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legislative body, and the president of the council of state, shall be submitted to the free acceptance of the people, and will give to France a new emperor.
Such, gentlemen, are the principal provisions of the senatus consultum, now submitted to you for consideration, and which will prepare the august contract of the nation with its chief. Should you adopt it, you will order by a concluding article, in virtue of the constitution, that the people be consulted concerning the re-establishment of the imperial dignity in the person of Louis Napoleon, with the succession of which we have just explained to you the combinations. But, gentlemen, we may affirm, whilst bending at present before a public will which only asks for an occasion to burst forth afresh, that the empire is accomplished. And that empire, the dawn of which has lighted up the path of Louis Napoleon in the departments of the south, rises over France, surrounded by the most auspicious auguries. Everywhere hope revives in men's minds; everywhere capital, restrained by the uncertainty of the future, rushes with ardor into the channels of business; and everywhere the national sap circulates, and vivifies to produce the most abundant fruits.
This reign, gentlemen, will not be cradled in the midst of arms, and in the camp of insurgent prætorian guards. It is the work of the national feeling, most spontaneously expressed; it has been produced in our commercial towns, in our ports, in the most peaceful centres of agriculture and manufactures, and in the midst of the joy of an affectionate people; it will consequently be the Empire of Peace—that is to say, the revolution of '89, without its revolutionary ideas, religion without intolerance, equality without the follies of equality, love for the people without socialist charlatanism, and national honor without the ca
lamities of war. Ah! if the great shade of the emperor should cast a glance at this France which he loved so much, it would thrill with joy at beholding the gloomy predictions of St. Helena, at one moment so near being realized, totally disproved. No; Europe will not be delivered up to disorder and anarchy! No; France will not lose the grandeur of her institutions, and it is the ideas of Napoleon directed towards peace by a generous-minded prince, which will be the safeguard of civilization.
In the month of November, 1852, the senate adopted the following senatus consultum :
SENATUS CONSULTUM. Proposition to modify the Constitution, in conformity with
Articles 31 and 32. Art. 1. The imperial dignity is re-established. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte is emperor, under the name of Napoleon III. - ART. 2. The imperial dignity is hereditary in the direct and legitimate issue of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, from male to male in the order of primogeniture, and with perpetual exclusion of women and their descendants.
ART. 3. Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, in default of a male child, may adopt the children and legitimate descendants in the male line of the brothers of Napoleon I.
The forms of adoption shall be regulated by a senatus consultum.
If, after the adoption, male children of Louis Napoleon shall be born, his adoptive sons cannot succeed him, except after his own legitimate descendants.
The successors of Louis Napoleon, and their descendants, cannot adopt.
ART. 4. Louis Napoleon regulates, by an organic decree addressed to the senate and deposited in its archives, the order of succession on the throne in the Bonaparte family, in case he should not leave any direct legitimate or adopted heir.
ART. 5. In default of any legitimate or adoptive heir of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, and of successors in collateral line who may derive their right from the organic decree above mentioned, a senatus consultum, proposed to the senate by the ministers, formed into a council of government, with the addition of the actual presidents of the senate, the legislative corps, and of the council of state, and submitted for adoption to the people, appoints the emperor, and regulates in his family the hereditary order from male to male, to the perpetual exclusion of women and their descendants.
Until the election of the new emperor shall be consummated, the affairs of the state are governed by the actual ministers, who shall form themselves into a council of government and deliberate by a majority of votes.
ART. 6. The members of the family of Louis Napoleon eventually called to succeed him, and their descendants of both sexes, form a part of the imperial family. A senatus consultum regulates their position. They cannot marry without the authorization of the emperor. Their marriage without this authorization deprives of the right of inheritance as well him who contracts the marriage as his descendants.
Nevertheless, if there are no children of such a marriage, and the wife dies, the prince having contracted such marriage recovers his right of inheritance.
Louis Napoleon fixes the titles and the condition of the other members of his family.
The emperor has plenary authority over all the members of his family. He regulates their duties and their obligations by statutes which have the force of laws.
ART. 7. The constitution of the 15th of January, 1852, is maintained in all those dispositions which are not contrary to the present senatus consultum; it cannot be modified except in the forms and by the means there prescribed.
ART. 8. The following proposition shall be presented for the acceptation of the people in the forms determined by the decrees of the 2d and 4th of December, 1851 :
“The people wills the re-establishment of the imperial dignity in the person of Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, with inheritance in direct legitimate or adoptive descendants, and gives him the right to regulate the order of succession to the throne in the Bonaparte family in the manner described in the senatus consultum of the 7th of November, 1852.”
The senate adopted this senatus consultum by eighty-six votes of eighty-seven senators.
More than eight millions of people voted yes, according to the official publications.
“All Frenchmen of the age of twenty-one, in possession of their civil and political rights,” were called upon to vote by a decree of some length, of November 7th, 1852.
The paper on elections, the first of this appendix, contains the details of this and other votes, as well as the view of the author regarding them.
In addition to the papers here given, it ought to be remembered that the senate can decree organic laws, and thus a senatus consultum has been passed, according to which the legislative corps (already so denuded of power and influence) is deprived of the right to vote on the single items of the budget. It must adopt or reject the budgets of each ministry as a whole. This means, of course, that it must adopt the whole-for government would necessarily be brought to a stop if the entire budget of a ministry were rejected; and the executive government would simply order again the soldiery to clear the legislative hall, assume the dictatorial power, and make the people rectify the coup.