Page 3 - The German Citizen
P. 3
An Austrian adventure in Mexico even by association – in groups
or activities hostile to Maximil-
ian’s government was subject to

by Martin Ederer younger brother of Emperor military trial, and if convicted,

We’ve all seen the Westerns Franz Josef. By some assess- execution.
where stiff French troops ments, Ferdinand was more tal- Needless to say, the proceed-

are executing nice Mexican vil- ented than his brother, but alas, ings were not carefully struc-

lagers who just want a fiesta. The he was not first-born. As com- tured or monitored. Over 11,000

French troops were working for mander-in-chief of the Austrian of Juárez’s supporters were exe-

An Austrian adventure in Mexi- navy, he authorized the first Aus- cuted. That didn’t help Maximil-

co. What was all of this about? trian mission to sail around the ian. Revolutionary and patriotic

Many of us know that Mexi- world. Then he served as gover- fervor surged.

co gained its independence from nor of Lombardy-Venetia in Then, in 1866, Napoleon III

Spain in 1821. Fewer in our part northern Italy. pulled his forces out of Mexico.

of the world know that Hab- Meanwhile in Mexico, a Maximilian’s wife, Carlota of

sburgs ruled Spain from 1504 group of monarchists wanted to Belgium, left Mexico for Europe

until 1700. The other piece is Maximilian I of Mexico. topple the Mexican Republic and in order to gain new support for
that Napoleon I’s second wife all its troubles, and Napoleon III President Benito Juárez. her embattled husband. She

was a Habsburg. Short form: also cost Mexico its First Repub- wanted to solidify his hold on failed.

There were a lot of real, imag- lic. Mexico. Together, they invited to simply go away, even if Max- In 1867 Maximilian and his

ined, and “sort of” family ties The new (second) Mexican Maximilian to become Emperor imilian supported a good number forces eventually got trapped by

involved here. Republic had huge debts. Ac- of Mexico and rigged a plebi- of Juárez’s liberal policies. It Juárez’s forces. On June 19,

Fast-forward to 1864. A lot cordingly forces from Spain, scite in 1864 to make it official. didn’t help, either, that the Unit- 1867, Maximilian was executed

had happened. Napoleon had Great Britain and France – The Mexican patriotic narra- ed States continued to recognize by firing squad. After his em-

come and gone in France. Mexi- counting on the United States tive – and Hollywood – have the Juárez government. After the balmed body was displayed in

co was now a republic. The Unit- being distracted with its own mainly portrayed Maximilian’s U.S. Civil War, U.S. support of Mexico, Maximilian’s remains

ed States – whose Monroe problems – invaded Mexico in government as corrupt and over- Juárez and diplomatic pressure were shipped home to Austria,

Doctrine opposed European 1861 to collect. eager with the firing squad. But on Napoleon III grew. where he was buried in the impe-

meddling in the Western Hemi- The Spanish and British that was later. As support for Maximilian in rial crypt in Vienna.

sphere – was too busy with the withdrew after negotiations with At first, Maximilian tried to Mexico dwindled, he tried to This is a made-for-Holly-

Civil War to worry about Mexi- President Benito Juárez. The enact humane social legislation conjure up new support by wel- wood adventure, and it is in

co. The Revolution of 1848 in French stayed, in part because to improve the lives of the farm- coming German and Austrian some ways tragic. Most ironic of

France ended with Napoleon’s Napoleon III needed a foreign ers and workers – he had even immigrants – and also ex-Con- all are the stories that Juárez and

nephew in charge, eventually as adventure to distract France from offered Juárez the position of federates from the United States, Maximilian personally liked

Emperor Napoleon III. The Rev- growing policy failures back prime minister. Maximilian’s a move obviously hostile to each other – as the “early” Max-

olution of 1848 also resulted in home. monarchist patrons surely began Washington – all to no avail. imilian would seem to indicate.

Franz Josef becoming Emperor Enter Archduke Ferdinand to regret their invitation. Cornered, Maximilian issued But in the end, the situation was

of Austria. Defeat in the Mexi- Maximilian Joseph Maria von Meanwhile supporters of his infamous “Black Decree” in more than even legendary Hab-

can-American War by 1848 had Habsburg-Lothringen, the Benito Juárez’s republic refused late 1865. Anyone involved – sburg diplomacy could navigate.
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