1832: Maximilian I – The Habsburg Heir Who Became Emperor of Mexico

1832: Maximilian I – The Habsburg Heir Who Became Emperor of Mexico
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ Édouard Manet's Execution of Emperor Maximilian (1868–1869)

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 6 July 1832
  • Maximilian I was a younger brother of the Austrian Emperor Francis Joseph. Maximilian was 16 years old when Francis Joseph became Emperor of Austria. Francis Joseph's son was born about ten years later, so Maximilian was heir to the throne at the time.

Maximilian I was born as Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph of Austria on this day in 1832.

He was less than two years younger than his brother – the Austrian Emperor and Hungarian-Croatian King Francis Joseph.

The latter was also the first ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Namely, Francis Joseph inherited the mentioned titles as the eldest son.

Francis Joseph married the famous Sissi about six years later, and she gave birth to their son in 1858. Maximilian was de facto heir to the throne.

Had Francis Joseph died during that 10-year-period, Maximilian would have inherited the throne. Franz Ferdinand, who was assassinated in Sarajevo, had a similar situation (he was a distant relative of Francis Joseph).

In 1854, Maximilian was appointed commander-in-chief of the Austrian Navy. At the time, he was 22 years old.

In 1857, he was appointed as viceroy of the Kingdom of Lombary-Venetia, headquartered in Milan. Maximilian became Emperor of Mexico in 1864, when he was at the age of 31.

This engagement proved fatal for him. He was deposed by his opponents in Mexico. They executed him in 1867 (he was 34 years old).

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