Second Mexican Empire

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Flag of the Empire of Mexico
Anthem of the Empire of Mexico
location of the Second Mexican Empire

The Mexican Empire or Second Mexican Empire (1864–1867) was the name of Mexico under a constitutional, hereditary monarchy declared by a Mexican Assembly of Notables in accordance with the interests of the French Empire, during the Second French intervention in Mexico. Napoleon III of France wanted to establish a monarchist ally in the Americas as a restraint upon the growing power of the United States. Chosen as the Mexican emperor was Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. His wife and empress of Mexico was the Belgian princess Charlotte of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.

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Maximilian of Mexico
Carlota of Mexico
Imperial Mexican Crown
Mexican Railway, Bridge by José María Velasco Gómez 1877.
Maximillian planned the monument to Christopher Columbus for the grand boulevard, now called Paseo de la Reforma. It was built during the regime of Porfirio Díaz.
Departments of the Second Mexican Empire.
  • Certainly, in such conditions there is enough to seduce those of our young officers whom Belgian neutrality condemns to a rest of which they are somewhat impatient. The honor of carrying with dignity abroad the name of the fatherland and that of defending the august daughter of a beloved sovereign will soon, we have no doubt, fill the ranks of the Belgian-Mexican legion.
  • Whatever opinion one forms of the enterprise to which Archduke Maximilian has just devoted his life, it is not possible for us Belgians to forget that the princess who shares the destinies of the new emperor is also the beloved daughter of our king, that she grew up among us, that our homeland is her own, and that she has the right to count on the sympathies and the wishes of her compatriots .
  • It is understandable that a colonial establishment organized under such conditions cannot fail to prosper. We are also convinced that the example of the Empress' s guards will be followed by a large number of our compatriots who, trusting with reason in the new situation in Mexico, will take advantage of all this set of circumstances so exceptionally advantageous, to to go bring the contribution of their arms and their intelligence to the beautiful work of civilization undertaken by the emperor Maximilian and the empress Charlotte, his august companion.
  • This is how the Mexican Empire will perish, a creation based on the assumption of a southern triumph and which today finds itself singularly compromised by the opposite result. Even with a president less democratic than Mr. Johnson, the United States would never have tolerated the establishment at its gates of an absolute monarchy under the rule of a foreign dynasty. The misfortunes of the civil war did not allow them to oppose it when the facts were unfolding. Perhaps in order to avoid a war with France they will not attack the new order of things directly, but certainly they would do nothing to support it, and the disbandment of their armies will provide them with all the desirable means to overthrow it indirectly.

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