May 5 deserves celebration for many reasons

Illustration of the Battle of Puebla

The Battle of Puebla wasn't the only significant event on May 5. Image from Wikimedia Commons

Indeed, May 5 is Cinco De Mayo, but believe it or not, there have been a lot of very significant events that took place on May 5 throughout history.  Any holiday has some historical significant event that took place, but some of these are real big ones.  The seeds of the French Revolution and two English civil wars (count ’em) all are connected to May 5, believe it or not. You won’t even need to get personal loans to learn this stuff at some school, and you can be the know-it-all of Cinco de Mayo parties.

May 5, 1215: First Baron’s War

There wasn’t a huge historic occurrence on May 5, 1215 – aside from King John (the one from Robin Hood) giving a castle back to the Archbishop of Canterbury.  That said, it was the beginning of the First Baron’s War, during which the king was forced to sign the Magna Carta. It restrained the power of the king, but most importantly, established the principle of Habeus Corpus.

May 5 1640: The Short Parliament

King Charles 1 of England was not popular. His spending and taxes were outrageous, and he wanted more money to go to war with Scotland. He convened Parliament on April 13, 1640, to get it.  Parliament wasn’t amused.  On May 5, after 3 weeks of deliberation, he ordered Parliament dissolved. He reconvened Parliament later that year after going bankrupt, needing a bailout. That was called the Long Parliament, who also weren’t amused.  Armed conflicts started to break out, and King Charles was beheaded in 1649.  A monarch wasn’t restored until 1660, under limited powers.

May 5, 1789: The Estates General

The Estates General was a French representative body.  It was meant to represent the Three Estates: clergy, nobility, and everyone else. The King of France, Louis the 16th, convened the Estates General for the first time in more than 100 years to see about getting more money, as spending and taxes were out of control. Just like the Short Parliament, they wouldn’t comply, and the French Revolution was set to begin. Oddly enough, on May 5, 1821, 32 years later to the day, Napoleon Bonaparte the 1st died in exile on the island of St. Helena.

May 5 1862: The Battle of Puebla

As we all know, May 5 1862 was the Battle of Peubla, as Mexican forces under Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin defeated the army of Napoleon III. It was essential in establishing the independence of Mexico from European powers. That is the basis of Cinco De Mayo. Great strides toward independence and fair rule were made on May 5 many times over the centuries.

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