Saturday, September 3, 2011

Maximilian I

Maximilian I (Spanish: Maximiliano I; 6 July 1832 – 19 June 1867) was the only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire.

After a distinguished career in the Austrian Navy, he was proclaimed Emperor of Mexico on 10 April 1864 with the backing of Napoleon III of France and a group of Mexican monarchists who sought to revive the Mexican monarchy. Many foreign governments, including that of the United States, refused to recognize his administration. This helped to ensure the success of Republican forces led by Benito Juárez, and Maximilian was captured and executed in 1867.

Though criticised as naive and indecisive, Maximilian is often praised by historians due to his liberal reforms, his genuine desire to help the people of Mexico, his refusal to desert his loyal followers, and his personal bravery during the siege of Querétaro. He has been highly praised even by historians who believe he had no business becoming involved in Mexican affairs. In Mexico, he and his consort are known as Maximiliano and Carlota.

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