Cinco de Mayo and the Civil War

Did you know that Cinco de Mayo is a celebration in memory of a battle? The battle is known as the Battle of Puebla or the Battle of Cinco de Mayo. Did you also know that it took place during the Civil War?

Cinco de Mayo - Battle of Puebla - Mexico vs. France - May 5, 1862This painting is titled: Batalla de Puebla, 5 de mayo de 1862

The painting is by José Cusachs and was painted in 1903.

The Battle of Puebla was between Mexico and an invading French army. The Mexican Army overcame great odds to win the battle and send the French packing. This battle may have had a big affect on the Civil War as it has been speculated that if France had won this battle they would have then moved north and helped the Confederate Army in their battles.

After being defeated at the Battle of Puebla the French army had to regroup and they eventually resumed their march toward Mexico City which was soon defeated. Emperor Maximilian then ruled Mexico for about three years before the Mexican Republic was re-established. This mostly took place while the Civil War was being contested.

Chapultepec Tower - Battle of Chapultepec - Mexico City - Grasshopper HillThe painting of the Battle of Puebla is in the Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City which is the home of the Museo Nacional De Historia. I really enjoyed learning about the history of Mexico from one of my students who is interested in History. In one of the museums we visited he was able to show me pictures of his grandfather.

Chapultepec Castle - Chapultepec Hill - Grasshopper Hill - Castillo de Chapultepec - Stained Glass WindowChapultepec has some ties to US History and you can read more in my post: Back in Time II

The year after the battle President Juárez declared a national holiday to remember the Battle of Cinco de Mayo.

However, today Cinco de Mayo is only a regional holiday in Mexico and is not a national holiday. It is interesting that Cinco de Mayo is celebrated by more people in the US than in Mexico.

I did not do anything special for the holiday, but I may eat some tortilla chips during dinner tonight 🙂


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