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BENITO JUAREZ

In 1858 civil war broke out in Mexico between conservative and liberal forces. Liberal leader Benito Juarez, a Native American lawyer, became president. In 1860 his forces defeated the conservatives, but only by borrowing money from foreign powers. France, Spain, and Britain invaded Mexico to enforce payment of their loans. Spain and Britain withdrew, but in 1863 a French army captured Mexico City. Napoleon III of France set up Archduke Maximilian of Austria as Mexican emperor. Juarez' forces defeated the French in 1867 and executed Maximilian. Juarez was re-elected president, holding office until his death in 1872.



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