Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Maximilian of Mexico, R.I.P.

Today is the anniversary of the execution, in 1867, of Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico; shot, along with two of his officers, by Juarez’s republicans at Querétaro. The Mexican Empire, a joint project of French Emperor Napoléon III, some bankers and conservative Mexican factions was probably never fated to work out well, not unless the Confederate States to the north had won its war of independence.

Maximilian would have been better advised to accept the advice of his brother, Kaiser Franz-Josef of Austria, decline the proffered throne, remain an Austrian archduke, and live out his life at the beautiful castle of Miramare, near Trieste. The Emperor chose wrongly, and died well.

There is a most interesting website on the Imperial House of Mexico (House of Iturbide of which the Emperor’s heir was a member), which is worth a visit.

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