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Character Development of Napoleon III in Encyclopedic Biographies published between 1885 and 1911


Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
International Program
Ryu, Seung Hyun
Term Paper, AP European History Class, December 2009



Table of Contents


I. Introduction - Prejudices and Stereotypes of Medieval Women
II. His Early life (1808-1848)
II.1 Birth and Education (1808-1831)
II.1.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
II.1.2 In the Primary Sources
II.2 Attempts to Return to France (1836-1848)
II.2.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
II.2.2 In the Primary Sources
III. President of the French Republic (10 December 1848- 2 December 1851)
III.1 His Early Politics (1848-1851)
III.1.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
III.1.2 In the Primary Sources
III.2 Conflict with the National Assembly (1851)
III.2.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
III.2.2 In the Primary Sources
IV. Emperor of the French (2 December 1852-4 September 1870)
IV.1 The Coup d¡¯?tat (1851-1852)
IV.1.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
IV.1.2 In the Primary Sources
IV.2 Authoritarian Empire (1853-1860)
IV.2.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
IV.2.2 In the Primary Sources
IV.3 Liberal Empire (1860-1870)
IV.3.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
IV.3.2 In the Primary Sources
IV.4 His Last Years
IV.4.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
IV.4.2 In the Primary Sources
V. Economy and Society from 1852 to 1870
V.1 Renovation of Paris
V.1.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
V.1.2 In the Primary Sources
V.2 Appearance of a New Type of Banking Institution
V.2.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
V.2.2 In the Primary Sources
V.3 Growth of Railways
V.3.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
V.3.2 In the Primary Sources
V.4 Industrial Expansion
V.4.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
V.4.2 In the Primary Sources
V.5 The Welfare of the Working Classes
V.5.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
V.5.2 In the Primary Sources
VI. Foreign Policy from 1852 to 1870
VI.1 The Crimean War (1854-1856)
VI.1.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
VI.1.2 In the Primary Sources
VI.2 Franco-Austrian War (1859)
VI.2.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
VI.2.2 In the Primary Sources
VI.3 French Intervention in Mexico (1862-1867)
VI.3.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
VI.3.2 In the Primary Sources
VI.4 Franco-Prussian War (1870)
VI.4.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
VI.4.2 In the Primary Sources
VI.3 Clare in Brother Sun Sister Moon
VI.4 Kristin in Kristin Lavransdatter
VII. Comparison between Articles on ¡°History of France¡± and on "Napoleon III."
VII.1 Meyers Konversationslexikon
VII.2 Catholic Encyclopedia 1911
VII.3 Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911
VIII. Critical Analysis of the Primary Sources
VIII.1 Nordisk Familjebok
VIII.2 Meyers Konversationslexikon
VIII.3 Catholic Encyclopedia 1911
VIII.4 Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911
IX. Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography



I. Introduction
            History ¡°claims¡± to write about what happened in reality. However, although historians try to be objective, it is close to impossible to achieve absolute objectivity. Furthermore, history is also a type of writing which is comparable to literature, in a sense that historians reconstruct what happened in reality as literary writers recreate the reality in their stories. Therefore when studying historical texts it is important to maintain a critical stance and constantly question the objectivity of the sources.
            This study aims to examine encyclopedic biographies of Napoleon III published between 1885 and 1911 in order to analyze the character development of Napoleon III depicted in each biography. First, based on the 2009 Britannica, Wikipedia, and the site, ¡°History of the Two Empires,¡± this study will establish a timeline for the life of Napoleon III. Following this timeline, a summary of two available modern encyclopedic biographies will be provided as secondary sources. Then a thorough comparison between the primary and the secondary sources will be carried out in a way to look at omissions, emphases, exaggerations, comments, and choice of words in each primary source. Eventually, this study intends to provide an individual critical analysis of the primary sources and gain a more neutral understanding of Napoleon III.

II. His Early life (1808-1848) II.1 Birth and Education (1808-1831)

II.1.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
            Napoleon III was born on the 20th of April 1808 at Paris. He was the third son of Napoleon I¡¯s brother Louis Bonaparte, who was king of Holland from 1806 to 1810, and Hortense de Beauharnais Bonaparte, stepdaughter of Napoleon I.
            After Napoleon I's deposition in 1815 all members of the Bonaparte dynasty were forced into exile. Napoleon lived with his mother in Arenenberg Castle (Switzerland) and received his education at the gymnasium school in Augsburg (Germany).
            He and his elder brother espoused liberal politics and became involved with the Carbonari, an organization fighting Austria¡¯s control of northern Italy. In 1831, at the rebellion in the Papal State, his beloved brother perished. He himself was saved only by his mother¡¯s bold intervention. According to Wikipedia, his experiences in Italy later had a profound effect on his foreign policy.

II.1.2 In the Primary Sources
            The Nordisk Familjebok elaborates on Napoleon¡¯s intimate relationship with Napoleon Bonaparte and its aims when describing his childhood. It mentions that Napoleon was a ¡°great favorite of his uncle, Napoleon I, whom from his latest childhood he learned to love and admire.¡± Also the Nordisk notes that Arenenberg was a center of the exiled Bonapartists, a fact which the rest of the primary sources didn¡¯t mention.
            The dedication of Queen Hortense towards her son is also emphasized in this article. The Nordisk notes that his mother ¡°early implanted in her son her own unbreakable conviction of the undeniable rights of Napoleons dynasty to the crown of France."
            The Nordisk only briefly mentions Napoleon¡¯s involvement in the Carbonari.
            Meyers Konversationslexikon does not provide any information worth noting towards describing his early years.
            The Catholic Encyclopedia provides minimal information about Napoleon¡¯s childhood. However, it does emphasize that the ¡°principle of nationalities¡± attracted him in youth.
            The Encyclopaedia Britannica provides the most detailed account about Napoleon III and his early years. It reports many stories about his childhood even quoting the remark of Napoleon I, ¡°Who knows whether the future of my race may not lie in this child. ¡± It also mentions doubts cast on his legitimacy although it does say that all the references enable us to deny these conjectures.
            The Britannica gives the discord between his parents as the reason why his mother became all the more devoted to him. Similar to the Nordisk, the Britannica points out that his mother impressed on him the idea that he would be king, herself fully confident of the future destiny of Bonapartes. It also comments on the influential tutors who imbued him with the ideas of Revolution and the ideal of nationalism.
            Unlike the rest of the primary sources, the Britannica describes the Carbonari involvement with great detail and explains how he was rescued with the help of his mother. Concerning his character during this period, the Britannica analyzes that, ¡°He early gave signs of a grave and dreamy character.¡±

II.2 Attempts to Return to France (1836-1848)

II.2.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
            In October 1836, Napoleon tried to lead a Bonapartist coup at Strasbourg, France. However, the coup failed and Napoleon returned to Switzerland. When Louis-Philippe demanded his extradition, the Swiss refused to hand over a man who was a citizen and a member of their armed forces. However, in order to avoid a war, Napoleon left Switzerland of his own accord. In 1839 he published Des idees napoleoniennes (Napoleonic Ideas) and tried to transform Bonapartism into a political ideology.
            In August 1840, he secretly returned to France and attempted yet another coup into Boulogne. This time, he was caught and sentenced to imprisonment for life, in the fortress of the town of Ham. During these years of imprisonment, he wrote essays and pamphlets that combined his claim to be emperor with progressive, even mildly socialist economic proposals, as he defined Bonapartism. Among them Extinction du pauperisme (The Extinction of Poverty) (1844) won him some supporters on the left. He had also previously written a pamphlet, ¡°Reveries politiques¡± (Political Dreams) (1832) in which he asserted that only an emperor could give France both glory and liberty.
            He finally managed to escape to Southport, England in May 1846 by changing clothes with a mason working at the fortress. Napoleon lived within the borders of the United Kingdom until the revolution of February 1848 in France deposed Louis-Philippe and established a Republic. He was now free to return to France, which he immediately did. However, he found himself being asked to leave by the provisional government, which felt that he was an unnecessary distraction.

II.2.2 In the Primary Sources
            The Nordisk Familjebok explains Napoleon¡¯s careful preparations leading to his first coup. It notes that after his first publication ¡°Reveries politiques¡± (1832), he spent the following years in establishing connections with the dissatisfied parties in France. The Nordisk mentions that in this undertaking, Fialin de Persigny became his foremost aid.
            It also provides detailed context for the second coup in 1840. The Nordisk reports that the popularity of the First Empire was invigorated by the movement which decided to return Napoleon I¡¯s mortal remains to France. The Nordisk notes that Napoleon III used this chance to attempt another coup.
            The Nordisk gives the most detailed list of publications written during his imprisonment in Ham, such as "Fragments historiques ou c omparaison des revolutions de 1688 et 1830" (Historic Fragments or Comparison of Revolutions of 1688 and 1830) (1841) in which he violently attacked Louis Philippe's government and the "Analyse de la question des sucres" (Analysis of the Sugar Question) (1842). Also the infamous pamphlet, "Extinction du pauperisme" (1844), a philanthropic-philosophical text, which received great applause from the side of the workers and would form a step for the author on the way to the French presidency, is mentioned. "Reponse a Monsieur de Lamartine" (Response to Mr. de Lamartine) (1844), where he refuted the latter's attack on Napoleon I, and "Etudes sur le passe et l'avenir de l'artillerie" (Studies on the Past and the Future of the Artillery) (1846) are also listed.
            Meyers Konversationslexikon also provides detailed context about how Napoleon III grasped the opportunity of using the cult of his uncle, Napoleon I. However, the choice of words in describing Napoleon III¡¯s failed coup in 1840 may possibly imply a negative attitude towards this event. It describes that ¡°its miserable failure for a long time exposed Napoleon III to ridicule.¡±
            Unlike the Nordisk, it does not report the list of publications during his imprisonment in Ham. Rather it comments that he lived for 5 years in ¡°mild¡± arrest.
            About the social context of the coup the Catholic Encyclopedia points out that prior to the coup in 1836, ¡°the Republican Press, engaged in a struggle with Louis Philippe¡¯s government, manifested a certain sympathy for Louis Napoleon.¡± It does not go into much detail concerning the two coups.
            The Catholic Encyclopedia mentions only the ¡°Extinction du pauperisme" (1844) among his various works written while in prison at Ham, which gives an impression of approving Napoleon¡¯s efforts for the welfare of the poor.
            In the Encyclopaedia Britannica the usage of the word ¡°conspiracy¡± to describe the two coups could be seen as a possible negative outlook. In addition, the Britannica uses the word ¡°ridicule¡± to describe Napoleon¡¯s unshaken confidence even after his failure.
            What is interesting is that the Britannica 2009 reports that Napoleon was ¡°expelled from Switzerland in 1838¡± while the Britannica 1911 reports that he left Switzerland voluntarily. All of the other primary sources also mention that Napoleon¡¯s departure was done voluntarily.
            Like Meyers it describes that the life at Ham was ¡°mild¡± and that he worked very hard ¡°at this University of Ham¡± as he said. The Nordisk and the Britannica suggest that Napoleon worked on establishing and spreading his political ideas during this period of his life.

III. President of the French Republic (10 December 1848 - 2 December 1851)

III.1 His Early Politics (1848-1851)

III.1.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
            In September 1848, Napoleon was elected in five d?partements, and after his arrival in Paris he lost no time in preparing to run for the presidency. He was supported by the newly founded Party of Order, which consisted of adherents of the Bourbons, Louis-Philippe, and Catholics. Lacking a suitable candidate, they regarded Napoleon - not a skilled parliamentarian but a popular figure - as a useful tool.
            On 10 December 1848, Napoleon won a surprising victory in the election, with 5,587,759 votes (around 75 % of the total) (However in the Britannica 2009 the total votes is 5,434,226). Because of his name and his ancestry, the Emperor¡¯s nephew captivated the voters. Evoking the Napoleonic legend with its memories of national glory, Napoleon promised to bring back those days in time of peace. He succeeded also in recommending himself to every group of the population by promising to safeguard their particular interests.
            Napoleon governed cautiously during his first years in office. He courted Catholic support by assisting in the restoration of the Pope's temporal rule in Rome. However at the same time he tried to please secularist conservative opinion by demanding that the Pope introduce liberal changes to the government of the Papal States. These demands included appointing a liberal government and establishing the Code Napoleon there, which angered the Catholic majority in the assembly.

III.1.2 In the Primary Sources
            The Nordisk Familjebok evaluates the Napoleon¡¯s preparation to the election with general approval describing that the preparations were carried out with ¡°great energy and skill.¡± Winning over the ¡°influential Catholic priesthood¡± and ¡°the memory of Napoleon I¡¯s ... era¡± are analyzed as the two main reasons for Napoleon¡¯s victory.
            It quotes Napoleon¡¯s oath in the National Assembly on the 20th of December where Napoleon swore to ¡°remain faithful to the democratic republic, and to defend the constitution.¡± This may be perhaps to emphasize the ironical context of his changing the constitution and taking up dictatorship only 3 years later.
            Concerning his policies it reports how he changed his political backgrounds. It comments that ¡°Napoleon pursued a conservative policy¡± mentioning briefly how he broke with the Liberal Republican Party, but ¡°instead won the support of the Clerical Party.¡±
            Meyers Konversationslexikon seems to praise Napoleon¡¯s preparation towards presidency to a certain extent remarking that Napoleon ¡°employed prudent restraint ... while the representative of the people wasted their energy in factional strife.¡± It also mentions how Napoleon wisely used his name value among all classes of people, such as the clergy and bourgeoisie.
            There is no mention of Napoleon¡¯s early foreign policies until the descriptions about the Franco-Austrian War in 1859. It seems that Meyers is mainly interested in the foreign policies related to them.
            The Catholic Encyclopedia has the most opinionated article among the primary sources. It only discusses symptoms of the impeding conflict between the Catholic and National point of view, without mentioning his systematic progress to presidency. The Catholic Encyclopedia views his policies with disapproval commenting that ¡°the difficulties of the future emperor reveal themselves from the beginning; he wished to spare the religious susceptibilities of French Catholics and to avoid offending the national susceptibilities of the Italian revolutionists - a double aim which explains many an inconsistency and many a failure in the religious policy of the empire.¡±
            The Encyclopaedia Britannica describes his way to presidency with a possible favorable point of view emphasizing Napoleon¡¯s unscrupulous vision between 1846 and 1848 when he was staying in London. It comments that he ¡°was still full of plans and new ideas, always with the same end in view¡± even after his failures.
            When it reports the election it also compliments Napoleon¡¯s ability to win over the people quoting that ¡°he behaved with extraordinary skill, displaying ... all the abilities of an experienced conspirator.¡± Also it provides detailed information concerning the election progress and it mentions Napoleon¡¯s faithful supporters and political parties in favor of him.
            Similar to the Nordisk it quotes Napoleon¡¯s oath on 10th of December, however this time it adds the line which reveals Napoleon¡¯s later betrayal more ironically. It quotes that Napoleon took the oath ¡°to remain faithful to the democratic Republic ... to regard as enemies of the nation all those who may attempt by illegal means to change the form of the established government.¡±
            About Napoleon¡¯s early years in his office, the Britannica evaluates Napoleon as a ¡°Machiavellian pretender¡± which could be seen as a negative connotation. However, it also comments that he was ¡°daily growing more skillful at maneuvering between different classes and parties¡± and that he ¡°knew where to stop and how to keep up a show of democracy.¡± This evaluation is quite contrasting to that of the Catholic Encyclopedia.

III.2 Conflict with the National Assembly (1851)

III.2.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
            In the third year of his four-year mandate, Napoleon asked the National Assembly for a revision of the constitution to enable the president to run for re-election, arguing that four years were not enough to implement his political and economic program fully. The National Assembly, dominated by monarchists who wished to restore the Bourbon dynasty, refused to amend the Constitution.
            He used the disfranchisement of the poorer classes by the National Assembly in 1850 and the economic recession in 1851 as a pretext for agitating against the parties and for advertising himself as the strong man against the danger of a probable revolution. Then, he secured the support of the army, and toured the country making populist speeches condemning the assembly and presenting himself as the protector of universal male suffrage.

III.2.2 In the Primary Sources
            The Nordisk Familjebok does not mention the conflict with the National Assembly. This shows that the Nordisk fails to provide a thorough political background leading to the coup.
            Meyers Konversationslexikon provides additional information about the conflict between the Assembly and Napoleon. It adds that on top of refusing to make possible his reelection by a revision of the constitution, the Assembly refused him to dispose of the troops, and rejected the third pay raise of Napoleon. This allows us to analyze the conflict with diverse outlooks.
            The Catholic Encyclopedia does not mention in detail the conflict between Napoleon and the National Assembly. However, it does note that the National Assembly was dissolved after Napoleon¡¯s coup.
            The Encyclopaedia Britannica reveals Napoleon¡¯s hidden ambition when he blamed the Assembly for restricting universal suffrage by the law of the 31st of May, 1850. It vividly quotes that Napoleon said, ¡°I am preparing the ruin of the Assembly.¡± The Britannica seems to emphasize Napoleon¡¯s clever calculation for the power.

IV. Emperor of the French (2 December 1852 - 4 September 1870)

IV.1 The Coup d¡¯etat (1851-1852)

IV.1.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
            Napoleon staged a coup d'etat and seized dictatorial power on 2 December 1851. Only the Republicans dared to resist him. On December 4 they were defeated in street fighting in Paris. Napoleon dissolved the Legislative Assembly and decreed a new constitution, which among other provisions restored universal suffrage.
            The coup was later declared to have been approved by the French people in a national referendum, the fairness and legality of which has been questioned by Napoleon III's detractors ever since. Victor Hugo, who had hitherto shown support for Napoleon, decided to go into exile after the coup, and became one of the harshest critics of Napoleon III, despite the amnesty of political opponents in 1859.
            Exactly one year after the coup, on 2 December 1852, with the approval by another referendum, the Second Republic was officially ended and the Empire restored, ushering in the Second French Empire. President Napoleon became Emperor Napoleon III.

IV.1.2 In the Primary Sources
            In the Nordisk Familjebok, strangely, such vocabulary as ¡°long-prepared¡± and ¡°well-planned¡± used to describe the coup deliver positive connotations. The Nordisk also lists Napoleon¡¯s foremost confidants in the coup, and describes the detailed process of the coup.
            However, when the article describes how he handled the oppositions, it becomes much more critical and reports that the defeated republicans were persecuted with ¡°frightening severity.¡± In addition it reports that ¡°illegal courts¡± were established for the purpose of persecution, and that ¡°all newspapers were subjected to censorship.¡±
            The Nordisk also points out the paradoxical situation in which Napoleon was provided with ¡°tremendous power¡± and proclaimed as the ¡°Emperor of France¡± by the people¡¯s will even ¡°in the middle of this terrible terrorism.¡±
            The Meyers Konversationslexikon¡¯s comments about the coup are similar to that of the Nordisk reporting that Napoleon implemented the ¡°long-prepared coup¡±, and that the opponents were suppressed by the ¡°brutal action of the troops.¡±
            Meyers additionally explains that Napoleon won over the population for the Empire, by the tour and speeches in southern France on September 1852.
            The Catholic Encyclopedia provides minimal information concerning the preparation and the implementation of the Coup d¡¯etat on 2 December, 1851
            However, the Catholic Encyclopedia notes that although the Coup was justified by the French people¡¯s opinions, there were oppositional groups such as ¡°the Dominican Lacordaire, the Jesuit Ravignan, and Bishop Dupanloup.¡± It comments that they were ¡°more reserved in their attitude¡± and went as far as to criticize that ¡°France was rapidly moving into the Lower Empire.¡±
            The Encyclopaedia Britannica¡¯s description of the Coup d¡¯etat is by far the most in depth, reporting on how Napoleon ¡°systematically¡± prepared for the Coup. It diagnoses that Napoleon was careful enough to make sure that all of the ¡°conspirators¡± were at their planned posts, such as in the prefecture of police, and in the head of the troops in Paris.
            When giving information about Napoleon¡¯s response to the resistance of the Republicans, the Britannica maintains a critical stance stating that he ¡°struck¡± at the opposition ¡°by mixed commissions, deportations and the whole range of police measures.¡± It also mentions on Napoleon¡¯s ungrounded confidence for he had expected ¡°universal applause¡± and was disappointed in the way the affairs developed.
            The Britannica provides a negative side of Napoleon¡¯s character saying that his ¡°glance showed observers that he was still the obstinate dreamer that he had been in youth, absorbed in his idea¡± even after he was proclaimed the Empire of France.

IV.2 Authoritarian Empire (1853-1860)

IV.2.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
            Since the coup, the Parliament became irrelevant as the real power was completely concentrated in the hands of Napoleon and his bureaucracy. Until about 1861, Napoleon's regime exhibited decidedly authoritarian characteristics, using press censorship to prevent the spread of opposition, manipulating elections, and depriving the Parliament of the right to free debate or any real power.
            The emperor, hitherto a bachelor, began quickly to look for a wife to produce a legitimate heir. Most of the royal families of Europe were unwilling to marry into the parvenu Bonaparte family. Napoleon decided to lower his sights, choosing the Countess of Teba, Eugenie de Montijo, a Spanish noblewoman of partial Scottish ancestry who had been brought up in Paris. In 1856, Eugenie gave birth to a legitimate son and heir, Louis Napoleon, the Prince Imperial.
            Napoleon during this period took the initiative in foreign affairs and ensured progress and prosperity through government policy. Napoleon¡¯s economic and foreign policies will be discussed later in separate chapters.

IV.2.2 In the Primary Sources
            About the domestic policies of the Empire, the Nordisk Familjebok gives minimal information, only commenting that a ¡°magnificent royal household was established.¡±
            However it emphasizes Napoleon¡¯s effort to ¡°even out the impression of the treacherous way in which he gained the crown ... through an energetic and glorious foreign policy.¡±
            Similar to the Nordisk, the Meyers Konversationslexikon provides almost no information concerning the authoritarian policies of the Empire. However, once again like the Nordisk, Meyers emphasizes the fact that Napoleon strove to ¡°bedazzle the French nation by military glory.¡±
            The Catholic Encyclopedia analyzes the period of the Authoritarian Empire entirely in relation to the Catholic Church. It observes that ¡°the first acts of the new government were decidedly favorable to the Church.¡± By giving various examples, such as ¡°bishops held synods at their pleasure; the budget of public worship was forthcoming; cardinals sat in the Senate as of right; the civil authorities appeared in religious processions; missions were given; primary and secondary educational institutions under ecclesiastical control increased in number,¡± it points out the favorable privileges Catholics received under Napoleon¡¯s early government.
            However, the Catholic Encyclopedia remarks that the relationship with the Church ¡°seemed to be somewhat less cordial¡± after 1854, when Napoleon III gave up the idea of being crowned by Pius IX at Notre Dame. This was because the Church ¡°wished Napoleon III to make the Sunday rest obligatory and abrogate the legal necessity of civil marriage previous to the religious ceremony¡± in exchange for the coronation by Pius IX while Napoleon III could not accept their conditions because he had to consider the individual interests of various parties.
            The Catholic Encyclopedia¡¯s explanation about the domestic policies of the Empire during this period is very opinionated since it does not comment on the authoritarian policies Napoleon III employed and only mentions policies and relationships concerning the Church.
            The Encyclopaedia Britannica regards the first few years of Napoleon¡¯s regime with approval, observing that ¡°rarely has a man been able to carry out his system so completely¡± and that ¡°his success from 1852 to 1856 was almost complete.¡±
            However it notes Napoleon¡¯s complicated political reality in which he ¡°had to take more disciplinary measures than he had intended against the Reds (Republicans), and granted more favors than was fitting to the Catholics, his allies in December 1848 and 1858.¡±

IV.3 Liberal Empire (1860-1870)

IV.3.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
            In the decade of the 1860s, Napoleon III made more concessions to placate his liberal opponents. This change began by allowing free debates in Parliament and public reports of parliamentary debates, continued with the relaxation of press censorship, and culminated in the appointment of the Liberal Emile Ollivier, previously a leader of the opposition to Napoleon's regime, as (effectively) Prime Minister in 1869.
            The deterioration in the economy caused dissatisfaction among the middle class and the working people. With steadily growing opposition Napoleon tried in vain to win over the workers and the members of the parliament through liberal policies but they had come too late. This later period is described by historians as the Liberal Empire.

IV.3.2 In the Primary Sources
            The Nordisk Familjebok reports specifically how the number of opposition steadily increased from 1 to 93 during 1857 to 1869. The Nordisk diagnoses that this increase was due to Prussian victories at Königgrätz (1866) and the inglorious conclusion to the Mejican Expedition (1862~1867).
            It analyzes that ¡°in order to save his dynasty, Napoleon tried to win over the people by increasing their freedom.¡± The liberal changes to the constitution are positively evaluated by the Nordisk as being Napoleon III¡¯s ¡°last political triumph.¡± It shows that the changes were sanctioned by a plebiscite on May 8th 1870, with 7.34 million yes against 1.56 million no votes.
            Of Napoleon¡¯s regime from 1860 to 1870, Meyers Konversationslexikon narrates with a negative tone noting that the failures in foreign policies ¡°quickly reduced Napoleon III¡¯s reputation¡± and caused ¡°irony and ridicule.¡± It also adds the political background behind Napoleon¡¯s ¡°insecure, shifting¡± countenance by explaining that he lost his confidence after failing to acquire Luxemburg.
            It is worth noting that although the Nordisk regards the liberal changes to the constitution as being Napoleon III¡¯s ¡°last political triumph,¡± Meyers views it with a more negative perspective. Meyers analyzes that the 1 1/2 million no votes is a ¡°relatively high figure¡± which ¡°shows that the concessions had come too late¡± in order to save his dynasty.
            The Catholic Encyclopedia mentions briefly that the emperor made his first concession to Liberal ideas in 1860 but soon moves on to describe with great detail the continuous conflict between the supporters of the Italian Nationality and the supporters of the temporal power of the Pope. By reporting that ¡°he recognized the new kingdom¡± established in Italy in June 1862, it emphasizes Napoleon¡¯s more clear ¡°sympathies¡± for Italy.
            Afterwards, the Catholic Encyclopedia observes the changes of Napoleon¡¯s political stances for he suddenly manifested a ¡°much colder feeling for Italy ... fearing that at the forthcoming legislative elections the Catholics would revolt from the imperial party.¡± Despite his constant changes according to the demands of each party, the Catholic Encyclopedia reports that ¡°a political alliance between a certain number of Liberal Catholics, devoted to the Royalist cause and members of the Republican party resulted ... in the return of thirty-five Opposition members to the Chamber¡± in June, 1863. The Catholic Encyclopedia mentions this fact to point out that the number of oppositions was increasing due to his inconsistent foreign policies.
            Unlike other encyclopedias, the Encyclopaedia Britannica describes the progress prior to the formation of a liberal cabinet by Emile Ollivier in December. The Britannica points out that Napoleon attempted to make liberal concessions feeling ¡°anxious, changeable and distraught¡± under the pressure of the rising power of oppositions in January. However, the Britannica evaluates that ¡°the opposition gave him no credit for these tardy concessions¡± and that ¡°there was an epidemic of violent attacks¡± on Napoleon. The Britannica diagnoses that these deteriorating conditions forced him to take more liberal measures than he had wanted.

IV.4 His Last Years

IV.4.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
            In the battle against the allied German forces in July 1870 the Emperor was captured at the Battle of Sedan (2 September) and was deposed by the founders of the Third Republic in Paris two days later. Napoleon spent the last few years of his life in exile in England, with Eugenie and their only son. Napoleon studied technical and social problems, defended his politics in various publications, and even thought of landing in France to regain his throne.
            The family lived at Camden Place Chislehurst (then in Kent), where he died on 9 January 1873. He died after undergoing an operation for the removal of bladder stones. He was haunted to the end by bitter regrets and by painful memories of the battle at which he lost everything; Napoleon's last words, addressed to Dr. Henri Conneau standing by his deathbed, reportedly were, "Were you at Sedan?" ("Etiez-vous a Sedan ?")

IV.4.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
            The Nordisk Familjebok notes Napoleon¡¯s passive side when he had to remain in Paris under the ¡°pressure by the Empress¡± even though the war council advised him otherwise.
            The Nordisk emphasizes that ¡°despite his great misfortune and of a serious bodily illness, Napoleon maintained an extraordinary tranquility and displayed in regard to the latter the same passive mood, which has characterized him since childhood.¡±
            Near the end of the biography Meyers Konversationslexikon suggests its suspicions towards Napoleon¡¯s heritage. Meyers comments that ¡°in his outward appearance, Napoleon III had little of the Bonapartist family type.¡± It goes far as to suggest that ¡°his phlegm, his dreamy apathy pointed at an origin other than Corsican.¡± Meyers seems to point out the difference between Napoleon III and his uncle, Napoleon I.
            Meyers evaluates that Napoleon was ¡°by nature mild and benevolent, loyal and grateful to his friends and servants, not without intellectual talent, but not creative.¡± It explains that Napoleon¡¯s ¡°pretenderness was his doom; the guilt of the coup d¡¯?tat was a heavy burden on him.¡±
            Further on Meyers gives a negative diagnoses of his system of government commenting that it ¡°had to fail because of the irreconcilable conflict between despotism and people's sovereignty.¡± The evaluation of his regime reveals a decidedly negative attitude as Meyers concludes that Napoleon¡¯s ¡°fall is all the more tragic, as it caused not even pity, but only ill wishes, irony and ridicule in the entire nation.¡±
            The Catholic Encyclopedia remains focused on the issues of Italy and the Papal States as can be seen from the report that ¡°Piemontese occupied Rome (20 September)¡± in addition to the proclamation of Republic at Paris, 4 September.
            The Catholic Encyclopedia concludes that ¡°Napoleon was a tender-hearted dreamer, and kindness was one of his most evident qualities.¡± Also it provides very Catholic information that ¡°he was faithful to his Easter duties.¡±
            The Encyclopaedia Britannica reports that Napoleon was declared ¡°responsible for the ruin, invasion and dismemberment of France¡± by the assembly of Bordeaux on the 1st of March, 1870.
            At the end the Britannica expands its comments to the destiny of his dynasty when his son was killed in an expedition in South Africa in which Napoleon¡¯s hope of handing down his throne to his son had vanished. The Britannica concludes that Napoleon was a ¡°great emperor, the Carbonaro and dreamer, at once obstinate and hesitating.¡±

V. Economy and Society from 1852 to 1870

V.1 Renovation of Paris

V.1.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
            Downtown Paris was renovated with the clearing of slums, the widening of streets, and the construction of parks according to Baron Haussmann's plan. Working class neighborhoods were moved to the outskirts of Paris, where factories utilized their labor.

V.1.2 In the Primary Sources
            The Nordisk Familjebok gives no specific information on the renovation of Paris except that there was a ¡°reconstruction, expansion and beautification of Paris.¡±
            There is no information on the renovation of Paris in Meyers Konversationslexikon.
            There is no information on the renovation of Paris in the Catholic Encylcopedia.
            There is no information on the renovation of Paris in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

V.2 Appearance of a New Type of Banking Institution

V.2.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
            Some of his main backers in the economic policies were Saint-Simonians, and these supporters described Napoleon III as the "socialist emperor." Saint-Simonians at this time founded a new type of banking institution, the Credit Mobilier, which sold stock to the public and then used the money raised to invest in industrial enterprises in France. This sparked a period of rapid economic development.

V.2.2 In the Primary Sources
            There is no information about the appearance of a new type of banking institution in the Nordisk Familjebok.
            There is no information about the appearance of a new type of banking institution in Meyers Konversationslexikon.
            There is no information about the appearance of a new type of banking institution in the Catholic Encyclopedia.
            The Encyclopaedia Britannica possibly praises that ¡°by the aid of former Orleanists, ... and Saint-Simonians ... he satisfied the industrial classes, extended credit, developed means of communication, and gave a strong impetus to the business of the nation.¡±

V.3 Growth of Railways

V.3.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
            The combined length of railways in France increased from 3,000 to 16,000 kilometers during the 1850s, and this growth of railways allowed mines and factories to operate at higher rates of productivity. The 55 smaller rail lines of France were merged into 6 major lines, while new iron steamships replaced wooden ships. Between 1859 and 1869, a French company built the Suez Canal, opening a new chapter in global transportation and trade.

V.3.2 In the Primary Sources
            The Nordisk Familjebok mentions that there was ¡°the construction of the Suez Canal by a Frenchman, financed by French money¡± and also ¡°large-scale railroad constructions.¡±
            There is no information about the growth of railways in Meyers Konversationslexikon.
            There is no information about the growth of railways in the Catholic Encyclopedia.
            There is no information about the growth of railways in the Encyclopaedia Britannica.

V.4 Industrial Expansion

V.4.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
            Napoleon's Empire has been said to be the first regime in France to give "distinct priority to economic objectives". Napoleon sought to advance his belief in free trade, cheap credit, and the need to develop infrastructure as ways of ensuring progress and prosperity through government policy. Napoleon, like Haussmann and Pesigny, believed that the budget deficits that the state incurred due to its high contributions would be offset by subsequent high profits. His regime has also been cited as one of the few in French history to make a concerted effort towards breaking down trade barriers.
            As it turned out, this time period was favorable for industrial expansion. The gold rush in California, and later Australia, increased the European money supply. In the early years of the Empire, the economy also benefited from the coming of age of those born during the baby boom of the Restoration period. The steady rise of prices caused by the increase of the money supply encouraged company promotion and investment of capital

V.4.2 In the Primary Sources
            The Nordisk Familjebok notes that there were ¡°the great world expositions of 1855 and 1867.¡±
            There is no information about industrial expansion in Meyers Konversationslexikon.
            There is no information about industrial expansion in the Catholic Encyclopedia.
            The Encyclopaedia Britannica positively points out that, ¡°the industrial and socialist movement, born of the new industrial development, added fresh strength to the Republican and Liberal opposition¡± in the late 1860s.

V.5 The Welfare of the Working Classes

V.5.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
            With his economic development he did not disavow what he called his ¡°love of the diligent and needy.¡± He ensured a lower price for bread, furthered the construction of hygienic dwellings for workers, and established boards of arbitration. In his societies of mutual assistance, employers and employees were to learn to understand each other. He hoped that his social-welfare institutions, to the endowment of which he frequently contributed, would be imitated by the citizens.
            The Britannica comments that the middle class, however, looked upon him only as its protector against Socialism and regarded his social ideas as mere utopianism. On the other hand, the Wikipedia places the industrialization of France in a more favorable light, commenting that, in general, the industrialization appealed to members of both the business interests and the working classes.

V.5.2 In the Primary Sources
            The Nordisk Familjebok only mentions the economic failures and the discontentment of the workers after the failed expedition to Mejico (Mexico) in the 1860s. It notes that ¡°to these general foreign policy concerns came great domestic difficulties.¡±
            There is no information about the welfare of the working classes in Meyers Konversationslexikon.
            There is no information about the welfare of the working classes in the Catholic Encyclopedia.
            The Encyclopaedia Britannica points out that Napoleon endeavored to show that "the idea of improving the lot of those who suffer and struggle against the difficulties of life was constantly present in his mind." The Britannica observes that he tried to achieve this ¡°by various measures, such as subsidies, charitable gifts and foundations.¡± The Britannica possibly praises Napoleon¡¯s economic achievement by reporting that ¡°his was the government of cheap bread, great public works and holidays. The imperial court was brilliant.¡±

VI. Foreign Policy from 1852 to 1870

VI.1 The Crimean War (1854-1856)

VI.1.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
            Napoleon's challenge to Russia's influence in the Ottoman Empire led to France's successful participation in the Crimean War (March 1854-March 1856). During this war Napoleon established a French alliance with Britain, which continued after the war's close. The defeat of Russia and the alliance with Britain gave France increased authority in Europe. This was the first war between European powers since the close of the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna, marking a breakdown of the alliance system that had maintained peace for nearly half a century. The Paris Peace Conference of 1856 represented a high-water mark for the regime in foreign affairs.

VI.1.2 In the Primary Sources
            The Nordisk Familjebok gives very minimal information about the Crimean War itself. However it does comment with a tone of maybe praise that Napoleon¡¯s participation in the war was a ¡°victorious participation¡± in which ¡°he emerged as one of the courageous and successful defenders of Europe's freedom against Russia's oppression and expansionist zeal.¡±
            In Meyers Konversationslexikon, the tone and word choice of the article suggests that the article overall views the Crimean War as glorious. Meyers¡¯ observation, such as ¡°the defeat of Russia freed Liberal Europe of the pressure which despotic Czar Nicholas had exercised,¡± ¡°England and Austria were France¡¯s allies,¡± and ¡°on the Paris Congress 1856 the emissaries of all powers were assembled around the Emperor,¡± indicates that Meyers evaluates that Napoleon was at the height of his power in this period.
            As mentioned previously, the Catholic Encyclopedia tends to provide information related only to the conflict between Italy and the Papal States. This section is no exception for the Catholic Encyclopedia discusses briefly about the progress of the Crimean War and soon moves on to emphasize the newly gained position of Piemonte through this war reporting that ¡°Piemont, thanks to its minister, had a part, both military and diplomatic; for the first time Piemont was treated as one of the Great Powers.¡±
            The Encyclopaedia Britannica also regards the victory in the Crimean war as giving Napoleon ¡°the opportunity of winning the glory which he desired¡± and evaluates that this period was the ¡°height of his power.¡±
            However, the Britannica, unlike the other encyclopedias, points out that ¡°he did not take the lead of the expedition in person, for fear of revolution¡± in his country and that ¡°he had the good fortune to win a diplomatic triumph over the new tsar, Alexander II¡± at the Paris Peace Conference. It could be suggested that the Britannica is trying to undermine Napoleon¡¯s military glory with these information.

VI.2 Franco-Austrian War (1859)

VI.2.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
            As President of the Republic, Napoleon sent French troops to help restore Pope Pius IX as ruler of the Papal States in 1849 after his rule had been overthrown by the revolutionaries led by Giuseppe Mazzini and Giuseppe Garibaldi who had proclaimed the Roman Republic. This won him support in France from Catholics
            Yet at the same time he had sent an emissary to negotiate with the revolutionary Italian nationalist Mazzini. Napoleon remained attached to the ideal of Italian nationalism which he had embraced in his youth, and wished particularly to end Austrian rule in Lombardy and Venice.
            In April-July 1859 Napoleon made a secret deal with Cavour, Prime Minister of Piemonte, for France to assist in expelling Austria from the Italian peninsula and bringing about a united Italy, or at least a united northern Italy, in exchange for Piemonte ceding to France Savoy and the Nice region. He went to war with Austria in 1859 and won a victory at Solferino, which resulted in the ceding of Lombardy to Piemonte by Austria (and in return received Savoy and Nice from Piemonte as promised in 1860). After this had been done, however, Napoleon decided to end French involvement in the war, frightened by the possibility of intervention by the German Confederation.
            This early withdrawal, however, failed to prevent central Italy, including most of the Papal states, being incorporated into the new Italian state. This led Catholics in France to turn against Napoleon. Napoleon tried to redress the damage by maintaining French troops in the city of Rome itself, which prevented the Italian government seizing it from the Pope, a policy which Napoleon's devoutly Catholic wife Eugenie fervently supported. However, Napoleon on the whole failed to win back Catholic support at home.

VI.2.2 In the Primary Sources
            The Nordisk Familjebok does not go into details about the Franco-Austrian War. Its only comment is that his ¡°energetic support¡± for Piemonte and his victories at Magenta and at Solferino ¡°closed in on his zenith of glory and power.¡± Perhaps because of this brief explanation the Nordisk fails to mention that the erosion of papal power as a consequence of the war caused him to lose the support of the Catholics, and that the early withdrawal from this war caused him to lose the support of the Italians.
            Meyers Konversationslexikon takes a possibly more doubtful point of view at whether Napoleon¡¯s victory in the Franco-Austrian War was truly a glorious success. For instance, Meyers mentions that although the ¡°entire world anxiously listened to his words ... the usurpatory origin of his rule caused him to strive for new successes.¡± Also Meyers mentions that in the end Napoleon not only lost the trust of the Pope but also of Italy for he had ¡°to resist the complete unification of Italy¡± in order to ¡°reconcile the clergy.¡±
            The Catholic Encyclopedia describes the Franco-Austrian War with a lot of detail including its cause, progress, and the consequences it elicited. It notes that ¡°the victories of the French troops at Magenta (4 June. 1859) and Solferino (24 June. 1859) coincided with insurrectionary movements against the papal authority.¡± The Catholic Encyclopedia explains that this was the cause why Napoleon signed the peace treaty alarmed that he would appear as ¡°an accomplice of these movements.¡± In the end the Catholic Encyclopedia points out Napoleon¡¯s dilemma in which ¡°neither the pope nor the Italians were pleased with the emperor¡± or with the conclusion of the war.
            The Encyclopaedia Britannica diagnoses that ¡°the Italian war aroused the opposition of the Catholics.¡± It comments that Napoleon¡¯s ¡°consent to annexation of the Central Italian states, in exchange of Savoy and Nice exposed him to violent attacks¡± on the part of the Catholics. It also points out that the free-trade treaty with Great Britain (January 5, 1860) also aroused a movement against Napoleon among the industrial bourgeoisie.
            The Britannica evaluates that ¡°from this time on, ... Placed between his Italian counselors and the empress, he was ever of two minds.¡± According to the Britannica, though Napoleon had ¡°a certain generosity and grandeur¡± in his plans for remodeling Europe, he was led to his ruin because of internal difficulties which forced him into ¡°endless maneuver and temporization¡± which is nothing but what he proved concerning the policy towards Italy in this period.

VI.3 French Intervention in Mexico (1862-1867)

VI.3.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
            Napoleon, using as a pretext the Mexican Republic's refusal to pay its foreign debts, planned to establish a French sphere of influence in North America by creating a French-backed monarchy in Mexico. The United States was unable to prevent this contravention of the Monroe Doctrine because of the American Civil War.
            With the support of Mexican conservatives and French troops, Napoleon installed Maximilian I of Mexico, a Habsburg prince, as emperor in 1863. The ruling President Benito Juarez and his Republican forces retreated to the countryside and fought against the French troops and the Mexican monarchists. The combined Mexican monarchist and French forces won victories up until 1865, but then the tide began to turn against them, in part because the American Civil War had ended. The U.S. government was now able to give practical support to the Republicans, supplying them with arms and establishing a naval blockade to prevent French reinforcements arriving from Europe.
            With the threat of an American military intervention, Napoleon withdrew French troops from Mexico in 1866, which left Maximilian and the Mexican monarchists doomed to defeat in 1867. Despite Napoleon's pleas that he abdicate and leave Mexico, Maximilian refused to abandon the Mexican conservatives who had supported him, and remained alongside them until the bitter end, when he was captured by the Republicans and then shot on 19 June 1867. The complete failure of the Mexican intervention was a humiliation for Napoleon, and he was widely blamed across Europe for Maximilian's death.

VI.3.2 In the Primary Sources
            The Nordisk Familjebok starts this section by openly describing the ¡°expedition to Mejico¡± as having been ¡°unjustified." A critical analysis of how this failure affected Napoleon and his regime is followed with phrases such as ¡°its unsuccessful outcome damaged his prestige greatly ... cost France great sacrifices in men and money, and hindered Napoleon from gaining power and focusing it on Prussia¡¯s policy of violence and conquest.¡± This last comment indirectly suggests at one of the reasons for Napoleon¡¯s terrible defeat by Prussia.
            Meyers Konversationslexikon chooses to describe the Mexican expedition as having been ¡°calamitous.¡± It notes that it was not the whole will of the Napoleon¡¯s to enter into the war. It comments that it was the ¡°frivolity and cynical greed¡± of the ¡°adventurers¡± with whom ¡°Napoleon had entered into the coup d¡¯etat¡± who gauzed him to engage in the calamitous Mexican expedition¡± in 1862.
            Meyers¡¯ possible criticism about the Mexican expedition continues as it comments that his ¡°nebulous French protection over the Latin race ... turned out as self-deceit.¡± Like the Nordisk, it does not fail to point out the loss elicited by the war noting that the ¡°direct costs for the army ... had cost immense sums in money, and had exhausted army supplies.¡±
            The Catholic Encyclopedia overall describes the Mexican War with disapproval as can be inferred from the tone and word choices. The phrase ¡°Napoleon very imprudently allowed himself to become involved¡± in the Mexican War hints at condemnation of Napoleon¡¯s decision. The article also diagnoses that the Mexican War was ¡°destined to end in the evacuation of Mexico by the French troops ... and the execution of Maximilian.¡± It also comments that the ¡°impression created by this disaster notably increased the strength of the opposition in France.¡±
            The Encyclopaedia Britannica comments very briefly that the establishment of a Catholic and Latin empire in Mexico was a ¡°great inspiration of his reign,¡± ¡°enthusiasm¡± for which he tried in vain from 1863 to 1867 to communicate to the French. The Britannica reports Napoleon¡¯s efforts to satisfy the Catholics, such as appointing 35 opponents of the government and dismissing Persigny and comments that he was still possessed with the idea of uniting all France ¡°under the mantel of imperial glory¡± which propelled him to intervene in Poland, Syria, and China as well as Mexico.

VI.4 Franco-Prussian War (1870)

VI.4.1 Summary of the Secondary Sources
            In 1866, Prussia had defeated Austria. In the peace negotiations, France served as mediator. Prussia's intention to unify the smaller German states under her lead (economically already a reality in the Zollverein) was resented by Napoleon III, who was only willing to accept a Northern German Confederation under Prussia's leadership, the Main river being the border.
            Napoleon wanted to gain Luxemburg for France (and Bismarck had originally been willing to make such a concession). Negotiations with the King of the Netherlands, for the purchase of the Grand Duchy, went underway, but the affair arose national emotions in Germany and Luxemburg (which was a member of the Zollverein) and Bismarck laid Prussian troops into the fortress of Luxemburg city (1867). France and Prussia (Germany) were heading for a conflict.
            When Queen Isabel II of Spain was deposed, the Spanish throne was vacant. There were two candidates, a Bourbon and a Hohenzollern. Napoleon III insisted that King Wilhelm II of Prussia, in the name of his relative, withdrew the candidacy - Wilhelm III complied. Then Napoleon insisted that King Wilhelm, as the head of the house of Hohenzollern, would renounce any claim on the Spanish throne for any Hohenzollern in the future - Wilhelm refused and sent Bismarck a copy of the French demand. Bismarck published an abridged version in the press, an embarrassment for the French government, to which it responded by declaring war. The smaller German states France claimed to be allied with (Bavaria, Württemberg, Baden) immediately declared war on France. German troops won easy victories; Napoleon III himself, with his army, was taken prisoner at Sedan. The Third Republic was proclaimed.

VI.4.2 In the Primary Sources
            The Nordisk Familjebok¡¯s description about the war against Prussia connotes general criticism as can be inferred from phrases such as ¡°he was misled by the Clerical Party and the Empress¡± to engage in the war. It also emphasizes that Napoleon began the ¡°terrible offensive war against Prussia¡± without even ¡°assuring himself of an ally, and without the army being ready for the task.¡± It comments that the war led ¡°to his own and France¡¯s ruin.¡±
            Similar to the Nordisk, Meyers Konversationslexikon also notes that ¡°Napoleon against his will permitted himself to be persuaded by his spouse, who was dominated by the Jesuits ... to go to war with Prussia.¡± (1)
            Meyers criticizes Napoleon¡¯s failure to find an honorable death instead of giving himself up as ¡°prisoner.¡± It also criticizes Napoleon¡¯s passive inability that he did not even ¡°dare to take on the responsibility for peace negotiations.¡±
            What is interesting is that the Catholic Encyclopedia refutes the charge that ¡°the empress and the Jesuits had desired the war and driven Napoleon into it.¡± It provides evidence by noting Bismarck¡¯s words that ¡°the dispatch relating the conversation between the King of Prussia and Napoleon was tampered with in such a way as to make war inevitable.¡± It also points out that a German historian Sybel has formally cleared the empress and the Jesuits of this accusation.
            Concerning the war it comments that Napoleon was unable to get the support of the Italian government because he had refused the control of the Italian government over Rome. By adding the anti-Catholic controversialists¡¯ comment that he would ¡°have had the Italian alliance in the War of 1870 if he had not persisted in his demand that the Pope should remain master of Rome,¡± the Catholic Encyclopedia observes Napoleon¡¯s dilemma between the contradicting interests of the Papal States and Italy.
            The Encyclopaedia Britannica diagnoses that ¡°the war was from the first doomed to disaster.¡± It comments that the disastrous result of this war might perhaps have been averted ¡°if France had had any allies.¡± Without mentioning the detailed political process which led to the war, the Britannica analyses that Napoleon had been pursuing an elusive appearance of glory since 1866 and adds some detailed personal descriptions that Napoleon suffered from the successive attacks of stone in the bladder, became hesitant and timid with age, and even wept into the arms of Princess Mathilde when the war was decided upon him.

VII. Comparison between articles on ¡°History of France¡± and on Napoleon III.

VII.1 Meyers Konversationslexikon
            Germans in this period must have viewed Napoleon III as the last obstacle to what generations of Germans since the time of Napoleon I had been dreaming of: the creation of a unified Germany. Therefore Meyers may have been guided by this national view when writing Napoleon III¡¯s encyclopedic biography. Of course, this national view may have affected the narration on ¡°The Second Republic and Second Empire¡± as well. However it is notable that the narrative on ¡°The Second Republic and Second Empire¡± attempts to avoid any evaluation on Napoleon¡¯s actions, while the biographic encyclopedia tends to point out the reasons for these failures, such as Napoleon¡¯s political misjudgment, and lack of capability.
            When compared with Meyers¡¯ narrative of ¡°The Second Republic and Second Empire,¡± the biographic entry of Napoleon III excessively uses negative and emotional words in describing Napoleon III. This difference in the use of negative words can be most obviously seen in the description about Napoleon III¡¯s successive failures; the failure of the Mexican Expedition and the failure to acquire Luxemburg. The biography harshly criticizes that these failures quickly ¡°reduced Napoleon III¡¯s reputation¡± and that they even caused ¡°irony and ridicule.¡± However, Meyers¡¯ narrative of ¡°The Second Republic and Second Empire¡± maintains its objectivity commenting simply that Napoleon III had to ¡°evacuate Mexico¡± and that ¡°the attempt to acquire Luxemburg by purchase failed.¡±
            Another important difference is that the narrative on ¡°The Second Republic and Second Empire¡± provides us with some key information about Napoleon III¡¯s rule which the biographic entry failed to mention. For instance, the biographic entry on Napoleon III doesn¡¯t mention any of the economic achievements of Napoleon III while the narrative on ¡°The Second Republic and Second Empire¡± notes that Napoleon devoted great care to economic matters and that ¡°industry and business flourished¡± under his rule. From this we can see that perhaps Meyers¡¯ biographic entry on Napoleon III concentrates too much on criticizing Napoleon¡¯s policies so that it ignores the positive accomplishments of the empire.

VII.2 Catholic Encyclopedia 1911
            The contrast between the biographic entry of Napoleon III and the history of the Second Empire in the article ¡°France, History to the Third Republic¡± is very obvious. The biographic entry is an article which may have been written obviously in relation with a particular religion so that it tends to only focus on events related to the Catholic Church. On the other hand, the history of the Second Empire maintains an admirable objective point of view and shows no bias or commentary whatsoever, perhaps partly because of the short length.
            It is notable that although the encyclopedic biography fails to mention the domestic policies of the Empire, the article about the history of the Second Empire acknowledges that the affirmation of universal suffrage in the coup d¡¯?tat secured the victory of French democracy. Also about the conflict between the Papal States and Italy which the biographic entry paid a lot of attention to, the article on the history of the Second Empire only shortly reports that ¡°during the nineteenth century France was destined to undertake several wars for the emancipation of nationalities¡± one of them being the Italian War.

VII.3 Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911
            Compared with the Britannica¡¯s encyclopedic biography on Napoleon III, the description of the Second Empire in the article ¡°France: History¡± contains elaborate details about the economic achievement of Napoleon III and also the political background leading up to the Franco-Prussian War. It is also worth noting that this article on the history of France mentions the relationship of England with France during the period of the Second Empire, which many of the other primary sources have overlooked. The article states that the sympathy of all Europe was with Italy around the period of the Franco-Austrian war and that ¡°England applauded it (the war) from the first.¡± In addition, the article¡¯s unusual interest in Napoleon III¡¯s economic achievement can perhaps be explained by the fact that many of these innovations and improvements were copied from England who had already established an early form of an industrial society. Thus we can observe that the national views of England slightly affected the narration of the history of the Second Empire.

VIII. Critical Analysis of the Primary Sources

VIII.1 Nordisk Familjebok
            Overall it seems that the Nordisk focuses on evaluating Napoleon III¡¯s achievements in relation to Napoleon¡¯s individual qualities rather than their relationship with the domestic and foreign affairs of France in that period. This way of evaluating Napoleon III¡¯s personal qualities most obviously appears in the Nordisk¡¯s evaluation of the coup d¡¯etat. Coup d¡¯etat¡¯s are conventionally described negatively because of the fact that military forces are used to overthrow the established authority for the purpose of gaining political power. However, the Nordisk chooses words with positive connotations such as ¡°long-prepared¡± and ¡°well-planned¡± to describe the coup. This means that the Nordisk judges the events based on Napoleon¡¯s individual effort and preparation towards the events, rather than on its political implications and significance.
            Unfortunately, this style of narration causes the Nordisk to miss out on a lot of key explanation about the political background of the coup, and also a lot of significant information concerning Napoleon¡¯s foreign policies and his last years. For example, the Nordisk fails to mention the conflict with the National Assembly prior to the coup d¡¯etat despite its elaborate compliments on Napoleons ¡°careful preparations¡± towards the coup. Also in the case of the Franco-Austrian War, the Nordisk does not mention the important fact that although Napoleon was victorious, he lost the support of both the Italians and the Catholics because of this war. Thus the Nordisk lacks some crucial political background in its description about Napoleon¡¯s political achievements, with which the Nordisk would have helped the readers understand the big picture.
            Despite this lack of political background information, the Nordisk is considered the most objective encyclopedia among the primary sources. This may be partly because the Nordisk mainly focuses on the personal aspects of Napoleon III with little reference to political significance. However, the main reason for this objectivity is that the Nordisk is almost unaffected by any national views of Sweden on Napoleon III and the Second Empire. Sweden had no significant political or religious relationship with France let alone major conflicts concerning these matters during the reign of Napoleon III. Consequently, Nordisk¡¯s narratives remain considerably neutral compared with Meyers which has underlying implications of Napoleon being an obstacle in the unification of Germany or the Catholic Encyclopedia which views Napoleon as one of the reasons for the Papal States losing control over Rome.

VIII.2 Meyers Konversationslexikon
            Meyers tends to more harshly criticize Napoleon than other primary sources. This is most explicitly shown in the vocabulary Meyers uses. For instance, the word ¡°ridicule,¡± which has strong negative connotations, is used three times to each describe Napoleon¡¯s failed attempts to return to France, the failure of the Mexican expedition, and Napoleon¡¯s fall. Besides the diction, Meyers shows disapproval in the judgment of Napoleon¡¯s foreign policies. Apart from the Mexican expedition and the Franco-Prussian war, Meyers goes further and criticizes events which the other encyclopedias place in a favorable light. Although many of the other primary sources view the Liberal as Napoleon¡¯s last political success, Meyers disagrees and comments that the ¡®no¡¯ votes were relatively high and that ¡°the concessions had come too late to save the dynasty.¡± Also in the Franco-Austrian Meyers stresses Napoleon¡¯s difficult reality that Napoleon lost the support of both the Italians and the Catholics, even when he had still won a war.
            A modern history book comments that ¡°in the economic history of France, the Second Empire is regarded as a decisive period, an age of brilliant prosperity and rapid expansion, marked by the rise of capitalism and culminating in the ¡®birth of modern France.¡¯¡± VIII.3 Catholic Encyclopedia 1911
            The narrations about Napoleon¡¯s domestic and foreign policies in the Catholic Encyclopedia are all exceedingly focused on their relation to the conflict concerning the unification of Italy and the struggle over Rome. For example, the Catholic Encyclopedia emphasizes the role of Piemonte in the Crimean War, noting that Piemonte was able to appear as one of the strong states through this war, a fact that the rest of the encyclopedias didn¡¯t note. Also the Franco-Austrian War is elaborately described in the Catholic Encyclopedia, perhaps because France¡¯s dilemma between the two contradicting interests of the Papal States and Italy became explicitly exposed in this war. More importantly, the Catholic Encyclopedia is the only primary source to refute the claim that the empress and the Jesuits misled him to declare the Franco-Prussian War. Its refutation proves that religious concerns have possibly intervened in the narration of the Catholic Encyclopedia.
            Because of this unbalanced focus on the conflict between the Papal States and Italy, the Catholic Encyclopedia fails in providing sufficient information about Napoleon¡¯s early life and his preparation and attempts leading to the coup d¡¯etat in 1848. For example, the Catholic Encyclopedia does not go into detail concerning the two coup attempts before Napoleon¡¯s election, and also it does not mention the conflict with the National Assembly before the coup. Even when it concludes the narration, the Catholic Encyclopedia mentions mainly his personal characteristics, such as ¡°tender hearted¡± and ¡°kindness,¡± to indicate his religious virtues. Also the Catholic Encyclopedia¡¯s last comment that Napoleon was ¡°faithful to his Easter duties¡± plainly shows that this encyclopedia was written in relation to a particular religion.
            Overall the Catholic Encyclopedia seems to be criticizing Napoleon¡¯s impossible attempt to satisfy both the interests of the clergies and nationalists. The Catholic Encyclopedia points out that this ¡°double aim¡± was consequently the main reason for the fall of Napoleon and his government. However, it is possible that the Catholic Encyclopedia is drawing more attention than is needed to Napoleon¡¯s inconsistent foreign policies for the purpose of criticizing Napoleon III. Even though Napoleon got elected thanks to the Catholic votes in 1851, Napoleon III fought side by side with the national government of Italy. Also, Napoleon III¡¯s removal of the troops from Rome contributed towards the Papal States losing the control over Rome on 20th September, 1870. Thus the Catholic Encyclopedia may have emphasized this inconsistent religious policy of the Empire for the purpose of condemning it, and also to slyly suggest that the Empire might have survived with the help of the Papal Sates if it had not sided with the Italian nationalists.

VIII.4 Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911
            How England¡¯s attitude towards Napoleon III changed over time can be easily discovered in this article. England mostly sympathized with France during the first decade of Napoleon III¡¯s rule. France was a useful ally for England in the Crimean War and it can be seen that the Britannica compliments this war as being the ¡°height of his power.¡± However, in the 1860s France pursued a more adventurous foreign policy. This may have irritated and slightly threatened England whose attitude turned considerably hostile against France. Interestingly, we can see that England¡¯s change of attitude towards France influenced the narration of the Britannica. For example, the Britannica severely criticizes the Franco-Prussian War by commenting that it was doomed from the start. Moreover, it disparagingly portrays Napoleon III as becoming more timid and hesitant with age, mentioning that he even wept into the arms of Princess Mathilde when the war was decided upon him.
            The Encyclopaedia Britannica provides us with by far the most detailed account of Napoleon¡¯s life and his accomplishments out of the primary sources. The Britannica includes all of the aspects of a conventional biography with its description of the birth and education of Napoleon, his personal relations and the relation between his public achievements and his personal character. Concerning Napoleon¡¯s character, it can be seen that the Encyclopaedia Britannica repeatedly emphasizes the fact that Napoleon was ¡°dreamy.¡± We can observe this word ¡°dreamy¡± explicitly used three times, even without counting the Britannica¡¯s indication to Napoleon¡¯s dreamy personality. However, the connotation behind describing Napoleon as a dreamer is not necessarily negative for the Britannica mentions that it was this dreamy aspect of his personality that enabled him to obstinately pursue his way to the throne and also succeed in accomplishing many of his policies
            Compared to the 1911 version of the Britannica, many changes had been made to the entry of Napoleon III in the 2009 version. The 1911 version of the Britannica has decisively more information about Napoleon III¡¯s rule. However, this information in the 1911 version only concentrates on the political aspects of the Empire, and misses out in providing information about Napoleon¡¯s economic and social accomplishments which the 2009 version has added. On the other hand, the 2009 version refrains from providing any opinion or commentary about Napoleon¡¯s actions or policies, perhaps to ensure the objectivity of the encyclopedia. Although we could criticize that the evaluations of Napoleon III provided in the 1911 version of the Britannica makes it lose its objectivity, these comments are what are left for modern readers to get the picture of its national view of history.

IX, Conclusion
            Despite the common assumption that encyclopedias and historical texts are objective, we have discovered through this research that history like any other written works are affected by the biases and especially the national views of the historians. The four encyclopedias which we have analyzed, although they might vary in the degrees to which they are biased or provide opinions, all provide evaluations about Napoleon whether it is about his political, religious, or personal aspects.
            Especially Meyers tends to be the most biased among the primary sources because as mentioned before, Germans at that time viewed Napoleon III as the last obstacle against the unification of Germany. Also, the Catholic Encyclopedia and the Britannica are biased in their separate ways in a sense that they focus on issues related to their own interests. The Nordisk written by the Swedish is the most balanced out of the primary sources, due to the fact that Sweden had no major political or religious relationships or conflicts with France under Napoleon III¡¯s rule.
            People who value objectivity the most in history may criticize these primary articles which are biased and provided with opinions. However, thanks to these comments in the primary sources we can efficiently trace the character development of Napoleon represented in their individual ways. As modern encyclopedias tend to focus too much on arraying historical facts rather than giving commentary, they may not help readers in figuring out Napoleon¡¯s personal characteristics and their relations with his public, especially, foreign achievements.
            Through critically analyzing each of the sources and identifying its national view, we are led to gain a more neutral view of Napoleon III. Napoleon III and his rule can be best described with their contradictory elements. First, Napoleon III forever had to please the Papal States as well as Italy; a balance which was impossible to maintain. Second, Napoleon III started with dictatorship which he progressively liberalized and finally ended with a paradoxical term, the ¡°Liberal Empire.¡± Although it is said that this term reveals his secret wish to liberalize the empire in order to assure the Empire¡¯s existence even after his death, this term also points out the harsh reality in which Napoleon III had to compromise with the growing power of the opposition. Overall Napoleon III may have been passive and indecisive but it can be concluded that he demonstrated over a long period ¡°a remarkable capacity to adapt to circumstance and an undoubted skill at maneuvering.¡± (3)


Notes
           
(1)      Meyers doesn't use the term "Franco-Prussian" war but uses the term "Franco-German" war, or it states that Napoleon went "to war with Prussia."
(2)      Plessis 1979, p.58.
(3)      Plessis 1979, p.57.



Bibliography Note: Sites listed here were visited in September-December 2009

Primary Sources
1.      Nordisk Familjebok 1876~1899, Article: Napoleon III. (1887), translation from WHKMLA, http://www.zum.de/whkmla/biographies/france/napoleon3enc19.html#nfb1876 Original article in Swedish, posted by Project Runeberg http://runeberg.org/nfak/0407.html
2.      Meyers Konversationslexikon 1885-1892, Article: Napoleon III., translation from WHKMLA, http://www.zum.de/whkmla/biographies/france/napoleon3enc19.html#me1885 Original article in German, posted by Retro Bibliothek http://www.retrobibliothek.de/retrobib/seite.html?id=111731
3.      Catholic Encyclopedia 1911, Article: Napoleon III. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/10699a.htm
4.      Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911, Article: Napoleon III., posted by Classic Encyclopedia, http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Napoleon_III
5.      Meyers Konversationslexikon 1902-1909, Article: The Second Republic and the Second Empire (1848-1870), translation from WHKMLA http://www.zum.de/whkmla/region/france/fr18151914enc19.html#me1902b Original article in German, posted by Zeno http://www.zeno.org/Meyers-1905/A/Frankreich
6.      Catholic Encyclopedia 1911, Article: France, History to the Third Republic http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06166a.htm
7.      Encyclopaedia Britannica 1911, Article: France: History, posted by Classic Encyclopedia http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/France:_History_%282%29

Secondary Sources (Biographic)
8.      Britannica Online Encyclopedia 2009, Article: Napoleon III. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/403129/Napoleon-III
9.      Wikipedia, Article: Napoleon III http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleon_III_of_France

Secondary Sources (non-biographic)
10.      Plessis, Alain. De la fete imperiale au mur des f?deres 1852-1871. Editions du Seuil. 1979; English edition trsl. By Mandelbaum, Jonathan. The Rise and Fall of the Second Empire. Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l¡¯Homme and Cambridge University Press. 1985.
11.      World History at KMLA : History of France, Foreign Policy 1848-1870 http://www.zum.de/whkmla/region/france/france18481870for.html
12.      History of the Two Empires, from Napoleon Series www.napoleon.org/en/essential_napoleon/dates/index.asp

List of Books related to Napoleon III not cited in this Paper
Biographic
13.      Baguley, David. Napoleon III and His Regime. Louisiana State University Press. 2000.
14.      Bierman, John. Napoleon III and His Carnival Empire. Cardinal. 1990.
15.      Bresler, Fenton. Napoleon III: A Life. Carroll & Graf Publishers. 1999.
16.      McMillan, James F. Napoleon III (Profiles in Power). Longman Publishing Group. 1991.
17.      Price, Roger. Napoleon III and the French Second Empire. Routledge. 1997
18.      Thompson, James Matthew. Louis Napoleon and the Second Empire. Columbia University Press. 1983.

Non-Biographic
19.      Furet, François. La Revolution. Hachette. 1988; English edition trsl. By Nevill, Antonia. Revolutionary France, 1770-1880. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 1992.
20.      Haine, W. Scott. The History of France. Greenwood Press. 2000.
21.      Mokhtefi, Elaine. Paris: an Illustrated History. Hippocrene Books, Inc. 2002.
22.      Price, Roger. A Concise History of France. Cambridge University Press. 1993.
23.      Price, Roger, The French Second Empire: An Anatomy of Political Power. Cambridge University Press. 2001.


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