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Alexandre Florian Joseph Colonna Walewski, Comte

Walewski, Alexandre Florian Joseph Colonna, Comte (älĕksäNˈdrə flôryäNˈ zhôzĕfˈ kôlônäˈ kôNt välĕfskēˈ) [key], 1810–68, French diplomat, b. Poland; illegitimate son of Maria Walewska and Emperor Napoleon I. He went to France after the Restoration, returned to Poland in 1830 and joined the Polish uprising, and subsequently went to England to plead the Polish cause. When the insurrection was suppressed, Walewski returned to France, was naturalized, and entered the army, resigning in 1837 to take up journalism. When his cousin, Louis Napoleon (later Napoleon III), came to power in 1848, Walewski was sent on diplomatic missions to Italy, England, and Spain. Foreign minister (1855–60) and minister of state (1860–63), Walewski helped to prepare the Congress of Paris (1856) and presided over it. He also served as a senator and was president of the legislative assembly.

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

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