Cinco de Mayo


Yesterday tons of you probably met up with friends at a local watering hole to wet your whistles... For many Americans this is just a great excuse to have a drink on a Wednesday lol.

But where did Cinco de Mayo come from and why is it a cause for celebration? More frankly why do Americans celebrate when it's clearly a foreign inspired event. Cindo de Mayo sure isn't in english.

Well here ya' go. A Carrie Pink history lesson on The holiday of Cinco De Mayo or The 5th Of May.  Credit goes to http://www.mexonline.com/cinco-de-mayo.htm

This day commemorates the victory of the Mexican militia over the French army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. It is primarily a regional holiday celebrated in the Mexican state capital city of Puebla and throughout the state of Puebla, with some limited recognition in other parts of Mexico, and especially in U.S. cities with a significant Mexican population. It is not, as many people think, Mexico's Independence Day, which is actually September 16.

Setting The Stage
The battle at Puebla in 1862 happened at a violent and chaotic time in Mexico's history. Mexico had finally gained independence from Spain in 1821 after a difficult and bloody struggle, and a number of internal political takeovers and wars, including the Mexican-American War (1846-1848) and the Mexican Civil War of 1858, had ruined the national economy.

During this period of struggle Mexico had accumulated heavy debts to several nations, including Spain, England and France, who were demanding repayment. Similar debt to the U.S. was previously settled after the Mexican-American War. France was eager to expand its empire at that time, and used the debt issue to move forward with goals of establishing its own leadership in Mexico. Realizing France's intent of empire expansion, Spain and England withdrew their support. When Mexico finally stopped making any loan payments, France took action on its own to install Napoleon III's relative, Archduke Maximilian of Austria, as ruler of Mexico.

France invaded at the gulf coast of Mexico along the state of Veracruz and began to march toward Mexico City, a distance today of less than 600 miles. Although American President Abraham Lincoln was sympathetic to Mexico's cause, and for which he is honored in Mexico, the U.S. was involved in its own Civil War at the time and was unable to provide any direct assistance.

Marching on toward Mexico City, the French army encountered strong resistance near Puebla at the Mexican forts of Loreto and Guadalupe. Lead by Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, a smaller, poorly armed militia estimated at 4,500 men were able to stop and defeat a well outfitted French army of 6,500 soldiers, which stopped the invasion of the country. The victory was a glorious moment for Mexican patriots, which at the time helped to develop a needed sense of national unity, and is the cause for the historical date's celebration.

Unfortunately, the victory was short lived. Upon hearing the bad news, Napoleon III had found an excuse to send more troops overseas to try and invade Mexico again, even against the wishes of the French populace. 30,000 more troops and a full year later,the French were eventually able to depose the Mexican army, take over Mexico City and install Maximilian as the ruler of Mexico.

Maximilian's rule of Mexico was also short lived, from 1864 to 1867.  During that time the United States  built the greatest army the world had ever seen. This grand army smashed the Confederates at Gettysburg just 14 months after the battle of Puebla, essentially ending the Civil War.

With the American Civil War now over, the U.S. began to provide more political and military assistance to Mexico to expel the French, Union forces  rushed to the Texas/Mexican border under General Phil Sheridan, who made sure that the Mexicans got all the weapons and ammunition they needed to expel the French. 

American soldiers were discharged with their uniforms and rifles if they promised to join the Mexican Army to fight the French.  After which Maximilian was executed by the Mexicans - his bullet riddled shirt is kept at the museum at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City. So despite the eventual French invasion of Mexico City, Cinco de Mayo honors the bravery and victory of General Zaragoza's smaller, outnumbered militia at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

In gratitude, once the French were expelled from Mexico, thousands of Mexicans crossed the border after Pearl Harbor to join the U.S. Armed Forces. 

That is why Cinco de Mayo is such a party for all of us!

No comment on how we go from fighting side by side to the foolishness going on in Arizona right now.. smh

xoxo
Carrie Pink
Pretty World Inc
Modern Day Supergirl

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