This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (September 2010)
Click [show] on the right to read important instructions before translating.
View a machine-translated version of the French article.
Google's machine translation is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia.
Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article.
After the French coup of 1851, Napoleon I's institutional architecture was reintroduced. Executive power was retained by Napoleon III, who divided legislative power between two chambers - the Corps législatif (where deputies could only make laws on the initiative of the civil service Conseil d'État) and the Sénat (whose members were named for life by the emperor). The Sénat could vote on sénatus-consultes, acts with the force of law, to adapt France's institutions and modify the French Constitution of 1852. Initially used to found and reinforce the imperial and authoritarian character of the Second Empire, the sénatus-consultes ended up helping the regime evolve into a 'liberal empire' from the 1860s onwards by giving more powers to the Parlement.