While the USA was occupied with its rebellion in the 1860's, the French invaded Mexico and established the Mexican Empire under a Hapsburg. When the French government decided to help the CSA, the French invaded California from Mexico. France, like Britain also held substantial overseas territories, but lost many of them after losing to Germany in the Great War. During WWII, France sided with the Allies to fight the Soviet Union. After WWII France emerged as a great Power, but did not have as much influence as some of her close allies.