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Napoleon III
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    (April 20, 1808-January 9, 1873)
    Birth name is Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte
    Nephew of Napoléon Bonaparte (?)
    Grandson of Joséphine de Beauharnais
    Prince-President of the French Republic (1848-1852)
    Emperor of the French (1852-1870)
    Is both the first president and the last emperor of France
    Wrote 'Idées napoléoniennes (1839)' and 'L'Extinction du paupérisme (1846)'
    He openly cheated on his wife.
    He was obsessed with the restoration of the Empire.
    After two failed coups, he tried the democratic way. His family name and demagoguery got him elected President.
    As the Constitution didn’t allow him a second term, he performed yet another coup and gave his presidency a ten-years extension (1851).
    One year later, he proclaimed the Empire.
    His dictatorship imposed a strong censorship (Victor Hugo had to go into exile).
    Though he had said 'the Empire is peace,' France was permanently in war under his reign.
    He declared war on Prussia for no sensible reason (1870).
    He had fallen in Bismarck’s trap: this aggression gave German states a common enemy and speeded up their unification.
    France lost, Napoléon was imprisoned and the German Empire, declared.
    This French defeat is at the root of World War I.
    He was probably an illegitimate child.
    He spent his childhood and died in exile.
    He enjoyed a strong popular support: he held various referendums, and always got an overwhelming majority.
    The first years, his successful campaigns made France the first military power of Europe.
    Under the pressure of the opposition, he mellowed his regime.
    He granted workers the right to strike (1864).
    Paris owes him much of its modern-day appearance.
    He took great care of his facial hair.

Credit: Sviatoslav Mixer

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