(Charles Louis Napoleon, popularly known as Louis Napoleon), born in Paris, April 20, 1808, died at Chiselhurst, England, Jan. 9,1873. His mother, Hortense de Beauharnais, had for some time lived apart from her husband, King Louis of Holland, and his paternity was questioned. It has been ascribed to the Dutch admiral Ver-huel, and King Louis himself only reluctantly acknowledged the new-born as his son at the imperative request of Napoleon I., who stood as godfather, and Maria Louisa as godmother, at the baptism, which was administered by Cardinal Fesch at Fontainebleau, in November, 1810. Hortense selected the abbe Bertrand as her son's governor, Philippe Lebas, a thorough republican, as his principal preceptor, and Col. Armandi became his military instructor. Accompanying his mother to Switzerland and Germany, he familiarized himself at the gymnasium of Augsburg with the German language and literature, and applied himself especially to the study of history and mathematics. From 1824 to 1830 he was with Hortense at Arenenberg. Gen. Dufour having perfected his military training, he became an officer in the Swiss army, and in that capacity was regarded as an adopted citizen of that country.
Louis Philippe refusing to allow him to reside in France, he joined the patriots in Italy, where his brother died at Forli, while he, escaping to Ancona (1831), was prostrated there by a severe illness. He finally reached Paris after great perils, but, being ordered to leave, returned with his mother to Arenenberg. Subsequently he was about to engage in the Polish war of independence, the command of the revolutionary army having been tendered to him, when the fall of "Warsaw put an end to that project. A new application to the French government led only to a renewal of the decree of banishment, especially as the death of the duke of Reichstadt in 1832 made him Napoleon's heir, according to the precedence accorded in the emperor's will to the ohildren of Louis and Hortense, of whom he was then the only surviving son. Pie now devoted himself to literary labors, which kept him before the public as a philosophical writer on political and social subjects, and as an advocate of universal suffrage as the basis of imperialism.
In 1836 he covered himself with ridicule by an abortive attempt to overthrow the French government, begun at Strasburg (Oct. 28-30), which resulted in his arrest and detention at the citadel of Lorient till Nov. 21, when he was conveyed to Brazil, and thence in January, 1837, to New York, where he lived for some time in pecuniary embarrassment. He was at Arenenberg at the time of his mother's death, in October, 1837, after which he voluntarily left Switzerland in order to avoid involving that country in a Contest with Louis Philippe, who had insisted on his being expelled. He took up his residence in London, surrounded by partisans, most of whom reaped in the subsequent days of his prosperity the reward of their devotion to him«in his adversity. He associated much with the countess of Blessing-ton and Count d'Orsay, and with a number of the English nobility; but pecuniary distress and his political designs affiliated him with less select members of society. His principal mistress was Mrs. Howard, who bore him several children, and for whom he afterward provided handsomely; and while in London he was for the first time introduced by Count Bentivoglio, brother of the countess Walewska, to Eugenie, his future wife.
He enlisted support in the press for his imperialistic theories, and published in 1839 the Idees Napoleoniennes. His tenacity of purpose and impenetrable bearing, savoring rather of the Teutonic than of the Latin race, had impelled his mother to call him le doux en-tete, in allusion to his being at the same time placid and stubborn, and gave him special qualifications for the mission of a conspirator. He embarked in August, 1840, for the continent, with the purpose of regaining the French throne; but this enterprise ended as absurdly as the attempt at Strasburg. With Montholon, a companion of Napoleon I. at St. Helena, and about 50 followers, he landed near Boulogne in the night of Aug. 6, displaying a tame eagle; but he failed to rouse the enthusiasm of the troops, and was again arrested, and two months later sentenced by the chamber of peers, despite Berryer's eloquent defence, to perpetual imprisonment. He was confined in the fortress of Ham, where Montholon and Dr. Conneau shared his captivity and assisted him in preparing various publications.
Being selected by several Central American states as the president of a projected Nicaragua canal, an application for his release was made in 1846, to which the illness of the ex-king Louis gave additional weight; but Louis Philippe declined to grant the request, and the prince made his escape from Ham (May 25) in the dress of a working man, with the assistance of Dr. Conneau, and reached England. The French ambassador in London, however, refused to provide him with a passport, and he was prevented from attending his father's deathbed. He remained in London till the outbreak of the revolution of Feb. 24, 1848, when he hastily left for Paris, but at the request of the provi-. sional government he went back to England. He repeatedly declined to accept nominations to the constituent assembly, in order, as he alleged, not to embarrass the government; but being elected by large majorities in Corsica and in three other departments, including that of the Seine, he finally accepted the latter election, which was ratified by the assembly (June 12), despite the decree of the executive commission for his continued banishment.
But on his declaring to the president of the assembly " that he would know how to fulfil the duties which the people might choose to impose on him," a popular excitement arose, and he returned to London, resigning his seat. After the sanguinary conflict of June, however, finding himself again reelected by the departments of the Seine, Yonne, Charente-Inferieure, Moselle, and Corsica, he took his seat (Sept. 26) in the constituent assembly, which speedily revoked the decree of banishment. Yet he was distrusted, and an amendment was introduced (Oct. 9) with a view to exclude him from the presidency of the republic. On this occasion he made his first speech, his excessive tame-ness and composure creating an unfavorable impression, and Thiers called him a wooden head (tete de bois). To subsequent attacks he offered the same reserve and silence, declaring that he preferred to show his devotion to France by actual services rather than by rhetoric. He maintained the same attitude during the presidential election, listening to everybody without unbosoming himself to anybody, and seeking to conciliate all parties without identifying himself with any.
On Dec. 10, 1848, he was elected president of the republic for four years by 5,434,226 votes, according to the official announcement on the day of inauguration, Dec. 20, Cavaignac, his principal competitor, receiving only 1,448,107. Odilon Barrot became the head of the cabinet; Drouyn de Lhuys, minister of foreign affairs; Falloux, of public instruction; Bixio, the only one who had not been a monarchist, of agriculture and commerce, but retired within eight days; and M. de Maleville, of the interior, who was speedily dismissed, mainly because he had failed to hand over instantly to Louis Napoleon all the telegraphic despatches addressed to him. The sincere republicans soon fell out with the president, on his determining to close political clubs and adopting other reactionary measures. A French army under Oudinot was sent against the Roman republic, and after some combats entered Rome July 3, 1849. Although this project had been initiated by Cavaignac and approved by the assembly, the ultra republicans, under the lead of Ledru-Rollin, attempted to impeach the president on account of this intervention; but his course was approved by the majority.
The attempt at insurrection made on June 13 was promptly quelled; but he exasperated the extreme left by proclaiming martial law in Paris, forbidding political meetings, and instituting legal proceedings against the representatives implicated in those disturbances; while at the same time he incurred the displeasure of the conservatives by seeking to condone for this rigor by releasing over 1,300 persons who had participated in the outbreak of the preceding year. The accession of a number of ultra republican members in 1850 increased the disappointment of the conservatives, and on May 31 they passed a law restricting the universal suffrage which had made Louis Napoleon president; and they further marked their hostility by grudging him an increased allowance, and by appointing a permanent committee to watch over the public interests during the recess of the legislature. "This permanent committee was composed exclusively of conservatives; and while several of their leaders conferred with the count de Chambord in respect to a fusion of the two branches of the Bourbons, Louis Napoleon courted popularity with the masses and the army.
After a demonstration in his favor by the troops at Satory, near Versailles, Ohan-garnier issued an order prohibiting such manifestations, which the president resented by removing him from the military command of Paris (Jan. 9, 1851), whereupon the assembly passed a vote of censure against the administration. This led to the formation of a new cabinet and to a conciliatory message, which, like most of Louis Napoleon's state papers, was pervaded with a peculiar philosophical vein of thought; but a majority again declined to accord him a larger allowance, and their ill feeling against him was greatly increased by the petitions pouring in from all parts of the country demanding an extension of the presidential term, and by Louis Napoleon's speeches at Dijon and other places, in which he assumed to be the providential protector of France against both legitimists and socialists. Many of the provincial authorities protested against the rejection by the majority of the proposed revision of the constitution for the extension of Louis Napoleon's term of office; and in this conflict between the assembly and the numerous Bonapartists among the people, the president ingratiated himself still more with the latter by proposing, in addition to the abrogation of the law of May 31 restricting the suffrage, the exercise of the franchise after only six months' residence in the place of voting.
These measures were rejected by the assembly, and a resolution was at the same time introduced tending to place the military forces of the capital under the control of the president of that body. This capped the climax of the . contest, and Louis Napoleon immediately appointed a new prefect of police, M. de Maupas, and a new commander, Magnan. The latter selected a new corps of officers, composed of devoted Bonapartists, and the president declared that in a crisis he would not, like previous chiefs of state, follow the army, but expect it to follow him. The assembly, torn by party wrangling, was unable to concert measures for the defence of the constitution, while the president matured his schemes. Finally, on Dec. 2,1851, Louis Napoleon, assisted by Persigny, Morny, Saint-Arnaud, Magnan, Maupas, and other lifelong adherents, overthrew the assembly by military force and took possession of the whole government. During the preceding night and early in the morning of that day about 180 members of the two extreme parties were placed under arrest, and some of them at once sent out of the country; the national assembly was declared to be dissolved, and its place of meeting was guarded by soldiery; universal suffrage was proclaimed, and Paris placed in a state of siege.
Several members of both parties in the assemblyjiastily assembled, but in vain, to protest against the usurpation, and declare the president deposed; resistance was attempted, but without concert or plan, and chiefly resulted in deluging the principal boulevards with the blood of innocent spectators, shot down by the soldiery under Canrobert and others (Dec. 4). Louis Napoleon had made such effective preparations that order was speedily restored. His appeal to the people in the general elections (Dec. 20-21) resulted in the confirmation of his usurpation and his election to the presidency for ten years, by over 7,000,000 against less than 1,000,000 negative votes. He promulgated a new constitution, Jan. 14, 1852, reaffirming the principles of 1789, and declaring organic changes in the form of government to be admissible only by the consent of the people; and on March 28 he relinquished the dictatorship which he had assumed since the coup d'etat, to resume the office of president. But it soon became manifest, especially from his intimations at Bordeaux on Oct. 9, that he was again bent on disregarding his pledged faith to the republic.
The senate, obedient to his behests, voted almost unanimously on Nov. 7 in favor of the restoration of the empire, and he resorted once more to his favorite measure of appealing to the people. The voice of the senate was ratified, Nov. 21-22, by nearly 8,000,000 votes; and on Dec. 2 he ascended the throne as Napoleon III., hereditary emperor of the French, by the grace of God and by the will of the nation. On Jan. 22, .1853, he informed the legislature that, after having become the peer of the anointed heads of old monarchies by the force of new political principles, it would be hardly dignified to gain an artificial admission to their families by intermarriage; and uttering such democratic reflections, he announced his approaching marriage with Eugenie Marie de Montijo, which union was celebrated on Jan. 29 and 30. Although he had won supporters by declaring peaceful intentions, this illusion was speedily dispelled by the Crimean war, in which he embarked with Great Britain, Sardinia, and Turkey. It was alleged that, as the emperor Nicholas had declined to address him as his brother, as is usual among sovereigns, lie was the more anxious to join in the war, which resulted in the defeat of Bussia. The treaty of peace of March 30, 1856, was concluded in Paris under the auspices of Napoleon, who came out of this contest with enhanced prestige.
The birth of the prince imperial on March 16 increased the festivities of the court, while a large concourse of visitors to the capital added to the commercial prosperity which he had from the (irst sought to promote, especially by providing occupation for the discontented poor in new public works. He exchanged visits with Queen Victoria, had a friendly interview with the czar in September, 1857, and became the principal mediator between Switzerland and Prussia in the Neufchatel question. At the same time he gave greater prominence to the navy, and dazzled the public mind by his occupation of New Caledonia and by joining England in the warfare against China, and subsequently by expeditions to Japan and Cochin China, the last resulting in conquest. Attempts had been made upon his life by Pianori and Bellamare in 1855; and another was made in January, 1858, by Orsini and others, chiefly Italians, on the very eve of Napoleon's interference in favor of Italy. Cavour, who had cultivated excellent relations with him during the negotiation of the treaty of Paris in 1856, met him again at Plombieres in August, 1858; and on the following new year's day, when the diplomatic corps presented their respects to the emperor, he created a great sensation in Europe by abruptly expressing his regret to Baron Hub-ner, the representative of the emperor Francis Joseph, at the altered relations between Austria and France. This was followed at the end of the same month (Jan. 30,1859) by the marriage of the princess Clotilde, daughter of Victor Emanuel, with Prince Napoleon, and in May by the emperor's formal declaration of war against Austria, which had taken the initiative in attacking Sardinia, while Francis Joseph denounced Napoleon as a revolutionary firebrand.
Setting out for the seat of war with the avowed purpose of making Italy free from the Alps to the Adriatic, Napoleon nevertheless brought the contest to an incomplete termination while flushed with the brilliant victories at Magenta (June 4) and Solferino (June 24), and he personally arranged with the emperor of Austria the preliminaries of peace at Villafranca (July 11), mainly resulting in the nominal cession to France of Lombardy, which was at once transferred to Victor Emanuel. This abrupt peace, when it was generally expected that the war would be followed up by the total extirpation of Austrian domination in Italy, was ascribed to his anxiety to close the conflict before the aid of Prussia should enable the enemy to turn the tide of success, to the complications growing out of the continued protection of Rome by the French army, and to a certain reluctance to make Italy too powerful. Cavour, however, despite the stipulations of Villafranca, which were confirmed by the treaty of Zurich (November, 1859), opposed the plan of an Italian confederation proposed by Napoleon, and insisted upon the establishment of the kingdom of Italy. While ostensibly attempting to have the Italian question settled peaceably by liberal reforms on the part of the pope and the king of the Two Sicilies, and by a congress of sovereigns in Paris, Napoleon allowed Victor Emanuel to extend his dominions; and his tacit connivance with the aggrandizement of Italy was rewarded in 1860 by the cession of Savoy and Nice to France. This led to a protest on the part of Switzerland, and revived in Europe generally suspicions of aggressive designs on his part, though in an interview with the German potentates on June 15, 1860, he strove to allay these apprehensions.
Great Britain was now more friendly disposed to him than most other powers, especially as he lost no opportunity to ingratiate himself with Englishmen individually, and concluded in the same year with Cobden personally a commercial treaty in the interest of free trade. This measure, however, alienated from him the good will of the protectionists in France, and was abandoned after his downfall. He also lost ultramontane supporters by his Italian policy, by the suppression of the society of St. Vincent de Paul, by the appointment of M. Re-nan to a professorship, and by other measures which pleased the liberals, whom he further propitiated by removing (Nov. 30, 1860) some of the restrictions on elections, and enlarging the scope of the legislature and the liberties of the press. The Anglo-French war in China was brought to a successful termination by the capture of Peking in October, 1860; and his prestige in the East was increased by the expedition to Syria (1860-'61), for protecting the Christian populations against a renewal of the Damascus massacres.
The emperor was at the zenith of his prosperity at the time of the outbreak of the civil war in the United States. As this had a disastrous effect upon French industry and commerce, short crops aggravating the situation, Napoleon surrendered in favor of the legislature, at the urgent request of Minister Fould, his previous absolute control of the treasury. He recognized the belligerent rights of the Confederate States, but officially informed the United States government (May 16) that he did not consider this as recognizing the former as an independent power. Ostensibly he assumed a conciliatory attitude toward the United States, and repeatedly offered his friendly services for the restoration of peace. He entertained, however, officious relations with the Confederate agents, who claimed to have many influential friends of their cause at the imperial court. An expedition projected in June, 1861, by France, England, and Spain, avowedly to obtain material guarantees for claims against Mexico, degenerated after the withdrawal of the two latter powers (April, 1862), under Napoleon's sole direction, into a war of conquest against that republic; and in April, 1864, he established the Hapsburg prince Maximilian on the throne of Mexico as emperor.
This was represented as the initiation of Napoleon's proposed supremacy of the Latin race, of which he wished to become the arbiter in the new world as in the old; but the increasing victories of the United States made him afterward disclaim all purpose of territorial acquisitions. At home he continued to make himself acceptable, especially to the money-making classes, officeholders, contractors, and speculators, who profited by military and naval expeditions, by railways, and by all the other stupendous enterprises of the period; and the embellishment and enlargement of the capital gave employment to many paupers, while little or nothing was done for the mental and moral elevation of the masses, and the whole aim of the emperor seemed to be to dazzle by splendor and luxury, and by material grandeur at home and visions of glory abroad. But the drain upon his military resources in Mexico was regarded as paralyzing his strength for the contingency of war in Europe, and at the same time made, together with the other costly expeditions, heavy inroads on the treasury.
He began also to feel uneasy at the increasing power of Prussia; and to counteract her entente cordiale with Russia, he warmly advocated in 1863, in union with England and Austria, the treaty rights of Poland; but as these powers declined to join him in ulterior measures, England especially refusing to take part in a congress which he proposed for the settlement of this and other questions, he had to content himself with a barren declaration of sympathy for the Polish patriots. While his political situation in Paris was compromised by official tampering with the elections, and by the greater dignity imparted to the opposition in the corps legislatif by the accession of Thiers, Berryer, and other influential statesmen, he was obliged to remain a passive spectator of the Schleswig-Holstein war and the consequent aggrandizement of Prussia. After having at first made an unavailing effort to prevent this war by mediation, he withdrew (January, 1864) from a conference of the powers at London, disguising his dissatisfaction with the progress of these events by pretending to encourage the application of his theory of nationalities in favor of the Schleswig-Holstein people shaping their own destinies.
The ignominious end of the Mexican expedition, from which the cabinet of Washington had urged him to withdraw, especially after the termination of the civil war in 1865, and the Prusso-Italian coalition against Austria in 1866, which he resented by denouncing the obsolete character of the treaty obligations of 1815, inflicted still greater injury upon his prestige; while the independence of Italy from France was further exhibited by Napoleon's withdrawal of his troops from Rome at the end of 1866, in accordance with the convention of 1864. His participation in the peace negotiations between Austria and Italy after the overwhelming defeat of the former power by the Prussians at Sadowa (July 3), resulted in the nominal cession of Venetia to France and in its immediate transfer by Napoleon to Victor Emanuel; but this afforded a poor consolation for the loss of influence, which had passed from his hands to those of Germany, under the lead of Prussia. The parliamentary opposition, led by Thiers, increased in proportion to his vanishing repute, and the blunders of his foreign policy as well as the maladministration of financial affairs were unsparingly exposed.
His repeated efforts in the course of 1866 to recover his lost ground by acquisition of German or Belgian territory, in consideration of his allowing Prussia to take the lead in united Germany, were unavailing against Bismarck's opposition; and he was also disappointed in his hope of creating a division between the South and North German states; so that all he could obtain after a grave conflict with Prussia in relation to Luxemburg, and subsequent negotiations with Holland for the acquisition of that territory, was its neutralization at the conference of London (May, 1867). He endeavored nevertheless to explain away in his message to the legislative body the dangers of German consolidation, but proposed at the same time a considerable increase of armaments. The execution of Maximilian in June, 1867, shortly after the departure of the last French troops from Mexico, became known in Paris at the time when Napoleon was entertaining, during the great exposition, almost all the crowned heads of Europe, including the sultan and the czar. The emperor went to Salzburg in August to condole with Francis Joseph on the tragical death of Maximilian, and this interview was regarded as a pledge of more intimate relations between the two emperors.
He soon afterward sent French troops to Rome for the protection of the pope against the Gari-baldians, and insisted upon Victor Emanuel's joining his efforts in conformity with the convention of 1864; but the emperor's subsequent appeal to the European powers to settle the Roman question by a congress in Paris was not heeded. Despite his constant manipulation of public opinion, the general elections of 1868 showed a defection of 200,000 voters since 1863; and the new press law, adopted after stormy debates, and regarded as affording somewhat greater liberty, resulted only in increasing the clouds that had been gathering round his throne and in the creation of many new journals, the most conspicuous of which in its invectives was Rochefort's Lanterne, whose first nine weekly issues reached a circulation of over 1,150,000. Other journals were almost equally bold, though much more decorous; and 64 editors were sentenced to imprisonment between May 11 and Dec. 31,1868. According to the new law of Feb. 1, 1868, the military force, including the mobile guards, was brought up to 1,350,000 men. Yet on opening the new legislative session on Jan. 18, 1869, the emperor boasted of his friendly relations with foreign powers and of the prosperity of the country.
More than ever in need of the support of the masses, he followed up his various measures for the working classes by suppressing early in 18G9 the livrets or service books which had subjected artisans to vexatious formalities. The controversy with Belgium in regard to the transfer of a Belgian railway to a French company, which for a time threatened complications, was amicably settled in April, but great agitation continued to prevail in Paris. The new elections at the end of May were attended with tumults in many localities, the opposition carrying Paris, Lyons, Marseilles, and other cities, though the official influence in the interior, together with the votes of the peasantry and part of the clergy, resulted in an aggregate vote in favor of Napoleon. Thiers, Favre, and Simon, however, were reelected; Gambetta, Bancel, and Raspail were returned to reenforce the ultra radicals; and Rochefort himself was finally elected in one of the metropolitan districts, at the same time with Cremieux and Emanuel Arago; while Emile Ollivier, a former liberal who had adhered to Napoleon, was defeated in Paris, and had to accept a seat for one of the departments.
The aggregate of votes cast for the emperor had dwindled down to less than 5,000,000, while the opposition, including those opposed to personal government though in favor of a constitutional empire, exceeded 3,000,000. Riotous demonstrations ensued (June 7-11) in Paris and other cities, amid acclamations in favor of a republic and against Napoleon. Over 1,000 persons were arrested, and the military had to restore order in Paris, Nantes, and Bordeaux. To calm the excitement, the emperor proposed liberal changes (July 12) after the opening of the legislative body; dismissed Rouher, his strongest partisan, from the ministry; appointed a new cabinet to mark the transition from personal and arbitrary to the new projected parliamentary arid constitutional government; and promulgated an amnesty for political exiles, which measure resulted in bringing back to France some of his most inveterate enemies. The senatus consultum embodying the new reforms was adopted Sept. 6; but the emperor would not convoke the new session on the day prescribed by the new law.
The opposition, led by Favre, proposed to take the initiative in opening it; but in view of the public exasperation, they limited their demonstration to the issue of a protest (Oct. 18) against what they characterized as Napoleon's new insult to the nation, and calmly awaited the inauguration of the legislature by the emperor himself, which took place Nov. 29. Ollivier now came forward as the principal spokesman of the new constitutional regime, with about 120 followers, the rest of the members being divided among the various shades of conservatives and radicals. In his exposition of foreign policy the emperor expatiated on the advantages of the Suez canal, which he had labored to promote, and on the Egyptian- Turkish complication, in regard to which he sided with England in maintaining the rights of- the sultan without compromising the interests involved in the authority of the khe-dive. Ollivier became prime minister on Jan. 2, 1870, and one of the first measures of the new administration was to remove Haussmann, whose administration of the prefecture of the Seine and stupendous enterprises had contributed greatly to the embellishment and enlargement of Paris, but also to the detriment of integrity and financial stability, and to the disadvantage of the poor, whose humble dwelling places had been pulled down to make room for new boulevards and squares; while Odilon Barrot was appointed chairman of the committee of decentralization.
Additional odium was cast upon Napoleon by the assassination of Victor Noir by Prince Pierre Bonaparte, and by the latter's acquittal of the charge of murder at Tours, March 27. Yet he received an affirmative vote of over 7,000,000 on the plebiscite of May 8, in approbation of his reform measures, although Paris returned over 180,000 adverse votes, including those of many soldiers, and the majority in most of the large cities remained equally hostile to the emperor. Uneasiness in regard to foreign relations was revived by the appointment as minister of foreign affairs of the duke de Gramont, who while French ambassador in Vienna had been noted for his hostility to Prussia. Ollivier nevertheless persisted (June 30) in reassuring the country in regard to uninterrupted friendly relations with foreign powers. Great excitement, however, prevailed shortly afterward, when it became known that the crown of Spain had been offered to Prince Leopold of Hohenzollern, a relative of the king of Prussia, and both Ollivier and Gramont declared (July 6) in the legislative body that such a candidature, agreed upon without the knowledge of the French government, would be injurious to the honor and the influence of the French nation.
The emperor instructed Benedetti, his ambassador in Berlin, to require King William, who was at that time (July 9) at Ems, to prohibit Prince Leopold from accepting the Spanish crown. Despite the latter's voluntary withdrawal, the emperor was not satisfied, and insisted upon a personal pledge from the king of Prussia that no prince of Hohenzollern would be in future a candidate for the Spanish throne. It now became manifest that the emperor, despairing of sustaining his power at home and of recovering his standing abroad, was bent on retrieving his fortunes on the battlefield, and on wreaking revenge upon Prussia for the success by which she had exalted the glory of Germany and dimmed that of France. Bismarck, the Prussian prime minister, declined to submit the emperor's new pretensions to the king; and as Benedetti was nevertheless instructed to intrude them 'upon the Prussian monarch personally, the latter declined to give another interview to Napoleon's representative. The next day (July 14) Benedetti was recalled by the emperor, and Baron Werther from Paris by the Prussian king. Preparations for war were immediately made on both sides.
The Germans manifested the wildest enthusiasm in resenting what they called the arrogance of France, and, contrary to Napoleon's expectations, the South German states promptly declared their readiness to join the North German confederation. The mediation of England, offered by Lord Loftus, the British ambassador, was declined in Berlin until Napoleon should first accept it; and a subsequent mediatorial effort of Pius IX. likewise fell to the ground. Napoleon took the initiative by formally declaring war on July 19 through his charge d'affaires Le Sourd, basing his declaration, first, upon the insult offered at Ems to Count Benedetti, the French minister, and its approval by the Prussian government; secondly, upon the refusal of the king of Prussia to compel the withdrawal of Prince Leopold's name as a candidate for the Spanish throne; and thirdly, upon the king's persistence in giving the prince liberty to accept the throne. The extraordinary military appropriations demanded by the emperor were unanimously accorded by the senate, and with but a few dissenting votes by the legislative assembly; but as considerable time was lost in the preparations, the Germans were left at liberty to concentrate overwhelming forces on the French frontier, King William leaving Berlin on July 31, three days after Napoleon's departure for Metz. The first movement of importance began on Aug. 2, when Gen. Frossard, with about 30,000 men, advanced from St. Avoid against Saarbriick. On the advance of the French, the small Prussian garrison of that city retired to the adjoining heights, and was compelled to withdraw to the right bank of the Saar. On taking possession of the heights, but not of the town of Saarbriick, the emperor sent to Eugenie, whom he had left in Paris as regent, a sensational despatch containing a grandiloquent passage on the prince imperial's baptism of fire.
But grotesque as this announcement was, it was the only one sent by him that did not savor of defeat. The successive German victories creating great commotion in Paris, he was soon obliged (Aug. 8) to relinquish the command of the armies, and after a few days spent with Bazaine he joined MacMahon at Chalons. The corruption which had infected the public service of the empire had impaired the efficiency of the military organization, and the generals, mainly trained in the warfare against Arabs in Algeria, could not cope with the superior organization of the Germans. Napoleon was overwhelmed by defeat after defeat, and on Aug. 31 he issued at Sedan his last proclamation to the army, exhibiting, though striving to conceal, his desperation. He had already a few days before provided for the safety of the prince imperial by sending him to Belgium; and in the afternoon of Sept. 1, when the French were everywhere beaten, Wimpffen proposed to the emperor, who was said to have deliberately exposed himself to death in the thickest of the fight, to save himself from capture by breaking through the German lines at Carignan. Napoleon would not risk the lives of the soldiers in what he regarded as a hopeless attempt, and also declined to accept Wimpffen's resignation.
Soon after 5 P. M. he sent a colonel with a white flag to the headquarters of the enemy. Suddenly the firing ceased. The Germans shouted, " Victory! the emperor is there." The king of Prussia sent Lieut. Col. Bronsart to Sedan to demand an .unconditional surrender, upon which the emperor despatched his aide-de-camp, Gen. Reille, to the royal headquarters with the following letter: "My brother: Since it has not been vouchsafed to me to meet death at the head of my troops, I surrender my sword to your majesty." In order to obtain if possible more lenient conditions of capitulation than the Germans were disposed to accord, the emperor left Sedan at 5 A. M. on Sept. 2, Bismarck hastening to meet him on the road between Sedan and Donchery, in a small house near the latter place. The king, however, consented to see the emperor only after the ratification of the capitulation between Moltke and "Wimpffen. Preceded by an honorary escort of Prussian cuirassiers, and accompanied by Bismarck, the emperor had the same night an interview of about 15 minutes with the king of Prussia at the castle of Bellevue, near Frenois, and the victor assigned to his captive the castle of Wilhelms-hohe, near Cassel, as a residence.
He left Bellevue on the morning of Sept. 3 for the Belgian frontier with a Prussian escort, the Belgian general Chazal escorting him to the German border; and in the evening of Sept. 5 he arrived at Wil-helmshohe. During his residence there the empress of Germany showed him many delicate attentions. On the news of the emperor's capitulation Jules Favre at once proposed his deposition in the legislative body, and in the confusion which ensued during the proclamation of the republic (Sept. 4) the empress regent fled to England. Napoleon protested (March 6,1871) against the decree of the national assembly at Bordeaux of March 1, which confirmed his expulsion and that of his dynasty from the throne, and made him responsible for all the calamities of the war and for the dismemberment of France. He was released by the emperor William on March 19, and joined Eugenie and the prince imperial at Camden house, Chiselhurst, where he was temporarily buried. On May 12,1872, he wrote to Gen. Wimpffen assuming the sole responsibility for the surrender at Sedan; and a pamphlet entitled Des causes qui ont amene la capitulation de Sedan, par un officier attache d Vetat major general (Brussels, 1870), has been ascribed to him.
Queen Victoria, and especially the prince of Wales, and the English generally, with whom he had always been popular personally, soothed his . exile by considerate attentions; and his funeral was numerously attended by the English and by French partisans of his dynasty. He published Histoire de Jules Cesar (2 vols., 1865-'6), which is still unfinished; and his miscellaneous writings are contained in (Euvres de Napoleon III. (5 vols., 1854-'69), (Euvres militaires (3 vols., 1856), and (Euvres posthumes (1873). - See Histoire du second empire, by Taxile Delord (vols. i. to hi., 1869-72), and Napoleon III., eine oiographische Studie, by Gottschall (2d ed., 1871). The best known publications adverse to Napoleon are Victor Hugo's Napoleon le Petit (Brussels, 1852), and Les propos de Labienus, by Prof. Rogeard (Paris, 1865). - Eugenie Marie de Montjjo, wife of the preceding, born in Granada, May 5, 1826. Her father, Count Montijo, who died in Madrid in 1839, was a grandee of Spain, whose origin has been traced to the Porto-Carrero family of Genoa, which, after settling in Spain in the 14th century, formed connections with many illustrious houses, whence Eugenie inherited numerous Spanish titles of nobility.
Her mother, Maria Manuela Kirkpatrick Closeburn, was descended from a Roman Catholic family of Scotland who sought refuge in Spain after the fall of the Stuarts. After spending her childhood in Madrid, Eugenie was sent to school in Toulouse and Bristol, and travelled much with her mother under the name of Countess Teba, residing some time in London. Her beauty, grace, and accomplishments having attracted the attention of the future emperor during his residence in England, she became his wife, Jan. 29, 1853, and contributed greatly to the brilliancy of the imperial court. She prevailed upon the municipality of Paris to devote a wedding present of the value of 600,000 francs, intended for her, to the endowment of a female college, and further devoted to charities 100,000 out of 250,-000 francs presented to her by her husband on the same occasion. She gave birth to the prince imperial March 16, 1856, and the prospective right of regency was conferred on her in February, 1858. Her support was courted by the ultramontanes in respect of the Italian and Roman questions and the Mexican invasion; and in 1865, while her husband was in Algeria, her position as regent was complicated by Prince Napoleon's hostility to the pope, to whose interests she was zealously devoted.
After having in previous years accompanied her husband to the English court, she went with her son to Corsica in 1869 to attend the inauguration of the monument of Napoleon I.; and in October of that year she set out on a journey to the East by way of Venice to attend the opening of the Suez canal, receiving great attentions everywhere. In the same year she endowed the geographical society of Paris with 200,000 francs as a foundation for an annual prize of 10,000 francs to the most eminent French explorer or discoverer. She assumed the regency after the emperor's departure for the seat of war in 1870, and received the first news of his surrender at Sedan through Prince Metternich, the Austrian ambassador, whose wife was one of her most devoted friends, and formerly conspicuous, with the empress, Mme. de Pourtales, Mme. de Gal-lifet, and other brilliant women, among the most famous leaders of gay and fashionable entertainments. She received no tidings either from her minister Palikao or from her husband; but Pie-tri, the prefect of police, in the afternoon of Sept. 3, warned her of the insecurity of her position, and his despatch was still on her table when a few hours after her departure the mob invaded her apartments.
Metternich urged her to flee in the most pressing manner, and the Tuileries was in the greatest confusion when she left the palace after midnight, deserted by her attendants and accompanied by Metternich, the Italian minister Nigra, the countess Walewska, M. de Lesseps, and her aged secretary, Mme. Lebre-ton. Plainly attired, the empress was recognized only by a boy, whose exclamation passed unnoticed, and she entered a public carriage in a street near the imperial residence, at the same moment when a crowd of nearly 1,000 persons passed by her uttering violent outcries against the emperor. Eugenie, the countess Walewska, Prince Metternich, and one of the latter's attaches rapidly drove to the railway station, intending to proceed to England. After spending a few days with the Hagvorst family near Brussels, the ex-empress proceeded to Ostend and Dover, and thence to Hastings, where she met her son, with whom she left for Torquay, and on Sept. 24 arrived at Chiselhurst. Napoleon joined them in March, 1871, and she continued to reside there after his death. - Napoleon Eugene Louis Jean Joseph, prince imperial, son of Napoleon III. and Eugenie, born in the Tuileries, March 16, 1856. He received a careful education, and accompanied his father to Metz on the outbreak of the Franco-German war, and thence to Saarbrilck, where, according to Napoleon's despatch to Eugenie, he received his baptism of fire.
As the military situation became critical, the emperor provided for the safety of his son by sending him in August to Belgium, and subsequently he joined his mother in England. He is a youth of delicate frame and winning manners, and bears a much greater resemblance to his mother than to his father.