The holiday itself commemorates the victory of the scrapping Mexican host in Puebla on the 5th of May, 1862 against the invading French. In the aftermath of the Mexican–American War of 1846–48 and the 1858–61 Reform War.
As a result of these wars, the country was deeply in debt. The then president, President Juarez, ordered that all debt payments be stopped for two years. Spain, Britain and France sent ships to the coastal state of Veracruz to demand payment. Britain and Spain had some tea and a siesta after striking a deal with the administration, but the Iron Bank of Paris wasn’t as cooperative. The French invaded.
The French army razed through the state of Veracruz in late 1861, forcing the Mexican president to retreat. Their advance continued until they entered the neighboring state of Puebla, where the 8.000 strong Frenchmen were crushed by 4,000 Mexicans, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín.
The Battle of Puebla (as it is known in Mexico) was important thanks to the huge boost of morale it gave to the Mexican nationals. Zaragoza’s success at Puebla represented a great symbolic victory for the Mexican government and bolstered the resistance movement.Honestly, who wouldn’t be proud that they defeated the best army of the time, which had been on a winning streak for 50 years? Cunts, that’s who.
Also, some say that after this battle no European country has invaded the Americas. While technically correct (and I acknowledge that it is the best kind of correct) the lack of daddy and mommy countries invading is not because of this battle. It just stopped happening for a million other reasons.
Remember, this is simultaneous to the American Civil War, Donald W. Miles states, “At the time, there were fears in the United States that the French would use Mexico as a base to back the Confederacy, so President Lincoln and his Secretary of State went out of their way to appear ‘neutral’ in the Mexican situation. They did not want to take on the French and the Confederates at the same time”.
Why it really isn’t that important
Long story short: the French won, started a three year empire in Mexico under Maximilian I, later destroyed with help from the US and Mexico returned to being a peaceful sovereign republic.
With the exception of the state of Puebla, no one really celebrates Cinco de Mayo. It’s just an excuse to not go to school and work.
So happy Cinco de Mayo!