Cinco de Mayo celebrates the 1862 victory of the Mexican army over a superior French army at the Battle of Puebla. Although France eventually prevailed and installed Maximilian, Archduke of Austria, as Emperor of Mexico, the battle has become a symbol of Mexican unity and patriotism.
The Mexican-American War had devastated the Mexican treasury. By 1861, Mexico was essentially bankrupt. To remedy the situation, President Benito Juarez suspended the repayment of foreign debts for a period of two years. At the end of this period, he promised, such payments would resume. Continue reading