intervention and Maximilianâs empire seems to have retained, even in the face of increasing revisionism, all the qualities of a pristine patriotic myth: the color, excitement, and simplicity of a triumph of good over evil. If we are to believe the textbook version, between 1862 and 1867 the nation â except for a few traitorous Conservatives â led by Benito JuÃ¡rez, rose heroically to vanquish French imperialism, sweeping away the ridiculous throne set up by the invader. For added drama â and poetic justice â the Hapsburg usurper was shot; his wife went crazy. Mexicoâs victory in such an unequal struggle conï¬rmed its commitment to democracy and freedom and its providential destiny as an independent liberal republic. As a building block for Historia patria, the imperial episode fades before this promethean âSecond War of Independence.â Interestingly, the depiction of the Second Empire as an exogenous event, as the frivolous, misbegotten experiment of degenerate Europe, in which Mexicans played practically no role, has been pervasive in Mexican historiography. After Maximilian was defeated, those who had fought against him pen in hand â JosÃ© MarÃa Iglesias, I would like to thank Charles A. Hale, members of the Boston Area Latin
Hispanic American Historical Review – Duke University Press
Published: Feb 1, 2002
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