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Maximilian I (6 July 1832 – 19 June 1867) was the only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire. He was a younger brother of the Austrian emperor Francis Joseph I. After a distinguished career in modernising the Austrian Navy as its commander, he accepted an offer, conditional on a national plebiscite in his favour, by Napoleon III of France to rule Mexico. France (along with the United Kingdom and Spain, who both withdrew the following year after negotiating agreements with Mexico’s democratic government) had invaded the Mexican Republic in the winter of 1861, as part of the War of the French Intervention. Seeking to legitimize French rule in the Americas, Napoleon III invited Maximilian to establish a new Mexican monarchy for him. With the support of the French army and a group of conservative Mexican monarchists hostile to the liberal administration of new Mexican President Benito Juárez, Maximilian traveled to Mexico. Once there, he declared himself Emperor of Mexico on 10 April 1864.