Napoleon III: The Imitator

  • Philip Thody


In many ways, Napoleon III is the odd man out among the four French Caesars who actually managed to take power. He was not a professional soldier. He liked the English. There is no doubt about the illegality of the coup d’état whereby he broke his oath of allegiance to the Second Republic on 2 December 1851 and thus laid the foundations of the Second Empire. He also remained in power for 22 years — a very long reign compared to his uncle’s 15, Pétain’s four, and the 11 years which elapsed between Charles de Gaulle’s return to power in May 1958 and his resignation in April 1969.


Foreign Policy Peace Treaty Parliamentary Democracy Civilian Authority French Army 
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Copyright information

© Philip Thody 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Thody
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeedsUK

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