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Napoleon III (born Charles-Louis Napoléon Bonaparte; 20 April 1808 – 9 January 1873), the nephew of Napoleon I, was the first President of France from 1848 to 1852, and the only Emperor of the Second French Empire from 1852 to 1870.

In 1853, Napoleon sent a warship into the Black Sea to "politely suggest" that the Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid I acknowledge French Catholicism as the authority over Christian sites in the Holy Land. This rather annoyed Tsar Nicholas I, since up till that point the Eastern Orthodox Church had controlled those sites, and he responded by sending two corps to the banks of the Danube. Diplomatic relations soured from there, and since the British and French were leery of Russian expansionism and already had troops in the area, they decided to ally with the Ottomans.[1]

The conflict, which became known as the Crimean War, ended in 1856 when the allies took the key Russian city of Sevastopol. Recognising the inevitability of defeat, Nicholas I sued for peace.[1]

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