The Shotgun Blog
Friday, May 05, 2006
Cinco de Mayo
On the southern side of the 49th, many of us are honoring a holiday celebrated by our Mexican neighbors: Cinco de Mayo - the 144th anniversary of the Battle of Puebla (these days, a thoroughly embarrassing French military defeat is sure lift the spirits of many an American conservative). Granted, given that Mexico does not border Canada (and that the defeated army was French), it might not be remembered as fondly up there.
Meanwhile, since it is a Mexican holiday, and what with the "day without immigrants" fun and games from Monday, this means somehow, somewhere, the debate on illegal immigration will crash the party. Of course, such things are largely irrelevant to the anti-Communist community, right?
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And, to think ...
all this the day after we celebrate May the Fourth be with you.
Posted by: Set you free | 2006-05-05 11:39:34 AM
Obviously, Maximillian's European reputation didn't translate across the Atlantic.
There were a couple of other things that, perhaps, makes the American viewpoint "exotic" as well, mainly:
1) The widespread belief here that Napoleon III was a Confederate sympathizer (don't forget, Cinco de Mayo occurred smack in the middle of our Civil War).
2) The "Monroe Doctrine" - named for President James Monroe and first established in 1823 - which barred any further European encroachment in the Western Hemisphere was being violated; never mind the fact that half the reason the Doctrine even made it to 1824 - let alone 1862 - was the fact that Great Britain backed it to the hilt in order to stop Spain, France, and Portugal from reclaiming lost colonies; and never mind the fact that Sec-State William Henry Seward never invoked it for fear of turning closet Confederate European sympathizers into outright Confederate European sympathizers.
3) A weird twist of fate: President Lincoln had been one of the loudest opponents of the earlier Mexican War (1846-48 U.S. provokes Mexico into attacking, then swipes Texas, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico from Mexico). As such, he was the friendliest American President Mexico ever saw until the Bush-Fox minuet of 2000.
Had either Democratic candidate in 1860 (Douglas or Breckinridge) been elected, they might have made a deal with Nap III and tried to split up Mexico between them (the Democratic Party was almost unanimously supportive of the 1846-48 war). Instead, we have Lincoln, the end of American slavery, Napoleon III getting embarrassed, and Maximillian going from European icon to North American pariah.
Posted by: China e-Lobby | 2006-05-05 12:54:05 PM
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