An international scholarly online history journal on First and Second Empire subjects: articles, bibliographies, book reviews, in english and in french

Delve deeper into Napoleonic history here in our section on the history of the two empires. Alongside a section for those just starting, there are many articles, images with commentary, close-ups and special dossiers for the serious Napoleonic enthusiast.

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Bibliographies : The Mexican campaign, 1862-1867
Timelines : The Mexican Campaign, 1862-1867
In pictures : The crossing of the bridge at Arcole - Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile


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A timeline, an article or two, some biographies, a few images, and a bibliography, in short a close-up on a topic related to the First and Second French Empires. You can search for other close-ups either by keyword or by theme.

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A close-up on: the Mexican campaign, 1862-1867


The Execution of Maximilian <i>by Edouard Manet, 1867</i>

The Execution of Maximilian by Edouard Manet, 1867

Following years of political instability and a financial crisis that had crippled the country, the president of Mexico, Benito Juárez, announced a suspension on all repayment on loans contracted with European powers. This declaration set in motion a wave of consternation and indignation that swept through Britain, France, and Spain, resulting in a suspension of diplomatic relations and the decision to launch a tripartite military expedition to force Mexico to restart repayments and - where possible - begin recouping the borrowed money at source. Behind this seemingly simple financial motivation, however, lay a far more complicated affair, one inspired by European imperialistic ethos, global geopolitical considerations, and religious devotion. Our close-up - featuring a detailed timeline, multiple biographies, and first-hand accounts of the campaign - unpicks this fascinating episode of the Second Empire which saw an Austrian archduke reign briefly as Mexican emperor.
(October 2011)



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