Lead: From 1864 to 1867 Mexico was under French Rule established by Emperor Napoleon III. This infamous, yet brief, period is known in Mexican history as the Second Empire.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The French first arrived in Mexico in 1862. Poorly run national finances meant Mexico had amassed substantial foreign debt with Spain, Great Britain and France. Under a huge economic strain, Mexico, under liberal President Benito, stopped making payments. France’s ruler, Napoleon III, nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, sought not only to collect the debts owed to France but to promote French interests by expanding French presence and influence in the markets of Western Hemisphere and, thus, to help recapture the past imperial glory of earlier Napoleonic times. After years of political unrest, violence and revolution in Mexico, a conservative faction in the Mexican ruling class, supported the French intervention and the installation of a monarch, believing it would improve political and economic stability.

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