Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The French Intervention in Mexico: 1862-1867

The French intervention in Mexico , also known asThe Maximilian Affair, was an invasion of Mexico by an expeditionary force sent by the Second French Empire. It followed President Benito Juárez's suspension of interest payments to foreign countries on 17 July 1861, which angered Mexico's major creditors: Spain, France and Britain.

Napoleon III of France was the instigator. His foreign policy was based on a commitment to free trade. For him, a friendly government in Mexico provided an opportunity to expand free trade by ensuring European access to important markets, and preventing monopoly by the United States. Napoleon built a coalition with Spain and Britain at a time the U.S. was engaged in a full-scale civil war. The U.S. protested but could not intervene directly until its civil war was over in 1865.
When the British and Spanish discovered that the French planned to invade Mexico, they withdrew.

The subsequent French invasion resulted in the Second Mexican Empire, which was supported by the Roman Catholic clergy, many conservative elements of the upper class, and some indigenous communities. Conservatives, and many in the Mexican nobility, tried to revive the monarchical form of government when they helped to bring to Mexico an archduke from the Royal House of Austria, Maximilian Ferdinand, or Maximilian I of Mexico (who married Charlotte of Belgium, also known as Carlota of Mexico), with the military support of France.

France had various interests in this Mexican affair, such as seeking reconciliation with Austria, which had been defeated during the Franco-Austrian War, counterbalancing the growing U.S. power by developing a powerful Catholic neighbouring empire, and exploiting the rich mines in the north-west of the country.

Live those times in the Civil War adventure Spy Hunt in Dixie;
Knee-deep, pushing back the German invasion of Britain, MI6 is busy intercepting loads of enigma messages. Bringing down a defector isn't a priority for the Directorate, but for one disillusioned senior operative. He believes the mole runs deep.

Starting with the American Civil war (1861-1865), the French Mexican war (1862-1867), reaching WWII (1939-1945) and back, the search for a mole in the British Secret Intelligence was never more challenging.

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