The first days of the year 1841, the beginning of the eleventh year of reign for Emperor Napoleon II would begin out marvelous. Support for the party that bore his last name had further gained support amongst the upper house of the National Assembly, and now controlled an estimated twenty seven perfect of the seats. In mid January a conference was held with the great minds of the sciences throughout France. This conference, which would eventually become a normal event throughout the country, as the administration thought to further integrate the scientific development into more beneficial results for the military. Two very beneficial results would be applied over the next few months, these results were expected to lead to an increase in the output of small arms and canned foods.
Evidence of why France needed a strong military and navy kept creeping up. In late January, the United Kingdom flexed its muscle, forcing Afghanistan to cede the Kalat region. While nominally far away from France’s sphere of influence, the message was clear. In order to survive, France would have to tread carefully, but in the end she would have to either reconcile her relation with her long time rival or surpass it. When Napoleon II had visited for the coronation of Queen Victoria, it was hoped the reconciliation would begin; however over the past two years nothing had happened.
In fact, France and Britain were slowly drifting closer and closer to a state of war. One prime example of escalation towards war was the completion of the naval dockyards at Dunkirk, Amiens, Brest and Marsilles. The expansion of these vital dockyards would allow for additional construction of man of wars and frigates, along with additional supply capacity for France’s thriving merchant marine. Of growing concern to Britain was France’s increase in naval strength; which had been increased to 30 men of war and 36 frigates.
In the early summer months, construction of a vital factory began in Alsace-Lorraine. The factory, which would produce mechanical parts for France’s growing industrialized economy was compromise between the capitalists of the region and the government, with both parties equally funding the project. These machine parts as they were commonly called would further increase the production of relatively troublesome items to manufacture, like ammunition. The compromise which would spark the creation of the factory was worth it, though not highly publicized for its implications would be shown as favoritism. The rich strata’s taxes had been hovering at fifty percent since the ascension of Napoleon II, now they were to be lowered in half to twenty five percent, while the poor and middle strata’s paid nearly eighty percent in taxes.
With the summer nearly over, and the year beginning its last few months, the country was relatively at ease. Major conflict in Europe had been avoided for another year, though tensions were high as ever. France would contribute to the high European tensions even further on August 31st, when a military alliance was signed with Greece. The alliance with Greece both angered the British and Russians, who saw a possible French encroachment on Constantinople. Though influence within Constantinople would be desirable, the main reason for the military agreement was to distract Europe from France’s main intentions, and provoke a possible confrontation with the Ottoman Empire; which would allow France to gobble up its African territory.