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Battle of Puebla;

Battle of Puebla May 5, 1862 , Wikimedia Commons Public Domain    



The history behind Cinco de Mayo
by Nathan'ette Burdine: May 5, 2018
 


Who knew that the two countries that gave us the best party foods, French fries and tacos and nachos, would be fighting each other over money?

That’s right folks. Way back when in the mid-to late 1800s, France and Mexico ended up going at each other because Mexico refuse to pay France back their money.

Just to be clear, this wasn’t Mexico refusing to pay France back their money for all of the French fries France sent to Mexico. This fight had to do with loans and cakes and pies.

    Wait a minute, there’s something here on this TV I need to be
    listening to. I’ll be right back. What was I talking about?! Oh
    yeah, the cake and pies war
.

The war that set in motion the events leading up to Cinco de Mayo began in 1838 during the Franco-Mexican War; which is also known as the Pastry War.

The war is nicknamed the Pastry War because the Mexicans jacked up the French folks’ bakery shops and refused to pay for all of the damages they (Mexicans) caused to the French businessmen’s bakeries.

The French were like, “It’s one thing to take our money. But it’s another thing to take the money from good hard working French folks who pay us in taxes with the money they get from selling y’all all of those cakes and pies y’all love to eat.”

France sailed up on Mexico, took over Veracruz and Tampico, and raised the French flag.

Mexico decided that the raising of the French flag was the last straw and that they would declare war on France.

The Mexican Army then went in and took over Veracruz, which led to the French coming in and retaking it from the Mexicans.

At some point, they all decided that wasn’t fun anymore. So on March 10, 1839 the French and Mexican government signed a Peace Treaty, ending the war, and with Mexico agreeing to repay 600,000 pesos to France.

All was good and the Mexicans were repaying their debt until a Civil War in their country broke out.

In 1858, the Republicans led by Benito Juarez and the Conservatives led by Felix Zuloaga decided they hated each other to death.

Zuloaga liked the French and the other European countries. But Juarez, nuh uh.

    What time is it? That clock doesn’t look right. Where are the
    people in this house? I guess they’re gone
.

Anyway, Zuloaga liked the French but Juarez was like Al Bundy and was not feeling the French.

So Juarez , who the U.S. liked more than Zuloaga, decided during the month of December 1860 that for at least two-years Mexico wasn’t paying France or any other European country a copper penny.

Unfortunately for France and the other European countries, they couldn’t get their main man Zuloaga to force Juarez to give them their money back because Juarez had successfully taken over Mexico.

France looked at all of that and was like, “Somebody gonna give us our money today, messing up our cakes and pies businesses!”

Spain decided they’ll sail flags up with France, while the British looked at all of that and decided they didn’t have time for it.

British Prime Minister Lord John Russell told France and Spain to stay out of that mess with Mexico because that there was nothing but internal politics that was no different than family members fighting amongst each other.

France and Spain were like, “We ain’t trying to hear that whoshawjohn. We need our money. And y’all need y’all money to.”

Off to war France and Spain did go! And according to the French, Mexico owed them a lot of money; 12 million francs to be exact.

Mexico wasn’t into paying its debts back then. They were like they were in the 90s when the peso dropped so low that it was about as valuable as the dirt in the ground.

But unlike the more uncivilized era, the 1800s, neither the U.S., Canada, Britain, France, or any other countries and banks went to war with Mexico in order to get their money back.

Britain wasn’t even for going to war with Mexico back then in the 1862 because they knew that was like throwing good money at bad.

France, however, had other things in mind like getting themselves a country. And the country the French had on their minds was the United States of America.

During the same time that all of that ruckus was going on with Mexico, Jefferson Davis and his band of Southern genius had the bright idea to succeed from the Union.

They didn’t pay any never mind to the fact that all they had to fight the Union with was cotton and slaves.

The French paid it mind though. That’s why they looked over there at Mexico and were like, “We go over there and take that over, then we’ll have a base close to the South where we can go and coordinate with the South so we can help them win in order to help us win a country.”

Welp, it didn’t work out that way. The Mexican Army’s successful pushback of the French during the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, led to over 400 French soldiers being killed, wounded, or captured compared to over 200 Mexican soldiers being killed, wounded, or captured.

In 1867, the French decide that they had wasted their time and money fighting the Mexicans in their country and were like, “Deuces. We out.”

As for the South, they got a good ass whuppin’ that resulted in millions of slaves being freed, the United States of America staying united, and our country being able to enjoy diverse cultures and all of the good food they bring along.

Speaking of real good food, I hope y’all enjoyed y’all’s tacos, nachos, with the refried beans sitting on top of a bed of lettuce, and the little green onions, tomatoes, and jalapenos popping out from the top and the sides, all surrounded by a river of melted golden cheese, sour cream, and guacamole flowing in between.

Oh my, just the thought of it all makes me not care about gaining 10 to 15 pounds. It’s a sin I tell ya! A sin for food to be so good!

It’s a good thing I have a gym membership because that sin will stay with me for quite a while.

Hopefully, y’all got a gym membership as well because I’m quite sure y’all don’t want all of that good food sticking to y’all for some time.

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Remember, diversity is a good thing; especially when it comes to good eating.

See y’all!






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