MAXIMILIAN (Ferdinand Maximilian) (1832-1867), em peror of Mexico, was born in Vienna on July 6, 1832, the second son of Archduke Francis Charles, and brother of the Emperor Francis Joseph. After an excellent education, he entered the navy and as first in command was largely responsible for its rehabilita tion, and for the growth of Trieste as a naval centre. He was appointed governor-general of the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom in 1857, but in 1859 was summarily relieved of his post. In 1857 he married Princess Charlotte of Belgium. As early as 1859 he was approached by Mexican exiles relative to his candidature for an imperial throne in Mexico, and in Oct. 1863 he was formally offered the crown, which had been created by French armed intervention. (See Mexico.) He accepted it on April 9, after renouncing his imperial rights in Austria, arrived in Mexico on May 28 and entered Mexico City on June 12. From the be ginning, the experiment was doomed, for politically, strategically and economically Maximilian's position was impossible. The country was opposed to him; the liberals refused to recognize his government, though he made several attempts to conciliate them; and the conservatives and clericals were immediately alienated by his liberal measures. Financially and politically he was wholly dependent upon France, without resources with which either to pay his debts or raise armies. Nor was he, personally, fitted to cope with the problem; poor judgment, vacillation and extrava gance marked his administration from the first. During 1864 and 1865 his foreign troops reduced the country to subjection, driving the constitutional government of Juarez almost to the Rio Grande, and on Oct. 3, 1865, he was induced to issue a decree declaring Juarez and his supporters bandits. But in Dec. 1865, the United States, having emerged successfully from the Civil War, demanded the withdrawal of French troops from Mexico. Napoleon acceded in Jan. 1866, and the republican forces commenced their recon quest. The Empress Charlotte went to Europe in July 1866, in a desperate attempt to re-enlist the aid of Napoleon and the pope; she failed and the strain proved so great that she lost her mind.
In October, Maximilian, deter mined to abdicate, fled to Orizaba, but was prevailed upon to return, and in Feb. 1867, assuming per sonal command of his forces, transferred his headquarters from Mexico City to Queretaro, a lonely figure in the welter of in trigue, selfishness and corruption which engulfed him. The last of the French forces retired in March; and on May 15, Queretaro was betrayed to the republican army. Napoleon's agents had made repeated efforts to secure Maximilian's escape, but he refused to save himself. He was courtmartialled, convicted, and despite uni versal pleas for mercy, was shot on June 19. The Empress Char lotte died at the Château de Bouchout, near Brussels, on Jan. 19, 1927, having never fully recovered her reason. (See JUAREZ, MEXICO.) There is a very good account of the whole Maximilian episode by Egon Caesar, Count Corti: Maximilian and Charlotte of Mexico (New York, 1928), which includes an exhaustive bibliography.
(W. B. P.) MAXIMILrAN I. (1573-1651), called "the Great," elector and duke of Bavaria, eldest son of William V. of Bavaria, was born at Munich on April 17, 1573. He married in 1595 his cousin, Elizabeth, daughter of Charles II., duke of Lorraine, and became duke of Bavaria upon his father's abdication in 1597• He refrained from any interference in German politics until 1607, when he was entrusted with the duty of executing the imperial ban against the free city of Donauworth, a Protestant stronghold. In Dec. 1607 his troops occupied the city, and steps were taken to restore the older faith. A union of Protestant princes, formed to defend their interests, was met in 1609 by the establishment of a league, in the formation of which Maximilian took an important part. An army was collected, but his policy was strictly defensive and he refused to allow the league to become a tool in the hands of the house of Habsburg. Dissensions among his colleagues led the duke to resign his office in 1616, but he returned to the league about two years later.