Correspondence of Napoleon III, Emperor of the French

Scope and Content

The letters found in this series are draft copies of those sent by Robert Owen to Napoleon III.

Administrative / Biographical History

Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte (20 Apr 1808 – 9 Jan 1873), nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, was elected by popular vote the first President of the Second French Republic in 1848, in the wake of Louis-Philippe I's abdication from the French throne. In 1851 he staged a coup d'etat, dissolving the National Assembly, and in 1852 he re-instituted the French Empire, crowning himself Napoleon III, Emperor the the French.

Napoleon III's reign was characterized by a resurgence in French foreign policy, spearheading the allied action in the Crimean War and establishing French rule in Vietnam and New Caledonia. His reign also saw major industrial developments in France.

His reign came to an end in 1870 when he was captured at the Battle of Sedan, during the Franco-Prussian War. His surrender and subsequent exile to Britain saw the end of the Second Republic and the creation of French Third Republic.