The French hoped to capture México.  At this time the United States was fighting a civil war.  The French thought that they could use México as a place where they could then send troops to help the Southern states defeat the Northern States.  France hoped that the United States would be split into two countries, neither of which would be very powerful.  President Lincoln knew of this plan, but he could not afford to send any troops to help the Méxicans defeat the French.  They would have to do it alone.  The young country of México would have to take on one of the most powerful countries in Europe.

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