In a highly readable and accessible narrative emphasizing daily life, M. M. McAllen presents the attempt of Maximilian of Hapsburg and Carlota of Belgium to govern the Mexican Republic as a monarchy. The events unfolded at a critical juncture, precisely when the Liberals had triumphed after an arduous conflict against Conservatives, in the wake of centralist and federalist regimes that took center stage after Mexican independence. In their final attempt to get the upper hand, the Conservatives planned the construction of a monarchy, which was backed by Napoleon III.

After reading the book, I tried to answer how it fit into contemporary debates and progress in the field. The book's cited sources do not fit into bibliographic production on the Second Empire, a period (1864–1867) that has been undergoing revision since the 1990s, no longer seen as a tragic moment but rather...

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