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Happy Cinco de Mayo

I think the holiday is now celebrated more in the United States than in Mexico. But that is probably appropriate. The day celebrates the defeat of the French Army against a numerically inferior and more poorly equipped Mexican Army. The geopolitical consequence was to keep Napoleon III out of North America, and also prevented the French intervening on the side of the Confederacy. So it is no small irony that the reason the Union remained intact is thanks to 4,000 Mexicans who never considered, on May 5th, 1862, that they didn’t stand a chance against a French army twice its size.

Nevertheless, the French ultimately prevailed in installing a puppet government in Mexico, but after the end of the American Civil War, the United States was able to provide assistance to the Mexican liberals to expel the puppet government, thus ending monarchy in Mexico. So today is a day you can drink to Union, the eventual end of monarchal rule in Mexico, and a French military defeat. I can drink to that.

20 Responses to “Happy Cinco de Mayo”

  1. AZRon says:

    Considering what Mexico has become, I’m not convinced that French rule would have been any worse.

  2. Drifter says:

    Props on the photo. I thought I was the only one who made the “1/5 of mayonnaise” joke.

  3. Divemedic says:

    Of course, the Confederacy losing the Civil war also meant the end of the Republic that was known as the Union. You can’t exactly call it a “Union” when 11 states are members through military conquest.

    • mobo says:

      How dare you point that out…. You racist! :)

      All kidding aside, I doubt that the CSA would have been any less centralized than our current “union”, had they continued as a separate union until present day. Their commerce clause was identical to ours, and while they promised themselves they would interpret it “properly”, chances are they would have used it for the same mischeif as our fedgov. They did manage to delete the “general welfare clause, though.

    • Arnie says:

      I concur, Divemedic! Sebastian’s informative blog was history I was unaware of. (Thanks for doing the research, Sebastian!) As a lover of the antebellum Republic, I shall remember from now on to morn the Fifth of May.
      On the lighter side, celebrating a French defeat could probably require more days than are available on the calendar! ;-) (Ouch!)

      • Sebastian says:

        There are many things to admire about the Antebellum South. It’s dependence on Slavery to sustain it was not among them, and for me was enough of a reason to end it.

        • Arnie says:

          Point taken, Sebastian, but by that sentiment we should all have supported King George III (who emancipated slaves in the occupied colonies) against the slaveowner George Washington.
          Then we’d ALL be slaves of a tyrannical government that has today disarmed it’s citizens and denied them the the right of self-defense. I contend had Lee, as Washington before him, triumphed against tyranny, we’d ALL be free-er today, regardless of race, with no slavery, no tyranny, no federal gun control, no nat’l health care, and no nat’l debt. IMHO.

          With deep respect, Arnie

  4. Roberta X says:

    Heck, it works for the United Kingdom, with at least three States accreted that way.

    • SPQR says:

      Only the Welsh are still actively resisting English rule, of course, by withholding their vowels.

  5. ExurbanKevin says:

    It’s good that Cinco de Ocho is the only holiday related to a French military defeat, because if we had one for every time the French lost a battle, we’d be drunk off our @sses the whole year ’round.

    • Arnie says:

      Oops, you beat me to it, sir. Please forgive my repeat of your conundrum in my late compliment to Divemedic above.

      • Sage Thrasher says:

        Someone should compile a list of the national holidays from Vietnam to Algeria to Mexico and who knows to where else celebrating the expulsion of French colonial forces. I’m pretty sure we could have a bender at least once a week.

  6. Laughingdog says:

    Okay, the mayonnaise joke is completely over my head apparently.

    • Thirdpower says:

      Sink-o de MAY-o (naisse)

    • Drifter says:

      It’s merely a play on words. Cinco de Mayo is Spanish for 5th of May. The Spanish word for “May” (the month) is “Mayo”. In English, “Mayo” is a nickname for “Mayonnaise”. “5th” is also a common size of liquor bottle. Thus, “5th of Mayonnaise” is born. :)

  7. Jujube says:

    Cinco de Mayo celebrations actually started in California so it only makes sense that it’s a bigger holiday in the USA than it is in Mexico!

    Read the History of Observance section of this Wikipedia page:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinco_de_Mayo

  8. chris says:

    Why do we celebrate a Mexican holiday In the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA? We don’t do it for any other group but then all the other groups came here to be AMERICANS. Every other group learned to speak our language as a part of becoming AMERICANS. Just goes to show how far the Demos will go to buy minority votes. Just turn part of our country into a third world toilet so the new democrats can feel right at home.

    • Sebastian says:

      We don’t do it for any other group but then all the other groups came here to be AMERICANS

      St. Patties Day? And much like that holiday, it’s more of an excuse to drink than an actual celebration.

      • I think Cinco de Mayo is also primarily a day to drink Corona. It really serves no other purpose.

      • Alpheus says:

        Not only that, but Cinco de Mayo has another thing in common with St. Patrick’s day: it’s not really all that celebrated in their origin places.

        It is my understanding that Cinco de Mayo is only celebrated in the state of Mexico where the actual battle took place; as for St. Patrick’s Day, it’s only recently that Ireland has started to have parades, and that’s primarily because they were tired of tourists being disappointed that it was just another day to them.

        Sometimes it’s weird how holidays can get adopted…

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