Cinco de Mayo in Mexico

May 5 in Mexico is the celebration to commemorate the Battle of Puebla against France, it is not the celebration of the Independence of Mexico.

Cinco de Mayo in Mexico

Cinco de Mayo in Mexico is the celebration to commemorate the Battle of Puebla, a battle fought in the City of Puebla between the armies of Mexico and France in 1862.

This day is not the celebration of the Independence of Mexico, the reason why this celebration is greater in the United States than in Mexico is that the General who led the Battle of Puebla, Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, was born in “La Bahia del Espiritu Santo”, a town called nowadays Goliad, Texas.

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Cinco de Mayo History

At 9 in the morning of May 5, 5000 French soldiers appeared on the horizon of the City of Puebla, however, their experience and military power, were defeated by the so-called Army of the East under the command of General Ignacio Zaragoza. The popular militia made up of 2,000 men, including indigenous people without military experience, defeated what was at that time the most powerful army in the world.

Cinco de Mayo Origin

Mexico’s external debt to France, England, and Spain, which represented 70% of the country’s economic resources.

Project to establish a monarchy in Mexico and build a Latin empire by the French Emperor Napoleon III.

Cinco de Mayo Facts

In 1861 President Benito Juárez announced that he would not pay the foreign debt to France, England, and Spain.

In October 1861 the three countries agreed to send military troops to Mexico to claim the payment of the debt that amounted to 80 million pesos, of which 69 million corresponded to England, 9 million to Spain and 2 million to France.

In February 1862, representatives of the Juárez government negotiated the La Soledad Treaties with the European countries, which guaranteed the integrity and independence of Mexico.

In April 1862, England and Spain broke the agreement with France to invade Mexico because they considered that the French motive was not economic, but geopolitical, that is, the overthrow of the Mexican government to establish a monarchy in America.

At the end of April, already without the support of England and Spain, the French army left the Port of Veracruz to go to Mexico City. The French army under the command of Charles Ferdinand Latrille, Earl of Lorencez, had not been defeated in 50 years when they lost the Battle of Waterloo.

On April 28, at the Cumbres de Acultzingo, the first battle between the Mexican army and the French troops took place. The Mexican army, inexperienced, caused the loss of 500 French soldiers, while the Mexican casualties were only 50 soldiers.

After the Battle of Cumbres of Acultzingo, the Mexican army went to the City of Puebla, however, at that time the population of Puebla supported the conservative party, which was against the government of President Benito Juárez. It is worth mentioning that the conservative party commanded elements to fight against the Mexican army, so it was not easy to settle in the City of Puebla.

On May 5, the Mexican Army defeated the most powerful army in the world.

Is Cinco de Mayo in Mexico Celebrated?

Contrary to what is believed in many countries, May 5 is not the day we Mexicans celebrate the most. We have the celebration of the independence of Mexico on September 15 and 16, as well as the commemoration of the Mexican Revolution or Civil War on November 20.


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