Portrait of Napoleon III (1808-1873), Emperor of the French (1852-1870), President of France (Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte) from 1848 to 1852
Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (born Charles-Louis Napoléon Bonaparte; 20 April 1808 – 9 January 1873) was the nephew and heir of Napoleon I. He was the first Head of State of France to hold the title of President, the first elected by a direct popular vote. Barred by the Constitution and Parliament from running for a second term, he organized a coup d'état in 1851 and then took the throne as Napoleon III on 2 December 1852, the forty-eighth anniversary of his uncle's coronation. He remains the longest-serving French head of state since the French Revolution. His downfall was brought about by the Franco-Prussian war in which France was quickly and decisively defeated by the North German Confederation, led by Prussia.
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