Cinco de Mayo is as American as apple pie and was likely started by Mexican-Americans in California, but why did they consider it important enough to celebrate it for the past 152 years?
Was it because just fourteen years before the Battle of Puebla the Mexicans of Alta California had become Americans and wanted to preserve their culture?
Or was it because of the Mexican entrepreneurial spirit in the ‘new’ homeland?
A UCLA history paper says, “first started in California in the 1860s in response to the resistance to French rule in Mexico.” About eleven years earlier the ’49 gold rush started, and the year before that, Alta California had become a state of the US.
Is it true that the 5th of May was worth a celebration because if the French installed their monarchy in Mexico, it would have broken the southern shipping blockade, and perhaps changed the outcome of the American Civil War? French bankers were supporting the South and a Mexican priest had abolished slavery enshrined human rights some fifty years earlier, in their 1810 constitution, that outlawed slavery.
Mexican-Americans feared again becoming citizens of a country that did not apply life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, equally to all its peoples.