Full Name: Charles-Louis Napoléon Bonaparte
Profession: Emperor of France
Why Famous: First as President of France (1848–1852), then as Emperor of the French (1852–1870), Napoleon III was the last French monarch. After his election in 1848, he seized power in 1851; and then proclaimed himself emperor—thus founding the Second Empire. His reign lasted until the Battle of Sedan (1870), at which he was defeated by the Prussian alliance and captured.
Domestically, Napoleon III is known for having modernised the French economy and reconstructed Paris on a grand scale. Even today his influence is felt in the elaborate parks and gardens that still populate Paris.
All in all, his reign is credited with bringing France to a point of self-sufficiency and strength; albeit also creating many enemies in the process, as he sought to reassert France's place in the world.
- 1853-01-30 Emperor and French President Napoleon III marries Eugenie de Montijo, Countess of Teba
- 1858-01-14 French Emperor Napoleon III escapes attempt on his life by Felice Orsini, an Italian patriot who was later executed
- 1858-07-20 Gathering of Plombieres - Napoleon III meets Cavour
- 1859-06-04 Second Italian War of Independence: Battle of Magenta, results in a French-Sardinian victory under Napoleon III over the Austrians under Marshal Ferencz Gyulai
- 1859-06-24 Battle of Solferino, Northern Italy: a French Army under Napoleon III and a Sardinian Army under Victor Emmanuel II overcomes the Austrian Army under Emperor Franz Joseph I
- 1867-04-23 Queen Victoria & Napoleon III turn down plans for a channel tunnel
- 1870-07-23 Emperor Napoleon III appoints Empress Eugenie as Regent of France
- 1870-09-01 Napoleon III captured at Sedan
- 1870-09-02 Napoleon III surrenders to Prussian armies at the Battle of Sedan
- 1870-09-04 The Third French Republic proclaimed as French overthrow Emperor Napoleon III (who ironically was the elected president of the Second French Republic) after his defeat by Prussia at Sedan