Well, Napoleon I was not the only one with the name Napoleon.
Louis Bonaparte, Napoleon I’s cousin, stood on the political stage after the Revolution de Fevrier. People underestimated the name ‘Napoleon’ to the French citizens, for the lower-class and conservatives, Louis Napoleon had not only the name of Napoleon, but also brilliant political skills.
The fanatic mood citizens had for the name Napoleon may well explain the reason why Louis Napoleon could still get support even when he brutally suppressed the proletariats. As the off-spring of Napoleon’s family, French people wanted him to let them become strong again, even if he did something that was not democratic.
With people’s support, Napoleon won the first France president election with the advantage of 7:1 over Cavaignac. After that, even he dissolved the assembly, even he adjusted the constitution to spread his power, most French people still supported him. One year later, when he became the emperor of a democratic country, people supported his action, yelling his name.
Yes, yelling the name Napoleon.
Napoleon III was an opportunist, his success on politics, most of them depended to his name Napoleon. Without his name Napoleon, he would never stand in front, he would never have capital, he would never become Napoleon III, he would just sink in the flood of Revolution.
Napoleon III existed at a right time, a time that French people were recalling their hero, Napoleon I. As an opportunist, Napoleon III made a right decision; with his glib political skill, he successfully gained the support from the citizens. By using the citizens’ mood and his relationship with Napoleon, Napoleon became the president and later the emperor.
Napoleon’s success was also due to the unprecedented chaos in France, during the time when Louis XVIII and Charles X were in charge, the French citizens had a common enemy: monachism, which means even an enlightened emperor would not be welcomed by the people who believed in freedom and democratic. But after the Revolution in 1830, French people found that the second republic could still not keep the nation in peace. As a capitalism regime, the second republic suppressed the revolts from the proletariats. Meanwhile the bourgeois inside Paris’s parliament could not represent most peasants in France. That was the prefect time for the opportunistic careerist Louis Bonaparte to stand in front, and by using the name Napoleon to start a coup for the empire.