Review by Choice Review
In his brilliant, comprehensive, and well-researched examination of Napoleon III and the Second Empire, Price analyzes the political leadership of Napoleon III from his advent to power resulting from the 1848 Revolution to the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, which catastrophically ended the Second Empire. Studious insight is focused on the state political and social systems after 1848, especially those related to ministerial personnel, the Corps Legislatif, and administration. The enforcement of state authority was also implemented through electoral management, preservation of public order (policing), creation of moral order (censorship and educational instruction), and provision of societal prosperity (railway construction and Paris urban renewal influenced by the British and Haussmann). But political conflicts led to a shift from an authoritarian to a liberal government, resulting in oppositional forces: legitimists who wished to restore monarchial rule; liberals led by Thiers, who wished to preserve the 1789 principles; and the republicans. This resistance, reinforced by the shortcomings of Napoleon III's leadership in his later years and the consequential Franco-Prussian War, led to his demise as well as his Empire's. One of the best works on the French Second Empire and an erudite addition to the Cambridge "New Studies in European History" seruies. Graduate students and faculty. C. A. Gliozzo Michigan State University
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