Maximilian I of Mexico
Maximilian I was the only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire
Second Mexican Empire
The Second Mexican Empire was the name of Mexico under the regime established from 1864 to 1867. It was created by Napoleon III of France, who attempted to use the Mexican adventure to recapture some of the grandeur of earlier Napoleonic times...


After a distinguished career in the Austrian Navy, he was proclaimed Emperor of Mexico
Emperor of Mexico
The Emperor of Mexico was the head of state and ruler of Mexico on two non-consecutive occasions in the 19th century....

 on April 10, 1864, with the backing of Napoleon III of France and a group of Mexican monarchists
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

 who sought to revive the Mexican monarchy
Mexican Empire
The Mexican Empire or rarely Gran Mexico was the name of modern Mexico on two brief occasions in the 19th century when it was ruled by an emperor. With the Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire from Spain in 1821, Mexico became an independent monarchy, but was soon replaced with the...

. Many foreign governments, including that of the United States, refused to recognize his administration. This helped to ensure the success of Republican forces led by Benito Juárez
Benito Juárez
Benito Juárez born Benito Pablo Juárez García, was a Mexican lawyer and politician of Zapotec origin from Oaxaca who served five terms as president of Mexico: 1858–1861 as interim, 1861–1865, 1865–1867, 1867–1871 and 1871–1872...

, and Maximilian was captured and executed in 1867.

Though criticised as naive and indecisive, Maximilian is often praised by historians due to his liberal reforms, his genuine desire to help the people of Mexico, his refusal to desert his loyal followers, and his personal bravery during the siege of Querétaro.