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The French Imperial Plans were a series of program initiated by The French Empire, beginning in 1808 to strengthen the new empire to be able to economically dominate Europe, especially France's oldest rival, the United Kingdom, the first nation in the world to go through an Industrial Revolution.
First Imperial Plan
The First Imperial Plan was created by Emperor Napoleon I to expand the industrial base that France would need if they would want to fight Great Britain in the future, for he was certain that it would happen, and, as the First Great European War had proved to be a close contest at sea. With an emphasis on harbors, ship yards, steel mills and mines, as well as improved roads and canals, all of which could be used in a time of war to rapidly mobilize the armies to protect the empire. Also, loans would be provided to business to expand and start, schools and hospitals to be built and nationalized factories set up to build arms and weapons. In all, at today's prices, nearly 350 million francs, or over 600 million dollars (OTL) was spent, and the GDP was estimated to have increased by over 25% in the six years it was in effect. A rapid movement from the farms and small villages to the cities turned the France of 1805, which was overwhelming agricultural and rural, to a nation that had a vast percentage (not quite a majority, however) that was urban and industrialized.
Second Imperial Plan
The second installment of the Imperial Plan was begun in 1814, after the end of the the first one, but was more focused on the economy, as their was no major threats on the horizon to the peace in Europe. The plan was one of the first to be considered a "multi-national program", as the "associates" of the Empire, such as the Confederation of the Rhine, Italy and Poland. Although the program had designated a small amount to the Empire's allies, this one was more along the lines of large grants to help build their economies, for "...the strength of our allies determines our strength as well," Napoleon I said in passing the plan.
Third Imperial Plan
The third plan, initiated by Napoleon II in 1847, was, in the essence, a military expansion plan. New shipyards, barracks and forts were built throughout the Empire and its associates, with the dual purpose of protecting the Marseilles Pact member states in Europe, and bringing them closer together. However, Great Britain and Prussia, leaders of the United Coalition, assumed that it was a threat to them, and was later decided to have been one of the causes of the Second Great European War.
Forth Imperial Plan
The Forth version of the economic stimulus plan was put into effect in 1932, in response to the massive Great Depression. It provided funds to roads and railroads, a ship building program, and nationalization of industries such as automobile manufacturers, steel producers and banks that were vital to the economy, but most in danger of collapsing. It was also the start of War Hero and Prime Minister Phillipe Pétain and the Fédération Impérialiste Française's dictatorship in France that continues to this day. When the original version of the law didn't pass a gridlocked National Assembly, Pétain had Emperor Louis II grant him emergency powers, which he quickly used to not only push through the Forth Imperial Plan, but also went further: further nationalizations, arrest of Communists and opponents, the expansion of the army, and many other acts. The Plan continued to work until the start of the Third Global War in 1940, though by then many other economic and military edicts issued by Pétain had virtually eliminated unemployment and restored France's position in the world.
Throughout the world, many other nations enacted other major programs and stimulus projects, similar to the French Imperial Plans. Most notable were Russia, with its Alexander Plan in 1810; and the United States of America, and its American Plan. However, these and many other similar projects were never able to achieve the same degree of success as France, mostly due to corruption and difficulties in planning and organization.