1851 French coup d'état

coup d'état

The Coup d'état of 2 December 1851 was a self-coup staged by Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (later Napoleon III), at the time President of France under the Second Republic. Code-named Operation Rubicon and timed to coincide with the anniversary of Napoleon I's coronation and victory at Austerlitz, the coup dissolved the National Assembly, granted dictatorial powers to the president and preceded the establishment of the Second French Empire the next year. Faced with the prospect of having to leave office in 1852, Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (nephew of Napoléon Bonaparte) staged the coup in order to stay in power and implement his reform programs; these included the restoration of universal male suffrage previously abolished by the legislature. The continuation of his authority and the power to produce a new constitution were approved days later by a constitutional referendum, resulting in the Constitution of 1852, which greatly increased the powers and the term length of the president. A year after the coup, Bonaparte proclaimed himself "Emperor of the French" under the regnal name Napoleon III.
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