“The Empire Was Destined to Fall”: Maximilian von Habsburg and the Hungarian Image of Mexico Cover Image

„A császárságnak buknia kellett”. Habsburg Miksa és a magyarországi Mexikó-kép alakulása
“The Empire Was Destined to Fall”: Maximilian von Habsburg and the Hungarian Image of Mexico

Author(s): Balázs Venkovits
Subject(s): History
Published by: AETAS Könyv- és Lapkiadó Egyesület

Summary/Abstract: The 1860s brought immense challenges for North America: a Civil War in the United States and European intervention in Mexico. The Second Mexican Empire (with Maximilian von Habsburg on the throne) resulted in major political, social, and cultural changes and had both inter-American and transatlantic repercussions. After an inter-American overview of the Mexican events in the first part of my paper, the second section of the article discusses the happenings from a Hungarian perspective. As more than a thousand Hungarians participated in Maximilian’s “Mexican venture,” their involvement and reports influenced the image of Mexico in Hungary considerably. The country was “put on the map” in Hungary, a more independent portrayal of the American nation emerged, and the events of the Second Empire became an integral part of the Hungarian image of Mexico. The accounts describe Mexico and present its population, however, they tell just as much about the writers and the questions of their Hungarian identity. I analyze the publications of Hungarian participants and provide a case study of two special forms of travel writing, a soldier’s and a doctor’s book on Mexico, serving as special adaptations of the imperial view often aimed at supporting the legitimacy of French intervention, Habsburg Maximilian’s ascent to the throne, and Hungarians’ own presence in the far-away country.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 28-46
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Hungarian