Second Empire in France; rule of Napoleon III

(1517 words)

Historical Context Essay


Louis Bonaparte became Emperor Napoleon III when he took control of France by a coup d'état in December 1851, after which he ruled the country as a dictator until 4 September 1870. Marx famously described him in his preface to the second edition of The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon (1869) as a “grotesque mediocrity” whom the accidents of class struggle enabled to “play a hero's part”. Marx's Eighteenth Brumaire opens with the often repeated sentences, “Hegel remarks somewhere that all facts and personages of great importance in world history occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” Marx's essay, written as journalistic response to …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Citation:
Clark, Robert. "Second Empire in France; rule of Napoleon III". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 March 2008
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=4936, accessed 29 August 2015.]