deepstash

Beta

Americans might love Cinco de Mayo, but few know what they're celebrating

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo doesn’t mark Mexican Independence, as many believe.

Instead, it’s meant to celebrate the Battle of Puebla, which was fought between the Mexican and French armies in 1862.

28 SAVES


This is a professional note extracted from an online article.

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Americans might love Cinco de Mayo, but few know what they're celebrating

Americans might love Cinco de Mayo, but few know what they're celebrating

https://theconversation.com/americans-might-love-cinco-de-mayo-but-few-know-what-theyre-celebrating-115780

theconversation.com

5

Key Ideas

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo doesn’t mark Mexican Independence, as many believe.

Instead, it’s meant to celebrate the Battle of Puebla, which was fought between the Mexican and French armies in 1862.

Beating back an empire

  • After Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, other nations did not want to recognize its autonomy.
  • After a civil war in the late 1850s, Benito Juárez became Mexico's first indigenous president in 1861.
  • Juárez canceled repayments on foreign loans to protect Mexico's struggling economy.
  • It angered Britain, Spain, and France, and they jointly sent a force to Mexico but withdrew when it became evident that Napoleon III had plans to overthrow the new Mexican government.
  • On May 5, 1862, the Battle of Puebla took place. Although the Mexican Army was outnumbered two to one, they repelled attacks by the French army on the city of Puebla.
  • Four days later, on May 9, 1862, Juárez declared Cinco de Mayo a national holiday.
  • Even though the French eventually defeated the Mexican Army, the battle of Puebla proved that Mexico was a formidable opponent worthy of international respect.

An inadvertent impact

By defeating the French at the Battle of Puebla, Mexicans stopped the French army from moving northward toward the U.S. border, where they would likely have helped the Confederacy.

Mexico's victory likely changed the course of American history. The state of California viewed the victory as a defense of freedom.

Commercialization of Cinco de Mayo

During the 1980s and 1990s, beer companies targeted Mexican Americans, encouraging them to celebrate their heritage with Bud Lights and Dos Equis.

Commodification soon followed, and today's revelers purchase piñatas, Mexican flag items, sombreros, and costumes.

Remembering the past

The legacy of Cinco de Mayo reminds us that the past is made meaningful in different ways by different people.

  • Mexicans that live outside of Puebla find other national and religious holidays more important.
  • The modern Puebla still reenact the Battle of Puebla.
  • Mexican Americans use the day to celebrate their shared heritage.
  • Americans without Mexican ancestry use the holiday as an excuse to drink margaritas.

EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

... the Mexican holiday celebrated on May 5, is not the Mexican Independence Day, as most people tend to believe. Their actual independence day is celebrated on 16th September.

Cinco de Mayo...

The All-Day Battle

... after which France surrendered, losing about 500 troops, became a day of Mexican pride.

Out of the 2000 soldiers who fought in the city of Puebla, Mexico lost about 100.

An All American holiday

Even though the Cinco de Mayo holiday has its origins in Mexican heritage and culture, the celebrations are mostly in America, and in the city of Puebla, where the battle was fought. In the 1960s, the food and drink establishments marketed the day as a day to celebrate, and by the 80s, turned it into a major holiday, bigger even than Super Bowl Sunday or St. Patrick's Day.

one more idea

Labor Day

Labor Day is a public holiday observed in the United States on the first Monday in September.

Labor Day celebrates the contribution of the American system of organized labor and workers to t...

Inventing Labor Day

Labor Day was first observed in 1882, but there is still disagreement who should take credit for its invention.

Some think it is Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor. Others believe it was Matthew Maguire, a machinist who later was elected secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson.

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in line with the plans of the Central Labor Union. 

The Central Labor Union then urged other unions and trade organizations to hold a similar workingmens' holiday on the same date. By 1885, industrial centers nationwide observed Labor Day.

2 more ideas

Short-term thinking

Most of us imagine that we engage in some form of long-term thinking; after all, we have goals and plans. And basically we are in denial about this because it is hard to have perspective about our ...

Unintended consequences

Because we mostly react instead of think, our actions are based on insufficient information. We grab for a solution without thinking deeply about the context of the problem: e.g: We try to cheer up a depressed person by making her realize that her life is not that bad and that the sun is shining, only to find out we have made her even more depressed. She now feels guilty about her feelings, worthless, and more alone in her unhappiness.

Tactical hell

You find yourself embroiled in several struggles or battles. You seem to get nowhere but you feel like you have invested so much time and energy already that it would be a waste to give up. You have actually  lost sight of your goals. Instead it has become a question of asserting your ego.

You need some detachment and perspective. Remind yourself that winning an argument or proving your point really gets you nowhere in the long run.

2 more ideas