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Napoleon III

Napoleon III (Louis Napoleon Bonaparte; 1808–73), emperor of the French (1852–70); son of Louis Bonaparte (king of Holland), nephew of Napoleon I. He attempted several coups against King Louis Philippe, was jailed, but escaped to England (1846). After the 1848 revolution, he was elected president of France. He then dissolved the legislature and made himself emperor (1852). His regime promoted domestic prosperity, but by the 1860s opposition had grown. Among his military efforts were the Crimean War (1854–56), in which France was a victor, and an intervention in Mexico (1861–67), in which he failed to maintain Maximilian as emperor of Mexico. In 1870 his ill-judged war with Prussia ended in defeat, capture, and the collapse of his empire; he died in exile in England.

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