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On May 5th 1862 La Batalla de Puebla was fought When the battle was over the untrained Mexican forces made up of commoners had won victory over the all-powerful French army Although this victory did not win was it did show the courage and strength of the Mexican troupes Mexico had gained its independence from Spain in 1821 but there were internal power struggles that left Mexico shaky Then in 1846 under the dictatorship of Santa Anna Mexico went to war with the United States The Mexican-American War left Mexico in a state of national crisis The years of fighting left Mexico devastated and bankrupt Mexico lost a huge portion of land to the United States which we now call Texas Benito Juarez a Zapotec Indian leader became the Minister of Justice in 1855 He proposed two very controversial laws One that the church and military courts could no longer try civilian cases and the second legalized the sale of distribution of church land s This caused civil unrest In 1861 Juarez took control of the capital and put his laws into effect causing a civil was that created a national debt On July 17 1861 President Benito Juarez issued a statement that all foreign debt payments would cease for two years after which time the payments would resume Well the English Spanish and French did not agree to this and decided to invade Mexico and extract their payments in any way they could Eventually the Spanish and English withdrew but the French refused to leave They planned to create an Empire in Mexico under Napoleon III In 1862 the French army moved in Shortly before the battle on May 5th Benito Juarez announced to his people The government of the republic will fulfill its duty to defend its independence to repel foreign aggression and accept the struggle to which it has been provoked counting on the unanimous spirit of the Mexicans and
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