Cinco de Mayo

Topics: Mexico, Cinco de Mayo, French intervention in Mexico Pages: 2 (455 words) Published: November 16, 2011
Emily Kinner
Spanish II; 7th mod
May 14, 2011

Cinco De Mayo

Cinco De Mayo is a day of celebration. You may think, “Its Mexico's Independence Day,” but you're wrong. Cinco De Mayo commemorates the victory of the Mexican Militia over the French Army at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. Mexico finally gained independence from Spain in 1821 after a long struggle. During this time, Mexico accumulated heavy debts to several nations including Spain, England and France, who were demanding repayment. France was eager to expand their empire at that time, and used the debt 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. Mexico stopped making loan payments and France took action by installing Napolean III's relative, Archduke Maximilian of Austria, as ruler of Mexico. France invaded the gulf of Mexico and marched less than 600 miles into Mexico city. Although sympathetic to the situation, America was unable to provide assistance because of the civil war going on. Lead by Mexican general Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, an armed militia of 4,500 were able to defeat the French army of 6,500. Cinco De Mayo is mostly a regional holiday celebrated in Puebla (where the war occurred,) but gets limited recognition in the country as well as America. Cinco De Mayo is an opportunity to celebrate Chicano culture in general, and is celebrated with huge fairs that include Mexican singing, dancing, feasting, costumes, sports activities, fireworks, and entertainment. Mariachi bands play while dancers perform native Mexican dances such as the Mexican Hat Dance and the Raspa. Speeches and parades encompass a large part of the celebration too. These events are one way in which people celebrate the friendship of the United States and Mexico. This observance of the Cinco De Mayo victory is a special symbol for all Mexican people who celebrate their rights of freedom and...
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