jueves, 5 de mayo de 2011

Why Cinco de Mayo Should Be Celebrated More in the US than in Mexico

I think I finally stumbled on the reason why Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the US than in Mexico! This battle, while being significant in Mexico's history, also had significant consequences for US history, too. (And likely longer-lasting consequences for US history, as the French eventually did overthrow the Mexican government, despite the defeat at Puebla on May 5th.)

The Battle of Puebla (as it's known in Mexico) was fought in 1862, between an invading French army and the Mexicans that were defending their country. At the time, Mexico was heavily in debt to France, and France decided to recoup their investment by taking over the country--in part, thanks to the US being otherwise occupied with its Civil War to bother enforcing the Monroe Doctrine.

Despite being severely outnumbered against the most powerful army in the world at the time, the Mexican army triumphed at this particular battle. Had the French been able to roll right through Mexico and take it over in mid-1862 (a full year before the Battle of Gettsyburg would turn the tide of the US Civil War to the Union Army's favor), the French would have been beautifully poised to support the Confederacy at a crucial point in their war for independence.

Had the French government been established in Mexico in 1862, the blockade that the Union army used to strangle the south would have been made completely ineffective, if Mexico's ports would then have been open to aid the Confederacy.

Furthermore, that formidable French army, the most powerful army in the world at the time, would also have been able to aid the Confederate States of America with the manpower and technological power that the South lacked. Just as the US could not have won their independence from England without the aid of the French, it is quite possible that the Confederacy's quest for independence could have been successful with the French on their side.

Had Mexico lost the Battle of Puebla, it's quite likely that the United States would be a far different (and smaller) country than the one we know today.

Whatever our individual stances on history are, there's no denying that Cinco de Mayo is a significant date, not just in Mexican history, but US history, too.

OK, I'll be honest. I got this information from Wikipedia, which I realize is not the most accurate source of information. For this particular paragraph of information, "Consequences to the United States", they site Justo Sierra's (a notable historian) work Political Evolution of the Mexican People. If I can get my hands on it, I'll check it out.

However, if anyone else has other, more accurate sites for information on this topic, please send them my way!

6 comentarios :

ArmyMustang dijo...

I think that is a great summary as to why we celebrate it so much. Now if we could just re-educate everyone as to what it is instead of Mexico's Independence Day! Now to figure out how to sum that up so I can pass along the info!

http://imustbecrazytoliveinmexico.blogspot.com/ dijo...

Very interesting. I had no idea. It is always good to learn something new. Thank you for enlightening us unenlightened people.

Trinidad dijo...

Great Post! You have justified celebrating in the U.S quite well and I will attempt to use it in my next argument over why it's quite alright to celebrate 5 de Mayo in the U.S.!

Jackie dijo...

I was telling my students yesterday how "Cinco de Mayo" is celebrated in the States and how the majority of Americans think that it's Mexico's independence day. My students were like, "What?" On top of that, I can honestly say that I don't know anyone who celebrates "Cinco de Mayo" here in Mexico. Perhaps in Puebla they do, but I've lived in Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara and there's never anything special.

Anónimo dijo...

Cinco de Mayo sells more beer than St. Paddy's day


MexDaveT dijo...

The last person to comment (Anónimo) nailed it: the Mexican beer and tequila companies (many of which are part of U.S. conglomerates now) have found a great way to sell more of their product in the States. That's it in a nutshell. I'm quite sure that battle victories and history are the last things on the minds of gringos who celebrate a holiday that is barely noticed in México.