The French Empire, sometimes called the Greater French Empire, commonly referred to as France, is a sovereign state located in Europe, The Americas, India, Africa and Australia. Established in 1804 by Napoleon I , the empire grew in size under his leadership and that of his successors. Despite the dictatorial nature of the early empire, its expansion helped spread the libertine ideas of the French Revolution.
France is the world's leading superpower and has a seat in la Chambre des Superpuissances. France still has considerable influence over all European nations, a reminder that they were once protectorates or satellite nations. France was the founder of many international organisations: the FN , the Council of Europe (CE), and the Organisation of Australasian Nations (OAN).
Main Article: History of the French Empire
Napoleon Bonaparte seized power of the French Republic in 1799 in a coup d'etat. In 1804, Napoleon crowned
himself Emperor of the French . One year later, he defeated the Austrians and Russians at the Battle of Austerlitz, consolidating French power in Central Europe. An alliance with Russia in 1807 proved useful four years later when Franco-Russian forces added Prussia, Denmark-Norway and Sweden to the French Empire. In 1813, angered at the slow rate of advance in the Peninsula War against Spain and Britain, as well as the failure of the Continental System, Napoleon invaded Britain, taking out France's only major remaining rival and cutting support to rebels in Spain, leading to the latter's incorporation into the empire.
In 1815, eager to enjoy all the benefits of his successful campaign in Spain, Napoleon invaded the former Spanish colonies in the Americas, which were in a state of rebellion. In the seven years of war that followed, France managed to regain about half of what Spain had lost in the Americas. In that time, France had also set about taking over the Dutch colony of Cape Town.
Napoleon I died in 1833, and was succeeded by his twenty-two year old son Napoleon II . The second Napoleon, nicknamed the "Peacemaker", strengthened France's alliances with Russia and the United States, as well as improving ties with Brazil and the Ottoman Empire. On his death in 1851, he was succeeded by his son, Maximillian. One year later, he was in turn overthrown in a coup d'etat by his father's cousin, who would become known as Napoleon III. In his Mexican exile, Maximillian was prevailed upon by his Austrian in-laws to raise a rebellion to regain his throne. The three-year War of the Imperial Succession that followed resulted in total destruction for the Maximillianists, the abolition of the Austrian Empire, and the execution of Maximillian.
After the war's conclusion, the new Napoleon oversaw the redesign of Paris, the rapid industrialisation of France, the reorganisation of the empire, and the expansion of its colonies in Africa and South-East Asia. Napoleon III died in 1873 and was succeeded by his son, also a Napoleon. Napoleon IV was an energetic, military man, who oversaw the modernisation of France's military, as well as bringing the process of industrialisation to the Eastern European Provinces. His death in the Cape colony, leading his troops against the Zulu, sent shock waves through the empire.
For the next forty-six years, Napoleon V, the second cousin of the late emperor, would rule France. His reign saw massive economic and military growth, the rise of Sino-Japan, the 1902 intervention in the Russo-American War, and the 1920 reorganisation of the Empire, elevating all French colonies to integral provinces of France. He died in 1926.
His successor, Napoleon VI, was not so lucky. He reigned through the defeat in the Asia-Pacific War, and the post-war depression. However, military, governmental and economic reforms meant that by the end of his reign, France remained the world's premier superpower.
Since the current emperor, Napoleon VII, took the throne in 1997, France has managed to maintain its position as the world's leading power, despite the competition with Sino-Japan.
The French Empire is divided into eight Provinces:
- l'Europe Occidentale (Western Europe)
- l'Europe Centrale (Central Europe)
- La Scandinavie (Scandinavia)
- l'Amérique Centrale (Central America)
- La Grande Colombie (Greater Colombia)
- l'Afrique du Sud (South Africa)
- l'Afrique Occidentale (West Africa)
- Terre Napoleon
The Emperor is represented in the provinces (excepting L'Europe Occidentale, where he resides) by a Governeur. The Governeur is nominated by the Emperor, on the advice of the provincial Corps legislatif.
Prior to the reforms of Napoleon V, all the non-European provinces were colonies of France, with no representation in the French Parliament. However, the reforms made the former colonies into integral provinces of France, each sending representatives to the parliament in Paris. Terre Napoleon was granted home rule in 1931. It has its own parliament, which has considerable control over domestic affairs. Terre Napoleon still sends representatives to the Imperial Parliament, and laws made in Paris can overrule laws made by the Corps Legistlatif de Terre Napoleon.
Each Province is subdivided into regions, which are further divided into Departments, then into Arrondisments, then, finally, into Cantons.
Foreign Affairs and Military
The French Empire is the world's strongest superpower. France is closely aligned to the USA and Russia, although the competition between those two nations has made it hard at times to maintain both alliances. Through the Council of Europe, France has close economic and strategic ties with the nations historically her protectorates and satellites; the Kingdom of Italy, Naples, Switzerland, Ireland, Scotland, the Confederation of the Rhine, and the Duchy of Warsaw. France also has a strong historical connection with the Republic of New South Wales.
Relations with the Sino-Japanese Empire are very strained. The two nations and their allies fought each other in the Asia-Pacific War. Both nations still have conflicting interests in the Asia-Pacific region. Some commentators have described the present state of relations as a "Cold War". However, the economic interdependence of the two empires undermine this definition somewhat.
France is an active member of the FN and the OAS, sending troops for peacekeeping missions and being a major aide donor.
The Imperial French Military consists of the French Army, the Imperial Navy, the Imperial Air Force, and the Gendarmerie. The army is the third largest in the world, behind the Sino-Japanese and the Russian. The French Navy and French Air Force are both the largest and most professional in the world.