Maximilian I (Spanish: Fernando Maximiliano José María de Habsburgo-Lorena; 6 July 1832 – 19 June 1867) was the only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire. He was a younger brother of the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I. After a distinguished career in the Austrian Navy as its commander, he accepted an offer by Napoleon III of France to rule Mexico, conditional on a national plebiscite in his favour. France, together with Spain and the United Kingdom, invaded the Mexican Republic in the winter of 1861, ostensibly to collect debts; the Spanish and British both withdrew the following year after negotiating agreements with Mexico's republican government, while France sought to conquer the country. Seeking to legitimize French rule, Napoleon III invited Maximilian to establish a new pro-French Mexican monarchy. With the support of the French army and a group of Conservative Party monarchists hostile to the Liberal Party administration of the new Mexican president, Benito Juárez, Maximilian was offered the position of Emperor of Mexico, which he accepted on 10 April 1864.
The Empire managed to gain recognition by several European powers including Britain, Austria, and Prussia. The United States however, continued to recognize Juárez as the legal president of Mexico. Maximilian never completely defeated the Mexican Republic; Republican forces led by President Benito Juárez continued to be active during Maximilian's rule. With the end of the American Civil War in 1865, the United States (which had been too distracted by its own Civil War to confront the Europeans' 1861 invasion of what it considered to be its sphere of influence) began more explicit aid of President Juárez's forces. Matters worsened for Maximilian after French armies withdrew from Mexico in 1866. His self-declared empire collapsed, and he was captured and executed by the Mexican government, which then restored the Mexican Republic.
His wife, Charlotte of Belgium (Carlota), who had left for Europe earlier to try to build support for her husband's regime, suffered an emotional collapse after his death and apparently became insane.
Archduke Maximilian around 1863.
|Emperor of Mexico|
|Reign||10 June 1864 – 19 June 1867|
(Benito Juárez, President of Mexico)
(Benito Juárez, President of Mexico)
|Born||6 July 1832|
Schönbrunn, Vienna, Austria
|Died||19 June 1867 (aged 34)|
Cerro de las Campanas, Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico
Charlotte of Belgium (m. 1857)
|Father||Archduke Franz Karl of Austria|
|Mother||Princess Sophie of Bavaria|
Maximilian was born on 6 July 1832 in the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, capital of the Austrian Empire. He was baptized the following day as Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph. The first name honored his godfather and paternal uncle, The King of Hungary and the second honored his maternal grandfather, The King of Bavaria.
His father was Archduke Franz Karl, the second surviving son of The Emperor of Austria, during whose reign he was born. Maximilian was thus a member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, a female-line cadet branch of the House of Habsburg. His mother was Princess Sophie of Bavaria, a member of the House of Wittelsbach. Intelligent, ambitious and strong-willed, Sophie had little in common with her husband, whom historian Richard O'Conner characterized as "an amiably dim fellow whose main interest in life was consuming bowls of dumplings drenched in gravy". Despite their different personalities, the marriage was fruitful, and after four miscarriages, four sons—including Maximilian—would reach adulthood.
Rumors at the court stated that Maximilian was in fact the product of an extramarital affair between his mother and his first cousin Napoleon II, The Duke of Reichstadt, the only legitimate son of French Emperor Napoleon I; the Duke's mother was Marie Louise, Duchess of Parma, former Empress of the French, Maximilian's aunt. The existence of an illicit affair between Sophie and the Duke, and any possibility that Maximilian was conceived from such a union, are disputed by (mainly British) historians.[A]
Adhering to traditions inherited from the Spanish court during Habsburg rule, Maximilian's upbringing was closely supervised. Until his sixth birthday, he was cared for by Baroness Louise von Sturmfeder, who was his aja (then rendered "nurse", now nanny). Afterwards, his education was entrusted to a tutor. Most of Maximilian's day was spent in study. The thirty-two hours per week of classes at age 7 steadily grew until it reached fifty-five hours per week by the time he was 17. The disciplines were diverse: ranging from history, geography, law and technology, to languages, military studies, fencing and diplomacy. In addition to his native German, he eventually learned to speak Hungarian, Slovak, English, French, Italian and Spanish. From an early age, Maximilian tried to surpass his older brother Franz Joseph in everything; attempting to prove to all that he was the better qualified of the two and thus deserving of more than second place status.
The highly restrictive environment of the Austrian court was not enough to repress Maximilian's natural openness. He was joyful, highly charismatic and able to captivate those around him with ease. Although he was a charming boy, he was also undisciplined. He mocked his teachers and was often the instigator of pranks—even including his uncle, Emperor Ferdinand I, among his victims. Nonetheless Maximilian was very popular. His attempts to outshine his older brother and ability to charm opened a rift with the aloof and self-contained Franz Joseph that would widen as years passed, and the times when both were close friends in childhood would be all but forgotten.
In 1848, revolutions erupted across Europe. In the face of protests and riots, Emperor Ferdinand I abdicated in favor of Maximilian's brother, who became Francis Joseph I. Maximilian accompanied him on campaigns to put down rebellions throughout the Empire. Only in 1849 would the revolution be stamped out in Austria, with hundreds of rebels executed and thousands imprisoned. Maximilian was horrified at what he regarded as senseless brutality and openly complained about it. He would later remark: "We call our age the Age of Enlightenment, but there are cities in Europe where, in the future, men will look back in horror and amazement at the injustice of tribunals, which in a spirit of vengeance condemned to death those whose only crime lay in wanting something different to the arbitrary rule of governments which placed themselves above the law".
Maximilian was a particularly clever boy who displayed considerable culture in his taste for the arts, and he demonstrated an early interest in science, especially botany. When he entered military service, he was trained in the Austrian Navy. He threw himself into this career with so much zeal that he quickly rose to high command.
He was made a lieutenant in the navy at the age of eighteen. In 1854, he sailed as commander in the corvette Minerva, on an exploring expedition along the coast of Albania and Dalmatia. Maximilian was especially interested in the maritime and undertook many long-distance journeys (for Brazil) on the frigate Elisabeth. In 1854, he was only 22 years—as a younger brother of the Emperor, and thus a member of the ruling family—he was appointed as commander in chief of the Austrian Navy (1854–1861), which he reorganized in the following years. Like Archduke Friedrich (1821–1847) before him, Maximilian had a keen private interest in the fleet, and with him the Austrian naval force gained an influential supporter from the ranks of the Imperial Family. This was crucial as sea power was never a priority of Austrian foreign policy and the navy itself was relatively little known or supported by the public. It was only able to draw significant public attention and funds when it was actively supported by an imperial prince. As Commander-in-Chief, Maximilian carried out many reforms to modernise the naval forces, and was instrumental in creating the naval port at Trieste and Pola (now Pula) as well as the battle fleet with which admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff would later secure his victories. He also initiated a large-scale scientific expedition (1857–1859) during which the frigate SMS Novara became the first Austrian warship to circumnavigate the globe.
In his political views, Archduke Maximilian was very much influenced by the progressive ideas in vogue at the time. He had a reputation as a liberal, and this was one of several considerations leading to his appointment as Viceroy of the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia in February 1857. Emperor Franz Joseph had decided on the need to replace the elderly soldier Joseph Radetzky von Radetz in this position; to divert growing discontent amongst the Italian population through token liberalization; and finally to encourage a degree of personal loyalty to the Habsburg dynasty.
On 27 July 1857, in Brussels, Archduke Maximilian married his second cousin Princess Charlotte of Belgium, the daughter of Leopold I, King of the Belgians, and Louise of Orléans. She was first cousin to both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Maximilian and Charlotte had no children together.
They lived as the Austrian regents in Milan or Viceroys of Lombardy-Venetia from 1857 until 1859, when Emperor Franz Joseph, angered by his brother's liberal policies, dismissed him. Shortly after, Austria lost control of most of its Italian possessions. Maximilian then retired to Trieste, near which he built the castle Miramare. At the same time the couple acquired a converted monastery on the island of Lokrum as a holiday residence. Both estates had extensive gardens, reflecting Maximilian's horticultural interests.
In 1859, Ferdinand Maximilian was first approached by Mexican monarchists—members of the Mexican aristocracy, led by local nobleman José Pablo Martínez del Río—with a proposal to become the Emperor of Mexico. The Habsburg family had ruled the Viceroyalty of New Spain from its establishment until the Spanish throne was inherited by the Bourbons. Maximilian was considered to have more potential legitimacy than other royal figures, but was unlikely to ever rule in Europe due to his elder brother. On 20 October 1861 in Paris, Maximilian received a letter from Gutierrez de Estrada asking him to take the Mexican throne. He did not accept at first, but sought to satisfy his restless desire for adventure with a botanical expedition to the tropical forests of Brazil. However, Maximilian changed his mind after the French intervention in Mexico. At the invitation of Napoleon III, after General Élie-Frédéric Forey's capture of Mexico City and a French-staged plebiscite that confirmed the proclamation of the empire, Maximilian consented to accept the crown in October 1863. His decision involved the loss of all his rights of nobility in Austria, though he was not informed of this until just before he left. Archduchess Charlotte was thereafter known as "Her Imperial Majesty Empress Carlota".
In April 1864, Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian stepped down from his duties as Chief of Naval Section of the Austrian Navy. He traveled from Trieste aboard SMS Novara, escorted by the frigates SMS Bellona (Austrian) and Thémis (French), and the Imperial yacht Phantasie led the warship procession from his palace at Miramare out to sea. They received a blessing from Pope Pius IX, and Queen Victoria ordered the Gibraltar garrison to fire a salute for Maximilian's passing ship.
The new emperor of Mexico landed at Veracruz on 29 May 1864, and received a cold reception from the townspeople. Veracruz was a liberal town, and the liberal voters were opposed to having Maximilian on the throne. He had the backing of Mexican conservatives and Napoleon III, but from the very outset he found himself involved in serious difficulties since the Liberal forces led by President Benito Juárez refused to recognize his rule. There was continuous fighting between the French expeditionary force plus Maximilian's locally recruited Imperial troops on the one side and the Mexican Republicans on the other.
The Imperial couple chose as their seat Mexico City. The Emperor and Empress set up their residence at Chapultepec Castle, located on the top of a hill formerly at the outskirts of Mexico City that had been a retreat of Aztec emperors. Maximilian ordered a wide avenue cut through the city from Chapultepec to the city center; originally named Paseo de la Emperatriz, it is today Mexico City's famous boulevard, Paseo de la Reforma. He also acquired a country retreat at Cuernavaca. The royal couple made plans to be crowned at the Catedral Metropolitana but, due to the constant instability of the regime, the coronation was never carried out. Maximilian was shocked by the living conditions of the poor in contrast to the magnificent haciendas of the upper class. Empress Carlota began holding parties for the wealthy Mexicans to raise money for poor houses. One of Maximilian's first acts as Emperor was to restrict working hours and abolish child labour. He cancelled all debts for peasants over 10 pesos, restored communal property and forbade all forms of corporal punishment. He also broke the monopoly of the Hacienda stores and decreed that henceforth peons could no longer be bought and sold for the price of their debt.
As Maximilian and Carlota had no children, they adopted Agustín de Iturbide y Green and his cousin Salvador de Iturbide y de Marzán, both grandsons of Agustín de Iturbide, who had briefly reigned as Emperor of Mexico in the 1820s. Iturbide and his cousin were granted the title Prince de Iturbide and style of Highness by imperial decree of 16 September 1865 and were ranked after the reigning family. They intended to groom Agustín as heir to the throne. However, Maximilian never intended to give the crown to the Iturbides because he considered that they were not of royal blood. It was all a charade directed at his brother Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria, as he explained himself: either Karl would give him one of his sons as an heir, or else he would bequeath everything to the Iturbide children.
To the dismay of his conservative allies, Maximilian upheld several liberal policies proposed by the Juárez administration – such as land reforms, religious freedom, and extending the right to vote beyond the landholding class. At first, Maximilian offered Juárez an amnesty if he would swear allegiance to the crown, even offering the post of Prime Minister, which Juárez refused.
After the end of the American Civil War, the United States government used increasing diplomatic pressure to persuade Napoleon III to end French support of Maximilian and to withdraw French troops from Mexico. Washington began supplying partisans of Juárez and his ally Porfirio Díaz by "losing" arms depots for them at El Paso del Norte at the Mexican border. The prospect of a United States invasion to reinstate Juárez caused a large number of Maximilian's loyal adherents to abandon the cause and leave the capital.
Meanwhile, Maximilian invited ex-Confederates to move to Mexico in a series of settlements called the "Carlota Colony" and the New Virginia Colony with a dozen others being considered, a plan conceived by the internationally renowned U.S. Navy oceanographer and inventor Matthew Fontaine Maury. Maximilian also invited settlers from "any country" including Austria and the other German states.
Maximilian issued his Black Decree on October 3, 1865. Its first article stated that: "All individuals forming a part of armed bands or bodies existing without legal authority, whether or not proclaiming a political pretext, whatever the number of those forming such band, or its organization, character, and denomination, shall be judged militarily by the courts martial. If found guilty, even though only of the fact of belonging to an armed band, they shall be condemned to capital punishment, and the sentence shall be executed within twenty-four hours". It is calculated that more than eleven thousand of Juarez's supporters were executed as a result of the Black Decree, but at the end it only inflamed the Mexican Resistance.
Nevertheless, by 1866, the imminence of Maximilian's abdication seemed apparent to almost everyone outside Mexico. That year, Napoleon III withdrew his troops in the face of Mexican resistance and U.S. opposition under the Monroe Doctrine, as well as increasing his military contingent at home to face the ever-growing Prussian military and Bismarck. Carlota travelled to Europe, seeking assistance for her husband's regime in Paris and Vienna and, finally, in Rome from Pope Pius IX. Her efforts failed, and she suffered a deep emotional collapse and never went back to Mexico. After her husband was executed by Republicans the following year, she spent the rest of her life in seclusion, never admitting her husband's death, first at Miramare Castle in Trieste, Austria-Hungary, then Italy, and then at Bouchout Castle in Meise, Belgium, where she died on 19 January 1927.
Though urged to abandon Mexico by Napoleon III himself, whose troop withdrawal from Mexico was a great blow to the Mexican Imperial cause, Maximilian refused to desert his followers. Maximilian allowed his followers to determine whether or not he abdicated. Faithful generals such as Miguel Miramón, Leonardo Márquez, and Tomás Mejía vowed to raise an army that would challenge the invading Republicans. Maximilian fought on with his army of 8,000 Mexican loyalists. Withdrawing, in February 1867, to Santiago de Querétaro, he sustained a siege for several weeks, but on May 11 resolved to attempt an escape through the enemy lines. This plan was sabotaged by Colonel Miguel López who was bribed by the Republicans to open a gate and lead a raiding party, though with the agreement that Maximilian would be allowed to escape.
The city fell on 15 May 1867 and Maximilian was captured the next morning after the failure of an attempt to escape through Republican lines by a loyal hussar cavalry brigade led by Felix Salm-Salm. Following a court-martial, he was sentenced to death. Many of the crowned heads of Europe and other prominent figures (including the eminent liberals Victor Hugo and Giuseppe Garibaldi) sent telegrams and letters to Mexico pleading desperately for the Emperor's life to be spared. Although he liked Maximilian on a personal level, Juárez refused to commute the sentence in view of the Mexicans who had been killed fighting against Maximilian's forces, and because he believed it was necessary to send a message that Mexico would not tolerate any government imposed by foreign powers. Felix Salm-Salm and his wife masterminded a plan and bribed the jailors to allow Maximilian to escape execution. However, Maximilian would not go through with the plan because he felt that shaving his beard to avoid recognition would ruin his dignity if he were to be recaptured. The sentence was carried out in the Cerro de las Campanas at 6:40am on the morning of 19 June 1867, when Maximilian, along with Generals Miramón and Mejía, was executed by a firing squad. He spoke only in Spanish and gave each of his executioners a gold coin not to shoot him in the head so that his mother could see his face. His last words were, "I forgive everyone, and I ask everyone to forgive me. May my blood, which is about to be shed, be for the good of the country. Viva Mexico, viva la independencia!" Generals Miramón and Mejía standing to Maximilian's right, were killed by the same volley as the emperor, fired by the fifteen-man (twenty-one in other accounts) execution party. Maximilian and Miramón died almost immediately, the emperor calling out the single word hombre, but Mejía's death was a more extended one.
After his execution, Maximilian's body was embalmed and displayed in Mexico. Early the following year, the Austrian admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff was sent to Mexico aboard SMS Novara to take the former emperor's body back to Austria. After arriving in Trieste, the coffin was taken to Vienna and placed within the Imperial Crypt, on 18 January 1868, where it can be viewed today.
The Emperor Maximilian Memorial Chapel was constructed on the hill where his execution took place.
Maximilian has been praised by some historians for his liberal reforms, genuine desire to help the people of Mexico, refusal to desert his loyal followers, and personal bravery during the siege of Querétaro. Other researchers consider him short-sighted in political and military affairs, and unwilling to restore democracy in Mexico even during the imminent collapse of the Second Mexican Empire. Today, anti-republican and anti-liberal far right groups who advocate the Second Mexican Empire, such as the Nationalist Front of Mexico, are reported to gather every year in Querétaro to commemorate the execution of Maximilian and his followers. Maximilian is portrayed in the 1934 Mexican film Juárez y Maximiliano by Enrique Herrera and the 1939 American film Juarez by Brian Aherne. He also appeared in one scene in the 1954 American film Vera Cruz, played by George Macready. In the Mexican telenovela "El Vuelo del Águila", Maximilian was portrayed by Mexican actor Mario Iván Martínez. 
In the wake of his death, carte-de-visite cards with photographs commemorating his execution circulated both among his followers and among those who wished to celebrate his death. One such card featured a photograph of the shirt he wore to his execution, riddled with bullet holes.
The composer Franz Liszt included a "Marche funèbre, en mémoire de Maximilian I, empereur de Mexique" (a funeral march in memory of Maximilian I) among the pieces in his famous collection of piano pieces entitled Années de pèlerinage.
|Coat of Arms of His Imperial Majesty, Maximilian of Mexico|
Archduke Franz Karl Joseph of Austria (17 December 1802 – 8 March 1878) was a member of the House of Habsburg. He was the father of two emperors: Franz Joseph I of Austria and Maximilian I of Mexico. Through his third son Karl Ludwig, he was the grandfather of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria – whose assassination sparked the hostilities that led to the outbreak of World War I – and the great-grandfather of the last Habsburg emperor Karl I.Carl Gangolf Kayser
Carl Gangolf Kayser (or Carl Gangolph Kaiser; born 12 February 1837, in Vienna; died 2 September 1895) was an Austrian architect at the service of Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico, during the Second Mexican Empire. In the later part of his life he returned to Austria and worked on restoring medieval castles.Carlota of Mexico
Carlota of Mexico (7 June 1840 – 19 January 1927) was a Belgian princess who became Empress of Mexico by marriage to Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico.Cerro de las Campanas
The Cerro de las Campanas ("Hill of the Bells") is a hill and national park located in Querétaro City, Mexico. It is most noteworthy as the place where Emperor Maximilian of Habsburg and Generals Miguel Miramón and Tomás Mejía were executed, definitively ending the French intervention in Mexico. The mountain gets its name from rocks that, according to legend, make bell sounds when struck.Emperor Maximilian
Emperor Maximilian may refer to:
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (1459–1519)
Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor (1564–1576)
Maximilian I of Mexico, Austrian-born Emperor of Mexico (1861–1867)Irapuato
Irapuato is a Mexican town (and municipality) located at the foot of the Arandas Hill (in Spanish: Cerro de Arandas), in the south central region of the state of Guanajuato. It lies between the Silao River and the Guanajuato River, a tributary of the Lerma River, at 1,724 m (5,656 ft) above sea level. It is located at 20°40′N 101°21′W. The city is the second-largest in the state (only behind León), with a population of 342,561 according to the 2005 census, while its municipality has a population of 529,440. The municipality has an area of 845.16 km² (326.32 sq mi) and includes numerous smaller outlying communities. The city's main industry is agriculture and it is famous for its strawberries and the raising of pigs and cattle. The fruits and flowers of Irapuato's luxurious gardens are well known throughout Mexico.José Luis Blasio
José Luis Blasio y Prieto (1842–1923, Mexico City) was private secretary to Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico from 1865 to 1867. He published the book Maximiliano Íntimo (Intimate Maximilian) in 1905, based on his experiences during his service to the second Emperor of Mexico.Juarez and Maximillian
Juarez and Maximillian (Spanish: Juárez y Maximiliano) is a 1934 Mexican historical drama film directed by Miguel Contreras Torres and Raphael J. Sevilla. The film is set during the French intervention in Mexico during the 1860s, and features the battle between Maximilian I of Mexico and Benito Juárez, a theme used in the later 1939 American film Juarez. It was one of the few major commercial successes for the Mexican film industry in the early sound era, before the beginning of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.Lauro Villar Ochoa
Lauro Villar Ochoa (August 6, 1849- June 26, 1923) was a Mexican military general who is known for defending the National Palace of Mexico and Francisco I. Madero's administration, along with Ángel Ortiz Monasterio, from the rebellious attacks of the general Bernardo Reyes of the Ten Tragic Days in 1913. He also fought in the French Intervention and against the empire of Maximilian I of Mexico.Mexican monarchy family tree
This is the family tree of Emperors of Mexico and their descendants, mostly members of the House of Iturbide.Museo Nacional de Historia
The Museo Nacional de Historia (MNH or National Museum of History) is a national museum of Mexico, located inside Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City. The Castle itself is found within the first section of the well known Chapultepec Park. The museum received 2,135,465 visitors in 2017.The museum hosts twelve showrooms that house objects from various stages in Mexican history, including the foundation of the Spanish Empire (known in Mexico as “The Conquest”), the New Spain and the Viceregal era (known in Mexico as “The Colonial epoch”), the Mexican War of Independence, the Reform movement and the Revolution of 1910.
On the top floor, in addition to a library, there are two sections with dioramas recreating rooms of the castle during the time when Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico (von Habsburg) lived there with his wife Princess Charlotte of Belgium, also known as Empress Charlotte (Carlota) of Mexico.
The museum also hosts a garden area and an old observatory. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.Pastry War
The Pastry War (Spanish: Guerra de los pasteles, French: Guerre des Pâtisseries), also known as the First French intervention in Mexico or the First Franco-Mexican War (1838–1839), began in November 1838 with the naval blockade of some Mexican ports and the capture of the fortress of San Juan de Ulúa in Veracruz by French forces sent by King Louis-Philippe. It ended several months later in March 1839 with a British-brokered peace. The intervention followed many claims by French nationals of losses due to unrest in Mexico.
This incident was the first and lesser of Mexico's two 19th-century wars with France, being followed by the French invasion of 1861–67 which supported the short reign of Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico who was executed by firing squad at the end of that later conflict.Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico
The Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico (in Spanish: Real y Pontificia Universidad de México) was founded on 21 September 1551 by Royal Decree signed by Charles I of Spain, in Valladolid, Spain. It is generally considered the first university officially founded in North America and second in the Americas (preceded by the National University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru, chartered on May 12 of the same year).
After the Mexican War of Independence it was renamed University of Mexico. When Mexican liberals were in power at intervals in the nineteenth century, it was closed, since liberals sought to put education in the hands of the state rather than the Roman Catholic Church. Its first closure was in 1833, when Valentín Gómez Farías implemented liberal policies. When Antonio López de Santa Anna returned to power, the university was reopened. It was finally abolished in 1865 during the Second Mexican Empire by Maximilian I of Mexico. Scattered institutions, including secularized successors of its faculties of law and medicine, other secular colleges founded by liberals on the model of the French grandes ecoles, and religious establishments outside Mexico City, continued without interruption.
In 1910, during the regime of Porfirio Díaz, Justo Sierra merged and expanded Mexico City's decentralized colleges of higher education, founding the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). UNAM is a public university and considered the institutional heir of the earlier Pontifical University of Mexico, but under state rather than church control.Second French intervention in Mexico
The Second French Intervention in Mexico (Spanish: Segunda intervención francesa en México, 1861–67; known as Expédition du Mexique in France) was an invasion of Mexico, launched in late 1861, by the Second French Empire (1852–70). Initially supported by Britain and Spain, the French intervention in Mexico was a consequence of President Benito Juárez's two-year moratorium, on 17 July 1861, of loan-interest payments to French, British and Spanish creditors.To extend the influence of Imperial France, Napoleon III instigated the intervention in Mexico by claiming that the military adventure was a foreign policy commitment to free trade. The establishment of a friendly monarchy in Mexico would ensure European access to Latin American markets; and French access to Mexican silver. To realize his imperial ambitions without other European interference, Napoleon III entered into a coalition with Britain and Spain, while the U.S. was occupied with the American Civil War (1861–65), and unable to enforce the Monroe Doctrine.On 31 October 1861, France, Britain, and Spain agreed to the Convention of London, a joint effort to extract repayments from Mexico. On 8 December, the Spanish fleet disembarked troops at the port of Veracruz, on the Gulf of Mexico. When the British and the Spanish discovered that France had unilaterally planned to seize Mexico, they withdrew from the military coalition agreed in London. The subsequent French invasion created the Second Mexican Empire (1861–67), a client state of the French Empire. Besides the Continental empires involved, the Russian Empire also acknowledged the political legitimacy of the Maximilian's Second Mexican Empire, when the Tsarist fleet saluted the imperial Mexican flag when sailing off the Pacific Ocean coastal state of Guerrero.In Mexican politics, the French intervention allowed active political reaction against the Liberal policies of racial and socio-economic reform of president Benito Juárez (1858–71), thus the Roman Catholic Church, upper-class conservatives, much of the Mexican nobility, and some Native American communities welcomed and collaborated with the French empire's installation of Maximilian I of Mexico as Emperor of the Mexicans.In European politics, the French intervention in Mexico reconciled the Second French Empire and the Austrian Empire, whom the French had defeated in the Franco–Austrian War of 1859. French imperial expansion into Mexico counterbalanced the geopolitical power of the Protestant Christian United States, by developing a powerful Catholic empire in Latin America, and the exploitation of the mineral wealth of the Mexican north-west. After much guerrilla warfare that continued after the Capture of Mexico City in 1863 — the French Empire withdrew from Mexico and abandoned the Austrian emperor of Mexico; subsequently, the Mexicans executed Emperor Maximilian I, on 19 June 1867, and restored the Mexican Republic.Second Mexican Empire
The Mexican Empire (Spanish: Imperio Mexicano) or Second Mexican Empire (Spanish: Segundo Imperio Mexicano) was the name of Mexico under a limited hereditary monarchy declared by the Assembly of Notables on July 10, 1863, during the Second French intervention in Mexico. It was created with the support of Napoleon III of France, who attempted to establish a monarchist ally in the Americas. A referendum confirmed Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, as Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico.
Promoted by the powerful and conservative elite of Mexico's "hacendados", with the support of the French, as well as from the Austrian and Belgian crowns, the intervention attempted to create a monarchical system in Mexico, as it had functioned during the 300 years of the viceroyalty of New Spain and for the short term of the imperial independent reign of Emperor Agustín I of Mexico. Support came mainly from conservative Catholics, who were at the time a majority within Mexico, and the main means came from the Mexican nobility, who aimed to promote stability. The Empire came to an end on June 19, 1867, with the execution of Emperor Maximilian I.Siege of Querétaro
The Siege of Querétaro was the culminating battle of the Second French intervention in Mexico and the Second Mexican Empire. It took place between Republican and Imperial armies from 6 March to 15 May 1867.
The Republican victory at Querétaro effectively ended the war of the Second French Intervention. Maximilian I of Mexico was captured and condemned to death by a court martial on June 14; resulting in his execution by firing squad on the morning of June 19 at the Cerro de las Campanas.The Mad Empress
The Mad Empress is a 1939 American historical drama film depicting the 3-year reign of Maximilian I of Mexico (Nagel) and his struggles against Benito Juarez (Robards). Empress Carlotta (Novora) is the "mad" empress who has a breakdown when she realizes her husband is condemned to death.Tomás Mejía Camacho
José Tomás de la Luz Mejía Camacho, better known as Tomás Mejía (September 17, 1820 – June 19, 1867), was a Mexican soldier.
Born in Pinal de Amoles, Sierra Gorda, Querétaro, he fought as a cavalry general on the side of Maximilian I of Mexico during the war between Monarchists and Republicans after the French intervention in 1862 and the rise of the Second Mexican Empire in 1863-1864.
He was executed by the Liberal Republicans, together with General Miguel Miramón and Emperor Maximilian I in Querétaro in 1867.Vicente Riva Palacio
Vicente Riva Palacio y Guerrero (16 October 1832 in Mexico City – 22 November 1896 in Madrid) was a liberal politician, novelist, journalist, intellectual, and military leader.
His father was Mariano Riva Palacio, a moderate liberal, and his mother was María de los Dolores Guerrero Hernández, daughter of independence hero and President of Mexico Vicente Guerrero and María de Guadalupe Hernández. Vicente's father worked for the Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico in Querétaro during the French intervention in Mexico.
|Ancestors of Maximilian I of Mexico|
Offices and distinctions