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How the Black Decree Led to This Mexican Emperor's Doom

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How the Black Decree Led to This Mexican Emperor's Doom

Short | 03:05

The French-backed Emperor Ferdinand Maximilian of Mexico was losing the raging civil war. In 1865, this prompted him to issue a savage decree: all armed opponents of his rule were to be executed without trial.

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Austrian Archduke Maximilian spent his life yearning for the crown his older brother Franz was destined to wear. When the opportunity arose to cross the Atlantic and become the Emperor of Mexico, his dreams of becoming a ruler would finally come true. But a series of poor choices, wrong alliances, and ill-timed events turned his dream into a nightmare. Witness the tragic story of this complex and conflicted member of the powerful Habsburg family as we relive the circumstances behind this seminal moment in Mexican and Austrian history.

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