Restricted Debate Retrieved 18: The Challenge to USA and CSA by the French Adventure in Mexico


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major bill

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Did the various royals of Europe recognize Maximilian I as a real emperor? In the royal pecking order, do not emperors out rank kings and queens? Would not King of Mexico been a more honest title?
 

major bill

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Did the various royals of Europe recognize Maximilian I as a real emperor? In the royal pecking order, do not emperors out rank kings and queens? Would not King of Mexico been a more honest title?
 

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Maximilian's recognition by European royalty has nothing to do with Mexico per se,, but everything to do with his Hapsburg ancestry. Monarchy is not national, it is purely genealogical. That's why so many thrones have been occupied by monarchs with no connection at all with the people they rule.

Mexico, btw, first became an "Empire" back in 1821, when Spanish born caudillo (military leader) Agustín de Iturbide, proclaimed himself Emperor Agustín I. The people weren't interested, and he was overthrown in 1823. In 1864, Archduke Maximilian proclaimed the Second Mexican Empire (or, rather, conservative Mexican politicians and bishops proclaimed it, and invited Max to take the throne). Childless, he adopted Iturbide's two grandsons in order to, so he thought, secure the support of the Mexican people (who still weren't interested). Maximilian probably would have been satisfied as "King of Mexico," but the "Empire" idea was already there, so...
 

John Hartwell

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Maximilian's recognition by European royalty has nothing to do with Mexico per se,, but everything to do with his Hapsburg ancestry. Monarchy is not national, it is purely genealogical. That's why so many thrones have been occupied by monarchs with no connection at all with the people they rule.

Mexico, btw, first became an "Empire" back in 1821, when Spanish born caudillo (military leader) Agustín de Iturbide, proclaimed himself Emperor Agustín I. The people weren't interested, and he was overthrown in 1823. In 1864, Archduke Maximilian proclaimed the Second Mexican Empire (or, rather, conservative Mexican politicians and bishops proclaimed it, and invited Max to take the throne). Childless, he adopted Iturbide's two grandsons in order to, so he thought, secure the support of the Mexican people (who still weren't interested). Maximilian probably would have been satisfied as "King of Mexico," but the "Empire" idea was already there, so...
 

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I'm not sure Kingdom would have been more honest from a European point-of-view. Mexico is larger than most European kingdoms, and its size was certainly comparable to that of the Austrian Empire Maximillian had come from. Plus as it has already been stated Mexico had been an Empire in the past, though considerably larger.

As for recognition, I'm not sure who all recognized the 2nd Mexican Empire with Maximillian on it's throne. But I think I may have an idea who all probably would have.

2nd French Empire- It was Napoleon III's idea...

Austrian Empire- Maximillian's brother and Emperor till his death in WW1 Franz Josef cautiously gave his blessing and allowed the formation of the Austrian Volunteer Corps as Maximillian's body guards.

Kingdom of Belgium- Maximillian's wife, Charlotte or Carlota, was of the royal household and the Belgian Legion for her and Maximillian's protection. French Marshal Bazaine was accused of being responsible for the Belgian Legion being massacred Tacambaro by Carlota.

German Confederation- As Austria was the head of the Confederation, and usually demanded subservience from it to her actions, I would imagine it's a safe bet all the nations of it recognized Maximillian, including the vaunted Kingdom of Prussia which would put an end to Austria's dominance and the Confederation in 1866

Outside of them I'm not certain who recognized him and the Empire. As for Britain and Spain who had initiated the Mexican intervention with France they had pulled out after it became clear Napoleon III had his own agenda outside of forcing Mexico to honor its debt and had pulled out of Vera Cruz before yellow fever struck hard and made a deal with Juarez on repayment of Mexico's debt. So I'm not completely sure if they recognized Maximillian or not as they still had dealings with the Republic.

To be honest I'm not sure the C.S.A. recognized him, I know it was offered on conditions like Confederate recognition, but I don't know if it was ever done.

That conflict in Mexico is truly a sad one, Maximillian had good intentions and wanted to do right by Mexico. It was said he was too liberal for the conservatives, and too conservative for the liberals. Juarez and their so-called Republican forces were actually more guilty of atrocity than Maximillian, who infuriated Bazaine and the French on a daily basis for his pardoning of convicted Juaristas awaiting a firing squad, which shortly after they were pardoned by Maximillian they went right back to being Juaristas. It's worth noting that during their last stand during the Siege of Quaretaro there are accounts of Maximillian going to enlisted men asking them for a light or what not just to talk to them, and he would give them money for after it was all over, something unheard of for well bred royal types in the 19th Century. The naïve would be Emperor even gave the firing squad who killed him gold pesos telling them he forgave them and wanted them to live on, and only aske they shoot for his heart so his "mother could look upon his face" with the screwy part of being the firing squad then made a point to shoot him in the face! Yep the tale of the 2nd Mexican Empire is a tragic if screwed up one, one where the conservative monarch was more republican than the supposed freedom fighters who fit the bill of despots far more than the man who was claimed to be a despotic puppet.
 

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I'm not sure Kingdom would have been more honest from a European point-of-view. Mexico is larger than most European kingdoms, and its size was certainly comparable to that of the Austrian Empire Maximillian had come from. Plus as it has already been stated Mexico had been an Empire in the past, though considerably larger.

As for recognition, I'm not sure who all recognized the 2nd Mexican Empire with Maximillian on it's throne. But I think I may have an idea who all probably would have.

2nd French Empire- It was Napoleon III's idea...

Austrian Empire- Maximillian's brother and Emperor till his death in WW1 Franz Josef cautiously gave his blessing and allowed the formation of the Austrian Volunteer Corps as Maximillian's body guards.

Kingdom of Belgium- Maximillian's wife, Charlotte or Carlota, was of the royal household and the Belgian Legion for her and Maximillian's protection. French Marshal Bazaine was accused of being responsible for the Belgian Legion being massacred Tacambaro by Carlota.

German Confederation- As Austria was the head of the Confederation, and usually demanded subservience from it to her actions, I would imagine it's a safe bet all the nations of it recognized Maximillian, including the vaunted Kingdom of Prussia which would put an end to Austria's dominance and the Confederation in 1866

Outside of them I'm not certain who recognized him and the Empire. As for Britain and Spain who had initiated the Mexican intervention with France they had pulled out after it became clear Napoleon III had his own agenda outside of forcing Mexico to honor its debt and had pulled out of Vera Cruz before yellow fever struck hard and made a deal with Juarez on repayment of Mexico's debt. So I'm not completely sure if they recognized Maximillian or not as they still had dealings with the Republic.

To be honest I'm not sure the C.S.A. recognized him, I know it was offered on conditions like Confederate recognition, but I don't know if it was ever done.

That conflict in Mexico is truly a sad one, Maximillian had good intentions and wanted to do right by Mexico. It was said he was too liberal for the conservatives, and too conservative for the liberals. Juarez and their so-called Republican forces were actually more guilty of atrocity than Maximillian, who infuriated Bazaine and the French on a daily basis for his pardoning of convicted Juaristas awaiting a firing squad, which shortly after they were pardoned by Maximillian they went right back to being Juaristas. It's worth noting that during their last stand during the Siege of Quaretaro there are accounts of Maximillian going to enlisted men asking them for a light or what not just to talk to them, and he would give them money for after it was all over, something unheard of for well bred royal types in the 19th Century. The naïve would be Emperor even gave the firing squad who killed him gold pesos telling them he forgave them and wanted them to live on, and only aske they shoot for his heart so his "mother could look upon his face" with the screwy part of being the firing squad then made a point to shoot him in the face! Yep the tale of the 2nd Mexican Empire is a tragic if screwed up one, one where the conservative monarch was more republican than the supposed freedom fighters who fit the bill of despots far more than the man who was claimed to be a despotic puppet.
 

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I'm not sure Kingdom would have been more honest from a European point-of-view. Mexico is larger than most European kingdoms, and its size was certainly comparable to that of the Austrian Empire Maximillian had come from. Plus as it has already been stated Mexico had been an Empire in the past, though considerably larger.

As for recognition, I'm not sure who all recognized the 2nd Mexican Empire with Maximillian on it's throne. But I think I may have an idea who all probably would have.

2nd French Empire- It was Napoleon III's idea...

Austrian Empire- Maximillian's brother and Emperor till his death in WW1 Franz Josef cautiously gave his blessing and allowed the formation of the Austrian Volunteer Corps as Maximillian's body guards.

Kingdom of Belgium- Maximillian's wife, Charlotte or Carlota, was of the royal household and the Belgian Legion for her and Maximillian's protection. French Marshal Bazaine was accused of being responsible for the Belgian Legion being massacred Tacambaro by Carlota.

German Confederation- As Austria was the head of the Confederation, and usually demanded subservience from it to her actions, I would imagine it's a safe bet all the nations of it recognized Maximillian, including the vaunted Kingdom of Prussia which would put an end to Austria's dominance and the Confederation in 1866

Outside of them I'm not certain who recognized him and the Empire. As for Britain and Spain who had initiated the Mexican intervention with France they had pulled out after it became clear Napoleon III had his own agenda outside of forcing Mexico to honor its debt and had pulled out of Vera Cruz before yellow fever struck hard and made a deal with Juarez on repayment of Mexico's debt. So I'm not completely sure if they recognized Maximillian or not as they still had dealings with the Republic.

To be honest I'm not sure the C.S.A. recognized him, I know it was offered on conditions like Confederate recognition, but I don't know if it was ever done.

That conflict in Mexico is truly a sad one, Maximillian had good intentions and wanted to do right by Mexico. It was said he was too liberal for the conservatives, and too conservative for the liberals. Juarez and their so-called Republican forces were actually more guilty of atrocity than Maximillian, who infuriated Bazaine and the French on a daily basis for his pardoning of convicted Juaristas awaiting a firing squad, which shortly after they were pardoned by Maximillian they went right back to being Juaristas. It's worth noting that during their last stand during the Siege of Quaretaro there are accounts of Maximillian going to enlisted men asking them for a light or what not just to talk to them, and he would give them money for after it was all over, something unheard of for well bred royal types in the 19th Century. The naïve would be Emperor even gave the firing squad who killed him gold pesos telling them he forgave them and wanted them to live on, and only aske they shoot for his heart so his "mother could look upon his face" with the screwy part of being the firing squad then made a point to shoot him in the face! Yep the tale of the 2nd Mexican Empire is a tragic if screwed up one, one where the conservative monarch was more republican than the supposed freedom fighters who fit the bill of despots far more than the man who was claimed to be a despotic puppet.
If I could narrow this synopsis down to one line, "That conflict in Mexico is truly a sad one, Maximillian had good intentions and wanted to do right by Mexico." (Last paragraph above).
We had gone to war with Mexico, I suppose during a vacuum of leadership by foreign powers, i.e. Spain and France. We had handed the rule over to Mexico for them to rule themselves, just give us the land we claim. I know the politics of Civil War in our own country must have had a bearing on recognizing the title 'Emperor' by European alliances. The confederacy did recognize it, and sought to help later. But the United States did not think it was a legitimate claim. I do not think it was contested by us, though, nor by any other powers. It fell by its own faults, and created a vacuum again.
Lubliner.
 

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I'm not sure Kingdom would have been more honest from a European point-of-view. Mexico is larger than most European kingdoms, and its size was certainly comparable to that of the Austrian Empire Maximillian had come from. Plus as it has already been stated Mexico had been an Empire in the past, though considerably larger.

As for recognition, I'm not sure who all recognized the 2nd Mexican Empire with Maximillian on it's throne. But I think I may have an idea who all probably would have.

2nd French Empire- It was Napoleon III's idea...

Austrian Empire- Maximillian's brother and Emperor till his death in WW1 Franz Josef cautiously gave his blessing and allowed the formation of the Austrian Volunteer Corps as Maximillian's body guards.

Kingdom of Belgium- Maximillian's wife, Charlotte or Carlota, was of the royal household and the Belgian Legion for her and Maximillian's protection. French Marshal Bazaine was accused of being responsible for the Belgian Legion being massacred Tacambaro by Carlota.

German Confederation- As Austria was the head of the Confederation, and usually demanded subservience from it to her actions, I would imagine it's a safe bet all the nations of it recognized Maximillian, including the vaunted Kingdom of Prussia which would put an end to Austria's dominance and the Confederation in 1866

Outside of them I'm not certain who recognized him and the Empire. As for Britain and Spain who had initiated the Mexican intervention with France they had pulled out after it became clear Napoleon III had his own agenda outside of forcing Mexico to honor its debt and had pulled out of Vera Cruz before yellow fever struck hard and made a deal with Juarez on repayment of Mexico's debt. So I'm not completely sure if they recognized Maximillian or not as they still had dealings with the Republic.

To be honest I'm not sure the C.S.A. recognized him, I know it was offered on conditions like Confederate recognition, but I don't know if it was ever done.

That conflict in Mexico is truly a sad one, Maximillian had good intentions and wanted to do right by Mexico. It was said he was too liberal for the conservatives, and too conservative for the liberals. Juarez and their so-called Republican forces were actually more guilty of atrocity than Maximillian, who infuriated Bazaine and the French on a daily basis for his pardoning of convicted Juaristas awaiting a firing squad, which shortly after they were pardoned by Maximillian they went right back to being Juaristas. It's worth noting that during their last stand during the Siege of Quaretaro there are accounts of Maximillian going to enlisted men asking them for a light or what not just to talk to them, and he would give them money for after it was all over, something unheard of for well bred royal types in the 19th Century. The naïve would be Emperor even gave the firing squad who killed him gold pesos telling them he forgave them and wanted them to live on, and only aske they shoot for his heart so his "mother could look upon his face" with the screwy part of being the firing squad then made a point to shoot him in the face! Yep the tale of the 2nd Mexican Empire is a tragic if screwed up one, one where the conservative monarch was more republican than the supposed freedom fighters who fit the bill of despots far more than the man who was claimed to be a despotic puppet.
If I could narrow this synopsis down to one line, "That conflict in Mexico is truly a sad one, Maximillian had good intentions and wanted to do right by Mexico." (Last paragraph above).
We had gone to war with Mexico, I suppose during a vacuum of leadership by foreign powers, i.e. Spain and France. We had handed the rule over to Mexico for them to rule themselves, just give us the land we claim. I know the politics of Civil War in our own country must have had a bearing on recognizing the title 'Emperor' by European alliances. The confederacy did recognize it, and sought to help later. But the United States did not think it was a legitimate claim. I do not think it was contested by us, though, nor by any other powers. It fell by its own faults, and created a vacuum again.
Lubliner.
 

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For all his "good intentions," Maximilian by Imperial Decree re-introduced peonage in September 1865, and encouraged "foreign entrepreneurs" who might want to settle their "clients" on Mexican soil.

Chattel slavery had been abolished in Mexico decades before, but peonage, debt-slavery (whereby debtors were legally required to work off their ever-increasing debts by working their creditor's land) continued until abolished by Juarez in 1857. Maximilian's decree restoring the practice was a transparent attempt at encouraging ex-Confederate settlement schemes. The U. S. State Department protested the move to reestablish this "grinding and odious form of slavery." Of course, by the fall of 1865, the likelihood of any southern planter being able to "export" his former slaves for peonage in Mexico was very slim.

As it turned out, the former Confederate states themselves wound up adopting a form of peonage under the name of "sharecropping."
 

John Hartwell

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For all his "good intentions," Maximilian by Imperial Decree re-introduced peonage in September 1865, and encouraged "foreign entrepreneurs" who might want to settle their "clients" on Mexican soil.

Chattel slavery had been abolished in Mexico decades before, but peonage, debt-slavery (whereby debtors were legally required to work off their ever-increasing debts by working their creditor's land) continued until abolished by Juarez in 1857. Maximilian's decree restoring the practice was a transparent attempt at encouraging ex-Confederate settlement schemes. The U. S. State Department protested the move to reestablish this "grinding and odious form of slavery." Of course, by the fall of 1865, the likelihood of any southern planter being able to "export" his former slaves for peonage in Mexico was very slim.

As it turned out, the former Confederate states themselves wound up adopting a form of peonage under the name of "sharecropping."
 

trice

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Did the various royals of Europe recognize Maximilian I as a real emperor? In the royal pecking order, do not emperors out rank kings and queens? Would not King of Mexico been a more honest title?
The rule of Maximillian I was recognized by at least these four countries: Britain, France, Austria and Spain. Given the power and prestige of those four at the time, I'd guess many others fell in line. Britain and Spain, of course, had both contributed forces to the intervention in 1861, but withdrew after a time. Napoleon III was determined to remain and stage-managed the selection of Maximillian of Austria as the new Emperor in 1864.
 

trice

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Did the various royals of Europe recognize Maximilian I as a real emperor? In the royal pecking order, do not emperors out rank kings and queens? Would not King of Mexico been a more honest title?
The rule of Maximillian I was recognized by at least these four countries: Britain, France, Austria and Spain. Given the power and prestige of those four at the time, I'd guess many others fell in line. Britain and Spain, of course, had both contributed forces to the intervention in 1861, but withdrew after a time. Napoleon III was determined to remain and stage-managed the selection of Maximillian of Austria as the new Emperor in 1864.
 

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For all his "good intentions," Maximilian by Imperial Decree re-introduced peonage in September 1865, and encouraged "foreign entrepreneurs" who might want to settle their "clients" on Mexican soil.
Yes he officially brought it back, but unofficially it had never stopped. It may have been officially illegal, but if there is one certainty in Mexico in those days its that they tended to be ruled by nothing but dictators, regardless of political party with laws routinely ignored at will. Heck peonage was happening under different names when the Revolution of 1910 commenced. Plus one must remember he was a foreigner, given a crown by the conservatives of Mexico, who wanted those kind of things. He had to throw them a carrot, and it was probably represented to him as a good thing.

As for "foreign entrepreneurs" it may not have gone as planned, but Maximillian was trying to encourage investment in Mexico, a country long deemed to unstable to invest in, and was deeply in debt, a debt that had resulted in the Intervention to begin with. So really its hard to fault him for that. Look at it this way, the "2nd Mexican Empire" was a new country, that had just been formed, inherited the debt from the previous Republic that had been a dictator ridden wreck for decades and accumulated a very substantial debt, and on top of that the interest of it increased, and his government was bound by the Treaty of Miramar to pay for the French Army to police the country, while his government was busy building their own military from scratch. Encouraging foreign investment in Mexico wasn't a bad thing when looking at it from his throne.

But look at some of his other agendas:
Abolishing Child Labor (a practice that returned after his execution and I personally wouldn't be surprised if it still existed in Mexico)
Establishing a democratically elected congress
Limited working hours
Abolishing the land tenancy of Indians (something that also returned after his execution and Juarez was an Indian, speaks for his character to me)

At the end of the day, I feel Maximillian has been judged a little too harshly, now whole his "Black Decree" may seem unforgivable it really wasn't his idea so much as it was Marshal Bazaine's who had been demanding he issue it for some time, and finally forced him too, which it was rescinded when the French left. But while unforgivable when looking from afar, when you look at the realities of the war up close, it was simply fighting fire with fire. Just look at the fight for control of the Mexican side of Rio Grande and the realities of a very nasty war with no quarter being the rule of the day, that action by Maximillian can be forgiven to some extent.

Maximillian was far from perfect, mostly naïve to my eyes, but he was miles above the corrupt alternatives. Literally the only example in history I'm more sympathetic to a monarch than to republicans, and I'm only that way because of how un-republican and thoroughly corrupt Juarez and his forces and government were.
 

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For all his "good intentions," Maximilian by Imperial Decree re-introduced peonage in September 1865, and encouraged "foreign entrepreneurs" who might want to settle their "clients" on Mexican soil.
Yes he officially brought it back, but unofficially it had never stopped. It may have been officially illegal, but if there is one certainty in Mexico in those days its that they tended to be ruled by nothing but dictators, regardless of political party with laws routinely ignored at will. Heck peonage was happening under different names when the Revolution of 1910 commenced. Plus one must remember he was a foreigner, given a crown by the conservatives of Mexico, who wanted those kind of things. He had to throw them a carrot, and it was probably represented to him as a good thing.

As for "foreign entrepreneurs" it may not have gone as planned, but Maximillian was trying to encourage investment in Mexico, a country long deemed to unstable to invest in, and was deeply in debt, a debt that had resulted in the Intervention to begin with. So really its hard to fault him for that. Look at it this way, the "2nd Mexican Empire" was a new country, that had just been formed, inherited the debt from the previous Republic that had been a dictator ridden wreck for decades and accumulated a very substantial debt, and on top of that the interest of it increased, and his government was bound by the Treaty of Miramar to pay for the French Army to police the country, while his government was busy building their own military from scratch. Encouraging foreign investment in Mexico wasn't a bad thing when looking at it from his throne.

But look at some of his other agendas:
Abolishing Child Labor (a practice that returned after his execution and I personally wouldn't be surprised if it still existed in Mexico)
Establishing a democratically elected congress
Limited working hours
Abolishing the land tenancy of Indians (something that also returned after his execution and Juarez was an Indian, speaks for his character to me)

At the end of the day, I feel Maximillian has been judged a little too harshly, now whole his "Black Decree" may seem unforgivable it really wasn't his idea so much as it was Marshal Bazaine's who had been demanding he issue it for some time, and finally forced him too, which it was rescinded when the French left. But while unforgivable when looking from afar, when you look at the realities of the war up close, it was simply fighting fire with fire. Just look at the fight for control of the Mexican side of Rio Grande and the realities of a very nasty war with no quarter being the rule of the day, that action by Maximillian can be forgiven to some extent.

Maximillian was far from perfect, mostly naïve to my eyes, but he was miles above the corrupt alternatives. Literally the only example in history I'm more sympathetic to a monarch than to republicans, and I'm only that way because of how un-republican and thoroughly corrupt Juarez and his forces and government were.
 

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I'm not sure Kingdom would have been more honest from a European point-of-view. Mexico is larger than most European kingdoms, and its size was certainly comparable to that of the Austrian Empire Maximillian had come from. Plus as it has already been stated Mexico had been an Empire in the past, though considerably larger.

As for recognition, I'm not sure who all recognized the 2nd Mexican Empire with Maximillian on it's throne. But I think I may have an idea who all probably would have.

2nd French Empire- It was Napoleon III's idea...

Austrian Empire- Maximillian's brother and Emperor till his death in WW1 Franz Josef cautiously gave his blessing and allowed the formation of the Austrian Volunteer Corps as Maximillian's body guards.

Kingdom of Belgium- Maximillian's wife, Charlotte or Carlota, was of the royal household and the Belgian Legion for her and Maximillian's protection. French Marshal Bazaine was accused of being responsible for the Belgian Legion being massacred Tacambaro by Carlota.

German Confederation- As Austria was the head of the Confederation, and usually demanded subservience from it to her actions, I would imagine it's a safe bet all the nations of it recognized Maximillian, including the vaunted Kingdom of Prussia which would put an end to Austria's dominance and the Confederation in 1866

Outside of them I'm not certain who recognized him and the Empire. As for Britain and Spain who had initiated the Mexican intervention with France they had pulled out after it became clear Napoleon III had his own agenda outside of forcing Mexico to honor its debt and had pulled out of Vera Cruz before yellow fever struck hard and made a deal with Juarez on repayment of Mexico's debt. So I'm not completely sure if they recognized Maximillian or not as they still had dealings with the Republic.

To be honest I'm not sure the C.S.A. recognized him, I know it was offered on conditions like Confederate recognition, but I don't know if it was ever done.

That conflict in Mexico is truly a sad one, Maximillian had good intentions and wanted to do right by Mexico. It was said he was too liberal for the conservatives, and too conservative for the liberals. Juarez and their so-called Republican forces were actually more guilty of atrocity than Maximillian, who infuriated Bazaine and the French on a daily basis for his pardoning of convicted Juaristas awaiting a firing squad, which shortly after they were pardoned by Maximillian they went right back to being Juaristas. It's worth noting that during their last stand during the Siege of Quaretaro there are accounts of Maximillian going to enlisted men asking them for a light or what not just to talk to them, and he would give them money for after it was all over, something unheard of for well bred royal types in the 19th Century. The naïve would be Emperor even gave the firing squad who killed him gold pesos telling them he forgave them and wanted them to live on, and only aske they shoot for his heart so his "mother could look upon his face" with the screwy part of being the firing squad then made a point to shoot him in the face! Yep the tale of the 2nd Mexican Empire is a tragic if screwed up one, one where the conservative monarch was more republican than the supposed freedom fighters who fit the bill of despots far more than the man who was claimed to be a despotic puppet.
It is true that Maximilian had his own ideas, many too liberal for the pro-clerical ex-Centralista/Santanista faction that favored his rule as a sort of glue to hold their fractious and impoverished nation together much as the old Viceroyalty had worked in colonial times. The Church was the largest land owner, and wanted to get their property back after it had been taken in the Ley de Reforma after a terrible civil war, the Guerra de Reforma, was won by the Liberals (pro-capitalist, pro-Republic) forces of Benito Juárez, aka. the Juáristas.

It is incorrect, however, to ignore the so-called "Black Decree" of Maximilian. He'd been given even more bad advise from his Second Mexican Empire underlings that Benito Juárez had not merely fled to the north of the country, but had actually crossed the border. He thus ruled any Juárista should be summarily executed within 24 hours of capture. Bazaine and French forces as well as the Austrians, Belgians, and Mexican Imperialist forces readily complied. Signing and applying the seal to the decree signed his own death warrant.

France abandoned its project or "Mexican Adventure" when Juárez began to receive arms and aid quite openly from the soon-to-be-victorious Union. It became evident, even to someone as obtuse as Napoleon III, that the Monroe Doctrine preventing European Powers from intermeddling or colonizing the Americas would come back in force. Quixotically, Maximilian decided that he should stay on and not abandon his Mexican Conservatives and Catholic backers. He stuck it out at Querétero, absent his wife Charlotte/ "Carlota" Empress of the Mexicans, who became a ward of the Vatican and went back to her native Belgium after suffering a mental collapse or breakdown.
The firing squad received a gold medal each from the European born noble, 'tis true. A bit like the old Medieval practice of tipping the headman so he'd do a good job, but also a gesture that it is not every day one executes an Austrian Arch-duke. Benito Juárez received no end of imploring letters and petitions from all manner of people, writers, nobles, statesmen, you-name-it asking for Maximilian's pardon. He had actually been lenient with the defeated Conservative faction after the terrible Guerra de Reforma, and he'd seen the results of that in their siding with France against Mexico. So for violating Mexican sovereignty, and for his role in the counterinsurgency operations and concomitant atrocities as well as his seal on the "Black Decree" he ordered that the execution be carried out, as well as two generals from the Second Mexican Empire.

It is simply not the case that he was shot in the face. One may view his death mask, cast in plaster of Paris after his death, if one goes to the Kaisergrüft in Vienna, Austria. He lay in state in Mexico City in an open casket and photographs were reproduced as cartes de visite. These are still around and available. He had no wounds to his face, and while his body is visibly deteriorating, it has been embalmed by mid-19th Century standards. You seem to be confused with the fate of Colonel Fannin in the Texas Revolution, who requested his appearance be preserved and who was deliberately shot in the face by his Santanista execution squad at Goliad in 1836.

Up post, it is stated that Agustín de Iturbide, aka. Agustín 1o. of the First Mexican Empire was a Spaniard. Not so. He was born Agustín Cosme Damián de Iturbide y Arámburu in Morelia, Mexico. He was a royalist general who fought for Spain against Mexican insurgents who hatched the deal whereby ex-royalists could form a faction with a group of the rebels to create a Mexico no longer ruled from Spain given objectionable developments in Spain proper known as the "Three Guarantees of Iguala." He was shot by firing squad too, albeit in Tamaulipas.
 

FedericoFCavada

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San Antonio, Texas
Incidentally,

At the time of the War of the Reform and the French invasion--"Viva el cinco de mayo!"--the Mexican armed forces were in a parlous state and used just about every relic one might imagine... even the lance by mounted Chinacos rojos irregulars/guerrillas.
But the standard service rifle was the three band Enfield P53.

So when Union forces seized 30,000 Enfields from ex-Confederate armories in Louisiana... These went south to the Juáristas. By the end of the war many such soldiers were clad in ex-Union surplus uniforms, replete with the eagle buttons! There was even an elite unit of Juáristas at the siege of Querétaro of men specifically selected for their height (Mexican peasants of the time being typically rather short in stature), completely armed with über-expensive Henry rifles! With dieziseis tiros in the magazine, this was far and away the most advanced weapon in the war south of the Río Bravo... In fact, the French refused to countenance revolvers being issued to anyone but officers, such that cavalry troopers had to make due with single-shot pistols!

My understanding is that Brian DeLay is currently researching the arms trade, principally from the victorious Union in the Civil War, to Mexico.
 

FedericoFCavada

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San Antonio, Texas
Brazil was also an empire, must have been a New World independence sort of thing.
Brazil is unique in that the entire Portuguese Empire--such as it was--courtesy of being a maritime nation with help from the Royal Navy--was ruled by the Bragança dynasty from Río de Janeiro during the Napoleonic era. When the king of Portugal was called away back to the home country after he'd essentially elevated Brazil as being co-level with Portugal itself, he pulled aside his son and told him that if independence lay in store for Brazil, it should be under his rule. And thus independence came in the form of an Empire ruled by Dom Pedro I (who married an Austrian princess and then treated her very churlishly...), until he too abdicated the throne and went back to Portugal to rule, leaving a regency with his next in line Dom Pedro II to eventually succeed him.

Portugal eventually acknowledged independence for Brazil by 1825... Spanish recognition came a bit later, after 1829 if I recall correctly. France waited a very long time before writing off Haitian independence, and forced the ex-colony to pay the metropolis an indemnity!
 

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