HOUSE OF HABSBURG ITURBIDE
Emperor Augustin’s motives in accepting the throne are always
going to be a bone of contention to some. Perhaps if he had been asked
to serve as President instead of Emperor, his critics would have been
less vociferous. His enemies, of whom it can be said there were many,
labelled him a conservative man consumed with his own ambition who
instigated or at least encouraged his own ‘election’ to
the throne. Others see him as a martyr, the liberator, a hero, a man
of great integrity and conviction who may have been conservative in
his outlook but who sought to serve his people as best he could and
who accepted the crown and position of Emperor more out of a sense
of duty then ambition.
It would be foolish to pretend that a site dedicated in part to the memory
of the martyred Emperor, would not agree with the second view however
that would fail to recognise an important factor that has led to the
first view. In the late 19th Century the Emperor’s enemies were
so consumed with their jealousy of the Emperor and with general anti
clerical feeling that they chose to overlook many important facts
and achievements so that the image of the Emperor became an entirely
if it were true that the Emperor was a man of ambition, a conservative
and that he actively sought the throne (not a view we share) his achievements
for Mexico and it’s peoples were such that he measures alongside
all of his contemporaries. After all he was not known as the Liberator
for nothing. If he had achieved little else, no one could argue that
it was the Emperor that brought about Mexico’s independence.
In other countries that alone would have been enough to ingrain his
memory in the gratitude of the people forever.
was deeply religious and if he was a conservative ruler who supported
the idea of union, independence and religion, given his background,
this could hardly have come as a surprise. He never pretended that
these were not the values (known as the three guarantees) he would
embrace. In the end they were the values that he was prepared to die
the Emperor’s enemies managed to achieve the almost impossible.
By rewriting history they took away this achievement. Fortunately
historians recently started to question and re-examine the role of
the Emperor and in recent years and there has been a very noticeable
softening of the criticism. Most particularly in Mexico itself. We
believe It is time that the Emperor took his place at the head of
the top table of Mexican heroes.
are extracts from the books “The Imperial House of Mexico, The
House of Iturbide” and “The Iturbides as heirs of the
House of Habsburg in Mexico” both by Charles Mikos. Teodoro
Amerlinck and David Williamson. We are very grateful to the author
for permission to reprint them here.
In addition we are very grateful to a number of people including
Juan Manuel Gabino Villascán for permission to use his magnificent
flags and coats of arms, to the late author Juan Balanso and to Allen Sangines-Krause.
short biography is not meant to be an all encompassing work. For those
who would like much more detail I would strongly recommend the book
by Timothy E. Anna, Professor of history at the University of Manitoba
and acknowledged expert on Mexico, The book is entitled “The
Mexican Empire of Iturbide” and was published 1990 by the University
of Nebraska Press.
book, albeit a highly critical one is by W.S. Robertson, and entitled
“Iturbide of Mexico” published in 1952 (Duke University
Press). Mr Robertson is was obviously not a fan of the Emperor and
he gives a highly critical and one sided account of the Emperors life.
However he does include a number of previously unpublished references
and the book has a large bibliography.