Today In Latin American History: Mexico executes its second emperor in half a century.
The Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph was appointed Emperor of Mexico by Napoleon III during France’s ill-fated invasion of the country in the late nineteenth century. The rule of Maximiliano I, as he was known in Mexico, lasted only a few years until his capture on orders of the Republican leader Benito Juárez. He was eventually sentenced to death by firing squad, and executed alongside two of his most loyal generals at the Cerro de las Campanas, in the Mexican state of Querétaro, on June 19, 1867. His body was displayed for public view shortly after his death, and his remains were shipped back to Europe the following year, where he was entombed in the Austrian Imperial Crypt in Vienna. Maximiliano I, an European aristocrat married to the daughter of the King of Belgium, had been Mexico’s second Emperor. Over forty years earlier, Gen. Agustín de Iturbide had crowned himself Emperor of Mexico during an elaborate ceremony held inside Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral.
Click on the images to enlarge:
1. Portrait of Maximilian I of Mexico, by Francis Xavier Winterhalter (1864). (x)
2. The Mexican Delegation appoints Ferdinand Maximilian of Austria as Emperor of Mexico, by Cesare dell’Aqua (1864). (x)
3. Les Derniers Moments de Maximilien, by Jean-Paul Laurens (1882). (x)
4. The Execution of the Emperor Maximilian, by Edouard Manet (1868-69). (x)
5. Emperor Maximilian’s Execution Squad, Standing at Ease, photographed by François Aubert (1867). (x)
6. The Shirt of the Emperor, Worn During His Execution, photographedby François Aubert (1867). (x)
If you have an eye for the macabre, you can see a picture of his dead body here: link.