The French 'coup d'état' of 2 December 1851 was a self-coup staged by Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (at the time, President of the French Second Republic). It ended in the successful dissolution of the French National Assembly and the subsequent re-establishment of the French Empire the next year.

When he faced the prospect of having to leave office in 1852, Louis-Napoléon (nephew of Napoléon Bonaparte) staged the coup in order to stay in office and implement his reform programs; these included the restoration of universal male suffrage (previously abolished by the legislature).

His political measures, and the extension of his mandate for 10 years were popularly endorsed by a constitutional referendum. A mere year later, the Prince-President reclaimed his uncle's throne as Emperor of the French under the regnal name Napoleon III.

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