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Charles Auguste Louis Joseph Morny, duc de

Morny, Charles Auguste Louis Joseph, duc de (shärl ōgüstˈ lwē zhôzĕfˈ dük də môrnēˈ) [key], 1811–65, French statesman; illegitimate son of Hortense de Beauharnais and the comte de Flahaut de La Billarderie. After an army career (1830–38) during which he fought in North Africa, Morny entered politics and was elected a deputy in 1842. In 1851 he was the leading organizer of the coup that gave his half-brother, Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, dictatorial powers. As minister of the interior, Morny used intimidation to assure the outcome of the plebiscite (1852) that made Bonaparte Emperor Napoleon III. Morny was created duke in 1862 and subsequently was president of the legislative assembly. As adviser to the emperor, he had a major influence in promoting the liberal, or parliamentary, empire.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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