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Title: Caricatural representations of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, 1848-1871
Author: Rhoden, W. Jack
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 3433
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis is concerned with French caricatural representations of Louis- Napoleon Bonaparte in the period from his appearance on the political scene during the nascent Second Republic to the summer following the end of the Franco-Prussian War and Paris Commune. The study of these images reveals his centrality to contemporary republican thought. From 1848 to 1871, Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte was constructed in the Parisian caricature press as the embodiment of all that was anti-republican. Under the Second Republic and Empire the caricature press was recognisably and overwhelmingly republican and yet the very conception of republicanism espoused in its pages was inseparable from opposition to the Napoleon Ill. The delineation of republicanism and its differentiation from other political associations throughout this period can be shown to have relied upon caricatural constructions of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte. Indeed, it is in the efforts made by Parisian caricaturists to publicly ridicule, humiliate and undermine Napoleon III (even during the actively censorious Empire), that the attempt to plot and construct the idea of republicanism in mid-nineteenth- century France can be clearly witnessed and analysed. These caricatural representations do not simply demonstrate the differences between republican ideology and Louis-Napoleon's Bonapartism, although this was one of their key aims. They reveal the effect his person, his policies and his rule had on the development of what would come to be regarded as fundamental republican principles. His political positioning as heir to Napoleonic gloire, advocate of economic progress, preserver of order and champion of liberty forced responses from the self-styled republican caricaturists. Most fundamentally of all, his commitment to and successful management of the principal of universal male suffrage during Second Empire had a lasting influence upon republican conceptions of democracy, progress and modernity. Even after the debacle of Sedan, the thousands of images mocking the former Emperor and his imperial menagerie betray his impact upon French republican conceptions of politics, history and the nation itself.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available