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The Last Emperor of Mexico: The Dramatic…
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The Last Emperor of Mexico: The Dramatic Story of the Habsburg Archduke Who Created a Kingdom in the New World (vuoden 2021 painos)

Tekijä: Edward Shawcross (Tekijä)

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1065256,157 (3.93)4
"In the 1860s, Napoleon III persuaded a young Austrian Archduke and a Belgian princess to leave Europe and become the Emperor and Empress of Mexico. Political novices Maximilian and Carlota accepted the throne and arrived in a Mexico newly pacified by a French army of 30,000 troops ruled by terror, pushing Mexico's great revolutionary leader Benito Juarez to the American border. Maximilian and Carlotta were unable to raise new taxes and found themselves simultaneously contending with France's threats to withdraw troops and battling Juarez's resurgent forces. When America aided Juarez in pushing back Maximilian's imperial soldiers, their regime fell apart. Maximilian was executed by a firing squad and Carlota descended into madness, spending the rest of her long life secluded in a Belgian castle"--… (lisätietoja)
Jäsen:mundo.ac
Teoksen nimi:The Last Emperor of Mexico: The Dramatic Story of the Habsburg Archduke Who Created a Kingdom in the New World
Kirjailijat:Edward Shawcross (Tekijä)
Info:Basic Books (2021), Edition: First Edition, 336 pages
Kokoelmat:Oma kirjasto
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The Last Emperor of Mexico: The Dramatic Story of the Habsburg Archduke Who Created a Kingdom in the New World (tekijä: Edward Shawcross)

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näyttää 5/5
This is the story of Maximilian, the last Emperor of Mexico. It's not a happy story. The story of Maximilian and his wife, Carlota, is extremely depressing. They set off for Mexico with such high hopes, but ultimately death and insanity were the price that each paid.

Shawcross is meticulous in his research, and this is very apparent in the amount of detail involved in the book. However, a lot of the portions pertaining to Mexican politics were extremely boring to me. My favorite parts were those which told the personal stories of the main players.

A good foray into the world of a would-be empire in Mexico. ( )
  briandrewz | Feb 19, 2024 |
While I've been aware of the broad picture of this misadventure in empire for awhile, it's good to get some more details, even if I agree that this is about the most favorable portrait of Maximilian and Carlota that one could paint. I think the disjuncture comes from how, on one hand, Maximilian and Carlota are not unattractive personalities, with, on the other, this effort to create a Mexican monarchy being another rear-guard action to stave off the logic of the American and French revolutions. Certainly there is very little good that one can attribute to Napoleon III, the real enabler of this enterprise.

If one was really going to hammer the couple, it would come down to the level of denial in play once the end game arrived, with Carlota egging on Maximilian to tough out the situation, and not abdicate, even though it was obvious that this exercise in state building was a failure. One seriously wonders when the woman's mental illness began to kick in. As for Maximilian, he stayed true to his bedrock principle, keeping up a good image, as that is all classic honor really is. ( )
  Shrike58 | Oct 16, 2022 |
Ashamed to say how little I knew of this being a long-time resident of Texas. Shawcross does a really good job of making the story interesting and the characters sympathetic, but not perfect. Makes me want to read more Mexican history. ( )
  spounds | Sep 25, 2022 |
Fascinating account of an absurd episode in Mexico's long, tortured history. Unfortunately—much like the French-led folly it describes—the Mexicans in the book are barely taken into account. ( )
  giovannigf | Jul 18, 2022 |
A bit outside my main interests, but it is a good story, and it certainly adds some context to North American history from 1864 to 1867. (Reading the relevant Wikipedia pages, though, is a lot more efficient.) Shawcross gives a very generous appraisal of Maximilian, and I would have liked to have this complemented by more critical views.

> Maximilian was now free to govern as the benevolent liberal monarch that he had always dreamt of becoming. He passed some of the most progressive laws anywhere in the world. In addition to outlawing corporal punishment and regulating child labour, decrees provided for such unheard-of things as lunch breaks, limits to working hours, and days off. Moreover, debt peonage—a system wherein hacienda owners forced tenants to pay debts through labour—was abolished. Large landowners and factory owners also had to provide free schools and, in some cases, access to water and shelter for their workers.

> Mexico’s creole elite, liberal and conservative, often denigrated the indigenous past as barbaric; Maximilian embraced it as part of modern Mexico. Indeed, he increasingly felt that his empire should rest on Mexico’s majority indigenous population. Liberal land reforms in the 1850s had not only stripped the church of its property, but also declared communal village landholdings illegal, breaking them up for private sale. Maximilian restored rights to shared landownership for indigenous villages.

> as Maximilian dreamed, others were growing aware of an enormous problem: most of Maximilian’s new laws were never enforced. The emperor was at his happiest when overseeing a paper empire, but his state was much greater in his imagination than in reality.

> At enormous cost, however, the Union had emerged from the conflict not only victorious but more powerful than ever, with a veteran army larger than at any point in previous US history. Moreover, bellicose Union generals, now popular war heroes, notably Ulysses S. Grant, were keen to use this army to uphold the Monroe Doctrine and US supremacy in the Americas. For men like Grant, Maximilian’s empire represented a nightmarish mix of papal conspiracy and monarchical European power that, in league with the Confederacy, challenged republican democracy.

> Faverney explained that France must leave Mexico or go to war with the United States. On January 15, 1866, faced with catastrophe or humiliation, Napoleon III wrote to Maximilian. “It is not without painful emotion”, the letter began, “that I am writing to Your Majesty”. Pleasantries out of the way, the French emperor cut to his decision. The impossibility of asking the Corps législatif for more money and Maximilian’s own inability to provide the necessary funds, Napoleon III wrote, “force me to fix a definitive limit to the French occupation.” ( )
  breic | Jan 31, 2022 |
näyttää 5/5
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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"In the 1860s, Napoleon III persuaded a young Austrian Archduke and a Belgian princess to leave Europe and become the Emperor and Empress of Mexico. Political novices Maximilian and Carlota accepted the throne and arrived in a Mexico newly pacified by a French army of 30,000 troops ruled by terror, pushing Mexico's great revolutionary leader Benito Juarez to the American border. Maximilian and Carlotta were unable to raise new taxes and found themselves simultaneously contending with France's threats to withdraw troops and battling Juarez's resurgent forces. When America aided Juarez in pushing back Maximilian's imperial soldiers, their regime fell apart. Maximilian was executed by a firing squad and Carlota descended into madness, spending the rest of her long life secluded in a Belgian castle"--

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