In 1861, Mexico refused to pay back the sizable debt it owed to countries like France. It was a decision that would prompt France, under Napoleon III, to launch a full-scale invasion.
In Austria, he was known as an art collector and idealist. In Mexico, he was a colonialist aggressor responsible for thousands of deaths. And in France, he lost an empire. But who was the real Archduke Maximilian? Join us as we examine the brief and contentious reign of the last emperor of Mexico, a complex and conflicted member of the powerful Habsburg family, from his royal childhood in Vienna to his alliance with Napoleon III, who wanted to expand his empire to the Western Hemisphere.
Watch this show online now.
Stream hundreds of shows by starting your free trial to Smithsonian Channel Plus.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.