Story of Max and Carlota

T urmoil and war wracked Mexico as the people rose up to overthrow the French occupation of the country. Subject to the bad recommendations of his Mexican advisors and without any local political experience Maximilian made many mistakes which further alienated him from public opinion and gave fodder to his detractors. One of his major errors was to sign an edict authorizing the execution of Juárez' soldiers when they were captured. This act sealed Maximilian's own fate later.

The worst blow to Maximilian came from his chief supporter. Without warning or consultation, in 1865 Napoleon III began to remove his troops from Mexico. One of the French generals believed it was his duty to inform Maximilian they were leaving and this led Maximilian to immediately offer to abdicate and return to Europe. Carlota convinced her husband that this step was dishonorable and that the Mexican people supported them. Leaving him in Mexico, she immediately departed for France and her horrifying interview with Napoleon and Eugenie. Next Carlota went to Rome to appeal to the Pope. Her mental condition continued to decline; she thought French agents were in pursuit, bent on poisoning her. The sad Empress was declared insane and never left Europe. Maximilian was abandoned by all in Mexico. The last soldiers of the French army departed Mexico. Maximilian bravely went to Queretaro to meet Juárez' army, where he was captured. Juárez put him on trial, with the outcome already decided. Appeals to Juárez for clemency for the Hapsburg Archduke fell on deaf ears. He was determined to make an example of Maximilian to other European powers who might consider intervening in Mexican affairs. Thus the Emperor of Mexico entered the tragic pages of history. HOME
Battle of Puebla

French defeat at the battle of Puebla

Execution of Maximilian by Manet

Execution of Maximilian by Manet

Carlota on her deathbed

6O years after the execution, Carlota dies in 1927

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