Cinco de Mayo & Anti-Clericalism

Although Cinco de Mayo is recognized in some countries as a day of Mexican heritage celebration, it is not a federal holiday in Mexico.
A common misconception in the United States is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day, the most important national patriotic holiday in Mexico. (The actual Independence Day, Grito de Dolores, is celebrated on dieciséis de septiembre, the 16th of September)

Cinco de Mayo:

The Battle of Puebla took place on 5 May 1862 near the city of Puebla during the French intervention in Mexico. The battle ended in a victory for the Mexican Army over the occupying French forces. The French were eventually victorious, winning the Second Battle of Puebla on 17 May 1863 and pushing on to Mexico City. When the capital fell, Benito Juárez (then Mexican President) was forced into exile in the remote north.

Benito Juarez:

Benito Juárez (21 March 1806 – 18 July 1872) was a Mexican lawyer and politician of Zapotec origin from Oaxaca who served five terms as president of Mexico. He resisted the French occupation of Mexico, overthrew the Second Mexican Empire, restored the Republic, and used liberal efforts to modernize the country.

Although he coined the famous quotation: “Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace.” He was the first one to disrespect the rights of others.

Anti-Clericalism:

Benito Juarez was one of the first Mexican Presidents that belonged to the Freemasonry. His laws, most of them anti-clerical, disrupted the Catholic Church activities in Mexico by limiting and regulating clerical activities. Following a summary of Juarez’ laws enacted from 1855 and 1860:

  • Juarez Law: In 1855, abolish the privileges of the clergy and the army, and declared all citizens equal before the law and society, and that they ought not be forced to work excessively.
  • Lerdo Law: In 1856, required the civil and ecclesiastical corporations to sell homes and land.
  • Insurance Law: In 1857, prohibited the charging of fees and perquisites parish tithe.
  • Lafragua Law: In 1855, allowed freedom of expression in print.
  • Law of the nationalization of church property: This law complements the Ley Lerdo of confiscation of church property, with an important change: the property is no longer passed into the hands of shareholders (1859).
  • Civil Marriage Act: Establishes that religious marriage is not valid and sets official marriage as a civil contract with the State (1859).
  • Organic Law of the civil registry: They declared the births and deaths as a civil contract with the State (1859).
  • Act secularization of monks and friars: it was forbidden the existence of cloisters and convents, and enforced the exit of monks and friars from monasteries.
  • Freedom of Religion Act: This law allowed each person was free to practice and choose the service you want. This law also prohibited the performance of ceremonies outside churches or temples.

Source: Wikipedia and others

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