Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean 2 December 1852 (Second French Empire): While the King of Prussia was backing down in Germany (Punctation of Olm%C3%BCtz), the ambitious French President Louis-Napoleon was consolidating power in France (French coup d%27%C3%A9tat of 1851). By 1852 he was ready to restore the French Empire (Second French Empire) with himself as Emperor Napoleon III. Although this alarmed the nations of Europe, where memories of the Napoleonic Wars were still strong, its importance was soon overshadowed by events further east.