Maximilian

Maximilian

[mak-suh-mil-yuhn]
Harden, Maximilian, 1861-1927, German journalist, whose real name was Witkowski. One of the leading publicists of his time, he was an admirer of Bismarck. After Bismarck's fall he used his own paper, the Zukunft, to attack the men surrounding William II, and in World War I he censured the military leaders. Later he sharply criticized the statesmen of the German republic. Essentially Harden was a popular journalist appealing to mass prejudices and beliefs. Among his many books are Germany, France, and England (tr. 1924) and I Meet My Contemporaries (tr. 1925).

See biography by H. F. Young (1959).

Maximilian, 1832-67, emperor of Mexico (1864-67). As the Austrian archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, he was denied a share in the imperial government by his reactionary brother, Emperor Francis Joseph. Maximilian served as commander in chief of the Austrian fleet and was governor-general of Lombardo-Venetia (1857-59), but he found no outlet for his dreams of liberal reform. When Mexican conservatives negotiated with Napoleon III to found a Mexican empire, Maximilian was persuaded to accept the crown. He and his wife, Carlotta, left their palace near Trieste and sailed (1864) to Mexico. The empire was a failure from the start. Maximilian, who had no real understanding of Mexico, found most of the country hostile to him and loyal to Benito Juárez. He alienated the conservatives by his liberal tendencies and others of his supporters by his decree (1865) ordering the summary execution of all followers of Juárez. Indeed, Maximilian's tenure rested solely on French soldiers, who drove Juárez and his liberal army to the north. The European monarchs, except Napoleon III, were lukewarm. The United States, irked by this violation of the Monroe Doctrine, was frankly hostile and was prevented from interfering only by the American Civil War. When affairs in France and the cessation of the Civil War impelled Napoleon III to withdraw (1866-67) the French troops from Mexico, the flimsy fabric of the empire dissolved. For a time Maximilian considered abdication, but he was irresolute. In 1866, Empress Carlotta went to Europe and vainly sought aid from Napoleon III and the pope. Maximilian, in desperation, assumed personal command of his forces, then mostly concentrated at Querétaro. There, after a siege (March-May, 1867), he was captured and shot. He wrote Aus meinem Leben (1865, tr. Recollections of My Life, 1868).

See J. Musser, The Establishment of Maximilian's Empire in Mexico (1918, repr. 1976); E. Corti, Maximilian and Charlotte of Mexico (1928, repr. 1968); Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico: Memoirs of His Private Secretary, José Luis Blasio (tr. and ed. by R. H. Murray, 1934).

Maximilian, prince of Baden (Max of Baden), 1867-1929, German statesman, last chancellor of imperial Germany. A liberal, he was made imperial chancellor at the end of World War I as Germany neared defeat. He formed a coalition cabinet that included members of the Center, Progressive, and Socialist parties, the three major parties in the Reichstag. At the recommendation of the supreme command, he began to negotiate for an armistice with the Allies. In late Oct., 1918, mutiny broke out among the sailors at Kiel. It spread and soon erupted into revolution. Prince Max hoped to save the monarchy by forcing Emperor William II to abdicate. William refused, but Max nevertheless announced his abdication (Nov. 9). Several hours later he surrendered the government to the Socialist leader Friedrich Ebert.
Spee, Maximilian, Graf von, 1861-1914, German admiral. At the start of World War I he commanded a squadron in East Asia. In Nov., 1914, he met and defeated the English commander Admiral Cradock off Coronel; however, he was defeated by Sir Frederick Sturdee near the Falkland Islands (Dec., 1914) and went down with his vessel. The incident became famous in German tradition. A German battleship was later named the Graf Spee. It sank many British cargo ships in the South Atlantic early in World War II before it was finally damaged heavily by three British cruisers in Dec., 1939, and scuttled by its crew.

(born Aug. 24, 1872, London, Eng.—died May 20, 1956, Rapallo, Italy) English caricaturist, writer, and dandy. His sophisticated drawings and parodies were unique in capturing, usually without malice, whatever was pretentious, affected, or absurd in his famous and fashionable contemporaries. His first literary collection, The Works of Max Beerbohm (1896), and his first book of drawings, Caricatures of Twenty-five Gentlemen (1896), were followed by the charming fable The Happy Hypocrite (1897) and his only novel, Zuleika Dobson (1911), a burlesque of Oxford life. His story collection Seven Men (1919) is considered a masterpiece.

Learn more about Beerbohm, Sir (Henry) Max(imilian) with a free trial on Britannica.com.

(born July 31, 1527, Vienna, Austria—died Oct. 12, 1576, Regensburg) Holy Roman emperor (1564–76). Son of the future emperor Ferdinand I, he was a humanist Christian who favoured compromise between Catholics and Protestants. He became king of Bohemia in 1562 and succeeded to the imperial throne in 1564. He extended religious tolerance and worked for reform of the Roman Catholic church. He failed to achieve his political goals; an unsuccessful campaign against the Turks ended in a truce in 1568 that compelled him to continue to pay tribute to the sultan.

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orig. Maximilian Joseph

(born May 27, 1756, Mannheim, Palatinate—died Oct. 13, 1825, Munich) First king of Bavaria (1806–25). A member of the house of Wittelsbach, in 1799 he inherited its territories as Maximilian IV Joseph, elector of Bavaria. Forced by Austria to enter the war against France, he signed a separate peace in 1801. Distrustful of Austria, he supported the French war effort (1805–09) through Bavaria's membership in the Confederation of the Rhine. He received territories by which he crowned himself king of Bavaria (1806). After 1813 he allied with Austria to guarantee the integrity of his kingdom and gave up sections of western Austria in return for territories on the western bank of the Rhine. Aided by his chief minister, count von Montgelas (1759–1838), Maximilian made Bavaria into an efficient, liberal state under a new constitution (1808) and charter (1818) that established a bicameral parliament.

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orig. Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph

Maximilian.

(born July 6, 1832, Vienna, Austria—died June 19, 1867, near Querétaro, Mex.) Archduke of Austria and emperor of Mexico (1864–67). The younger brother of Francis Joseph I of Austria-Hungary, he served in the Austrian navy and as governor-general of the Lombardo-Venetian kingdom. He accepted the offer of the Mexican throne, naively believing that the Mexicans had voted him their king. In fact, the offer was a scheme between Mexican conservatives, who wanted to overthrow Pres. Benito Juárez, and Napoleon III, who wanted to collect a debt from Mexico and had imperialist ambitions there. Intending to rule with paternal benevolence, Maximilian upheld Juárez's reforms, to the fury of the conservatives. The end of the American Civil War allowed the U.S. to intervene on Juárez's behalf; French forces that had been supporting Maximilian left at the request of the U.S., and Juárez's army retook Mexico City. Refusing to abdicate, Maximilian was defeated and executed.

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Maximilian, Maximillian, or Maximiliaan (sometimes Maximilia) is a name of Latin origin meaning "greatest." It may refer to:

Saints

Monarchs

Others

Other bearers of the first name Maximilian:

As a pseudonym

  • Maximillian or Max Schmeling, a German boxer
  • Maximilian, the recording pseudonym of 1960s pop instrumentalist Max Crook

See also

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