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Maximilian 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 the Austrian Navy, he accepted an offer by his Lucian cousin 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 Mexico 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.