultimatum, according to which from Paris it was required to remove his army for the Rhine. Napoleon ignored this attack.

A new war has begun. And the French Empire won again. In the first battle near Saalfeld, the Prussians suffered a terrible defeat. As a result of the campaign, Napoleon triumphantly entered Berlin and secured a huge indemnity. The French Empire did not stop even after intervention in the conflict of Russia. Soon was taken the second most important city of Prussia - Koenigsberg. Bonaparte achieved the creation in Germany of the dependent Westphalian kingdom. In addition, Prussia lost its territories between the Elbe and the Rhine. So the French Empire under Napoleon experienced the flourishing of its territorial expansion in Europe.

the second French empire

Triumph and Corsican defeat

By 1812 the flag of the French Empire flutteredover a lot of European cities. Prussia and Austria were catastrophically weakened, Britain was in blockade. In these conditions, Napoleon began his eastern campaign, attacking Russia.

As a route for the advance of the Great Armythe emperor considered three options: St. Petersburg, Moscow or Kiev. Ultimately, Napoleon chose the Holy See. After the bloody battle of Borodino with an uncertain outcome, the French army entered Moscow. However, the capture of the city gave nothing to the interventionists. The weakened army of the French and their allies had to retreat to their homeland.

Following the failure of the Eastern campaign, the Europeanthe powers united in a new coalition. This time, luck turned from Napoleon. He suffered several serious defeats and in the end was deprived of power. First, he was sent into exile to the Elbe. However, after a while, in 1815, the restless Bonaparte returned to his homeland. After another 100 days of reign and attempts to take revenge, his star finally sunk. The great commander spent the rest of his days on the island of Saint Helena. In place of the First Empire came the Restoration of the Bourbons.

flag of the French Empire

The New Empire

On December 2, 1852, the SecondThe French Empire. It appeared almost 40 years after the fall of its predecessor. The continuity of the two state structures was evident. The second French Empire received a monarch in the person of Louis Napoleon - the nephew of Napoleon I, who adopted the name of Napoleon III.

Like his uncle, the new monarch as his supportoriginally used democratic institutions. In 1852, a constitutional monarchy appeared according to the results of a nationwide plebiscite. At the same time, Louis Napoleon, before becoming emperor, in 1848-1852. was the president of the Second Republic.

the first French empire

The contradictory monarch

At the first stage of government as a monarchNapoleon III was in fact an absolute autocrat. He determined the composition of the Senate and the State Council, appointed ministers and officials up to mayors. Only the Legislative Corps was elected, but the election was full of contradictions and obstacles for independent candidates. In addition, in 1858, for all deputies, the oath of allegiance to the emperor became mandatory. All this struck out the legal opposition from political life.

The style of government of the two Napoleons is somewhatdiffered. The first came to power on the wave of the Great Revolution. He defended the then established new order. Under Napoleon, the former influence of the feudal lords was destroyed and the petty bourgeoisie began to flourish. His nephew defended the interests of big capital. At the same time, Napoleon III was a supporter of the principle of free trade. With him an unprecedented economic peak reached the Paris Stock Exchange.

the French Empire at Napoleon

The aggravation of relations with Prussia

By the end of the reign of Napoleon III FrenchThe colonial empire experienced a political decline caused by the inconsistent policy of the first person. Many sections of the society were dissatisfied with the monarch, although these contradictions could be reduced to nothing for the time being. However, the last nail in the coffin of the empire was the foreign policy of Napoleon III.

The Emperor, contrary to all the persuasions of his adviserswent to exacerbate relations with Prussia. This kingdom gained unprecedented economic and military potential. Neighborhood of the two countries was complicated by disputes around the border Alsace and Lorraine. Each state considered them their own. The conflict grew against the backdrop of the unresolved problem of German unification. Until recently, Austria and Prussia equally claimed the role of the leading force in this country, but the Prussians won this internal struggle and were now preparing to proclaim their own empire.

French colonial empire

The End of the Empire

The reason for the war between the neighbors were not allthe above-mentioned true historical reasons. It was a dispute over the Spanish heir to the throne. Although Napoleon III could pass back, he did not stop, hoping to demonstrate his power to his own citizens and the rest of the world. But contrary to his expectations from the first days of the war, which began July 19, 1870, the French suffered defeat after defeat. The initiative passed to the Germans, and they launched an offensive towards Paris.

The battle with Sedan ended in a fatal crash. After the defeat, Napoleon III had to surrender along with his army. The war continued, but the government in Paris decided not to wait for the return of the monarch and announced his deposition. September 4, 1870 in France was proclaimed a republic. She ended the war with the Germans. Released from captivity, but powerless, Napoleon III emigrated to Britain. There he died on January 9, 1873, being the last French monarch in history.

Interesting Facts

Napoleon Bonaparte was constantly on his feet. He lived according to the inhuman schedule. From this way of life, the general's habit of sleeping in snatches, for 1-2 hours, between the case. Anecdotal became the story that happened in the Battle of Austerlitz. In the midst of the battle, Napoleon ordered the bearskin to be laid beside him. The emperor slept on it for 20 minutes, after which, as if nothing had happened, he continued to lead the battle.

Napoleon I and Adolf Hitler got power in 44 years. In addition, both declared war on Russia at 52 years and suffered a total defeat at 56 years old.

The common term "Latin America" ​​wasIt was introduced into practice by Emperor Napoleon III. The monarch believed that his country had legal rights to this region. The epithet "Latin" should emphasize the fact that most of the population there speaks Roman languages, to which French belongs.

When he was President of the Second Republic of LouisNapoleon was the only bachelor in this post in the history of the country. On his wife Eugenia, he married, already becoming the emperor. Crowned couple adored to skate (it was Napoleon and Eugene popularizing dances on ice).

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