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Maximilian I of Mexico

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Maximilian I of Mexico

Emperor Maximiliano around 1865
Emperor of Mexico
Reign 10 April 1864 – 19 June 1867[1]
Predecessor Monarchy re-established
(Benito Juárez, President of Mexico)
Successor Monarchy abolished
(Benito Juárez, President of Mexico)
Born (1832-07-06)6 July 1832
Schönbrunn, Vienna, Austria
Died 19 June 1867(1867-06-19) (aged 34)
Cerro de las Campanas, Santiago de Querétaro, Mexico
Burial Imperial Crypt, Vienna, Austria
Spouse Charlotte of Belgium
Full name
Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph
House House of Habsburg-Lorraine
Father Archduke Franz Karl of Austria
Mother Princess Sophie of Bavaria
Religion Roman Catholicism
Signature Cursive signature in ink

Maximilian (Spanish: Maximiliano; born Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph; 6 July 1832 – 19 June 1867) 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. France (along with England and Spain, who both withdrew the following year after negotiating agreements with Mexico's democratic government) had invaded Mexico in the winter of 1861, as part of the War of the French Intervention. Seeking to legitimize French rule in the Americas, Napoleon III invited Maximilian to establish a new Mexican monarchy for him. With the support of the French army, and a group of conservative Mexican monarchists hostile to the liberal administration of new Mexican President Benito Juárez, Maximilian traveled to Mexico. Once there, he declared himself Emperor of Mexico on 10 April 1864.[2]

Many foreign governments (including the United States) refused to recognize Maximilian's claim or regime. Maximilian's Second Mexican Empire was widely considered a 'puppet' regime of France. Additionally, Maximilian never completely defeated the Mexican Republic; Republican forces led by President Benito Juárez continued to be active during Maximilian's rule. With the end of the American Civil War in 1865, the United States (which had been too distracted by its own civil war to confront the European's 1861 invasion of what it considered to be its sphere-of-influence) 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. Maximilian's Mexican Empire collapsed; the Mexican government captured and executed Maximilian in 1867. His wife, Charlotte of Belgium (Carlota), had left for Europe earlier to try to build support for her husband's regime; after his execution, however, she suffered an emotional collapse and was declared insane.


  • Early life 1
    • Birth 1.1
    • Education 1.2
  • Career in the Austrian Navy 2
    • Commander in Chief 2.1
    • Viceroy of Lombardy-Venetia 2.2
  • Emperor of Mexico 3
    • Offer of the Mexican crown 3.1
    • Reign in Mexico 3.2
    • Downfall 3.3
  • Burial 4
  • Legacy 5
  • Titles, styles, honours and arms 6
    • Titles and styles 6.1
    • Full title as Emperor 6.2
    • Honours 6.3
  • Genealogy 7
    • Ancestry 7.1
  • Endnotes 8
  • Footnotes 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Early life


Maximilian was born on 6 July 1832 in the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, capital of the Austrian Empire.[3][4][5] He was baptized the following day as Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph. The first name honored his godfather and paternal uncle, the future Emperor Ferdinand I and the second honored his maternal grandfather, King Maximilian I of Bavaria.[6][7]

His father was Archduke Franz Karl, the second surviving son of the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II (after 1804, ruling the Austrian Empire as Franz I). Maximilian was thus a member of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine, a female-line cadet branch of the House of Habsburg.[8] His mother was Sophie, a Bavarian princess of the House of Wittelsbach.[9] Intelligent, ambitious and strong-willed, Sophie had little in common with her husband, whom historian Richard O'Conner characterized as "an amiably dim fellow whose main interest in life was consuming bowls of dumplings drenched in gravy."[10] Despite their different personalities, the marriage was fruitful, and after four miscarriages, four sons—including Maximilian—would reach adulthood.[11]

Rumors at the court stated that Maximilian was in fact the product of an extramarital affair between his mother and his first cousin Napoleon II (then known as the Duke of Reichstadt), only son of Napoleon Bonaparte; the Duke's mother was Archduchess Marie Louise, daughter of Francis II.[12] The existence of an illicit affair between Sophie and Napoleon II, and any possibility that Maximilian was conceived from such a union, are widely dismissed by historians.[A]


Adhering to traditions inherited from the Spanish court during Habsburg rule, Maximilian's upbringing was supervised by an aya (governess, also rendered in English as Ayah) until his sixth birthday. Afterwards, his education was entrusted to a tutor.[13] Most of Maximilian's day was spent in study. The thirty-two hours per week of classes at age 7 steadily grew until it reached fifty-five hours per week by the time he was 17.[14] The disciplines were diverse: ranging from history, geography, law and technology, to languages, military studies, fencing and diplomacy.[14] In addition to his native German, he eventually learned to speak Hungarian, Slovak, English, French, Italian and Spanish.[15] From an early age, Maximilian tried to surpass his older brother Franz Joseph (Francis Joseph) in everything; attempting to prove to all that he was the better qualified and deserving of more than second place status.[16]

The highly restrictive environment of the Austrian court was not enough to repress Maximilian's natural openness. He was joyful, highly charismatic and able to captivate those around him with ease. Although he was a charming boy, he was also undisciplined.[17] He mocked his teachers and was often the instigator of pranks—even including his uncle, Emperor

Maximilian I of Mexico
Cadet branch of the House of Habsburg
Born: 6 July 1832 Died: 19 June 1867
Regnal titles
Title last held by
Agustín I
Emperor of Mexico
10 April 1864 – 15 May 1867
Monarchy abolished
Restoration of Republic
Government offices
Title last held by
Franz Joseph I
Viceroy of Lombardy-Venetia
Succeeded by
Franz Joseph I
in Venetia
Succeeded by
Victor Emmanuel II
in Lombardy
Political offices
Preceded by
Juan Nepomuceno Almonte
Pelagio Antonio de Labastida y Dávalos
José Mariano Salas

as regents
Mexican head of state
as Emperor of Mexico

29 May 1864 – 15 May 1867
Succeeded by
Benito Juárez
as President of Mexico
Titles in pretence
Title last held by
Agustin II
Emperor of Mexico
15 May 1867 – 19 Jun 1867
Succeeded by
Agustín III
  • by Maximilian I of Mexico Vol. I at archive.orgRecollections of my life
  • by Maximilian I of Mexico Vol. II at archive.orgRecollections of my life
  • by Maximilian I of Mexico Vol. III at archive.orgRecollections of my life

External links

  • Haslip, Joan (1972). The Crown of Mexico: Maximilian and His Empress Carlota. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.  
  • Hyde, H. Montgomery (1946). Mexican Empire: the history of Maximilian and Carlota of Mexico. London: Macmillan & Co. 
  • Ibsen, Kristine (2010). Maximilian, Mexico, and the Invention of Empire. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.  
  • McAllen, M. M. (2015). Maximilian and Carlota: Europe's Last Empire in Mexico. San Antonio: Trinity University Press. excerpt  
  • O'Connor, Richard (1971). The Cactus Throne: the tragedy of Maximilian and Carlotta. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.  
  • Palmer, Alan (1994). Twilight of the Habsburgs: The Life and Times of Emperor Francis Joseph. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.  
  • Parkes, Henry (1960). A History of Mexico. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.  
  • Ridley, Jasper (2001). Maximilian & Juarez. London: Phoenix Press.  


  1. ^ Derecho Mexicano, Jacinto Pallares, Mexico ISBN 1-162-47704-0
  2. ^ Royal Ark
  3. ^ Haslip 1972, p. 6.
  4. ^ Hyde 1946, p. 4.
  5. ^ Corti 1929, p. 41.
  6. ^ Haslip 1972, pp. 6–7.
  7. ^ Hyde 1946, p. 5.
  8. ^ Palmer 1994, pp. 3, 5.
  9. ^ a b c Palmer 1994, p. 3.
  10. ^ a b O'Connor 1971, p. 29.
  11. ^ Haslip 1972, p. 7.
  12. ^ a b Ridley 2001, p. 44.
  13. ^ Hyde 1946, pp. 6–7.
  14. ^ a b Hyde 1946, p. 7.
  15. ^ Hall 1868, p. 17.
  16. ^ a b Haslip 1972, p. 17.
  17. ^ Haslip 1972, p. 11.
  18. ^ Haslip 1972, pp. 14–15.
  19. ^ Haslip 1972, p. 29.
  20. ^ a b Hyde 1946, p. 13.
  21. ^ Haslip 1972, p. 31.
  22. ^ Haslip 1972, p. 34.
  23. ^ Hyde 1946, p. 14.
  24. ^ Antonio Schmidt-Brentano The Austrian K.K. generals 1816-1918DocView.axd? CobId = 23130. Austrian State Archives, Vienna 2007, p 130 (PDF).
  25. ^ Antonio Schmidt-Brentano The Austrian admirals Volume I, 1808–1895, Library Verlag, Osnabrück 1997, pp. 93–104.
  26. ^ Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria Maximilian, Archduke of Austria:From My Life Reiseskizzen, aphorisms, poems, Volume 6:.Reiseskizzen Part 11 2 Edition. Duncker and Humblot, Leipzig, 1867
  27. ^ Antonio Schmidt-Brentano: Die K.K bzw. K.u.K Generalität 1816–1918. Österreichisches Staatsarchiv, Wien 2007, S. 130 (PDF).
  28. ^ a b Maximilian in Mexico
  29. ^ Haslip, Joan, Imperial Adventurer – Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, London, 1971, ISBN 0-297-00363-1
  30. ^ Parkes 1960, p. 261.
  31. ^ a b José Manuel Villalpando, Alejandro Rosas (2011), Presidentes de México, Grupo Planeta Spain, pp. pages are not numbered,  
  32. ^ Reuter, Paul H. (1965). "United States-French Relations Regarding French Intervention in Mexico: From the Tripartite Treaty to Queretaro". Southern Quarterly 6 (4): 469–489. 
  33. ^ Rolle, Andrew F. (1992). The Lost Cause: The Confederate Exodus to Mexico. University of Oklahoma Press.  
  34. ^ Donald W. Miles (2006), Cinco de Mayo: What is Everybody Celebrating? : the Story Behind Mexico's Battle of Puebla, iUniverse, p. 196,  
  35. ^ Jasper Ridley (1993), Maximilian and Juárez, Constable, p. 229,  
  36. ^ "Charlotte of Mexico's Misfortune", New York Times, March 6, 1885.
  37. ^ "Belgium Mourns for Dead Empress; Tragedy of Life of Charlotte, Wife of Maximilian, Is Recalled", New York Times, January 19, 1927.
  38. ^ Maximilian and Carlota by Gene Smith, ISBN 0-245-52418-5, ISBN 978-0-245-52418-9
  39. ^ Parkes 1960, p. 273.
  40. ^ Giving executer(s) a portion of gold/silver is well-established among European aristocracy since medieval time and not an act of desperation. In other accounts, Maximilian calmly said, "aim well", to the firing squad and met his death with dignity.
  41. ^ "Homage to the Martyrs of the Second Mexican Empire". 
  42. ^ El vuelo del águila
  43. ^ Haslip 1972, p. 4.
  44. ^ a b Ridley 2001, p. 45.


  1. ^ "Such an easy assumption of an improbable sexual relationship", said Alan Palmer, "fails to understand the nature of the attachment binding" Sophie and Reichstadt, who saw themselves as alien misfits stranded in a foreign court.[9] To Palmer, their "confidences were those of a brother and elder sister rather than of lovers."[9] "There is no documentary evidence to suggest that she and the Duke of Reichstadt were ever lovers", according to Joan Haslip.[43] "Whether the young Napoleon was actually the father of Maximilian could only be the subject of fascinating conjecture, something for courtiers and servants to gossip about on the long winter nights in the Hofburg [Palace]", said Richard O'Connor.[10] "There is not a shred of evidence to support the rumors", affirmed Jasper Ridley.[12] "It was said that Sophie confessed", continued Ridley, "in a letter to her father confessor, that Maximilian was the son of Napoleon, and that the letter was found and destroyed in 1859, but there is no reason to believe this story ... would she have had a sexual relationship with a boy whom she regarded as a child and a younger brother?"[44] The birth of two more sons after the death of Reichstadt in 1832 lessened even more the credibility of these claims.[44]





Emperor Maximilian I was Grand Master of the following Mexican Orders:

Mexican Empire


His Imperial Majesty Don Maximiliano I (Maximilian I), By the Grace of God and will of the people, Emperor of Mexico.

Full title as Emperor

  • 6 July 1832 – 10 April 1864: His Imperial and Royal Highness Imperial Prince & Archduke Maximilian of Austria, Prince Royal of Hungary and Bohemia
  • 10 April 1864 – 19 June 1867: His Imperial Majesty The Emperor of Mexico

Titles and styles

Styles of
Maximilian I, Emperor of Mexico
Reference style His Imperial Majesty
Spoken style Your Imperial Majesty
Alternative style Sire

Titles, styles, honours and arms

Maximilian has been praised by some historians for 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. However, other researchers consider him short-sighted in political and military affairs, and unwilling to restore democracy in Mexico even during the imminent collapse of the telenovela "El Vuelo del Águila", Maximilian was portrayed by Mexican actor Mario Iván Martínez. [42]

Sculpture of Benito Juárez made in 1894 at Paseo Juárez "El Llano" in the Historic Centre of Oaxaca. Juárez holds a Mexican flag with one hand and with the other is pointing Maximilian's Imperial Crown of Mexico which remains in the soil, representing the defeat of the Second Mexican Empire.


After his execution, Maximilian's body was embalmed and displayed in Mexico. Early the following year, the Austrian admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff was sent to Mexico aboard SMS Novara to take the former emperor's body back to Austria. After arriving in Trieste, the coffin was taken to Vienna and placed within the Imperial Crypt, where it can be viewed today, on 18 January 1868.

Maximilian's embalmed body.


The city fell on 15 May 1867 and Maximilian was captured the next morning after the failure of an attempt to escape through Republican lines by a loyal [40] Generals Miramón and Mejía were shot after him. Both died shouting, "Long live the Emperor."

Though urged to abandon Mexico by Napoleon III himself, whose troop withdrawal from Mexico was a great blow to the Mexican Imperial cause, Maximilian refused to desert his followers. Maximilian allowed his followers to determine whether or not he abdicated. Faithful generals such as Miguel Miramón, Leonardo Márquez, and Tomás Mejía vowed to raise an army that would challenge the invading Republicans. Maximilian fought on with his army of 8,000 Mexican loyalists. Withdrawing, in February 1867, to Santiago de Querétaro, he sustained a siege for several weeks, but on May 11 resolved to attempt an escape through the enemy lines. This plan was sabotaged by Colonel Miguel López who was bribed by the Republicans to open a gate and lead a raiding party through with the agreement that Maximilian would be allowed to escape.

Édouard Manet's Execution of Emperor Maximilian (1868–1869), is one of five versions of his representation of the execution of the Austrian-born Emperor of Mexico, which took place on June 19, 1867. Manet borrowed heavily, thematically and technically, from Goya's The Third of May 1808.
Last moments of Emperor Maximilian I of México. by Jean-Paul Laurens


Nevertheless, by 1866, the imminence of Maximilian's abdication seemed apparent to almost everyone outside Mexico. That year, Napoleon III withdrew his troops in the face of Mexican resistance and U.S. opposition under the Monroe Doctrine, as well as increasing his military contingent at home to face the ever growing Prussian military and Bismarck. Carlota travelled to Europe, seeking assistance for her husband's regime in Paris and Vienna and, finally, in Rome from Pope Pius IX. Her efforts failed, and she suffered a deep emotional collapse and never went back to Mexico. After her husband was executed by Republicans the following year, she spent the rest of her life in seclusion, never admitting her husband's death, first at Miramare Castle near Trieste, Italy, and then at Bouchout Castle in Meise, Belgium,[36] where she died on 19 January 1927.[37]

Maximilian issued his Black Decree on October 3, 1865. Its first article stated that: "All individuals forming a part of armed bands or bodies existing without legal authority, whether or not proclaiming a political pretext, whatever the number of those forming such band, or its organization, character, and denomination, shall be judged militarily by the courts martial. If found guilty, even though only of the fact of belonging to an armed band, they shall be condemned to capital punishment, and the sentence shall be executed within twenty-four hours". It is calculated that more than eleven thousand of Juarez's supporters were executed as a result of the Black Decree, but at the end it only inflamed the Mexican Resistance.[34][35]

Meanwhile, Maximilian invited ex-Confederates to move to Mexico in a series of settlements called the "Carlota Colony" and the New Virginia Colony with a dozen others being considered, a plan conceived by the internationally renowned U.S. Navy oceanographer and inventor Matthew Fontaine Maury. Maximilian also invited settlers from "any country" including Austria and the other German states.[33]

After the end of the American Civil War, the United States government used increasing diplomatic pressure to persuade Napoleon III to end French support of Maximilian and to withdraw French troops from Mexico. Washington began supplying partisans of Juárez and his ally Porfirio Díaz by "losing" arms depots for them at El Paso del Norte at the Mexican border. The prospect of a United States invasion to reinstate Juárez caused a large number of Maximilian's loyal adherents to abandon the cause and leave the capital.[32]

Maximilian I of Mexico depicted on a 20 peso gold coin (1866)
Maximilian I of Mexico depicted on a 20 peso gold coin (1866)

To the dismay of his conservative allies, Maximilian upheld several liberal policies proposed by the Juárez administration – such as land reforms, religious freedom, and extending the right to vote beyond the landholding class. At first, Maximilian offered Juárez an amnesty if he would swear allegiance to the crown, even offering the post of Prime Minister, which Juárez refused. Later, Maximilian ordered all captured followers of Juárez to be shot, in response to the Republican practice of executing anyone who was a supporter of the Empire. In the end, it proved to be a tactical mistake that only exacerbated opposition to his regime.

As Maximilian and Carlota had no children, they adopted Agustín de Iturbide y Green and his cousin Salvador de Iturbide y de Marzán, both grandsons of Agustín de Iturbide, who had briefly reigned as Emperor of Mexico in the 1820s. They gave young Agustín the title of "His Highness, the Prince of Iturbide" and intended to groom him as heir to the throne. However, he never intended to give the crown to the Iturbides because he considered that they were not of royal blood.[31] It was all a charade directed to his brother Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria, as he explained himself: either Karl gave him one of his sons as an heir, or he would give everything to the Iturbide children.[31]

The Imperial couple chose as their seat Mexico City. The Emperor and Empress set up their residence at Chapultepec Castle, located on the top of a hill formerly at the outskirts of Mexico City that had been a retreat of Aztec emperors. Maximilian ordered a wide avenue cut through the city from Chapultepec to the city center; originally named Paseo de la Emperatriz, it is today Mexico City's famous boulevard, Paseo de la Reforma. He also acquired a country retreat at Cuernavaca. The royal couple made plans to be crowned at the Catedral Metropolitana but, due to the constant instability of the regime, the coronation was never carried out. Maximilian was shocked by the living conditions of the poor in contrast to the magnificent haciendas of the upper class. Empress Carlota began holding parties for the wealthy Mexicans to raise money for poor houses. One of Maximilian's first acts as Emperor was to restrict working hours and abolish child labour. He cancelled all debts for peasants over 10 pesos, restored communal property and forbade all forms of corporal punishment. He also broke the monopoly of the Hacienda stores and decreed that henceforth peons could no longer be bought and sold for the price of their debt.

Portrait as Emperor of Mexico, Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1864

The new emperor of Mexico landed at Veracruz on 21 May 1864, and received a cold reception from the townspeople. Veracruz was a liberal town, and the liberal voters were opposed to having Maximilian on the throne.[30] He had the backing of Mexican conservatives and Napoleon III, but from the very outset he found himself involved in serious difficulties since the Liberal forces led by President Benito Juárez refused to recognize his rule. There was continuous warfare between his French troops and the Republicans.

In April 1864, Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian stepped down from his duties as Chief of Naval Section of the Austrian Navy. He traveled from Trieste aboard SMS Novara, escorted by the frigates SMS Bellona (Austrian) and Themis (French), and the Imperial yacht Phantasie led the warship procession from his palace at Miramare out to sea.[29] They received a blessing from Pope Pius IX, and Queen Victoria ordered the Gibraltar garrison to fire a salute for Maximilian's passing ship.

Reign in Mexico

In 1859, Ferdinand Maximilian was first approached by Mexican monarchists—members of the Mexican aristocracy, led by local nobleman José Pablo Martínez del Río—with a proposal to become the Emperor of Mexico. The Habsburg family had ruled the Viceroyalty of New Spain before Mexican independence, so Maximilian was considered to have more potential legitimacy than other royalty, but Maximilian was unlikely to ever rule in Europe due to his elder brother.[28] In Paris, 20 October 1861, Maximilian received a letter from Gutierrez de Estrada asking him to take the Mexican throne. He did not accept at first, but sought to satisfy his restless desire for adventure with a botanical expedition to the tropical forests of Brazil. However, Maximilian changed his mind after the French intervention in Mexico. At the invitation from Napoleon III and after General Élie-Frédéric Forey's capture of Mexico City and the plebiscite which confirmed his proclamation of the empire, Maximilian consented to accept the crown in October 1863 (Ferdinand Maximilian was not told of the dubious nature of the plebiscite, whose result was imposed by French troops occupying most of the territory[28]). His decision involved the loss of all his nobility rights in Austria, though he was not informed of this until just before he left. Archduchess Charlotte was thereafter known as "Her Imperial Majesty Empress Carlota".

Imperial Monogram
Maximilian receiving a Mexican delegation at Miramar Castle in Trieste, Italy.

Offer of the Mexican crown

Emperor of Mexico

They lived as the Austrian regents in Milan or Viceroys of Lombardy-Venetia from 1857 until 1859, when Emperor Franz Josef, angered by his brother's liberal policies, dismissed him. Shortly after his dismissal, Austria lost control of most of its Italian possessions. Maximilian then retired to Trieste, near which he built the castle, Miramare.

On 27 July 1857, in Brussels Archduke Maximilian married his second cousin, Princess Charlotte of Belgium (later known as Empress Carlota of Mexico), the daughter of Leopold I, King of the Belgians and Louise-Marie of France. She was first cousin to both Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. Maximilian and Charlotte had no children together.

In his political views, Archduke Maximilian was very much influenced by the progressive ideas in vogue at the time. He had a reputation as a liberal, and this led, in February 1857, to his appointment as viceroy of the Kingdom of Lombardy–Venetia.

Viceroy of Lombardy-Venetia

Military offices
Preceded by
Franz von Wimpffen
Commander-in-Chief of the Austro-Hungarian Naval Fleet
Succeeded by
Ludwig von Fautz
Preceded by
Franz von Wimpffen
Chief of the Naval Section
Succeeded by
Ludwig von Fautz

He was made a lieutenant in the navy at the age of eighteen. In 1854, he sailed as commander in the Archduke Friedrich (1821–1847) before him, Maximilian had a keen private interest in the fleet, and with him the Austrian naval force gained an influential supporter from the ranks of the Imperial Family. This was crucial as sea power was never a priority of Austrian foreign policy and the navy itself was relatively little known or supported by the public. It was only able to draw significant public attention and funds when it was actively supported by an imperial prince. As Commander-in-Chief, Maximilian carried out many reforms to modernise the naval forces, and was instrumental in creating the naval port at Trieste and Pola (now Pula) as well as the battle fleet with which admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff would later secure his victories. He also initiated a large-scale scientific expedition (1857–1859) during which the frigate SMS Novara became the first Austrian warship to circumnavigate the globe.

Maximilian was a particularly clever boy who displayed considerable culture in his taste for the arts, and he demonstrated an early interest in science, especially botany. When he entered military service, he was trained in the Austrian Navy. He threw himself into this career with so much zeal that he quickly rose to high command.[24][25]

A beardless Maximilian at age 20, 1852

Commander in Chief

Career in the Austrian Navy

In 1848, revolutions erupted across Europe. In the face of protests and riots, Emperor Ferdinand I abdicated in favor of Maximilian's brother, who became Franz Joseph I.[19][20] Maximilian accompanied him on campaigns to put down rebellions throughout the Empire.[21][20] Only in 1849 would the revolution be stamped out in Austria, with hundreds of rebels executed and thousands imprisoned. Maximilian was horrified at what he regarded as senseless brutality and openly complained about it. He would later remark: "We call our age the Age of Enlightenment, but there are cities in Europe where, in the future, men will look back in horror and amazement at the injustice of tribunals, which in a spirit of vengeance condemned to death those whose only crime lay in wanting something different to the arbitrary rule of governments which placed themselves above the law."[22][23]


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