The Limits of Informal Empire: French Intervention and the Mexican Second Empire
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Chapter 6 addresses the French intervention in Mexico and the foundation of Maximilian ’s empire. The chapter shows how the conservative path to modernity was at the heart of the rationale for the empire and explains who in Mexico supported Maximilian and why. The chapter thus explores the economic and administrative rationale behind the empire. In addition, the chapter details the architecture of informal rule, the means by which France hoped to construct an edifice that would remain within its sphere of influence and promote French economic and political power as well as advance French civilisation. Finally, the chapter looks at the reasons for the collapse of the Second Mexican Empire and the failure of the informal-imperial model.