FRENCH EXPEDITION IN MEXICO 1862-1867 Belligerents : France.
Cause : From 1789, the date of the first conspiracy against Spain, down to 1857, when a Constitution was promul gated, Mexico was in a state of permanent warfare. In 1861 France, Spain, and Great Britain adopted joint measures against the republic in order to get better protection for their subjects and their property. In 1862 Great Britain and Spain withdrew. But Napoleon III conceived the project of establishing a monarchy in Mexico under his patronage, and so increasing French ascendancy beyond the Atlantic.
Occasion : The financial misdemeanours of the Mexican Govern ment were made the pretext for the advance of French troops into Mexico in 1862.
Course of the War : The French force was checked in May 1862, and further reinforcements were sent out. They advanced again in February 1863, and entered Mexico City in June. A Provisional Government was established, and the crown was offered to Maximilian of Austria, who accepted it and reached Mexico City in June 1864. Juarez, the republican leader, was driven into
the extreme north of the country. But his resistance was by no means overcome. Napoleon HI bound himself to keep a force in Mexico for the protection of Maximilian. In 1865, on the restoration of peace after the Civil War in the United States, the Govern ment of Washington refused to acknowledge any authority in Mexico but that of Juarez. The French were obliged to withdraw in '867, and Maximilian was left to his fate. The Juarists got the upper hand, and Maximilian was executed.
Political Result : Juarez, as President of Mexico, was succeeded by Diaz in 1877 ; and order was maintained for a gene ration.
Remarks : This foolish enterprise damaged the reputation of Napoleon III. He was regarded as a political adven turer, and became increasingly unpopular in his own country.