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Bonaparte, Louis-Napoléon

Charles-Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte

b. 20 Apr 1808, Paris, France
d. 9 Jan 1873, Chislehurst, Kent, England

Title: Président de la République (President of the Republic)
Term: 20 Dec 1848 - 1 Dec 1852
Chronology: 10 Dec 1848, elected by direct popular voting [1]
20 Dec 1848, oath of office taken, session of the Assemblée nationale constituante (Constituent National Assembly), salle des séances, Palais-Bourbon, Paris [1]
2 Dec 1851, declared to have been deprived of the office of President, decree of the Assemblée nationale législative (Legislative National Assembly), session of the Assembly, salle de la mairie du Xe arrondissement, Paris [2]
29 Mar 1852, confirmed in office for term of 10 years in accordance with Art. 2 of the Constitution of 14 Jan 1852 (effective upon the constituing of the chambers 29 Mar 1852) [3]
7 Nov 1852, restoration of imperial dignity, sénatus-consulte passed by the Sénat, session of 7 Nov 1852 (pending the results of a plebiscite) [4]
1 Dec 1852, proclaimed Emperor of the French under the name of Napoléon III after the presentation of the results of a plebiscite on restoration of imperial dignity, public ceremony, galerie d'Apollon (grande galerie), Palais de Saint-Cloud [5]
  2 Dec 1852, sénatus-consulte of 7 Nov 1852 is promulgated and given the status of law, decree of the Emperor [6]
Names/titles: Prince [from 20 Apr 1808]; baptised (10 Nov 1810): Charles-Louis-Napoléon; semi-officially styled Prince-Président [from c. 1851]; used official signature Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte before 14 Jan 1852 and Louis-Napoléon between 14 Jan 1852 and 2 Dec 1852 [7]
Other offices: Par la grâce de Dieu et la volonté nationale, Empereur des français (By the Grace of God and Will of the Nation, Emperor of the French) [1 Dec 1852 - 4 Sep 1870] (see details)
Biography:
Third son of Louis Bonaparte, brother of Napoléon I and King of Holland (1806-1810), and Hortense de Beauharnais, stepdaughter of Napoléon I; left France with his family in 1815; attended a grammar school at Augsburg, Germany (1821–-1823); was taught by private tutors; took part in an unsuccessful plot against the papal government in Rome (1830) and in the rebellion in central Italy (1831); attempted to win over the Strasbourg garrison for a coup d'état (30 Oct 1836); exiled to the United States (1837); returned to Europe (1837); expelled from Switzerland (1838), settled in England (1838-1840); landed near Boulogne with a group of supporters (6 Aug 1840), arrested and condemned to "permanent imprisonment" (6 Oct 1840); escaped from the fortress of Ham (25 May 1846); after the revolution of 1848 elected to the Assemblée nationale constituante (Constituent National Assembly); initially refused to take seat, but accepted second election (17 Sep 1848) and joined the Assembly (1848-1849); won the presidential election (10 Dec 1848) and was inaugurated (20 Dec 1848) as President of the Republic for the term ending on 9 May 1852; carried out a coup d'état of 2 Dec 1851; dissolved the Assemblée nationale législative (Legislative National Assembly) and held a plebiscite on the new constitution (20 Dec 1851 - 21 Dec 1851); promulgated constitution (14 Jan 1852) restoring universal suffrage and giving the president dictatorial powers; Sénat passed a sénatus-consulte (7 Nov 1852), proposing restoration of imperial dignity and proclamation of Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte as emperor under the name of Napoléon III; ensuing plebiscite (21 Nov 1852 - 22 Nov 1852) returned overwhelming majority of votes in favour of restoration of the Empire; accepted the imperial dignity at a meeting in the Palais de Saint-Cloud (1 Dec 1852); set up authoritarian regime relying on wide public support, which lasted until early 1860s when some liberal reforms were introduced; promulgated (21 May 1870) a constitution establishing liberal empire; surrendered and was taken prisoner (2 Sep 1870) in the course of war with Prussia; republic proclaimed in Paris (4 Sep 1870) by the Gouvernement de la défense nationale (Government of National Defence); National Assembly passed a resolution confirming the deposition of the emperor (1 Mar 1871); died in exile in England.
Biographical sources: Dansette (1953)
Elections:

Candidates
Votes (10 Dec 1848)
Preliminary count * Final count †
Charles-Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte
5,434,226 5,534,520
Louis-Eugène Cavaignac 1,448,107 1,448,302
Alexandre-Auguste Ledru, dit Ledru-Rollin 370,119 371,431
François-Vincent Raspail 36,920 36,964
Alphonse-Marie-Louis de Lamartine
17,910 17,914
Nicolas-Anne-Théodule Changarnier 4,790 4,687
scattered 12,600 12,434
blank/invalid n/a n/a
valid votes 7,327,345 7,426,252
voters n/a 7,449,471
* Results as reported (20 Dec 1848) to the Constituent National Assembly by deputy Waldeck-Rousseau, chairman of the committee entrusted with counting the ballots. "Compte rendu des séances de l'Assemblée nationale. Décembre 1848" (Paris: Panckoucke, 1848), 354.
† Official results as reported in Le Moniteur universel (22 décembre 1848). The report did not include 23,219 ballots, which were either blank or invalid; they represent precisely the difference between the number of voters and the valid votes.

[1] "Compte rendu des séances de l'Assemblée nationale. Décembre 1848" (Paris: Panckoucke, 1848), 354-355.
[2] "Histoire du Deux Décembre", by P. Mayer (Paris: Ledoyen, 1852), p. 94. The decree of 2 Dec 1851 did not have any practical impact.
[3] Bulletin des lois de la République française. Xe Série. Tome neuvième (Paris: Imprimerie nationale: Août 1852). PP. 49-71, N° 479, n° 3522: Constitution faite en vertu des pouvoirs délégués par le Peuple françois à Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, par le vote des 20 et 21 Décembre 1851.
[4] Bulletin des lois de la République française. Xe Série. Tome dixième (Paris: Imprimerie impériale: Avril 1853). PP. 677-678, N° 587, n° 4509: Sénatus-Consulte portant modification à la Constitution; "Procès-verbaux des séances du Sénat. Année 1852. Tome Deuxième. Session extrairdinaire. - Du 4 novembre au 28 décembre. (Nos 18 a 26.)" (Paris: Imprimerie du Sénat et du Corps législatif, 1853), 57-75.
[5] "Procès-verbaux des séances du Sénat. Année 1852. Tome Deuxième. Session extrairdinaire. - Du 4 novembre au 28 décembre. (Nos 18 a 26.)" (Paris: Imprimerie du Sénat et du Corps législatif, 1853), 83-90.
[6] Bulletin des lois de l'Empire français. XIe Série. Tome premier (Paris: Imprimerie impériale: Juillet 1853). PP. 5-6, N° 1, n° 2: Décret impérial qui promulgue et déclare Loi de l'État le Sénatus-Consulte du 7 novembre 1852, ratifié par le Plébiscite des 21 et 22 novembre.
[7] Bulletin des lois de la République française. Xe Série. Tome neuvième (Paris: Imprimerie nationale: Août 1852). P. 49ff.
Image: daguerreotype, c. 1850-1855.

This page was last updated on: 26 Jun 2009 03:29:30

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