Maximilian I.

Maximilian I of Mexico, Emperor of Mexico, 1832-1867

Maximilian was the only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire. He was a younger brother of the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I. After a distinguished career in the Austrian Navy, he entered into a scheme with Napoleon III of France to invade, conquer, and rule Mexico. Many foreign governments (including the United States') refused to recognize Maximilian's claim or regime. With the end of the American Civil War in 1865, the U. S. began more explicit aid of President Juárez's forces. Matters worsened for Maximilian's 'empire' after the French withdrew its armies from Mexico in 1866; it collapsed, and the Mexican government captured and executed Maximilian in 1867.