Was there any way Maximillian could keep the throne of Mexico ?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by Antonio the Komnenoi, Sep 13, 2018 at 9:54 AM.

  1. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

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    I'm of the conclusion that the "Second War of Independece" moniker is to a great extent a case of the victors writing the history; attempting to dramatically downplay the domestic sympathy for the Conservative cause in the War of Reform (Which we're really talking about an extentison of) by casting them as forgein catspaws only, but there's very real disagreements on that front so I could very well be wrong. However, I was trying to imply not that Max would win the nationalists; merely that it's very possible Juarez would lose them which would splinter the opposition. Which is my point; Max may not be able to "win" the peace any more than previous governments did in the sense of reaching a lasting solution, but that's business as usual in 19th century Latin America. He is though capable of "not losing" long enough to get a notable degree of domestic support; for example, from native groups who's autonomy, protections, and land usage rights he restored.
     
  2. saluto Well-Known Member

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    IOTL he had the support of native groups and they were perhaps the only people who supported both him & his ideas. In the context of the war the conservatives were willing to put up with his more moderate liberalism but it was already making them uncomfortable. If he wins the war I don’t think he’d be able to carry out his ideas. IOTL Díaz was able to maintain a fairly stable regime following the war and ITTL that isn’t going to happen.
     
  3. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

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    The more reactionary elements will certainly grumble, but it's hardly as though they have a better alternative than to hang with him or hang separately. It's important to remember that Emperor Max was the ultimate compromise candidate; and like any good and effective compromise is successful at making the broadest range of groups the least unhappy, rather than winning the undying love of any particular one. Indeed, his relative lack of popularity\stability is better for them than a strong monarch; he'll be obliged to keep power more decenteralized (towards them) in order to keep some degree of order and prosperity, and he won't be around forever. Far better to use his weakness to build the Imperial system's foundation to their advantage while grooming Agustin into a proper Conservative heir.

    And I won't contest Diaz was a highly effective leader; certainly better for Mexico than Max or his regeime could ever be. The question though isent if he ought to retain his throne, but if he could (The Empire thriving vs. surviving). The former, which helped make Mexico into the above average category among it's Latin American contemporaries, is highly unlikely, but the later certainly is even if it comes at the nation's expense
     
  4. saluto Well-Known Member

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    I just don’t buy the idea that Max would actually be a compromise candidate in peacetime. He wouldn’t be able to balance all the different factions because it’s unlikely he’d have any political freedom. He’d be a puppet of the French and of the conservative elites. I don’t think the ultra-conservatives would allow him the freedom of movement to reconcile Mexico. That’s why I think we’d see a continuation of the civil war in the mountains and a return to serious civil war when the French eventually leave.

    Diaz’s crowning achievement is his survival. After so many years of chaos he managed to maintain a stable regime. Max would be bad for Mexico because he wouldn’t bring peace and he’s unlikely to survive the continuing chaos.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018 at 12:21 PM
  5. Galba Otho Vitelius Well-Known Member

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    The only way to win was not to play!
     
  6. RousseauX Donor

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    he could have just being pragmatic and ruled as a conservative monarch
     
  7. saluto Well-Known Member

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    Max wasn’t exactly known for his pragmatism
     
  8. Historyman 14 Well-Known Member

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    I will say this: Maximilian staying in power is going to help stabilize Mexico, better then Porfirio Díaz, but you also need him to have an heir. IIRC, he did a rather elaborate charade towards his brother Karl Ludwig for one of his children to be heir to Mexico, and while he adopted the Iturbide heirs, he didn't intend to be a placeholder for them (he saw the Iturbides as not of royal blood). Either Carlotta (Maximilian's wife) is able to have children, or Max needs someone who can succeed him who is close in blood.
     
  9. Rheinbund Well-Known Member

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    IMO, Maximillian need a stable france with french troop during at least one or two decade, to stabilize his rule, the presence of French troops reduces the risk of revolt or betrayl of the Mexican army, also Mexico would have acces to french market and capital helping of the rise of the burgher classe, French support can also push Maximillian to assert himself because he will be less dependant on the conservative, IMO, he could built a political base (local native, burgher, catholic, millitary (if they are formed by the french) , ...) after all depends on his reign and his successor but he will have to conquer little by little his power, because in the begining he would be a figurehead.
     
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  10. Historyman 14 Well-Known Member

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    Whoever comes after Maximilian I think should break with France. Why? As to help legitimatize his rule and to show he is not a puppet of Paris and not dependent of France to support them.
     
  11. Rheinbund Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that the french presence is a curse and a blessing, in my opinion the best outcome would be a change of status, France will focused on another theater and would want to bring back their troops and in same time if Mexico is sucesfull and want to reaffirmate as an independant power they would want to regnociate their contract with France, so IMO they would reach a kind of agreement more balanced to maintain friendly relations useful for both of them. (because this relation would be useful for both of them)
     
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  12. FillyofDelphi Well-Known Member

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    My apologies; I could have been clearer with my language. He was a compromise candidate among the various Conservative forces, not the nation as a whole per say. And I'm not contesting that civil violence would flare up again at some point; that's par for the course in 19th century Latin America, and as you noted it was Diaz's ability to escape that norm that made him so prestigious. But with a combined Conservative front who will accept .if not exactly love, him the throne could stand so long as the opposition remained fractured, which I'd argue is a distinct possibility.
     
  13. Antonio the Komnenoi A devout Monarchist

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    So the only hope for Max is:

    Become a Conservative

    Have Lincoln as President

    Kill Benito Juarez early on

    Hope that the French stay longer

    Is that right ?
     
  14. Rheinbund Well-Known Member

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    He's not obliged to became conservative but he would need to govern with them at least in the begining.

    Lincoln or a president able to accept Maximillian (supported by the french) as Emperor.


    After you could have another scenario to kept Maximillian in power but this one is the most likely.
     
  15. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member Kicked

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    Native as in "Native Americans"?
     
  16. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member Kicked

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    IIRC it was his youngest brother Ludwig Viktor. That would have been fun...
     
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  17. The Gunslinger NQLA agent

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    This one is orders of magnitude more important than all the others. The conservatives will back him because they don't really have a choice (if they throw Max out they just doom themselves). Whoever is in charge in America doesn't matter, they will back republican opposition (which is why it's imperative to remove that early on by removing Juarez) and he doesn't need the French if the republican opposition is splintered resulting from the death of Juarez.
     
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  18. saluto Well-Known Member

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    Yeah they made up a major support base for Max. During the colonial period lots of indigenous communities were given land grants by various Spanish Monarchs that were slowly eroded (often illegally) by surrounding landowners. It’s a very similar scenario to the enclosure of the commons from Europe. Max promised to restore historic legal boundaries and so won almost fanatic support from many native communities. In the long run though this is just another cause for tension between Max and the Conservatives post-war. I don’t think they’d let him do what he promised.
     
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  19. JonasResende Well-Known Member

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    Max was hoping that he could get his brother wed to one of D. Pedro II of Brasil's daughters (and then have them/their kids as successors). However, Brasil wouldn't agree to a Habsburg archduke (who is also heir to ANOTHER throne) wedding the Princess Imperial any more than they were willing to consider her marrying a Portuguese infante. It ran the risk of the empire's centre of gravity shifting from Rio to Mexico City/Lisbon/wherever.

    Of course, he could opt for Leopoldina instead, but given Isabel's struggle to produce an heir OTL, I'd guess that a prospective match is going to be awkward. The Brasilians won't want to end up in an accidental PU with the Mexicans anymore than the Mexicans would like the prospect of a PU with Brasil.

    Unless, you can have Max's bastard by Concepçion Sedano acknowledged as heir (maybe married to an Iturbide girl (Augustin II born a girl maybe, or Augustin has a younger sister, but he himself dies in infancy?)
     
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  20. eltf177 Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, but calling his regime "stable" is a bit of a stretch. It really wasn't until after WWII that Mexico achieved any sort of stability and it really only lasted until the drug lords gained power...
     
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