Pre-17th Century Mexico
Mexico's founders, like other nations' founders, include explorers. Unfortunately, many of these courageous men (few women were either permitted to do things on their own or were given credit for their discoveries) weren't Mexican or pure Indian. Mexico's heritage includes explorers and conquerors who were native Indians, Spaniards and others of inconclusive ancestry.
It is known that of the Indians who first populated the United States and then Mexico, some were involved in a natural earth-oriented (agrarian) existence while others were warmongers (pillagers). Nevertheless, these pillagers continued an Indian way of life, alien to the non-hedonistic cultures of the Anglos that arrived with the European boats that brought Spaniards and other Catholic heritage cultures and races.
These explorers included caravans of French, Spanish and Austrian "warlords." Spain's role in Mexico includes negative exploitation of Mexican natives. Spaniards so penetrated Mexico's various regions that Mexico's "native tongue" became an amalgamation of various Indian languages; Spanish, some English and tailings from other visitors-turned-residents.
Mexico is American Geography
Your author has met many people proudly calling themselves Mexicans who are not Spanish, as commonly thought, but are instead, proud Indians of Mayan or other tribal heritage who originated in Asia, tens of thousands of years ago (similar to the Indians who settled in the United States), came across Alaska and, after walking down through pre-Anglo United States, settled within Mexico before other explorers arrived by boat.
Mexicans are Americans
America is a geographical description; All citizens from Alaska to the southern tip of Peru are Americans! Some are South, some Central (Mexico is part of America) and the rest are North Americas (Canadians and citizens of the United States!)
It's interesting that most Anglos from the United States fail to realize that Mexicans are more American than anyone who arrived from Europe with Columbus!
Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor and Commander-in-Chief of the French forces, lost the battle of Waterloo in Europe in 1812. As Commanders-in-Chief have many excuses for losing wars and battles (many battles make a war), outsiders, using the benefit of hindsight, often can pinpoint several reasons for the loss of a battle or war.
It is likely that arrogance and narrow attention to the environment (many separate things grouped together) played major roles in Napoleon Bonaparte's loss at Waterloo. This arrogance and inaccurate narrow focusing seems to have been handed down from father to son to brother, throughout generations.
Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte had a brother, King Louis of Holland, who had a son (or so "conservative" historians say, though it is likely our Louis Napoleon III's real father was [unofficially], Rene de Villeneuve, Eugene's Chancellor, while Napoleon III's mother's was Hortense, Queen of Holland.
Louis' birth name was Charles Louis Napoleon. His first name Charles, was rarely used, leaving the name most called him; Louis Napoleon III. As he matured, like his famous and powerful French uncle, Napoleon Bonaparte, Louis Napoleon III dreamed of power and, as a boy, of controlling a monarchy.
Nephew Louis Napoleon III, perhaps as powerful a monarch as his uncle, lost his "Waterloo" 50 years later, in 1862. This loss was crucial to the French, yet beneficial to Mexican farm workers!
Interweaving the Battle Players
Your author hopes that each reader can, without much stretching of the imagination, understand how each person and group depicted in this booklet became involved in their respective specified activities and how, by fitting all the players together, it becomes reasonable to believe the Battle of Puebla was inevitable. The Mexican farmer's battle success at Pueblo, is now celebrated throughout Mexico and Mexican neighborhoods world-wide as Cinco de Mayo.
In the production of a movie, all sorts of people are involved: producer, director, writer, salesperson, advertiser, actor, sound technician, etc.
This book's author feels there were, like the types of people that make a movie, all sorts of people directly or indirectly involved in causing the battle of Puebla to be fought. Also, individuals and groups gained or lost different things as a consequence of the results of the battle.
What is perplexing (but part of humanity's heritage and habits), is that too often those who have acquired wealth or stature (Mexican Aristocratic Roman Catholics) would rather lose their Mexican heritage and become French or Austrian citizens, than the "toys" and power their wealth provided.
What really happened, as part of this true historical story, is that Napoleon's French representatives, in talking with the Mexican Catholic Church and its aristocrats, found the aristocracy feared the United States would spread its democratic style to Mexico with Abraham Lincoln's Latin American policies of protection. Lincoln's policies attempted to assured (Black) people everywhere their own independence while also assuring that Mexican peasants who had long been exploited would no longer be victims (especially of invasion).
Rather than desire Lincoln's democracy and fairness for all (or his successor, President Andrew Johnson), the Mexican aristocrats wanted the protection of the tripartite (France, Spain and England). The Mexican aristocracy felt sure that the United states was about to spread its political ideologies (the national vote and freedom for all races) and allow Mexico's peasants a say in Mexico's governance--something that would have intimidated the aristocracy. The wealthy Mexican and French aristocrats tried to keep Mexican peasants and farm workers from having a say in Mexico's use of its economic power, or in owning any major businesses.
The Mexican peasantry had virtually been prohibited from owning anything but a donkey and the clothes on their respective backs! This control or limitation had existed for over a hundred years and aristocrats weren't about to allow anyone to change the status quo favorable to themselves--the aristocrats had control over all property (that the Roman Catholic church didn't itself own) and the aristocrats needed that constancy.
Some of the aristocratic land owners (known as conservative wealthy Mexicans), were willing to give up their voting rights to French leaders who could inject money and provide soldiers to assure the current wealthy supporters of the Mexican Catholic Church kept their way of life.
The Mexican president, Benito Juarez, wanted to make life desirable to the peasants but the wealthy Mexicans couldn't allow the peasants to enjoy any of this power.
The invading nations had 5 commissioners with them to try and negotiate for the
payment of the foreign debt. These commissioners were; from France; Admiral
Jurien and Count Dubois de Saligny, from England; Sir Charles Lennox Wyke and
Commodore Hugh Dunlop. The leader and Chair of these commissioners was Spanish
General Prim. (He had two additional titles; Count of Reus and Marquis de
It was the intent of the tripartites' governments to negotiate with Mexico's governmental representative in Vera Cruz and see if the money owed England, Spain and France, could be obtained peacefully. If the commissioners (negotiators) could not obtain these payments, the commissioners were empowered to begin occupying Mexico by attacking governmental structures and then replacing the local, state and federal officials wherever found, between Vera Cruz, Puebla and Mexico City.
The sea port,Vera Cruz, appeared docile when the tripartite army approached the local and federal tax collectors and demanded the revenue collections which would help pay back the $10,000,000 debt the Mexican government owed France, Spain and England.
RELUDE TOA BATTLE
The Mexican government officials and few soldiers stationed in Vera Cruz didn't
resist the tripartite's troops, and gave what money existed in Vera Cruz's
treasury. With their mission complete, the Spanish and English had no further
reason to continue to Puebla or Mexico City and so they returned home.
The French, however, were in Vera Cruz for two reasons; to get their part of the payment due the tripartite and prepare the way for Maximillian to take over the Throne of Mexico; so the French had to overthrow Juarez� Mexican government.
By combining the data from messages that the Mexican Aristocrats sent to Louis Napoleon III, along with the non-resistance of the Mexican soldiers in Vera Cruz, Lorencez, the French Commander of soldiers, felt the rest of his trip through Puebla and on to Mexico City would be quick and easy.
After saying goodby to his allies (the returning Spanish and British), Lorencez immediately set out for Puebla, the only defended city on his way to Mexico City, the federal government seat.
When the Mexican peasants realized their culture was being jeopardized and a
restricted way of living was soon to be forced upon them, they were eager to
fight alongside their Indian President, Juarez. These Mexicans had animo and
wanted to continue living as proud Mexicans!
On the morning of May 5th, instead of a simple walk to the fortified city's front door, the French Commander Lorencez's emissary met the fort's defender, Juarista General Ignacio Zaragoza. General Zaragoza refused entrance to these arrogant French troops.
French General Lorencez was caught of-guard by presuming he and his troops faced a passive Mexican fort. Realizing his obligation lay in capturing the city (Puebla), Lorencez hastily directed his brigade commander, Brigadier General Charles Latrille, to assault the Cerro de Guadalupe, the bridgeway guarding the access to the fortified garrisoned Puebla.
Both President Benito Juarez, the leader of Mexican people at the time, and his commanding general, General Ignacio Zaragoza, felt they had aces up their collective civilian and military sleeves; in addition to the armaments (rifles and cannons) they felt enough proud Mexican farmers (who were helping as militiamen) and loyal federalist troops would stand beside them because these two Mexican factors were defending their homes and way of life, whereas the French were just blindly following orders (which indicated a no-problem march was all that lay ahead for them) as the mighty French Commander Lorencez remained puzzled as to why this inadequately armed and manned Puebla would be so earnestly defended even when the French army challenged them, out numbering the Mexicans 2 to 1! There were 5,000 Mexicans and over 10, 000 French soldiers; the French army (the enemy) could not claim victory!
Many honorable Mexican farm workers died so that Mexico could remain independent!
Like the battle of 1776 for the independence of the United States, the Cinco de Mayo was Mexico's battle for independence! The Mexican soldiers and citizenry had to fight for all they were worth--if they lost they knew they would became a part of Austria and therefore, a colony or a part of, France. --Something the farmers would not tolerate!
French Major General Lorencez had a problem not faced by the fort's defenders; he had to hold enough French troops in reserve so that he could continue on to Mexico City. He had to fight conservatively!
The battle hardened French troops under brigade commander, Brigadier General Charles Latrille, met unbelievable resistance as they fought and, not having a formidable plan, lost to citizens of Puebla who stood alongside their leader President Juarez, General Zaragoza, and the nobel and courageous Mexican Federal soldiers. Soon thereafter, via dispatches from France, Major General Lorencez, failing at Puebla (though his brigade commander, Brigadier General Charles Latrille--was actually at fault, Major General Lorencez was held responsible by the French Emperor, and so Major General Lorencez was replaced by Major General Forey.
"Poor France and the U. S.'s South"
England and Spain quickly removed their backing because of the French failure at
Puebla. With this backing now absent, Maximillian was rightfully hesitant to
even come to take his throne!
The United States' "South" realized that they now had no dependable ally; the South originally thought they could count on the Tripartite to help them win their war with the North (by having the French troops block any attack by the Union soldiers who were planning to attack the"South" from Arizona or Texas.
What might have happened if the French had beaten the Mexicans at Puebla on the 5th of May?
We know the Spanish and English partners in the tripartite left Vera Cruz when they were paid by the Mexican treasury. European support would have been much greater if the "cake walk" had occurred; if Lorencez had just taken over Puebla.
If the tripartite felt secure in knowing that all of Mexico lay totally vulnerable to foreign invasion, they might have brought over more soldiers, section/state governors and merchants from major European industries would have immediately gained greater "market share" from having these new factories in this new land.
The vacillating yet popular Mexican heritage would have been eradicated within 5 years and all of Mexico would have likely taken on the appearance of a distant Spain, England and Austria.
European Aristocratic influence would have been quickly felt in schools, churches and business as a new currency was minted, throwing all traditional Mexican activity into chaos and perhaps, would have led inevitably to an additional internal war between members of the tripartite over division of the "spoils"
--shall seaports become British, or tri-colored, shall education be in all three languages and shall one tri-colored paper bill become the standard currency?
Would the tripartite have, within the next 12 years, carved up Mexico to create a little Spain, England and France/Austria?
It is likely that the United States would have been ripe for invasion because the land to the north was itself under attack and the tripartite would have made the odds much more favorable for the South (who was doing rather well despite the battle participant's ratios of 3 northerners to every southerner. If the tripartite came into Texas, California and Arizona at the same time and then had its armies pivot to the east, it is likely that Grant and Mc Clellan would have been overwhelmed and caved in to the firepower the tripartite added to the South's battle wisdom!
Soon, the United State's South would have overwhelmed the North and likely forced Grant and then Lincoln to capitulate and the Capital of the United States would have moved to Jefferson Davis' Southern Headquarters in Dixie.
Canada would have been invaded next (it was partially French already) and soon, the tripartite would have become the strongest nation in the world! Whatever name the tripartite would have called itself, it could have challenged the rest of the world!
Thanks to the moral conviction of the 5,000 plus soldiers and citizenry of Puebla, the Mexican government was made stronger. The United States finally forced the South back into the democracy it previously had, and Canada was never the wiser about its own potent change! Viva Mexico!
Let me take you to another century, to tie the two Napoleons together.
In July, 1991, the entertainment director for the Starlite Cruise Ship Empress (which cruised between La Paz and Acapulco while headquartered in San Diego, California), conducted ocean cruises with an emphasis on the Mexican Riviera), guiding passenger's questions about tours, city spots, fair prices and other valuable bits of information its passengers, of which I was one, desired!
This director taught us all an important word when visiting Mexico--Animo! Animo; electric, magnificent, powerful and super feelings about a wonderful place to be visiting--cities and their ports in Mexico (in this case, the Mexican Riviera).
This definition of Mexican life and its people is well earned!
[--This book is available in three formats; the other two are for grammar school students in grades 1-4 and 6-8 (which includes jr. high) This version, with more detail and sophisticated language, is designed for high school, college and adult readers.]
I am writing several books:
Dealing with explanations of why people independently and organizations do what they do, with an emphasis on propensities
Recapitalizing Chapter 11 OTC's:
A Practitioner's Book
Doctoral, undergrad and lay person's book on curing mom and pop businesses and re-capping Ch 11 OTCs.
Entrepreneurship in the 90's ASSURED ENTREPRENEURIAL SUCCESS [in book format, computer software, paperback, and 35 languages]
Chandeliers Don't have Dice, but they light; an Autobiography: The life of Kevin Kemper