Why Should Americans Celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Unraveling the Historical Connection to the Confederacy's Defeat

Aiden Starling

Updated Monday, May 6, 2024 at 12:00 AM CDT

Cinco de Mayo, a popular holiday celebrated in the United States, often involves indulging in delicious tacos and enjoying a refreshing beer. But do most Americans truly understand the significance of this festive day? In a recent Twitter post by c0nc0rdance, a thought-provoking question was raised: "Why should a (non-Mexican) American celebrate Cinco de Mayo?" The tweet hinted at a possible historical link between Mexico and the defeat of the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Let's dive into this intriguing connection and explore why Americans should embrace the spirit of Cinco de Mayo.

The image accompanying the tweet depicts a mouthwatering scene that captures the essence of a Cinco de Mayo celebration. A wooden tray adorned with a tantalizing assortment of tacos takes center stage, while a glass of beer with a frothy top stands proudly beside it. The vibrant colors of the ingredients, such as succulent meats and fresh vegetables, make the tacos visually appealing. Lime wedges, sliced onions, and various salsas complete this delectable spread, providing the perfect accompaniments for a truly authentic experience. The ambiance exudes warmth and conviviality, inviting everyone to join in the festivities.

Now, let's explore the historical aspect mentioned in the tweet. As c0nc0rdance suggests, Mexico's involvement in the American Civil War may have played a role in the Confederacy's ultimate defeat. Although it may seem like a stretch at first, examining the geopolitical context of the time reveals some intriguing possibilities.

During the Civil War, the Confederacy relied heavily on the production and export of cotton, which was primarily cultivated on plantations in the Southern states. However, the Union's naval blockade disrupted this crucial trade, leading to economic hardships for the Confederacy. Enter Mexico. At the time, Mexico was one of the world's leading producers of cotton, and the Confederacy saw an opportunity to establish trade relations with its southern neighbor.

However, several factors worked against the Confederacy's hopes of securing Mexican support. France and Britain, two major powers with vested interests in Southern cotton, had reservations about aligning themselves with the Confederacy. They were wary of recognizing the Confederacy as an independent nation and were concerned about the implications of supporting a powerful slave state in North America. As a result, the Confederacy's attempts to gain international recognition and assistance fell short.

The Union itself played a significant role in dissuading Mexico from supporting the Confederacy. By demonstrating military strength and projecting the image of an impending Union victory, the United States effectively deterred any potential Mexican intervention. The Union Army's position in Canada, coupled with the strength of the Union Navy, made it clear to the British that any Confederate victory was highly unlikely. Consequently, France and Britain refrained from providing the support the Confederacy had hoped for.

So why should Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo? By acknowledging the historical ties between Mexico and the Confederacy's defeat, we pay homage to the complex geopolitical dynamics that shaped the outcome of the American Civil War. While Cinco de Mayo is not directly connected to the events of the war, it serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness of nations and the impact they can have on one another.

Moreover, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage in the United States. It provides an opportunity for Americans to appreciate the contributions and influence of Mexican-Americans on American society. By embracing the festivities, we foster cultural understanding and promote unity among diverse communities.

So, as you savor those mouthwatering tacos and enjoy a refreshing beer this Cinco de Mayo, take a moment to reflect on the historical significance of this holiday. Let us celebrate the interconnectedness of nations, the triumph of unity over division, and the rich tapestry of cultures that make up the United States.

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View source: Imgur

Top Comments from Imgur


I never need a reason to eat tacos.


Yeah, this seems like a stretch. France & Britain - while dependent on Southern cotton - had no vested interest in a war with the Union for a great many reasons. They also didn't recognize the South nor did they like the idea of a powerful slave state in NA. The idea that either of them might have helped the Confederacy under the "right circumstances" has long been a fringe perspective that goes against what we know of the political situation of the time: the CSA was both isolated + unpopular.


Remember the Alamo when some white guys died for the right to keep slaves


Actually I was going to go to this local Asian place today. I just got off the phone with my mom who mentioned Chinese food so now I have a craving.


My in-laws are dragging us to Olive garden, I'd rather have tacos


Folks, please do not use History Dot Com as a source. It will just as soon tell you about Ancient Aliens. There are no real historians there. And even the articles that are mostly factual are written by like 19 year old freelancers.


Hilarious because Mexicans dont celebrate Cinco de Mayo. We celebrate Mexican Independence Day. Chill, let people eat what they want, especially tacos. And remember to tip/advocate for a higher living wage.


For the same reasons that the Non-Irish celebrate St Patrick’s Day and Non-French celebrate Mardi Gras. It’s just an excuse to drink.


It was basically created by Corona beer in the 90s as a new holiday for g*****s.


A local Folklorico group had a show Friday night where they alternated folklorico dance with a mariachi band and a slide show about the history of Cinco de Mayo, the Civil War and the Mexican Revolution. I learned a lot of stuff I was vague on before, and it was fun! The mariachis were top notch, the singers awesome without amplification. The dancing was kids and teens, amateur but enthusiastic. Our area had a lot of Mexican farm workers, but this was the biggest cultural event I’d seen…

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