Why is Cinco de Mayo More Popular in American Than in Mexico

Download 28.81 Kb.
Size28.81 Kb.

Why is Cinco de Mayo More Popular in American Than in Mexico

Original document found at: http://vms.vale.k12.or.us/sites/vms.vale.k12.or.us/files/u13/Cinco%20de%20Mayo.pdf

Instructions: COMPLETE ALL QUESTIONS AND MARGIN NOTES using the CLOSE reading strategies practiced in class. This requires reading of the article three times.

Step 1: Skim the article using these symbols as you read:

(+) agree, (-) disagree, (*) important, (!) surprising, (?) wondering

Step 2: Number the paragraphs. Read the article carefully and make notes in the margin.

Notes should include:

  • Comments that show that you understand the article. (A summary or statement of the main idea of important sections may serve this purpose.)

  • Questions you have that show what you are wondering about as you read.

  • Notes that differentiate between fact and opinion.

  • Observations about how the writer’s strategies (organization, word choice, perspective, support) and choices affect the article.

Step 3: A final quick read noting anything you may have missed during the first two reads.

Your margin notes are part of your score for this assessment. Answer the questions carefully in complete sentences unless otherwise instructed.

Student ____________________________Class Period__________________

Why is Cinco de Mayo More Popular in America Than in Mexico?
Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day, and its origins are largely forgotten.

On Monday, Americans across the country will gather to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Donning sombreros and dancing to mariachi music, revelers will celebrate everything Mexican. The holiday has become ingrained in the American calendar, and in 2005 Congress passed a resolution calling on the president to recognize the historical significance of the holiday. Contrary to widespread popular belief, May 5th is not actually Mexican Independence Day, and the holiday is primarily celebrated in only one of Mexico's 31 states. So, why is Cinco de Mayo more popular in America than in Mexico?

The real story of Cinco de Mayo weaves together two concurrent wars—the French intervention in Mexico (also known as The Maximillian Affair) and the American Civil War. On May 5, 1862, defending Mexican forces under Ignacio Zaragoza defeated Napoleon III's French army at Puebla, one of the most important Spanish colonial cities in Mexico. At the time, the French army was considered to be the most powerful fighting force in the world, and the unlikely Mexican victory resulted in a decree by then-Mexican President Benito Juárez that a celebration of the battle be held each year on May 5th. Cinco de Mayo was born, but it was about to be kidnapped.

As the French were making war with Mexico, the American Confederacy was courting Napoleon's help in its conflict with the United States. At the time of the Battle of Puebla, the Confederacy had strung together impressive victories over the Union forces. According to some historians, the French, who made war with Mexico on the pretext of collecting debt, planned to use Mexico as a "base" from which they could help the Confederacy defeat the North, and the Mexican victory at Puebla made the French pause long enough for the Union army to grow stronger and gain momentum. Had the French won at Puebla, some contend, the outcome of the American Civil War could have been much different, as the French and Confederates together could have taken control of the continent from the Mason Dixon line to Guatemala, installing an oligarchical, slave-holding government.

That didn't happen, of course. In the years that followed, Latinos in California and the U.S. Northwest celebrated Cinco de Mayo with parades of people dressed in Civil War uniforms, giving speeches about how the Battle of Puebla fits into the larger narrative of the struggle for abolition.

Since then, the holiday has been transformed, specifically after a wave of Mexican immigration into the United States following the Mexican Civil War. As Mexican immigrants flooded into the American southwest, they joined in the festivities with their fellow Mexican-Americans who were already living in the United States, without really knowing the story behind the holiday; and over time, the date came to be a showcase of Mexican ethnic identity rather than a celebration of the battle against the invading French forces.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Jody Agius Vallejo, a sociology professor at the University of Southern California, explained the Cinco de Mayo phenomenon this way: "It's very similar to how Irish-Americans celebrate St. Patrick's Day," said Vallejo. "One way they can honor their ethnicity is to celebrate this day, even when most don't know why."

Notes on my thoughts, reactions and questions as I read:

Why is Cinco de Mayo More Popular in American Than in Mexico

Notes on my thoughts, reactions and questions as I read:

Why is Cinco de Mayo More Popular in American Than in Mexico

Comprehension questions – PLEASE USE COMPLETE SENTENCES. 

  1. On what date is Mexican Independence Day recognized?

  1. On what date is Cinco de Mayo celebrated?

  1. Define decree as used in the title.

  1. Although not directly stated in the text, in which Mexican state is Cinco de Mayo likely celebrated?

  1. Define flooded as used in the text.


2. Answer each question in one or more complete sentences.

Why is Cinco de Mayo more popular in the United States than in Mexico?

According to the text, how may U.S. history have been altered had the French won the battle at Puebla?

Does the title of the article truly match the author’s purpose? What could be another title for this text?


Why is Cinco de Mayo More Popular in American Than in Mexico

3. This article is a bit difficult due to the specific vocabulary associated with Mexico and the use of academic terms. Using the chart provided, list vocabulary terms that you may not know. Include a definition created by you using context clues and a working dictionary definition.







4. Summarize the article in less than 50 words. Write your summary as if you’re explaining this article to someone who’s younger than you.


Green, B. Adapted from: Why is Cinco de Mayo more popular in American than in Mexico? USNews.com. May 4, 2012.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2020
send message

    Main page