Napoleon III, the nephew of Napoleon I, was the first elected President of France from 1848 to 1852. When he could not constitutionally be re-elected, he seized power in 1851 and became the Emperor of the French from 1852 to 1870, he founded the Second French Empire and was its only emperor until the defeat of the French army and his capture by Prussia and its allies in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. He worked to modernize the French economy, rebuilt the center of Paris, expanded the overseas empire, engaged in the Crimean War and the war for Italian unification. After his defeat and downfall he went into exile and died in England in 1873. Napoleon III commissioned the grand reconstruction of Paris, carried out by his prefect of the Seine, Baron Haussmann, he launched similar public works projects in Marseille and other French cities. Napoleon III modernized the French banking system expanded and consolidated the French railway system and made the French merchant marine the second largest in the world.
He promoted the building of the Suez Canal and established modern agriculture, which ended famines in France and made France an agricultural exporter. Napoleon III negotiated the 1860 Cobden–Chevalier free trade agreement with Britain and similar agreements with France's other European trading partners. Social reforms included giving French workers the right to organize; the first women students were admitted at the Sorbonne, women's education expanded as did the list of required subjects in public schools. In foreign policy, Napoleon III aimed to reassert French influence around the world, he was a supporter of popular sovereignty and of nationalism. In Europe, he defeated Russia in the Crimean War, his regime assisted Italian unification and in doing so annexed Savoy and the County of Nice to France—at the same time, his forces defended the Papal States against annexation by Italy. Napoleon III doubled the area of the French overseas empire in Asia, the Pacific and Africa, however his army's intervention in Mexico, which aimed to create a Second Mexican Empire under French protection, ended in total failure.
From 1866, Napoleon had to face the mounting power of Prussia as its Chancellor Otto von Bismarck sought German unification under Prussian leadership. In July 1870, Napoleon entered the Franco-Prussian War without allies and with inferior military forces; the French army was defeated and Napoleon III was captured at the Battle of Sedan. The Third Republic was proclaimed in Paris and Napoleon went into exile in England, where he died in 1873. Charles-Louis Napoleon Bonaparte known as Louis Napoleon and Napoleon III, was born in Paris on the night of 20–21 April 1808, his presumed father was Louis Bonaparte, the younger brother of Napoleon Bonaparte, who made Louis the King of Holland from 1806 until 1810. His mother was Hortense de Beauharnais, the only daughter of Napoleon's wife Joséphine de Beauharnais by her first marriage to Alexandre de Beauharnais; as empress, Joséphine proposed the marriage as a way to produce an heir for the Emperor, who agreed, as Joséphine was by infertile. Louis married Hortense when he was twenty-four and she was nineteen.
They had a difficult relationship, only lived together for brief periods. Their first son died in 1807 and—though separated—they decided to have a third, they resumed their marriage for a brief time in Toulouse in July 1807, Louis was born prematurely, two weeks short of nine months. Louis-Napoleon's enemies, including Victor Hugo, spread the gossip that he was the child of a different man, but most historians agree today that he was the legitimate son of Louis Bonaparte. Charles-Louis was baptized at the Palace of Fontainebleau on 5 November 1810, with Emperor Napoleon serving as his godfather and Empress Marie-Louise as his godmother, his father stayed away. At the age of seven, Louis-Napoleon visited his uncle at the Tuileries Palace in Paris. Napoleon held him up to the window to see the soldiers parading in the courtyard of the Carousel below, he last saw his uncle with the family at the Château de Malmaison, shortly before Napoleon departed for Waterloo. All members of the Bonaparte dynasty were forced into exile after the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo and the Bourbon Restoration of monarchy in France.
Hortense and Louis-Napoleon moved from Aix to Berne to Baden, to a lakeside house at Arenenberg in the Swiss canton of Thurgau. He received some of his education in Germany at the gymnasium school at Bavaria; as a result, for the rest of his life his French had a noticeable German accent. His tutor at home was Philippe Le Bas, an ardent republican and the son of a revolutionary and close friend of Robespierre. Le Bas taught him radical politics; when Louis-Napoleon was fifteen, Hortense moved to Rome. He passed his time learning Italian, exploring the ancient ruins, learning the arts of seduction and romantic affairs, which he used in his life, he became friends with the French Ambassador, François-René Chateaubriand, the father of romanticism in French literature, with whom he remained in contact for many years. He was reunited with his older brother Napoléon Louis, together they became involved with the Carbonari, secret revolutionary societies fighting Austria's domination of northern Italy.
In the spring of 1831, when he was twenty-three, the Austrian and papal governments launched an offensive against the Carbonari, the two brothers, wanted by the police, were forced to flee. During their flight Napoleon-Louis contracted measles and, on 17 March 1831, died i
The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire and the Third French Republic, the German states of the North German Confederation led by the Kingdom of Prussia. Lasting from 19 July 1870 to 28 January 1871, the conflict was caused by Prussian ambitions to extend German unification and French fears of the shift in the European balance of power that would result if the Prussians succeeded; some historians argue that the Prussian chancellor Otto von Bismarck deliberately provoked the French into declaring war on Prussia in order to draw the independent southern German states—Baden, Württemberg and Hesse-Darmstadt—into an alliance with the North German Confederation dominated by Prussia, while others contend that Bismarck did not plan anything and exploited the circumstances as they unfolded. None, dispute the fact that Bismarck must have recognized the potential for new German alliances, given the situation as a whole.
On 16 July 1870, the French parliament voted to declare war on Prussia and hostilities began three days when French forces invaded German territory. The German coalition mobilised its troops much more than the French and invaded northeastern France; the German forces were superior in numbers, had better training and leadership and made more effective use of modern technology railroads and artillery. A series of swift Prussian and German victories in eastern France, culminating in the Siege of Metz and the Battle of Sedan, saw French Emperor Napoleon III captured and the army of the Second Empire decisively defeated. A Government of National Defence declared the Third French Republic in Paris on 4 September and continued the war for another five months. Following the Siege of Paris, the capital fell on 28 January 1871, a revolutionary uprising called the Paris Commune seized power in the city and held it for two months, until it was bloodily suppressed by the regular French army at the end of May 1871.
The German states proclaimed their union as the German Empire under the Prussian king Wilhelm I uniting Germany as a nation-state. The Treaty of Frankfurt of 10 May 1871 gave Germany most of Alsace and some parts of Lorraine, which became the Imperial territory of Alsace-Lorraine; the German conquest of France and the unification of Germany upset the European balance of power that had existed since the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Otto von Bismarck maintained great authority in international affairs for two decades. French determination to regain Alsace-Lorraine and fear of another Franco-German war, along with British apprehension about the balance of power, became factors in the causes of World War I; the causes of the Franco-Prussian War are rooted in the events surrounding the unification of Germany. In the aftermath of the Austro-Prussian War of 1866, Prussia had annexed numerous territories and formed the North German Confederation; this new power destabilized the European balance of power established by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars.
Napoleon III the emperor of France, demanded compensations in Belgium and on the left bank of the Rhine to secure France's strategic position, which the Prussian chancellor, Otto von Bismarck, flatly refused. Prussia turned its attention towards the south of Germany, where it sought to incorporate the southern German kingdoms, Bavaria, Württemberg and Hesse-Darmstadt, into a unified Prussia-dominated Germany. France was opposed to any further alliance of German states, which would have strengthened the Prussian military. In Prussia, some officials considered a war against France both inevitable and necessary to arouse German nationalism in those states that would allow the unification of a great German empire; this aim was epitomized by Prussian Chancellor Otto von Bismarck's statement: "I did not doubt that a Franco-German war must take place before the construction of a United Germany could be realised." Bismarck knew that France should be the aggressor in the conflict to bring the southern German states to side with Prussia, hence giving Germans numerical superiority.
He was convinced that France would not find any allies in her war against Germany for the simple reason that "France, the victor, would be a danger to everybody – Prussia to nobody," and he added, "That is our strong point." Many Germans viewed the French as the traditional destabilizer of Europe, sought to weaken France to prevent further breaches of the peace. The immediate cause of the war resided in the candidacy of Leopold of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, a Prussian prince, to the throne of Spain. France feared encirclement by an alliance between Spain; the Hohenzollern prince's candidacy was withdrawn under French diplomatic pressure, but Otto von Bismarck goaded the French into declaring war by releasing an altered summary of the Ems Dispatch, a telegram sent by William I rejecting French demands that Prussia never again support a Hohenzollern candidacy. Bismarck's summary, as mistranslated by the French press Havas, made it sound as if the king had treated the French envoy in a demeaning fashion, which inflamed public opinion in France.
French historians François Roth and Pierre Milza argue that Napoleon III was pressured by a bellicose press and public opinion and thus sought war in response to France's diplomatic failures to obtain any territorial gains following the Austro-Prussian War. Napoleon III believed. Many in his court, such as Empress Eugénie wanted a
Remplacement militaire was the name for a policy of military conscription which originated in France and Belgium in the 19th century. Under the system, wealthy citizens chosen for military service by lot could pay a sum of money enough to pay someone else to serve in their place, instead of being made to join the military themselves, it was abolished in Belgium in 1913 and replaced by a system of service militaire personnel: a form of universal conscription. The Belgian army relied on both voluntary enlistment and, from 1902 on recruitment by lot in order to keep its numbers constant. Both the Liberals and Catholics advocated Remplacement as a way of privileging the aristocratic and bourgeois classes and were united in defending it against reformers; the Belgian response to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1 highlighted the inadequacies of the country's military to defend its borders. The system of remplacement was viewed as an anachronism, constituting an unfair privilege for the wealthy and reducing the quality of the army's recruits.
King Leopold II was keen that the system be abolished and used his political influence to try to persuade politicians to support reform. With both major political factions united in favour of Remplacement, with just the Socialists in favour, reform was delayed; the system was abolished in 1909 and replaced by system whereby one son per family would be eligible for conscription into the army. In 1913, Albert I managed to pass a bill through parliament instituting compulsory conscription for all adult males over the age of 20
National Guard (France)
The National Guard is a French military and police reserve force, active in its current form since 2016 but founded in 1789 after the French Revolution. For most of its history the National Guard its officers, has been viewed as loyal to middle-class interests, it was founded as separate from the French Army and existed both for policing and as a military reserve. However, in its original stages from 1792 to 1795, the National Guard was perceived as revolutionary and the lower ranks were identified with sans-culottes, it was reestablished. Soon after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, the National Guard in Paris again became viewed as dangerously revolutionary, which contributed to its dissolution in 1871. In 2016, France announced the reestablishment of the National Guard in response to a series of terrorist attacks in the country; the raising of a "Bourgeois Guard" for Paris was discussed by the National Assembly on 11 July 1789 in response to the King's sudden and alarming replacement of prime minister Jacques Necker with the Baron de Breteuil on that day.
The replacement caused spread anger and violence throughout Paris. The National Assembly declared the formation of a "Bourgeois Militia" on 13 July. In the early morning of the next day, the search for weapons for this new militia led to the storming of the Hotel des Invalides and the storming of the Bastille. Lafayette was elected to the post of commander in chief of the Bourgeois Militia on 14 July, it was renamed the "National Guard". Similar bodies were spontaneously created in the towns and rural districts of France in response to widespread fears of chaos or counter-revolution; when the French Guards mutinied and were disbanded during the same month, the majority of this former royal regiment's rank and file became the full-time cadre of the Paris National Guard. Each city and village maintained its own National Guard, until they were united on 14 July 1790 under Lafayette, appointed "Commandant General of all the National Guards of the Kingdom"; the officers of the National Guard were elected.
Under the law of 14 October 1791, all active citizens and their children over 18 years were obliged to enlist in the National Guard. Their role was order and, if necessary, the defence of the territory. Following a nationwide scheme decided on in September 1791, the National Guard was organised on the basis of district or canton companies. Five of these neighbourhood units made up a battalion. Eight to ten battalions comprised a legion. Districts might provide companies of veterans and young citizens drawn from volunteers of over 60 or under 18. Where possible, there was provision for mounted detachments and artillerymen; the citizens kept their weapons and their uniforms at home, set forth with them when required. The multi-coloured uniforms of the various provincial National Guard units were standardised in 1791, using as a model the dark blue coats with red collars, white lapels and cuffs worn by the Paris National Guard since its creation; this combination of colours matched those of the revolutionary tricolour.
The former Guet royal had held responsibility for the maintenance of law and order in Paris from 1254 to 1791, when the National Guard took over this role. In fact, the last commander of the Guet royal, de La Rothière, was elected to head the National Guard in 1791. In the summer of 1792, the fundamental character of the guard changed; the fédérés were admitted to the guard and the subsequent takeover of the guard by Antoine Joseph Santerre when Mandat was murdered in the first hours of the insurrection of 10 August placed a radical revolutionary at the head of the Guard. After the abolition of the monarchy, the National Guard fought for the Revolution and it had an important role in forcing the wishes of the capital on the French National Assembly, obliged to give way in front of the force of the "patriotic" bayonets. After 9 Thermidor, year II, the new government of the Thermidorian Reaction placed the National Guard under the control of more conservative leadership. Part of the National Guard attempted to overthrow the Directory during the royalist insurrection on the 13 Vendémiaire, year IV, but were defeated by forces led by Napoleon Bonaparte in the Battle of 13 Vendémiaire.
The Paris National Guard thereafter ceased to play a significant political role. Napoleon did not believe that the middle-class National Guard would be able to maintain order and suppress riots. Therefore, he created a Municipal Guard of Paris, a full-time gendarmerie, militarised. However, he did not abolish the National Guard, but was content to disarm it, he kept the force in reserve and mobilised it for the defence of French territory in 1809 and 1814. In Paris during this period the National Guard comprised twelve thousand bourgeois property owners, serving part-time and equipped at their own expense, whose prime function was to guard public buildings on a roster basis. Between 1811 and 1812 the National Guard was organized in "cohorts" to distinguish it from the regular army, for home defence only. By a skilful appeal to patriotism, judicious pressure applied through the prefects, it became a useful reservoir of half-trained men for new battalions of the active army. After the disastrous campaign in Russia in 1812, dozens of National Guard cohorts were called up for field duty the next year.
The 135ème to 156ème Régiments d'Infanterie de Ligne
Troupes de marine
The Troupe de marine are a corps of the French Army which regroups several specialties: infantry, artillery and airborne. Despite their designation, they are an integral part of the Army; the troupe de marine have been professionalized progressively since 1970. The Troupe de marine were known as the Troupes Coloniales, with origin dating back to the Troupes de la marine; the French colonies were under the control of the Ministère de la Marine, marines defended the colonies. Renamed « Troupes d'Outre-Mer » « Troupes de Marine » at the dismantling of the French Union, origin is found however in the Compagnies Ordinaires de la Mer, created in 1622 by Cardinal Richelieu; these companies were destined to embark on royal naval ships to service the naval artillery and participate to the boarding of naval ships engaged in combats at sea. These companies were in charge in guarding the various sea ports. Despite the fact that the artillery of the marines was limited in numbers compared to those of infantry marines, the ship's marine artillerymen were the determining factor for the Troupes de la marine, being in charge of displacing and mounting the naval guns under the orders of the respective marine artillery officer in charge.
In the 18th century, they constituted the Compagnies Franches de la Marine who swarmed in Nouvelle France. Decimated along with the remaining of the Marines during the Seven Years' War, these troops were transferred to the French Army under the Choiseul ministries, after their emancipation at the end of 1760, they conserved a large number of officers issued from the Ministère de la Guerre, which would reproduce and compensate for the endured losses during the Independence War of the United States. An evolution was followed and which deemed more and more pronouncing vis-à-vis the ship boarding marines and their officers. A tentative close-up merger was attempted by two naval ship corps including their troops in 1786 with the companies of artillery sailors, however the experience came to little conclusions; the separate companies of the Régiment Royal–La Marine and the Régiment de l'Amiral de France founded by Colbert were based in Dunkerque, Le Havre, Brest and Toulon. They wore a off-white/grey uniform with blue facings.
The 1670s saw significant changes in the organisation of the new corps, administered by Ministers Colbert and François-Michel le Tellier, Marquis de Louvois Naval State Secretary and the Secretary of State of War. The four regiments of the la marine were transferred from the secretariat of La Marine to that of the secretariat of La Guerre; the regiments were no longer directly part of the French Navy although the designation Troupes de marin was retained. During the Revolution, the La Marine, Royal-Marine, Royal-Vaisseux, the Régiment de l'Amiral regiments were integrated definitively into the French Army, becoming the 11e, 60e, 43e and 61e regiments of de Ligne in 1791; the Marine Royale was a substantial force in 1671, consisting of 196 naval vessels. Colbert decided to create 100 companies of "guardian-soldiers" intended to form part of the crews of the larger naval vessels. However, these men were redirected towards the French Army by Louvois in 1673. Starting from this date, senior naval and marine officers were obliged to separately recruit crews and marines for each ship.
Utilising a system of «levées» in the various sea ports, similar to the « marine press », the naval and marine officers were able to man their ships. However, the system reached its limitations quickly; the recruits lacked discipline and experience, were discharged or deserted following their first voyage, wasting months of training. Until 1682 there was a serious shortage of experienced soldiers in the French Navy; the Marine units were recreated at the end of the 17th century by re-organization of the infantry units dedicated to guarding military harbors and the artillery units dedicated to coastal battery service, naval artillery training and naval artillery administration. Compagnies franches de la Marine created in 1690; each company was tasked to guard its immediate coastline. Beginning in 1695, the Companies were organized in battalions around the major harbors; the Marine Companies and Battalions were suppressed in 1761. Corps d'artillerie de Marine, created in 1692 to oversee the use of coastal artillery.
The Corps was suppressed in 1761. The Infantry and Artillery Marine units were re-organized into a single marine corps by a short-lived merger in 1769; some colonial units were created at the same time, organized along the same lines of artillery and infantry units. Corps royal d'artillerie et d'infanterie de Marine, created in 1769, its name was changed in 1772 to Corps royal de la Marine. The Corps was organized in eight regiments, each centered on a harbor (Bayonne, Brest, Le Havre, Rochefort, Saint-Malo
The Tabatière rifle was a breech-loading rifle of the French Army. The Tabatière system was developed from 1864 as a way to convert numerous muzzle-loading weapons into breech-loading ones, in a process similar to that of the Snider-Enfield in Great Britain or the Springfield Model 1866 in the United States; the name "Tabatière" comes from the fact. Most of the conversion work had been accomplished by the time of the Franco-Prussian War. By July 1870 358.000 rifles had been converted, while 1.4 million muzzleloaders stayed in their original configuration. The ammunition was a center fire cartridge resembling a shortened 12 gauge shotgun shell; this weapon system was recognized as ballistically inferior to the Chassepot rifle, therefore it was used by second line troops and in defensive roles. These are encountered today as "Zulu Guns", after rifles were converted into shotguns and sold cheaply in the early 1900s Tabatière rifle model 1867