Cinco de Mayo

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US Americans, mixed nationality;

Celebration in the United States of Mexican-American culture and experiences. Only somewhat celebrated in Mexico.

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a holiday held on May 5 that commemorates the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. [2][3] It is celebrated primarily in the state of Puebla and in the United States.[4][5][6][7] While Cinco de Mayo sees limited significance and celebration nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed nationwide in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.[8] Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico's Independence Day,[9] the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico.

Contents

History

Events leading to Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo has its roots in the French Occupation of Mexico. The French occupation took place in the aftermath of the Mexican-American War of 1846-48, the Mexican Civil War of 1858, and the 1860 Reform Wars. These wars left the Mexican Treasury in ruin and nearly bankrupt. On July 17, 1861, Mexican President Benito Juárez issued a moratorium in which all foreign debt payments would be suspended for two years, with the promise that after this period, payments would resume.[10][11] In response, France, Britain, 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 a Latin empire in Mexico that would favor French interests, the Second Mexican Empire.

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