The French Second Empire: An Anatomy of Political Power

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This thoroughly researched book on the Second Empire examines how Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte was able to secure election as President of the Republic and subsequently to launch a coup d'état to establish a Second Empire. It considers the ways in which power was exercised by the new empire and how Napoleon III engaged in a difficult process of transition towards more liberal policies only to experience catastrophic defeat and the destruction of the regime because of war against Prussia.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a compelling historical analysis of the French Second Empire that is a useful tool to military and government planners today. ...well worth reading." Military Review

"[A] brilliant, comprehensive, and well-researched examination of Napoleon III and the Second Empire...One of the best works on the French Second Empire and an erudite addition to the Cambridge 'New Studies in European History' series." Choice

"Second Empire is a crucial addition to our understanding of this complex institution, and will likely remain an indispensable starting point for Second Empire scholarship." The Journal of Military History

"a major achievement...It will surely—and deservedly—be regarded as the standard work on the "anatomy" of a political system now receiving its due attention." H-FRANCE

"This book should prove to be invaluable to serious students and scholars of the French Second Empire for many years to come." History

"The many strands of analysis are woven into a coherent argument about the dynamics of liberalization." Journal of Interdisciplinary History

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Roger Price taught at the University of East Anglia, 1968–1993, eventually becoming Professor of European History. In 1993 he moved to Aberystwyth as Professor of History. His many other books include The French Second Republic: A Social History (1972), Revolution and Reaction: 1848 and the French Second Republic (1975), The Modernisation of Rural France: Communication Networks and Agricultural Market Structures in Nineteenth-Century France (1983), A Social History of Nineteenth-Century France (1987), The Revolutions of 1848 (1988) and A Concise History of France (1993).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction; Part I. The Rise of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte: 1. President of the Republic; Part II. State and Society: 2. Napoleon III and the Bonapartist state; 3. The system of government; 4. The management of elections; 5. Preserving public order; 6. Constructing moral order; 7. Creating the conditions for prosperity; Conclusion to part II; Part III. The Rise of Opposition: 8. The context for opposition; 9. The forms of opposition (1) legitimism; 10. The forms of opposition (2) liberalism; 11. The forms of opposition (3) republicans in the aftermath of the coup d'état; 12. The forms of opposition (4) the republican revival; Conclusion to part III; Part IV. War and Revolution: 13. War and revolution; General conclusion; Select bibliography; Index.

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