This holiday provides a brief glimpse into the fascinating history of Mexico and many colorful historical characters of the time. So let's take a closer look:
After a costly war with the United States , and its own civil war known as the War of Reform , Mexico was bankrupt. So in 1861, Benito Juarez, one of Mexico's most beloved presidents, cancelled debt payments to England, the United States and France in order to try to pull the country through.
General Zaragoza Seguin
Although the Mexican army was victorious over the French at Puebla, the victory only delayed the French invasion of Mexico City. The French placed Maximilian I and his wife Charlotte as emperor and empress of Mexico. Many countries, including the United States, refused to recognize the French crown in Mexico. The French eventually withdrew in 1866-1867. Maximilian was executed by Benito Juarez, five years after the Battle of Puebla.
Some historians argue that the Battle of Puebla and the subsequent occupation of Mexico diverted France's interest in the United States' affairs, who at this time was going through its own Civil War. Had France meddled with American interests at that time, it could have been proven catastrophic. Therefore, Cinco de Mayo has significance for Americans in that sense.
So on this day, remember that this holiday commemorates overcoming adversity against all odds! And for that, Viva Mexico!