19th Century Articles
British strategy in the First Anglo-Afghan Wars
From Slave to Congressman
Battle of Omdurman
French vs. German Strategy of Warfare 1871
Invention of Counter-Insurgency
Alfred Mahan: Advocate for Seapower
Americans in the Boer War
Marching to Timbuktu
Charge of the Polish Light Horse
The Failures at Spion Kop
Combatants in Black Hawk War
The Fenian Raids
The French Intervention in Mexico

Timothy Neeno Articles
Mexican Revolution and US Intervention
Revolutionary War in the Caribbean
The French Intervention in Mexico
Nomonhan: The Second Russo-Japanese War
Hollow Empire: The French Intervention in Mexico (1862-67)
By Timothy Neeno, M.A.


Beginning in 1862, while the United States was paralyzed by Civil War, the French under Napoleon III tried to create an empire in Mexico under a puppet ruler, the Archduke Maximilian of Austria. Over the next five years of war some 300,000 Mexicans died, and French ambitions were dealt a bruising blow. How had this conflict come about, and how did a weakened, divided nation defeat one of the most powerful empires in the world?

Born in Strife - Mexico 1821 to 1858

From 1521, when an army of conquistadors under Hernán Cortéz marched into the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, until 1821, Mexico was under the harsh rule of Spain. For three hundred years the Spaniards kept tight control of Mexico, limiting her trade to Spain alone and preventing any attempts at self government. After years of unrest and rebellion, the Spanish left Mexico, leaving a land in turmoil. Between 1821 and 1848 Mexico was in a near constant state of upheaval, in which she lost half her national territory to the expanding United States. In the long period of strife before and after independence, three groups grew in wealth, power and influence: the army, rich landowners, and the Church. The Catholic Church alone controlled nearly one half the taxable land in Mexico, while the owners of the great haciendas reduced many ostensibly free smallholders to debt peonage. At the same time the central government declined in authority and prestige. Of a population of nine million people, some five million were Native Americans, with little or nor rights, and three million others were mestizos, people of mixed European and Native American blood, leaving a ruling class of one million European descended Whites.

Gradually, a movement for liberal democratic reforms grew. In 1857, after the fall of the dictator Santa Anna, the rising Liberal party won control of the government and passed a reform constitution that undercut the power of the privileged elite, proclaimed freedom of speech and of the press, and confiscated Church lands. This provoked a bloody reaction.

The War of the Reform 1858-60

In January, 1858, the military attempted a coup, seizing control of the capital. But the Liberals refused to give up, and for three years Mexico had two governments, a Liberal one under Benito Juárez (1806-72), a full blooded Zapotec Indian, in Veracruz, and a Conservative government in Mexico City under General Miguel Miramón. The Conservatives had experienced generals, but the Liberals had more popular support and control of the customs revenue of Veracruz, which made up a major part of the government's income.

Gradually the Liberals got the upper hand, with some support from the US. For example, in March of 1860, the US Navy blocked an attempt by ships from Spanish Cuba to help the Conservatives capture Veracruz. In January of 1861, after fighting that took 70,000 Mexican lives, Benito Juárez marched into Mexico City and assumed control of the government.

To be fair to Juárez, he and the Liberals attempted to meet Mexico's international obligations. But the resources simply did not exist. Worse, Conservative diehards were still holding out in the mountains to the west of Mexico City and in the highlands around San Luis Potosí. The conservative land owners in the Yucatan did not recognize Juárez's authority. And Juárez had to keep in line powerful Liberal state governors. The War of the Reform had weakened the power of the central government even further, and the Liberal government was in fact a loose coalition, where many of the power brokers were state governors who had been political rivals of Juarez.

Pressed to the wall, on June 26, 1861, Juárez declared a moratorium on foreign debt payments. This was the spark that would ignite the war with France.

Napoleon III

In 1861, Napoleon III, Emperor of the French, and namesake of his famous uncle, was riding high. Becoming President of France after the Revolution of 1848, he had seized absolute power and made himself emperor. In the 1850s French troops were victorious against the Russians in the Crimea. They had beaten the Austrians in the War of Italian Unification. The French were on the march in Algeria and West Africa, and jockeying for power in China and Vietnam. French capital was instrumental in constructing a canal across the Suez to link Europe with the East.

Since the 1840s Napoleon III had been interested in building an Isthmian Canal across Mexico or Central America. Such a canal would give France control of the burgeoning trade with the East and confer enormous strategic advantages. Mexico also produced nearly a third of the world's output of silver. Control of Mexico would check the rising power of the United States and open the door to expansion into the troubled lands of Central America. Now Mexico's default gave Napoleon III the excuse he needed to gain a foothold in the New World.

Mexico's default also played into the hands of Conservative èmigrés, who sought a means of regaining power in Mexico and countering American support for Juárez. They found a ready friend at the French court in Eugenia de Montijo, a devout Spanish Catholic and now Empress Eugénie of France. Furthermore, in the last frantic days of Conservative rule in Mexico, General Miramón had procured a loan for 750,000 francs from Jean Baptiste Jecker, a Swiss banker in Mexico. This loan was secured by Mexican state bonds worth 75 million francs, and mineral rights in Sonora and Baja California. Juárez had repudiated the loan as usurious and fraudulent, but Jecker had won the ear of Auguste de Morny, bastard half brother and confidante of Napoleon III, who established a French syndicate to buy the bond claims from Jecker.

The Allied Intervention

Since the proclamation of the Monroe Doctrine, US policy had been to oppose the extension of European power over the newly independent nations of Latin America. Latin America's continuing independence in this period was in fact more due to British influence, but the US could not be blithely ignored. That was until November of 1860, with the election of Abraham Lincoln. With the resulting secession of the South and the proclamation of the Confederate States of America, the US government was paralyzed. In April of 1861 open civil war began at Fort Sumter, and now Mexico had no effective support from Washington.

In October of 1861, Britain, France and Spain signed the Convention of London, agreeing to occupy the port of Veracruz to force the Mexican government to honor its international obligations. The majority of the debts, 69 million pesos, was owed to Great Britain. The French had only some 3 million pesos in claims, but the Jecker claims gave the French another 15 million pesos. All three powers agreed not to pursue territorial claims, but in fact Napoleon III already had a plan in mind.

Maximilian, Archduke of Austria and popular younger brother of Franz Josef, the Hapsburg emperor of Austria, was unemployed and ambitious. If Napoleon could line up Maximilian to become emperor of Mexico it would heal the breach with Catholic Austria lingering from French support of Italian unification in 1859, and provide France with a prop against the rising might of Prussia. It would give the French a pliable ally in Mexico. But Napoleon III could not move too openly at first.

On December 14, 1861, 6,000 Spanish troops landed in Veracruz, followed on January 2 by 800 British marines. Six days later 2000 French marines and 600 zouaves from the French Armeé d'Afrique came ashore. Very soon the allies found themselves in trouble. While control of Veracruz gave them a grip on the economic windpipe of Mexico, it was not a healthy place to be. The Tierra Caliente was low lying coastal jungle and swamp, teeming with malaria, mosquitoes and scourged by the dreaded vomito negro, better known as yellow fever. Veracruz itself swarmed with black zopilotes, vultures, which formed the only sanitation service in the city. Within weeks General Prim, the Spanish commander, alone sent home some 800 sick men to hospitals in Cuba. Juárez wisely played a waiting game, offering to negotiate and letting the vomito take its toll.

In mid February the allies consented to a compromise with the Juaristas, agreeing to negotiate the debt issue in exchange for being allowed to march to Orizaba, some 200 miles inland, and 2,800 feet above sea level, out of yellow fever country. This should have been the end of the matter. But now the French showed their true colors. They landed 3000 reinforcements in Veracruz under Brigadier General Ferdinand Latrille, Count de Lorencez. On April 11 the British and Spanish jointly began to leave to re-embark, realizing French intentions and not wanting to be part of a French scheme to take over the whole country. That same day the French declared a state of hostilities to exist with Mexico. Five days later, at Córdoba, Lorencez issued a proclamation announcing France's intention to 'pacify' Mexico, and began rallying Conservative support for a counter-revolution.

Cinco de Mayo

On April 27, 1862 Lorencez began advancing on Mexico City, some 200 miles from Orizaba, along the same route taken by Hernán Cortéz in 1519 and by the Americans in the Mexican War. Mexico City is situated in the Valley of Mexico, which at 7,300 feet above sea level, is centered in the midst of a high plateau that forms the rugged heart of Mexico. The key to access to the central plateau from Veracruz is the city of Puebla, standing astride the road to Mexico City at some 5,000 feet above sea level. On May 5th, 1862 Brigadier General Lorencez began deploying some 7,000 French troops for what he thought would be an easy assault on the city. But Puebla was held by some 4,000 Mexican troops under the able leadership of Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza. Overconfident, the French launched a frontal attack across a muddy field, straight into the waiting Mexican guns. The attack failed, with Zaragoza's subordinate, Porfirio Díaz, counter punching the French left. At the end of the day some 500 French troops lay dead or wounded, and Lorencez sullenly retreated back to Orizaba.

If Puebla was not a brilliant tactical triumph, it was a timely victory for the Juaristas. The Cinco de Mayo gave the Mexican people a much needed shot of national pride, and delayed the French march on Mexico City by a full year. The ensuing breathing space gave the Liberals time to consolidate their control of the country. In the same time period as well, the Union began to gain the upper hand in the American Civil War. Napoleon III's scheme could only succeed if the US was distracted by the continued rebellion of the South. If and when the Union won, the French position in Mexico would quickly become untenable.

But now the pride and prestige of France, and of Napoleon III, was at stake. Under its new commander, Gen. Èlie Frédéric Forey, the French army in Mexico rose to 28,000 men. Of particular concern to Forey was his dangerously long and exposed supply line from Veracruz. The French needed to secure this route, especially through the lethal Tierra Caliente along the coast. Rather than risk Frenchmen in the country of malaria and the vomito, Forey foisted the task of guarding the supply line to the Régiment Étranger, better known later as the French Foreign Legion, mercenaries recruited in the service of France, and a battalion of Sudanese infantry on loan from the Khedive of Egypt. Here we already see the essential weakness of the French position. The key to Napoleon's plan was speed. If the war lasted too long, or became too expensive, either in French francs or in French lives, the whole scheme would collapse. Therefore the Juaristas never needed to defeat the French in the field, they merely had to outlast them.


The French army was professional, well disciplined, and was overall master of the battlefield. In February of 1863 the French advanced again. Aided by the Conservative Gen. Márquez, who cut up a Liberal force at San Lorenzo in early March, the French swept forward and put Puebla under siege on March 16th. The Liberals put all their eggs in one basket, garrisoning Puebla with their main army. This made Puebla harder to take, and given French tactical superiority it probably made sense, but if Puebla did fall their army would be forfeit.

In this period occurred an incident that would bring glory to the annals of the French Foreign Legion, but would underscore the basic problems the French faced in Mexico. As the French advanced into Mexico their supply line became more and more vulnerable to disruption by Liberal guerillas. One mule train working its way up from Veracruz carried $3 million in gold to the pay the French army besieging Puebla. This attracted the attention of the Liberal command, which sent a force of cavalry and militia to intercept it. The French Foreign Legion tasked a company of 62 men under Capt. Danjou to go out to meet the convoy. On April 30, 1863, at the hacienda of Camarón, fifty miles southwest of Veracruz, some 2,000 Juaristas pounced on Danjou's force. The Legionaries fought back with desperate courage. Only five men were still standing when they finally surrendered. To this day the French Foreign Legion celebrates the anniversary of Camerone. But courage cannot cover up the fact the French drastically underestimated their opponents strength, intelligence connections, and resourcefulness.

On April 17, after a bitter two month siege, the Mexican army in Puebla surrendered. Twenty six generals and 16,500 men went into the bag. Despite the courage of the Mexican defense, it was staggering blow to the Liberal cause. On May 31, 1863 Juárez withdrew with the government to San Luis Potosí, 400 miles to the northwest. One week later the French marched into Mexico City. Gen. Forey then ordered the selection of thirty five 'notables', nearly all Conservatives, to form a Junta Superior de Gobierno. These then selected a three man regency council which wasted no time in proclaiming Mexico an empire, and offered the throne to the Archduke Maximilian of Austria, exactly as planned.

Over the next six months, the French, under their aggressive new commander, Marshal François Achille Bazaine, gradually secured control over much of the country. By the end of 1863, Juárez had been forced to retreat from San Luis Potos¡ to Saltillo, some four hundred miles still further north. Meanwhile the French and the Mexican exiles were able to woo the somewhat uncertain Maximilian to assume the throne. On March 12, 1864 Maximilian signed the Treaty of Miramar with the French, accepting the title of Emperor of Mexico. In exchange for French military support, Maximilian agreed that Mexico would assume 270 million francs in debts, claims and obligations, thus tripling Mexico's outstanding debt and mortgaging her future for years to come.

As the Republicans were pushed into the bare, sparsely populated north, Juárez had to deal with growing defections to the Imperial cause. The Liberal state governors were powers in their own right, and Juárez needed all his diplomatic skills to keep them in line. Most dangerous was Gov. Vidaurri of the two northeastern states of Coahuila and Nuevo León. With access to the Texas border, Vidaurri was raking in a fortune in customs revenue channeling foreign trade into the blockaded Confederacy. He conveniently kept this revenue for himself, parlaying himself into a virtually independent warlord. In February of 1864 Juárez tried to move his capital to Monterrey, the capital of Vidaurri's mini-empire, and Vidaurri balked. Juarez still had 7,000 men, enough of an army toforce Vidaurri to flee into Texas and ultimately defect to the Imperial cause, but the weakness of Juárez's position was clear.

By the spring of 1864 the French controlled perhaps one seventh of the total land area of Mexico, with some 3 million people. But only maybe one Mexican in twenty was truly an Imperial supporter. Worse, the French, even with 38,000 men, and some 1,800 Conservative Mexican auxiliaries, could not garrison every village. Whenever the French left, the Juaristas returned.

All this was lost on Maximilian. To be fair, Napoleon III had deliberately ordered Gen. Forey, upon his return to Paris, not to make contact with Maximilian, but the Archduke did nothing to ascertain the reality of the situation for himself. While he and his wife, Charlotte, daughter of Leopold I of Belgium, made the long sea voyage from Trieste to Veracruz, Maximilian busied himself with his crowning intellectual achievement - a six hundred page manual of court etiquette for his new kingdom. Court etiquette! He and Charlotte's entourage had to be ceaselessly guarded en route to Mexico City, the roads were infested with bandits and Juarista guerillas. He arrived in his new capital to find the National Palace crumbling and infested with lice and assorted vermin. The Emperor Maximilian, and Charlotte, now known to her subjects as Carlota, spent their first night in the palace sleeping on a billiard table.

It must be stated that Maximilian did try to be a decent, enlightened ruler. One reason Franz Josef wanted Maximilian out Austria was that Maximilian was seen as a Liberal. He adopted Mexican dress, and made a point of celebrating the anniversary of the Grito de Dolores, the Mexican Declaration of Independence. He ordered law codes revised and attempted to remove corrupt judges. He refused to revoke Liberal measures confiscating Church lands, and refused a French demand for a 'lease' on the silver mines of Sonora. He even attempted to abolish debt peonage on the great haciendas. But this said, Maximilian had no aptitude or experience in government. The French army, under Marshal Bazaine, ran the war effort, and the great hacendados ran their estates, and the overall economy.

As long as the French army was victorious, things seemed to go well. By the autumn of 1864 the French had reached the Texas border along the Gulf of Mexico. This gave them control of the trade going into the Confederacy, and the customs revenue. In February of 1865 Bazaine forced the surrender of a Republican army of 8,000 men in the stronghold of Oaxaca, south of Mexico City. Juárez had to seek refuge in the remote and barren northern state of Chihuahua, just over from Arizona. But for all this, cracks were starting to appear in Napoleon III's grande penseé.

The Republicans Resurgent

Several basic problems undermined the French position. Napoleon III's scheme of turning Mexico into a source of revenue undermined any chance of the Mexican Empire becoming a viable state in its own right. If the French really wanted Maximilian to succeed they should have cancelled Mexico's debts, not increased them, and created a true Mexican army and administration. The first they never did, and they did not get around to creating a real Mexican Imperial army until it was much too late. The Austrian Emperor kicked in a corps of 6,000 volunteers to help his brother hold his throne, and Leopold I of Belgium chipped in another 1,200 men in for the sake of his daughter Carlota. But it was no substitute for a real Mexican army. Worse, for all Marshal Bazaine's experience fighting in Algeria, he never created a coordinated intelligence force and political arm to counter Juárez's' efficient underground network. The corrupt coterie of Conservative politicians that made up Maximilian's government were almost as divided as the Juaristas at their worst. In any case they never had a real mass popular following in most of the country.

Logistics also began to work against the French. If Juárez had been forced into the barren deserts of Chihuahua, distance and the hostile terrain shielded him. Just getting an army into the rugged wild northwest corner of Mexico would be a formidable achievement for the French, let alone bringing Juárez's mobile columns to battle on their home ground.

The international situation was also shifting. At home, a growing faction of opposition legislators denounced Napoleon III, and his policies, which were keeping a tenth of the French army tied down to no real return. Across the Rhine, the able Chancellor Otto von Bismarck had built the kingdom of Prussia into an efficient war machine, and had vowed to forge a new German Reich from blood and iron. Neither the French nor Maximilian's brother Franz Josef could spare any more men.

Worse still for the French and Maximilian, the Confederacy was collapsing. As early as July of 1863, before the French had been in Mexico City a month, the Union victory at Gettysburg had put the South permanently on the defensive. In that same month Ulysses S. Grant had captured Vicksburg, the last Southern outpost on the Mississippi. This cut the Confederacy in two. Maximilian's relations with the Confederacy had always been mixed, as the Mexicans were well aware that the Southern states had always been the most vocal advocates of American expansion into Mexico. Also, if Maximilian or the French recognized the Confederacy openly, it would drive the Union to side openly with Juárez. On April 8, 1865 Lee surrendered at Appomattox, and one by one the other Southern armies began to give up. By the end of May the rebel cause in Texas was finished. Edmund Kirby Smith, the last rebel commander of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi West, surrendered to the Union at Galveston on June.

Immediately the fall of the Confederacy changed the strategic situation in Mexico. If the Rebels had been benevolent neutrals, the Union was decidedly unfriendly to the Mexican Empire. As the last rebels surrendered, Grant rushed three Union corps, some fifty thousand men, under a tough cavalry commander, Gen. Philip Sheridan, to Texas. This Army of Observation was more than enough to trounce any French army Bazaine was likely to bring within striking distance of the Rio Grande. Sheridan was also quick to 'condemn' US arms and supplies, and left them out in the desert for the Juaristas to 'find'. Juárez soon had 40,000 American rifles to re-equip his army. Perhaps as many as 3,000 discharged Union army veterans, including many African Americans, found their way into Juárez's growing host. However, Juárez was careful to resist a number of schemes that involved bringing an American led force into Mexico. Mexicans, whatever their political stripe, were always wary of American intentions in this period.

Overall, Bazaine went over to a defensive posture in the autumn of 1865. Although the US was quickly demobilizing its army in the wake of the Civil War, he could not discount the possibility of an open American invasion. He also pulled the French troops back from the Rio Grande so as not to give Sheridan an excuse for an incursion. Here we see another problem the French faced. Whenever the French army approached the US border, desertion rates skyrocketed. One French Foreign Legion battalion moving along the Rio Grande lost 93 men to desertion in a single day. From the spring of 1866 on desertions would outnumber combat casualties for the French army in Mexico, even when situated away from the border.

Despite all this, the French came close to winning. In August of 1865 Juárez and the remnants of his government were at El Paso del Norte, today Ciudad Juárez, just across from El Paso, Texas. But the French and the Imperials could not finish Juarez off. Despite desertions and betrayals, Juárez was somehow able to keep an army in the field. Maximilian was not devoid of notable achievements in this period however. The wine bill alone for the Palace of Chapultepec in Mexico City came to 100,000 pesos in 1865.

A sure sign that the Imperials were losing was Gen. Bazaine's 'Black Decree' of October 3, 1865. Under this order, signed by Emperor Maximilian, any men found in 'armed bands' were liable to summary execution. It outraged public opinion across Mexico. Within a month the US had formally re-opened diplomatic relations with the Republican regime. By the end of 1865 the Mexican adventure was costing France 60 million francs annually. That winter Leopold I of Belgium died. His successor, the hard headed and ruthless Leopold II, immediately stopped recruiting to keep the Belgian Legion in Mexico maintained. He would henceforth seek easier pickings for Belgium in the African Congo. On January 22, 1866, Napoleon III announced to the Corps Législatif that he would begin a gradual pull out of Mexico. That spring, when Franz Josef assembled a new force of 4,000 men to go to Mexico, a threatening cable from US Secretary of State William H. Seward, was enough to get the Austrians to disband it.

One by one, Maximilian's supporters, at home and abroad, were deserting him. In July of 1866, Prussian troops shattered the Imperial Austrian Army at Königgratz (present day Sadowa in the Czech Republic), in the Seven Weeks War. It was said in the streets of Paris that France had been defeated as well as Austria. Napoleon III now needed every man he could spare along the Rhine River.

On June 14, 1866 two battalions of Imperial Mexican troops went over to the Juaristas in a battle near Matamoros on the Texas border, leaving 300 Austrians to be slaughtered. The Republicans then took Matamoros itself, then Tampico and Acapulco. As each port fell into Republican hands it meant more customs revenue for the Juárez government, and an equivalent loss for the Imperial treasury. In a last desperate bid, the intelligent Carlota went to Europe to plead her case directly with Napoleon III and the Pope. She was ignored. The strain broke her. She died, alone and forgotten in seclusion in 1927, still clutching a rag doll, which she spoke to as Maximilian.

Now the Juaristas began to close in on all sides. On February 5 the French pulled out of Mexico City. Five days later Maximilian and his last army left for Querétaro, almost 300 miles northwest of Mexico City. It was Maximilian's last big mistake. Although Querétaro was in pro-Imperial territory, it was further away from his last escape route via Veracruz. Querétaro is also at the bottom of a valley, surrounded by hills. It was the stage for the last act.


Three separate Republican columns closed in on Querétaro. Even in victory the Republicans were still very much a coalition of interests. But it was too late for Maximilian to exploit Republican mistakes. By March he was surrounded by some 30,000 Juaristas, who cut the aqueduct supplying Querétaro with fresh water and moved to besiege it. Maximilian's lieutenant, Gen. Márquez, got out with 1,200 cavalry. He went to Mexico City to try to rally what was left of Maximilian's forces there, but was defeated while marching toward Puebla, noticeably, in the opposite direction of Querétaro from Mexico City.

Márquez eventually slipped out of the country with one million dollars on him. Maximilian was not so lucky. On May 15, 1867, just over two months after the last French troops left Veracruz, an enterprising subordinate let Republican shock troops in through the Imperial lines. Maximilian was captured at the Cerro de las Campanas, the Hill of the Bells, just outside of Querétaro. Barely four months earlier, Imperial cavalry had nearly captured Juárez in a daring raid on his headquarters. When Juárez returned, he found death warrants, signed by Maximilian, for him and his subordinates. In any case, Juárez had issued a sweeping pardon at the end of the War of the Reform, and his enemies had regrouped. He would not let them do so again, especially when Maximilian, even unwittingly, could still be used as a symbol for opponents of the Republic to rally around. On June 13, 1867, Maximilian died before a Republican firing squad at Querétaro. Six days later Mexico City surrendered to the Republicans.

Results and Lessons Learned

It is one thing to conquer a nation; it is another to hold it. It is one thing to capture fortresses and defeat enemy armies in the field. It is another to build a working government and win the people over after a civil war. A puppet ruler too weak to hurt you, cannot help you either. Finally, war is a test of wills. Juárez was able to hold together support and keep fighting. Napoleon III never did rally national support for his scheme, and finally found the contest too expensive.

With a peak strength of 38,000 men, the French suffered nearly 7,000 dead, 5,000 of them from disease. Of these losses, 1,918 of the deaths were from one unit, the Régiment Étranger, testimony to the importance of the role the French Foreign Legion played in the campaign. Nearly 32,000 Mexicans died fighting to drive out the French, or perished before Imperial firing squads, this as opposed to just 5,600 men who fell in the Imperial cause. Some 300,000 Mexicans total died in this struggle, which could better be called a continuation of the War of the Reform.

Out of this blood, Mexico revived, with a new sense of national pride, and with republican institutions firmly established. Benito Juárez, who gave new meaning to the phrase 'fighting in the last ditch', died, a hero of his country, in 1872. As for Mexico, it would take another bloody revolution, this time in the 20th century, to abolish peonage, and many years after that to become a true democracy. But if the history of the Mexican people since the defeat of the French has seen many failures and disappointments, it has been their history. The decisions made that have shaped their lives in the 20th century have not been made in Paris, or Vienna, but by their own leaders. The men who fell at Puebla have a monument: a free Mexico, and their descendants are free men.

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Show Footnotes and Bibliography

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© 2023 Timothy Neeno, M.A.

Published online: 02/12/2005.

Written by Timothy Neeno. If you have questions or comments on this article, please contact Timothy Neeno at:

About the author:
Timothy Neeno is originally from Chicago, Illinois. He graduated with a Masters in US History from the University of Wisconsin in 1990. Since then he has gone into teaching. He and his wife have worked and taught in Bolivia, Taiwan, Kuwait, Brazil and the Navajo Reservation and have traveled in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Since 2002 they have settled in the Phoenix area. He currently teaches history at the University of Phoenix.

* Views expressed by contributors are their own and do not necessarily represent those of
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