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Assess the effectiveness of Napoleon III's foreign policy. How did his foreign policy affect the political development of France up to 1871?

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Introduction

Assess the effectiveness of Napoleon III's foreign policy. How did his foreign policy affect the political development of France up to 1871? In general terms, Napoleon's foreign policy was much less successful than his domestic policy was. Generally speaking, the aims of his foreign policy were to present France as the champion of oppressed people throughout Europe, to create new countries, which would be grateful to France, to maintain good relation with Britain and to maintain a balance of power between Austria and Prussia. Napoleon's foreign policy was shown effective in the Crimean War 1854-56. His aims were to increase French prestige, to isolate Austria, to diminish Russian influence and to maintain good relation with Britain. In the Crimean War, France was successful in achieving these aims. According to Norman Rich, " France was the state that seemed to have gained most from the war." This quotation shows us that his foreign policy was able to achieve his aims. French armies had won the most impressive victories in the Final attacks on Sevastopol and France had supplanted Russia as the dominant power in Europe, which helped France to increase her prestige. Besides, he was succeeded in isolating Austria in the war. ...read more.

Middle

He still wanted to increase French prestige, however, he was failed. His encouragement of the Polish rebellion again Russia in 1863 gave rise to cruelly false hopes among Polish patriots, to whom he was unable to give effective aid according to Norman Rich. Such kind of action was failed to increase French prestige and led to further increasing hostile between France and Russia. From the above we can be seen, his foreign policy was proved ineffective again in the Polish Revolt. His foreign policy in the Mexican Campaign was also proved ineffective. His aims were to gain prestige of France and to create new countries, which would be grateful to France. Napoleon wanted to gain prestige by having greater influence in Mexico. Taking advantage of the fact the Civil War left the United States unable to interfere in Mexico, he sent an army to establish a king there. However, he had failed. He lost the friendship of USA at the same time since he violated the Monore Dotrine to interfere in Mexico. He also lost the influence in Mexico as he was worried about the increasing power of Prussia on his eastern border and therefore agreed to withdraw his troops from Mexico. ...read more.

Conclusion

Firstly, his foreign policy led to the zenith of Napoleon. His achievement in foreign policy was all successful and great up to 1860. This year, 1860, was proved the highest point of his attainment in foreign policy and led to the zenith of Napoleon. Secondly, his foreign policy also led to the decline of the Second Empire. His repeated failure in the foreign policies made France became weak and faced the financial difficulties. Besides, he was no longer supreme due to his repeated failure in his foreign policy. As a result, the Second Empire became decline. Besides, his foreign policy led to the establishment of Liberal Empire. Many problems were created as a result o the government's isolation from the country and its weakness. There was increasing critism of the Second Empire such as conflicts between a policy of support for liberal cause abroad and dictatorship at home, failures in foreign policies and free trade with Britain. Opposition thus created. In order to minimize opposition and to get the support of liberals, a compromise was reached. In January 1870, the Liberal Empire was established. From the above we can be seen, Napoleon III's foreign policy was quite effective in the period of Crimean War. However, his foreign was became failure after the year 1860. It was not only affected the political development of France up to 1871, but also affected the development in the future. ...read more.

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