The Effectiveness Of Napoleon Iii's Foreign Policy

1526 words - 6 pages

The Effectiveness of Napoleon III's Foreign Policy

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. Austria was interested in the war but
she was reluctant to risk opposing Russia unless she received military
guarantees from France and Britain. Thus, Austria became neutrality
antagonized all the belligerents with the result that until 1879
Austria was without friends among the great powers. However, France
was lost the friendship of Austria in isolating her. Moreover, he was
succeeded in diminishing Russian influence in Near East, Turkey and
Europe. However, at the same time, he lost the friendship of Russia.
Furthermore, he could maintain a good relationship with Britain too.
On the other hand, his foreign policy upset the balance of power in
Europe. He also helped Rumania to become independent. To conclude, his
foreign policy was quite effective in maintaining his aims.

His foreign policy was shown ineffective in the Italian Campaign. His
aim was still to increase prestige of France. In 1859, Napoleon went
to the war with Austria in supporting the efforts of the Italian
Kingdom of Sardinia to drive Austria out of Italy. According to Norman
Rich, "The situation in Italy offered him a dramatic opportunity to
place himself at the head of the European nationalist movement." This
shows us that he wanted to increase the prestige of France. However,
he has miscalculated the situation. His armies failed to score a quick
victory over the Austrians and in the Italian nationalist movement he
found he has unable to control. Fearing that Prussia and other German
states might come to aid of Austria and alarming that Italian unity
could become harmful to France if she became too powerful, he made
peace with Austria without consulting his Italian allies. He left...

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