Miramar is a castle that was built by order of Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Habsburg in Trieste , Italy. It served as venue for the signing of the Treaty of Miramar, where together a commission of politicians Mexican conservatives, supporters of a monarchy in Mexico, the Emperor Napoleon III of France offered Maximilian the crown of Mexico . Treaty of Miramar
This treaty was signed, which among the conditions included the presence of French troops in Mexico, including a contingent of the Foreign Legion, the costing of expenses for said troops and the guarantee of payment of the debt that Mexico had with France and, of course, the French support that the empire of Mexico would not lack.
What led to the signing of that treaty that placed in Mexico, where a liberal government was in the hands of Benito Juárez, a conservative monarchy? Who promoted the Miramar Treaty or Miramar Convention? What were the causes and consequences of this foreign treaty on Mexican lands? We invite you to read this fascinating story.
Background to the Miramar Treaty
The history of Mexico, both colonial, independent and later federal, has been full of wars and suffering for its people. Finally, this great statesman and politician Benito Juárez emerges , who undeniably consolidated the republic and established the laws that would define the current Mexican state . The first period of government of Juárez was from 1858 to 1861, but, precisely in those difficult historical moments, a critical situation arises that leads to the Treaty of Miramar.
The antecedents of this treaty occur precisely during the first mandate of Don Benito Juárez, having culminated the Three-Year War or Reform War , which had reduced finances, military forces and the political acceptance of the liberals. In these circumstances, the Mexican government suspends payments to external debts with France, England and Spain .
The result was that these three powerful nations decided to come to Mexico to collect the debt, they sent troops to Mexico who, arriving by sea, landed in Veracruz and although the Spanish and English were convinced that the lack of payment was only a temporary matter, the French they stayed, not because of debt, but because Emperor Napoleon III had plans drawn up with the support of conservative Mexican politicians to establish a monarchy in Mexico .
What did the Miramar Treaty consist of?
Actually the Treaty of Miramar was a well thought out strategy by Napoleon III, who, taking advantage of the situation that was presented to the liberal government of Benito Juárez, not being able to face the commitments acquired with England, Spain and France, invaded a military force tripartite the Mexican territory, and managed to place a considerable military force in an advantageous position and justified by a debt.
It was, so to speak, the legal way to intervene in Mexico, keep his troops in Mexican territory, and at the same time expand French power through the involvement of Archduke Maximiliano, to support his plans, in fact pressured him to accept the responsibility of the crown of Mexico offered to it by a faction of the political power of Mexico.
Since March 1864, Napoleon III and Maximiliano of Asturias were discussing the details of what would finally be a treaty between the two of them, with the support obtained from a part of the political power of Mexico, forbidden support from the church.
Who participated in the Miramar Treaty?
History is full of treaties, pacts and unions made between prominent men who believed they were right or who simply used their power and influence to impose their wishes or ideals, either because they thought their ideas were the best for their people or simply because lust for power and convenience.
In the Miramar treaty, a commission of Mexican conservatives sent by the so-called Assembly of Notables participated , their mission was to convince the Archduke of Austria Fernando Maximiliano to accept the throne of Mexico, in that way the Mexican conservatives “returned to power” and according to them “it would be the best for their country”, that is, to return to the monarchy. Among the group of representatives of the Mexican conservative power are Miguel Miramón and José María Gutiérrez de Estrada . The Catholic ecclesiastical hierarchy was also supporting this treaty , who always supported the European absolutist monarchy.
Sure, Mexicans were not officially signatories to the Miramar Treaty, but in order to sign it, Maximiliano had to first accept the throne of Mexico from the “representatives of the Mexican people.” So that when accepting it, on April 10, 1864, the treaty consisting of 21 articles was signed by the representative of Napoleon III, namely Carlos Herbert, and the representative of Maximiliano, namely, Joaquín Velázquez de León, where 3 they were secret.
Causes and consequences
The causes of a treaty as controversial as this was, on the one hand, the circumstances that led the Mexican liberal government to a critical situation that left it exposed to the establishment of a monarchy in its own land, the eagerness of Mexican political and ecclesiastical forces that insisted in a monarchy , and of course the expansionism of the second French empire in the hands of Napoleon III , as well as a man like Maximilian of Austria, trained to rule and also eager to rule.
The consequences were a monarchical government that only lasted about three years and that led to clashes with the itinerant government of Benito Juárez and, of course, more suffering for the Mexican people. Juárez gradually strengthened his power, had help, recognition and also a lot of support from the United States, which was good for the future of the Mexican government, within the enacted laws were those that limit the power and influence of the church in the state affairs , which have remained until today.
Another consequence was that at the end of this sad episode many people died, and one of them was precisely the Emperor Maximilian, who despite the intervention of royal and political figures, was finally shot by a Mexican court .