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Sebastien Bonaparte (Napoleon's World)

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Sebastien I
Sebastien I in 1974 - last known picture of the Emperor to have been taken
Emperor of France
Reign 12 October 1943 – 28 April 1975 (31 years)
Coronation 22 October 1943
Predecessor Edmond
Successor Albert II
Spouse Annabelle Graves Bonaparte
Issue Maurice L.N. Bonaparte
Albert II
Princess Caroline, Duchess of Alsace
Full name
Sebastien Louis-Albert Charles Bonaparte
House House of Bonaparte
Father Albert I
Mother Francine Olinne
Born 19 September 1899
Bonaparte Estate, Corsica, French Empire
Died 28 April 1975
Imperial Palace, Paris, French Empire
Burial 2 May 1975

Sebastien Louis-Albert Charles Bonaparte (born September 19th, 1899, died April 28th, 1975) known simply by his regnal name Sebastien, was the 9th Emperor of France, ruling from 1943 until 1975, an era called the "Sebastienite Era." He was preceded by his elder brother Edmond Albert Bonaparte, and succeeded by his son, Albert Sebastien Napoleon Bonaparte, better known as Albert II. The mid-20th century was defined by Sebastien's struggle first against his father's government, then his participation in the French Civil War against brother Edmond, his use of the beleaguered peoples of the Empire to overthrow the "old-guard Imperials," and later cement France's position as the world's preeminent power. He expanded the military, developed nuclear weapons and began the lengthy, and ongoing, standoff with the United States known as the Cold War. In France, despite oft-authoritarian measures, Sebastien modernized a sagging economy, reformed the way the French treated oppressed minorities (especially Russians) and revamped the infrastructure. He is easily one of the most significant figures of the 20th century.

Early Life

Sebastien Louis-Albert Charles Bonaparte was born on September 19th, 1899 at the Imperial Palace in France to Albert Louis Charles Bonaparte, Prince Regent of the French Empire, and his wife Francine Olinne Bonaparte. He was the younger brother of Edmond Louis Napoleon Bonaparte and the nephew of Napoleon Joseph Bonaparte, the Crown Prince, the nephew of Princess Vivianne, his father's twin sister, and the grandson of Louis II Bonaparte, Emperor of France.

Sebastien grew up in France at a time when his grandfather was overhauling the governmental bureaucracy, focusing on diplomacy and waging numerous wars throughout the 1900's and 1910's known collectively as the Colonial Wars. The expenses of the Colonial Wars coupled with the erosion of French capital wealth (many major companies not going through the modernization practiced in the United States), France sank into a deep depression by the end of the 1910's.

Sebastien attended L'Academie Bonaparte, a school founded by his grandfather in 1904 to teach the Imperial elite the practices of government work and foreign policy. Both Sebastien and elder brother Edmond learned much of the political experience they would rely on later in life here.

Work in Foreign Ministry 1920-1937

Under Louis II and Napoleon III

In 1920, at the age of 21, Sebastien was recalled from the family retreat in Corsica, where he had been spending time with his then-girlfriend Desiree Pescare, to Paris, given the commission to be Director of Affairs at the Foreign Ministry. It was a comparatively lowly position for a member of the royal family, especially since father Albert was the State Minister, one of the most powerful positions in the Empire, and brother Edmond was the Secretary of the Interior Ministry, effectively the second-in-command behind Interior Minister Fredric de Roybert.

Brothers Edmond (sitting) and Sebastien in 1918

Sebastien spent much of the early 1920's abroad, especially in the colonies. In 1924, as the Pacific War broke out, he famously told the shogun of Japan, Hiro Asukura, that France would aid the victor "when victory is clear as day. Let that victor be you." He was one of the strongest supporters of Napoleon III's reluctance to enter the Pacific War all the way into early 1925, feeling that it was detrimental to the Empire to assist a fellow "great power" achieve more strength at the sake of another. In his eyes, weaker nations in Japan, China, Colombia and the United States would only stand to benefit the Empire. Regardless, he was complacent in his father's decision to enact the Iron Revolution, which he first allegedly knew of on the eve of its enactment.

"The Emperor is weak, this is true. And the weak must give way to the strong." - Sebastien Bonaparte on Iron Revolution's legitimacy

Under Albert I


Prince Sebastien and Princess Annabelle at their wedding in 1927

Sebastien married his new girlfriend Annabelle Graves in 1927, and was elevated to Foreign Minister in the wake of the Iron Revolution. In this position, his father Albert I trusted him to make major diplomatic decisions for the French Empire. He was extremely active in establishing friendships in China as the Pacific War wore down and China emerged the strongest of the belligerents (Japan and the United States being exhausted after years of destructive fighting).

When the Oktoberkreig broke out in 1928, Sebastien pressed for a diplomatic solution - he viewed the Eastern Department as a more or less separate country, and recognized a deep animosity brewing to the East in the wake of the vicious response to the popular uprising. He was on a foreign assignment during most of the New Reign Terror, which he personally admitted he was surprised by. "Paranoia breeds discontent," Sebastien said in reply to a query about the purge.

Possibly Sebastien's most defining foreign policy maneuver (and some argue debacle) was his attemtps at playing peacemaker in the Irish War, against his father's wishes. Sebastien was concerned about the difficulties in securing England, a fully-industrialized and violently patriotic country. When he brokered a peace treaty in 1937 between the warring parties without his father's consent - despite the treaty being extremely favorable to France - he was fingered as a liability to the "seamlessness" of the Albertine regime.

French Civil War 1937-1944

See: French Civil War

Internal Struggle and Consolidation of Power 1944-1950

Imperial Reconstruction and "Attainable Goals"

Bureaucratic Overhaul and New Society

Purges and Continued Violence

"Sebastienite Era" 1950-1975

Establishment of Imperial Office

Domestic Policy

Foreign Policy and Cold War

Black Sea War

Transition of Power


In France Proper

Within the French Empire, Sebastien is regarded in varying lights. Sebastien is remembered as a brutal dictator, and a vicious murderer whose purges and investigations resulted in the deaths of upwards 27 million people during his 30-year reign. Millions more were killed in the destructive French Civil War, although that is blamed as much on father Albert I and brother Edmond. Many native French respected him with fear, due to his work in strengthening the Empire's power both internally and internationally during a period of time when global powers such as America, Brazil, Colombia, Turkey, China and Japan were emerging.

Sebastien came to power at a time when many native French and citizens-petits (non-French speaking inhabitants of Empire) questioned the legitimacy of French rule. Sebastien was brutal in his repression of French and citizens-petits alike, but through his totalitarian tactics, he unified the Empire in ways unseen since Napoleon I. He is hailed for ending the practice for over a hundred years of keeping French natives in a class above citizens-petits; in Sebastienite France, everyone was equal beneath the law and Emperor. He filled government positions with intelligent officials from across the Empire; one of his most trusted advisors, Sergei Mitrov, was a native Russian whose father had fought against the Empire in the Oktoberkreig. 

While his brutal slaughters of his opposition in the mid and late 1940's accounted for nearly fifteen million dead or missing, Sebastien still managed to earn the trust of horrified French elites. He had proven that the rage of the long-oppressed Russians was in fact potent enough to severely shake up the system of privilege that French elites had enjoyed for over a hundred years. With time, the "New Society" designed by Sebastien and his cabal of Russian advisors was one based on equality and equal opportunity for all the subgroups of France - the French, the Germans and the Russians. He ended the iconoclastic "integration" so popular during the 19th century, recognizing that dozens of cultures had been all but lost through Purges and their absorption into the three primary cultures of what he termed a "European Empire." The New Society reinvigorated the economy by freeing up the monopoly German industrialists held on capital, by involving everyone in modernizing and revamping the infrastructure, by opening internal opportunity for non-elites, and creating a pan-Imperial culture.

In German and Russian territories of Empire

In fact, Sebastien's rise to power is largely thanks to his skillful manipulation of the angered, poor population of Russia in the late 1930's. By building the core base of his European Alliance out of a previously untapped resource (the Russian people, who had been largely oppressed since the 1810's and especially since the early 20th century) he was able to topple a corrupt and divided government without much direction. Sebastien's Civil War advisor, Feodor Kristunov, once said, "To control the Empire, one must satisfy the French elites, the German middle-class and the Russian poor." Sebastien successfully did the first two in the earlier salvos of the war, and established his position as one promoting equality across the Empire.

"Pan-Europeanism" became the term Sebastien used during the Civil War, and his reliance on Russian soldiers early on and the fact that he had as few as three French advisors at some points revealed him as being true to his word. His closest ally, Kristunov, was practically given stewardship of most of southern Russia as the war progressed, the first Russian-born governor of such a large territory in the Eastern Department since the Battle of Petrograd in 1813.

Reputation Abroad

In France's colonies, Sebastien was noted for his integration of the colonies into the Imperial government itself. It was after his landmark 1948 Colonial Law that the colonies finally were allowed to send ambassadors to the Grand Assembly - in 1966, they could start sending full fledged representatives. The 1966 Olympics were held in Quebec and Montreal and Sebastien completely overhauled and modernized the long-backwater Hindustan territory. Algeria became the richest Arab nation starting in the early 1960's thanks to Sebastienite reforms.

In the United States, Sebastien was feared, hated, and admired all at once. While President Prescott Bush had been cordial with Sebastien, even signing a new trade agreement and border control law in relation to Canada, in the early 1950's the Cold War began to develop thanks to the English Civil War. With the French detonation of nuclear weapons in 1959 and the acquiescence of Turkey to French control, the nuclear race kicked in and the Cold War became a true reality. Sebastien was not as notable of a Cold War machinist as his son Albert would become - his concerns were typically more domestic in nature, although there were numerous minor diplomatic standoffs in the 1960's and 70's, and a major one in 1969.

To many other minor powers, Sebastien ushered in a new era of progressive trading. Unlike the almost colonial attitudes of his predecessors, Sebastien worked to devise trading schemes that would benefit both partners - "What makes you rich makes me rich," he once told Japanese Emperor Hirohito.

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