It is a holiday mainly celebrated in Mexico and the southern states of U.S.A. such as California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, which at one time belonged to Mexico.
No, it’s not Mexican Independence Day.
It’s was a sad period for the Country of Mexico, but also a display of bravery and courage of its Great People.
While then President of Mexico Benito Juarez and with the proposal of Congress on July 17, 1861, Mexico decides to default on its debt due to the fact that the country was bankrupt. They agree that no payments were to be made to any international debt for a period of two years.
England, Spain, and France which were the main creditors did not take these actions lightly and plan on a strategy to recover the monies owed. These three countries decide to occupy Mexico with military presence. Intimidating Mexico in an attempt to protect their financial interests they arrive at Veracruz.
In February 1862 England and Spain agreed on terms and conditions under which payments could be made on a payment plan, after many months of diplomatic negotiations. France does not agree to these terms and decides to cut their diplomatic ties with England and Spain. The French forces remained in Mexican territory while refusing to accept any amiable agreement for repayment of debt.
As the tension intensifies, Mexico blocks the port of Veracruz in an attempt to protect the rest of the country from a French invasion. And the French troops, under orders from the then Head of France Napoleon III, begin to invade Mexico as they threaten the president to submit to a dictatorship under the French Monarchy. Mexico responds with military action as the French forces march along and make it as far as the City of Puebla with their sights on the Capital, Mexico City Distrito Federal.
The Mexican military and the French forces clashed into a bloody battle at the border of Puebla and Veracruz. The Mexican forces, although with its greatly outnumbered and poorly equipped troops, were able to successfully defeat the French on May 5, 1862. This was the first battle of this conflict and is known today as the “Batalla De Puebla”.
President Benito Juarez continued to refuse to let France take over Mexico. Shortly thereafter, he received approval and diplomatic support from The United States as well as from some countries in Europe.
Happy Cinco De Mayo!!!
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