When Mexican President Benito Juarez refused to honor the foreign debts accumulated by his predecessor. Emperor Napoleon III of France used this refusal as an excuse to invade Mexico in 1862 and install Archduke Maximilian, younger brother of the Habsburg Emperor of Austria, as Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico in 1864. Napoleon hoped to exploit Mexico’s rich mineral resources and counterbalance the American republic with a Catholic Mexican monarchy. Maximilian proved to be more fixated on court etiquette than ruling the country, so when American pressure forced Napoleon to recall his army, forces loyal to Juarez restored the Mexican Republic in 1867.
Here is my podcast on the French Intervention in Mexico, it is 31 minutes long.
Maximilian and Carlota: Europe’s Lost Empire in Mexico-M.M. McAllen
Maximilian and Juarez-Jasper Ridley
The Cactus Throne: The Tragedy of Maximilian and Carlotta-Richard O’Connor
Mexico: Biography of Power, A History of Modern Mexico, 1810-1996-Enrique Krauze, translated by Hank Heifetz