After the proclamation of a new constitution on 4th November, the new President of the Republic was elected on 10th December 1848. Charles Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, nephew of Napoleon I, was voted into power. After two attempted coup d'états against the July Monarchy, he was forced into exile in Brazil, then in the United States, and finally in England. When he returned to France, he was elected thanks to memories of the First Empire, divisions on the Left, and the support of the conservative Parti de l'Ordre.
Using both authoritarianism and social policies, he aimed to modernise the country and its capital. Influenced by his stay in London, where he became conscious of the issues of urban planning, he instigated a radical transformation of Paris. On 2nd September 1870, he was taken prisoner at Sedan by Prussia and the other German states on which he had declared war on 15th July 1870. He lost his throne, and the Third Republic was proclaimed on 4th September.
The Commune has taken on a mythical status for revolutionaries throughout the world who still sing the International, written by Eugene Pottier in June 1871, set to music by Pierre Degeyter in 1888, and becoming widely known between 1880 and1890.
In spite of some major political crises (the Panama scandal, the Boulangiste crisis, and the Dreyfus affair) the Third Republic lasted 65 years, brought in free, compulsory public education for all and voted in the law on the separation of the Church and State.