Cinco de Mayo Lesson

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Cinco de Mayo means May 5th. It is a regional holiday in the city of Puebla, which is in southeastern Mexico. On May 5, 1862, General Ignacio Zaragoza’s army defeated French forces near Puebla. Although the Battle of Puebla did not prevent the French occupation of Mexico, it was a moral victory for the Mexican Army. Cinco de Mayo is also popular in the United States. American restaurants and bars serve Mexican food and drinks. People of all origins attend parties and listen to Mexican mariachi music. Students in K-12 and ESL classes learn about the history of Mexico and the Battle of Puebla. (3 pages)

Calendar Showing May 5th, Cinco de Mayo When is Cinco de Mayo?

    • It is on May 5th.
  • It is a holiday to celebrate the Mexican victory over the French troops at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
Map of Puebla, Mexico Where is Puebla, Mexico?

    • Puebla is in the southeastern part of Mexico.
    • Mexico is in North America, south of the United States.
  • Over 113,000,000 people live in Mexico.
Ignacio Zaragoza, Mexican Hero Who led the Mexican forces to victory over the French during the Battle of Puebla?

    • General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín led the Mexican forces.
    • He had fewer soldiers, and they were not as well equipped as the French, but they beat back repeated French assaults.
  • Zaragoza died of typhoid fever a few months after the Battle of Puebla when he was just 33 years old.
Benito Juarez, President of Mexico Who was the President of Mexico at the time of the French invasion?

    • Benito Pablo Juárez García was president.
    • He is considered Mexico’s greatest leader.
  • He served five terms as the President of Mexico, from 1858-1872.
Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico Who is this man?

    • He is Maximilian I, Emperor of Mexico.
    • Napoleon III of France proclaimed him Emperor of Mexico on April 10, 1864.
  • In 1867, he was executed by Republican forces led by Benito Juárez.


Napoleon the Third of France Who asked Maximilian to be Emperor of Mexico?

    • Napoleon III and a group of Mexican monarchists asked Maximilian to be Emperor of Mexico.
  • A monarchist is a person who believes in a system of government with a single person as the head of state.


Execution of Maximilian What happened to Maximilian?

  • He was executed at Queretaro, Mexico, on June 19, 1867, when the French were defeated and expelled from Mexico.


Flag of Mexico on Map Is Cinco de Mayo Mexican Independence Day?

    • No, but it is a day to celebrate Mexican pride and culture.
  • Mexican Independence Day is September 16.


Author: Dennis Hickey

There are no limits to success to those who never stop learning. Learning will nourish your personal growth. I hope you enjoy this website and visit often so you keep learning and growing too!

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