1832 – He was born this year in Mexico. His reactionary brother, Emperor Francis Joseph, denied him a share in the imperial government.
1857 – He served as commander in chief of the Austrian fleet and was governor-general of Lombardo-Venetia until 1859, but he found no outlet for his dreams of liberal reform.
1864 – 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 to Mexico.
1865 – The empire was a failure from the start. He, 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 ordering the summary execution of all followers of Juárez.
1866 – The flimsy fabric of the empire dissolved. For a time Maximilian considered abdication, but he was irresolute. In this year, Empress Carlotta went to Europe and vainly sought aid from Napoleon III and the pope. Maximilian, in desperation, assumed personal command of his forces, and then mostly concentrated at Querétaro.
1867 – There, after a siege, he was captured and shot.