Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico

Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico
   The archduke of Austria and emperor of Mexico, Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria was born in Vienna in July 1832. The younger brother of Emperor Francis Joseph I, he became commander of the Austrian navy in 1854 and governor-general of the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom in 1857. In the war of 1859, the Habsburgs lost Lombardy to Piedmont-Sardinia, and Maximilian lost his post. Persuaded by the French Emperor Napoleon III (see Bonaparte, Louis Napoleon ) and Mexican conservatives who were scheming to topple President Benito Juárez, Maximilian accepted the offer of the Mexican throne in 1863.
   After his arrival in Mexico, Maximilian had to face massive armed resistance. In this civil war Maximilian depended on the financial and military support of Napoleon III. When the United States threatened to intervene in 1865, Napoleon III disengaged and left Maximilian with little chance of success. Nevertheless, Maximilian refused to flee the country and was arrested by Juaréz’ forces. He was executed by republican troops near Querétaro in June 1867.
   See also <>.
    Bérenger, Jean. A History of the Habsburg Empire, 1780–1918 . London: Longman, 1997;
    Bridge, Francis R. The Habsburg Monarchy Among the Great Powers, 1815–1918 . New York: St. Martin’s, 1990;
    Kann, Robert A. The Multinational Empire: Nationalism and National Reform in the Habsburg Monarchy, 1848–1918 . 2 vols. New York: Octagon Books, 1964;
    Taylor, A.J.P. The Habsburg Monarchy, 1809–1918 . Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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