- NAME: Napoleon III
- OCCUPATION: Military Leader, Emperor
- BIRTH DATE: April 20, 1808
- DEATH DATE: January 09, 1873
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Paris, France
- PLACE OF DEATH: Chislehurst, London, England, United Kingdom
- AKA: Louis-Napoleon
- AKA: Napoleon III
- Originally: Charles-Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte
- AKA: Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte
- AKA: Louis Bonaparte
Best Known For
Napoleon III, the nephew of Napoleon I, was emperor of France from 1852 to 1870. His downfall came during the Franco-Prussian War, when his efforts to defeat Otto Von Bismarck ended in his capture.
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Born in 1808 in Paris, France, Napoleon III, the nephew of Napoleon I, grew up in exile—the year 1815 marked the end of Napoleon I's reign. However, Napoleon III was determined to regain the French throne. He began his quest in 1832, writing various political and military tracts in an effort to make himself and his ideas known. After a failed coup attempt in 1836,
"The Empress is Legitimist, my cousin is Republican, Morny is Orleanist, I am a socialist; the only Bonapartist is Persigny, and he is mad."
"If other countries gain anything, France must gain something also."
"Napoleon III wanted to turn Paris into Rome with Versailles piled on top, and it was done. His architects gave him the Paris Opera, an addition to the Louvre, and miles of new boulevards."
he was exiled again. After the Revolution of 1848, in 1850, Napoleon III was elected president of the Second Republic. He served in that position until 1852, when he was made emperor—a position he held until 1870, when the disastrous Franco-Russian War led to his capture. He was deposed and sent to England, where he died in 1873.
Born on April 20, 1808, in Paris, France, Charles-Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte was the third son of Napoleon I's brother, Louis Bonaparte, and his wife, Hortense de Beauharnais Bonaparte. Louis Bonaparte served as king of Holland from 1806 to 1810, and Hortense de Beauharnais Bonaparte was the stepdaughter of Napoleon I. Louis-Napoleon's parents had been made king and queen of French-controlled Holland by Napoleon I, but after Napoleon I's deposition in 1815, all members of the Bonaparte dynasty were forced into exile.
Louis-Napoleon grew up in Switzerland, living with his mother, who instilled in him a longing for France and an abiding admiration of the genius of Napoleon I.
When he was a young man, Louis-Napoleon settled in Italy, where he became interested in history and ideas of national liberty, with thoughts of regaining the Napoleonic Empire beginning to burn in the back of his mind. He and his elder brother, Napoleon Louis, began espousing liberal politics and joined the Carbonari, a revolutionist group fighting papal and Austrian control over Northern Italy. The brothers fled in March 1831, when troops began cracking down on revolutionary activity. Suffering from measles, Napoleon Louis died in his brother's arms during their escape; Louis-Napoleon was saved from the troops only by his mother's intervention.
After the death in 1832 of his cousin, the Duke of Reichstadt (Napoleon I's only son), Louis-Napoleon considered himself, following the law of succession established by Napoleon I when he was emperor, next in line for the French throne, and he completed his military training and studied economic and social issues in preparation. In 1832, he published the first of his own writings on political and military subjects, asserting in his tract "Rveries politiques" that only an emperor could give France the glory and liberty it deserved. The pamphlet was the start of Louis-Napoleon's effort to get his name widely known, spread his ideas and recruit followers.
Louis-Napoleon returned to France in October 1836 with an attempt to imitate Napoleon I's Hundred Days, in which Napoleon I escaped his Elba exile and briefly retook France from Louis XVIII. For Louis-Napoleon's effort, he initiated a Bonapartist coup at Strasbourg, calling on the local garrison to help him restore the Napoleonic Empire.
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