On the 20th March in Notre Dame Cathedral, Napoleon II was crowned as Emperor of France. The ceremony was set as an almost copy and paste of the coronation of Napoleon I, almost thirty years previous. Among those who attended, were the many German Princes and other dignitaries from all over Europe barring Russia. Britain had sent the Duke of Wellington as its representative (Against the wishes of the Duke himself) and he and the Emperor had actually managed to have a private conversation after the ceremony, with the Emperor expressing his respect for the man who had defeated his father on the field of battle. When he returned to Britain, the Duke made the following remark “Yes, the Emperor is a good man. Thankfully, he is not a great man.”
Napoleon II took the reigns of power with the guiding hands of Talleyrand and Ney, Fouche having passed away in 1820 and the responsibility of the police which had been taken by a chosen successor. The difficulties of rising nationalism in the conquered territories of France were beginning to rear its head while rising tensions in Germany over the Meiningen Pact were edging closer to the edge of War.
For Paris on the day of the coronation however, these worries were forgotten as celebrations took place throughout the city. The succession of Napoleon II appeared to finally cement political stability for France as memories of the Revolution faded with a generation of people who had only known the Empire had now grown and were raising their own children. The legacy of Napoleon I appeared to be secure. The celebrations in Paris were highlighted by two notable events. One was the performance of Hector Berlioz’s symphony La France est Magnifique, the piece commissioned by Napoleon II himself the previous year. Though it would not be known for quite some time, the symphony set off the sub-genre of music known as National Symphonies, a symphony geared solely towards nationalism. It would become a rather large cultural phenomenon throughout the 19th century.
The symphony was greatly based on Beethoven’s Tenth Symphony, using many of the motifs and styles used in that were used in that symphony, and placing it in Berlioz’s own work. The symphony was a huge success with Berlioz being offered a state pension by the Emperor because of it. The second cultural success of the month was the premiere of Victor Hugo’s Napoleon, a play focused on the Italian campaigns of Napoleon. It was a huge success and it further cemented Hugo’s reputation as a Bonapartist.
The celebrations themselves were very important in one respect. A Spanish philosopher, by the name of Juan Talvera, witnessed the events of the coronation. He heard the symphony of Berlioz and witnessed the plays of Hugo and it stirred something inside him. Talvera was a deeply political man, having been involved in the lower levels of Spanish Government for over ten years. Talvera had seen the Junta of Spain and the Empires of Europe had seen how the systems had reacted. Talvera knew that a new system was needed, one that would reflect the needs of a nation in order to survive. It would come… eventually.
As Andrew Jackson began to look towards the end of his second term, the question of who would succeed him began to grow. The National Party, although quite popular in the Western Territories, didn’t have the support needed to gain a credible candidate for the Presidency while the Congress Party, although having many famous names of American politics, was too unpopular to also launch a candidate with a chance. For now, the only choice lay with whoever the Democrat-Republicans chose or, more accurately, whoever Jackson gave his blessing to.
As the Shawnee Parliament finally adjusted itself to the reforms of the previous year, the two factions of the Parliament became even more divided. Those who were pro-reform were typically from the north and the east, close to British North America. Those who opposed reforms of any kind were from the south and west and usually had had a past of conflicts with America concerning their lands. Tecumseh stood in the middle, wanting the Shawnee Nation strong enough to fight against encroachment, but still wanting to retain their way of life.
When the Shawnee Parliament reconvened after the reforms took place, it soon became apparent that very little could be agreed upon. Debates descended into shouting matches between the two factions and only the presence of Tecumseh prevented the situation from descending any further. One proposal which did manage to get through however was the creation of a permanent Council of War that the Army would be subject to in terms of command. Both factions supported this as the fear had risen that the Army had become quite separate from the Parliament itself. The old adage ‘Army without a State’ had been applied by the British during the 1820’s to the Shawnee Army outmatched the centralisation of the Government quite easily.
The War Council, made up of ten members of the Shawnee Parliament (The choice of who joined the Council was made by a vote in Parliament) was to make decisions regarding the deployment of the Army and made sure mutiny wouldn’t take place but the actual command decisions themselves would be made by the Generals themselves however. The issue of a War Council would be the last one the two factions of Parliament would find themselves agreeing about. Division would mark the Shawnee for the next few years as tension grew.
As the election for President came to a close, the candidate for the Democrat-Republicans, William Henry Harrison took his role as the seventh President of the United States of America. Andrew Jackson was set to leave office in the next year, confident his legacy would be secure with Harrison in power. As one of the few members of the old guard of American politics who had stayed loyal to the Democrat-Republican Party since the War of 1812, Harrison had been accused of sticking with the Party the last few years simply to attain the Presidency role.
In his last months of the Presidency, Andrew Jackson began to finalise the issues which had taken place during his role as President. The expansion west was encouraged; the military finally saw some cuts to its budgets in favour of building infrastructure in new territories and the forts along the New England border were finally completed. For Jackson, his legacy had been secured, but Harrison’s would be the one to really leave an effect upon the United States.