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The Mexican Empire (Spanish: Imperio Mexicano) was the name of Mexico under the regime established from 1864 to 1867. It was created by the Mexican Congress with the support of Napoleon III of France (1808–1873), who attempted to establish a monarchist ally in the Americas. A referendum confirmed the coronation of the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, of the House of Habsburg as Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico (1832–1867).
Promoted by the powerful and conservative elite of Mexico's "hacendados", with the support of the French, as well as from the Austrian and Belgian crowns, the intervention attempted to create a monarchical system in Mexico, as it had functioned during the 300 years of the viceroyalty of New Spain and for the short term of the imperial independent reign of Emperor Agustín I of Mexico (1783–1824). Support came mainly from conservative Catholics, which were at the time majority within Mexico, and the main means came from the Mexican nobility, who aimed to promote stability and end the constant cycle of unrest and revolution that had come to a terrible situation with the government of Benito Juárez (1806–1872).