Saturday, May 5, 2018

Cinco de Mayo Is Celebrated To Commemorate Mexico Victory Over French Army

Cinco de Mayo (pronounced [ˈsiŋko ðe ˈmaʝo] in Latin America, or pronounced [ˈθiŋko ðe ˈmaʝo] in Spain; Spanish for "Fifth of May") is an annual celebration held on May 5. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army's difficult victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.[1][2]
In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has taken on a significance beyond that in Mexico.[3][4][5][6] The date has become associated with the celebration of Mexican-American culture. In Mexico, the commemoration of the battle continues to be mostly ceremonial, such as through military parades.
Cinco de Mayo is also sometimes mistaken for Mexico's Independence Day—the most important national holiday in Mexico—which is celebrated on September 16, commemorating the Cry of Dolores that initiated the war of Mexican independence from Spain.[1][7]
Cinco de Mayo has its roots in the Second French intervention in Mexico, which took place in the aftermath of the 1846–48 Mexican–American War and the 1858–61 Reform War. The Reform War was a civil war that pitted Liberals (who believed in separation of church and state, and freedom of religion) against Conservatives (who favored a tight bond between the Catholic Church and the Mexican state).[8] These wars nearly bankrupted the Mexican Treasury. On July 17, 1861, Mexican President Benito Juárez issued a moratorium in which all foreign debt payments would be suspended for two years.[3][9] In response, BritainFrance, and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz to demand reimbursement. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew, but France, at the time ruled by Napoleon III, decided to use the opportunity to establish an empire in Mexico that would favor French interests, the Second Mexican Empire. The empire was part of an envisioned "Latin America" (term used to imply cultural kinship of the region with France) that would rebuild French influence in the American continent and exclude Anglophone American territories.

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