Emperor of the French

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Emperor of the French
Empereur des Français
Imperial
Grandes Armes Imperiales (1804-1815)2.svg
Franz Xaver Winterhalter Napoleon III.jpg
Last to reign
Napoleon III

2 December 1852 – 4 September 1870
Details
Style His Imperial Majesty
First monarch Napoleon I
Last monarch Napoleon III
Formation18 May 1804
2 December 1852
Abolition22 June 1815
4 September 1870
Residence Tuileries Palace, Paris
Pretender(s) Jean-Christophe Napoléon
The Four Napoleons The Four Napoleons.jpg
The Four Napoleons

Emperor of the French (French: Empereur des Français) was the monarch of the First French Empire and the Second French Empire.

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

A monarch is a sovereign head of state in a monarchy. A monarch may exercise the highest authority and power in the state, or others may wield that power on behalf of the monarch. Typically a monarch either personally inherits the lawful right to exercise the state's sovereign rights or is selected by an established process from a family or cohort eligible to provide the nation's monarch. Alternatively, an individual may become monarch by conquest, acclamation or a combination of means. A monarch usually reigns for life or until abdication.

First French Empire Empire of Napoleon I of France between 1804–1815

The First French Empire, officially the French Empire, was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Although France had already established an overseas colonial empire beginning in the 17th century, the French state had remained a kingdom under the Bourbons and a republic after the Revolution. Historians refer to Napoleon's regime as the First Empire to distinguish it from the restorationist Second Empire (1852–1870) ruled by his nephew as Napoleon III.

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A title and office used by the House of Bonaparte starting when Napoleon was proclaimed Emperor on 18 May 1804 by the French Senate and was crowned emperor of the French on 2 December 1804 at the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, in Paris, with the Crown of Napoleon. [1]

House of Bonaparte imperial and royal European dynasty

The House of Bonaparte was an imperial and royal European dynasty of Italian origin. It was founded in 1804 by Napoleon I, the son of Genoese nobleman Carlo Buonaparte. Napoleon was a French military leader who had risen to power during the French Revolution and who in 1804 transformed the First French Republic into the First French Empire, five years after his coup d'état of November 1799. Napoleon turned the Grande Armée against every major European power and dominated continental Europe through a series of military victories during the Napoleonic Wars. He installed members of his family on the thrones of client states, extending the power of the dynasty.

Napoleon 18th/19th-century French monarch, military and political leader

Napoléon Bonaparte was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French as Napoleon I from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over much of continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.

Coronation of Napoleon I French royal event

The coronation of Napoleon as Emperor of the French took place on Sunday December 2, 1804 at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. It marked "the instantiation of modern empire" and was a "transparently masterminded piece of modern propaganda".

The title emphasized that the emperor ruled over "the French people" (the nation) and not over France (the state). The old formula of "King of France" indicated that the king owned France as a personal possession. The new term indicated a constitutional monarchy. [2] The title was purposely created to preserve the appearance of the French Republic and to show that after the French Revolution, the feudal system was abandoned and a nation state was created, with equal citizens as the subjects of their emperor. (After 1 January 1809, the state was officially referred to as the French Empire. [3] )

A constitutional monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the sovereign exercises authority in accordance with a written or unwritten constitution. Constitutional monarchy differs from absolute monarchy in that constitutional monarchs are bound to exercise their powers and authorities within the limits prescribed within an established legal framework. Constitutional monarchies range from countries such as Morocco, where the constitution grants substantial discretionary powers to the sovereign, to countries such as Japan and Sweden where the monarch retains no formal authorities.

French Revolution social and political revolution in France and its colonies occurring from 1789 to 1798

The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.

Nation state Political term for a state that is based around a nation

A nation state is a state in which the great majority shares the same culture and is conscious of it. The nation state is an ideal in which cultural boundaries match up with political ones. According to one definition, "a nation state is a sovereign state of which most of its subjects are united also by factors which defined a nation such as language or common descent." It is a more precise concept than "country", since a country does not need to have a predominant ethnic group.

The title of "Emperor of the French" was supposed to demonstrate that Napoleon's coronation was not a restoration of monarchy, but an introduction of a new political system: the French Empire. Napoleon's reign lasted until 22 June 1815, when he was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo, exiled and imprisoned on the island of Saint Helena, where he died on 5 May 1821. His reign was interrupted by the Bourbon Restoration of 1814 and his own exile to Elba, from where he escaped less than a year later to reclaim the throne, reigning as Emperor for another 94 days before his defeat and final exile.

Battle of Waterloo Battle of the Napoleonic Wars in which Napoleon was defeated

The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in Belgium, part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands at the time. A French army under the command of Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated by two of the armies of the Seventh Coalition: a British-led allied army under the command of the Duke of Wellington, and a Prussian army under the command of Field Marshal Blücher. The battle marked the end of the Napoleonic Wars.

Saint Helena island in the South Atlantic Ocean

Saint Helena is a volcanic tropical island in the South Atlantic Ocean, 4,000 kilometres (2,500 mi) east of Rio de Janeiro and 1,950 kilometres (1,210 mi) west of the mouth of the Cunene River, which marks the border between Namibia and Angola in southwestern Africa. It is part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha. Saint Helena measures about 16 by 8 kilometres and has a population of 4,534. It was named after Saint Helena of Constantinople.

Bourbon Restoration Period of French history, 1814-1830

The Bourbon Restoration was the period of French history following the first fall of Napoleon in 1814, and his final defeat in the Hundred Days in 1815, until the July Revolution of 1830. The brothers of the executed Louis XVI came to power, and reigned in highly conservative fashion; exiled supporters of the monarchy returned to France. They were nonetheless unable to reverse most of the changes made by the French Revolution and Napoleon. At the Congress of Vienna they were treated respectfully, but had to give up nearly all the territorial gains made since 1789.

Less than a year after the French coup d'état of 1851 by Napoleon's nephew Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, which ended in the successful dissolution of the French National Assembly, the Second French Republic was transformed into the Second French Empire, established by a referendum on 7 November 1852. President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, elected by the French people, officially became Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, from the symbolic and historic date of 2 December 1852. His reign continued until 4 September 1870, after he was captured at the Battle of Sedan during the Franco-Prussian War. He subsequently went into exile in England, where he died on 9 January 1873.

French coup détat of 1851 coup détat

The French coup d'état of 2 December 1851 was a self-coup staged by Prince Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte. It ended in the successful dissolution of the French National Assembly and the subsequent re-establishment of the French Empire the next year. When he faced the prospect of having to leave office in 1852, Louis-Napoléon staged the coup in order to stay in office and implement his reform programs; these included the restoration of universal male suffrage. His political measures, and the extension of his mandate for 10 years, were popularly endorsed by constitutional referendum. A mere year later, the Prince-President reclaimed his uncle's throne as Emperor of the French under the regnal name Napoleon III.

Napoleon III French emperor, president, and member of the House of Bonaparte

Napoleon III 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, and 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.

Second French Empire government of France under Napoleon III, from 1852 to 1870

The Second French Empire, officially the French Empire, was the regime of Napoleon III from 1852 to 1870, between the Second Republic and the Third Republic, in France.

Since the early death in 1879 of Napoleon III's only son, Louis Napoléon, the House of Bonaparte has had a number of claimants to the French throne. The current claimant is Charles, Prince Napoléon, who became head of the House of Bonaparte on 3 May 1997. His position is challenged by his son, Jean-Christophe, Prince Napoléon, who was named as heir in his late grandfather's testament.

Napoléon, Prince Imperial French prince

Napoléon, Prince Imperial, also known as Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte, was the only child of Emperor Napoleon III and his Empress consort, Eugénie de Montijo. After his father was dethroned in 1870, he relocated with his family to England. On his father's death in January 1873, he was proclaimed by the Bonapartist faction as Napoleon IV, Emperor of the French.

Charles, Prince Napoléon, is a French politician, and is recognised by some Bonapartists as the head of the Imperial House of France and as heir to the rights and legacy established by his great-great-grand-uncle, Emperor Napoléon I. Other Bonapartists consider his son, Jean-Christophe, to be the current head of the house and heir.

Jean-Christophe, Prince Napoléon French prince

Jean-Christophe, Prince Napoléon is, in the views of some Bonapartists, head of the former Imperial House of France and the heir of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Full styles

The Emperors of the French had various titles and claims that reflected the geographic expanse and diversity of the lands ruled by the House of Bonaparte.

Napoleon I

His Imperial and Royal Majesty Napoleon I , By the Grace of God and the Constitution of the Republic, Emperor of the French, King of Italy, Protector of the Confederation of the Rhine, Mediator of the Swiss Confederation and Co-Prince of Andorra.

Napoleon II

His Imperial Majesty Napoleon II , By the Grace of God and the Constitution of the Republic, Emperor of the French and Co-Prince of Andorra.

Napoleon III

His Imperial Majesty Napoleon III , By the Grace of God and the will of the Nation, Emperor of the French and Co-Prince of Andorra. [4]

List of emperors

First French Empire

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Napoleon I
  • the Great
(1769-08-15)15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821(1821-05-05) (aged 51)18 May 180411 April 1814 Bonaparte Napoleon the first.jpg

Hundred Days

Regarded as a continuation of the First French Empire despite the brief exile of the Emperor Napoleon I

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Napoleon I
  • the Great
(1769-08-15)15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821(1821-05-05) (aged 51)20 March 181522 June 1815Sometimes called Napoleon the great. Bonaparte Napoleon the first.jpg
Napoleon II
[5]
(1811-03-20)20 March 1811 – 22 July 1832(1832-07-22) (aged 21)22 June 18157 July 1815Son of Napoleon I Bonaparte 80 Napoleon II.jpg

Second French Empire

NameLifespanReign startReign endNotesFamilyImage
Napoleon III (1808-04-20)20 April 1808 – 9 January 1873(1873-01-09) (aged 64)2 December 18524 September 1870Nephew of Napoleon I
Cousin of Napoleon II
Bonaparte Napoleon 3o (1865).jpg

See also

Related Research Articles

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References

  1. Thierry, Lentz. "The Proclamation of Empire by the Sénat Conservateur". napoleon.org. Fondation Napoléon. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  2. Philip Dwyer, Citizen Emperor: Napoleon in Power (2013) p 129
  3. http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/government/legislation/c_republic.html
  4. http://www.heraldica.org/topics/france/napoleon.htm#naptitles
  5. From 22 June to 7 July 1815, Bonapartists considered Napoleon II as the legitimate heir to the throne, his father having abdicated in his favor. However, the young child's reign was entirely fictional, as he was residing in Austria with his mother. Louis XVIII was reinstalled as king on 7 July.