Cesare-Dell’Acqua - The Mexican Deligation appoints Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria as Emperor of Mexico (1864) - 1867
Maximilian I (German: Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph Maria von Habsburg-Lothringen, Spanish: Fernando Maximiliano José María de Habsburgo-Lorena; 6 July 1832 – 19 June 1867) was an Austrian archduke who reigned as the only Emperor of the Second Mexican Empire from 10 April 1864 until his execution on 19 June 1867. A younger brother of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, Maximilian had a distinguished career as commander-in-chief of the Imperial Austrian Navy.
France, together with Spain and the United Kingdom, had invaded Mexico in the winter of 1861 to pressure the Mexican government into settling its debts with the three powers after Mexico had announced a suspension on debt repayment; the Spanish and British both withdrew the following year after negotiating agreements with the Mexican government and realising the true intention of the French, while France sought to conquer the country. Seeking to legitimize French rule, Emperor Napoleon III invited Maximilian to establish a new pro-French Mexican monarchy. With the support of the French army and a group of Conservative Party monarchists hostile to the Liberal Party administration of President Benito Juárez, Maximilian accepted the crown of Mexico on 10 April 1864.
The Empire managed to gain the diplomatic recognition of several European powers, including Russia, Austria, and Prussia. The United States, however, continued to recognize Juárez as the legal president of Mexico and saw the French invasion as a violation of the Monroe Doctrine, but was unable to intervene due to the American Civil War. Maximilian never completely defeated the Mexican Republic; Republican forces led by Juárez continued to be active during Maximilian’s rule. With the end of the Civil War in 1865, the United States began providing more explicit aid to Juárez’s forces. Matters worsened for Maximilian after French armies withdrew from Mexico in 1866 in part due to needing to deal with matters closer to home. The Empire collapsed without French aid, and Maximilian was captured and executed by the restored Republican government in 1867.
Édouard Manet made a famous painting of the execution of Maximilian.
Cesare dell’ Acqua (22 July 1821 in Piran – 16 February 1905 in Brussels) was an Italian painter known for historical works.