101908 | MEXICO & FRANCE. Napoleon III/Mexican Expedition silver Medal.

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    101908  |  MEXICO & FRANCE. Napoleon III/Mexican Expedition silver Medal. Instituted 29 August 1863 for the battles at Cumbres, Cerro del Borrego, San Lorenzo, Puebla, and Mexico City (30mm, 14.63 g, 12h). By J. J. Barré at the Paris mint.

     

    NAPOLEON III EMPEREUR, laureate head left; all within banded wreath / EXPEDITION DU MEXIQUE / 1862•1863, CUMBRES / CERRO•BORREGO / SAN–LORENZO / PUEBLA / MEXICO in five lines; small anchor below; all within banded wreath. Edge: Plain, though clasp and loop attached at the top.

     

    Barac 254a. Mint State. Highly brilliant and attractive, with some hints of toning around the devices; some scattered hairlines are noted in the reverse field.

     

    The instability of post-colonial Mexico caused a great deal of borrowing from the European nations of Spain, France, and Great Britain. When a cessation of loan-interest payments was enacted by Mexican President Benito Juárez in 1861, the European powers sent troops with the aim of extracting that which was owed to them. France, however, had ulterior motives, as her Emperor, Napoléon III, wished to use the French troops as an opportunity to install a French-supported client empire there in order to act as a rebuff to the emergence of the United States in the New World. This medal was awarded to French troops who participated in various battles of the "Mexican Expedition," which culminated in the installation of Maximiliano as Emperor (Ferdinand Maximilian, an archduke of the European Habsburgs and the younger brother of Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph). The empire was short lived, however, as Maximiliano was dethroned a little after three years, being captured and executed by Republican forces.