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Maximilian, Ferdinand Joseph 1832-

Archduke of Austria and Emperor of Mexico; born in Vienna, July 6, 1832, and, having entered the naval service, was made rearadmiral and chief of the Austrian navy in 1854. In 1857 he was made governor of the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom, and in the same year married Charlotte, daughter of Leopold I., of Belgium. He departed for Mexico in April, 1864, and landed, with his wife, at Vera Cruz in May. The French army had already taken possession of the country. The archduke assumed the crown of Mexico, with the title of Maximilian I., and, being childless, adopted a son of Iturbide (q. v.) as his presumptive successor on the throne. Juarez, the President, who had been driven from the capital, and, with his followers, declared by the new Emperor to be an outlaw and usurper, made such strong resistance that Maximilian had to struggle for his throne from the very beginning. When the American Civil War was ended, Napoleon was given to understand, by the United States government, that the empire in Mexico and the presence of French troops there could not be regarded with favor by the citizens of the United States. The Emperor of the French acted upon this hint. He suggested the propriety of the abdication of Maximilian, but the latter would not consent, for he relied upon French arms to sustain him. His wife went to Europe to have an interview with the Emperor and also with the Pope, but the boon was refused, and her mind gave way under the pressure of her anxiety. Napoleon perfidiously abandoned Maximilian by withdrawing his troops, and left the latter to his fate, who, after struggling for a while to maintain his power, was captured by the Mexicans at Queretaro on May 14, 1867. He was shot, with two of his generals, on June 19. A vessel was sent from Austria, under the command of a vice-admiral, to convey his remains to his native country, and they were interred in the imperial vault in January, 1868. His wife yet (1901) lives, hopelessly insane.

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