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Current Affairs

Cinco de Mayo

Date: 06 May 2021 Tags: Festivals

Issue

Cinco de Mayo (May the fifth in Spanish) festival is celebrated with joy in Mexico and United States to mark victory of Mexican forces over the French.

 

Background

The festival is a symbol of national pride for its citizens as it was the first instance of foreign forces being defeated on their soil.

 

Details

  • Mexico was weakened by wars such as Mexican-American War and the internal reforms war. The government decided for a temporary moratorium on paying its external debts.

  • European countries such as Spain, France and Britain invaded Mexico demanding their reimbursement. After negotiation Britain and Spain left but French forces stayed on.

  • The French emperor Napoleon III decided to establish French territories in North America with the help of land owning class and also reduce influence of USA.

 

The battle

  • The French forces attacked Mexico from the port city of Veracruz and Mexican forces were pushed back. They faced stiff resistance till their movement to Mexico City.

  • A small and poorly equipped Mexican force defeated the advancing French forces in a tiny place called Puebla that played a decisive role.

 

Cultural celebrations

  • The day is celebrated in the US by Mexican immigrants as a way to express pride in their culture and heritage.

  • It is celebrated with food and drinks that has created negative stereotypes of Mexicans as excessive drinkers.