Culture

Saint Patrick’s Battalion Was A Group Of Mainly Irish Soldiers Fighting Against The U.S. During The Mexican-American War

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day and while everyone wants to be Irish, Mexicans are celebrating the Irish. That’s right. Every year on Saint Patrick’s Day, a group of Irish soldiers are remembered for their sacrifice on behalf of Mexico during the Mexican-American War. Here’s a brief history about the group of soldiers that made Saint Patrick’s Day an important day in Mexico.

This Saint Patrick’s Day, let’s discuss the Saint Patrick’s Battalion.

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Tension between the United States and Mexico reached a peak in 1846 after the U.S. annexed Texas the year before. The decision to take the land from Mexico led to the Mexican-American War that took place from 1846 to 1848. By the end of the war, the U.S. took one-third of Mexico’s territory including California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico.

Also leading up to 1846, Irish citizens were fleeing to the U.S. to escape famine and poverty that had plagued Ireland. During that time, Irish immigrants to the U.S. were facing relentless discrimination, both in and out of the military.

The discrimination and dehumanization some Irish immigrants felt in the U.S. led them to flee south to fight along the Mexican armed forces.

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Mexican military officials who were preparing for a war against the U.S. learned about their circumstances and began recruiting the Irish immigrants. They were promised land and money to leave the U.S. and join their army.

Unhappy with the discrimination in the U.S., some Irish Catholic immigrants joined the Mexican army.

According to The Texas State Historical Association, the Irish soldiers were first called the Battalion of Foreigners. The name was later changed to Saint Patrick’s Battalion and they had their own flag, pictured above. The battalion, comprised mainly of Irish Catholics, was led by John Patrick O’Riley. They saw battle in Monterey, Saltillo, Buena Vista and, most importantly, Churubusco in 1847.

The Battle of Churubusco took place outside of Mexico City and was a victory that shed light on the end of the two-year war. According to TIME, Mexican military officials tried to raise the flag of surrender multiple time. However, Saint Patrick’s Battalion kept taking the flag down. They were outnumbered, running out of ammunition and over half of the battalion had been killed or captured.

The official day to celebrate the battalion is Sept 12, but why not celebrate them twice?

The U.S. won that battle and entered Mexico City. Shortly after they declared victory and began prosecuting the captured Irish deserters. Many were hanged for the crime of desertion. According to TIME, Mexican citizens were outraged by the hangings and attempted to attack the American prisoners. They were stopped by Mexican authorities.

The Saint Patrick’s Battalion is remembered to this day throughout Mexico as a valiant group of soldiers.

“In memory of the martyred Irish soldiers of the heroic Saint Patrick’s Battalion who gave their lives for Mexico during the unjust North American invasion of 1847.”

What a touching tribute to a group of Irishmen, angry at the American society, willing to take up arms for the Mexicans. Honestly, there is something heroic about fighting to preserve someone else’s liberties when you feel like yours are under attack.

The Irish soldiers died protecting an adopted country from the U.S.’s idea of Manifest Destiny.

“Saint Patrick’s Battalion Plaza. In memory of the Irish soldiers killed during the American Intervention in Mexico of 1847.”

Their contribution in the war meant so much to Mexican society that they have a Plaza dedicated in their honor. The offered a foreign country the ultimate sacrifice. Their life in exchange for being able to stand up to their enemies.

That’s why a holiday with Irish roots has a place on the Mexican calendar.

That’s a very brief story about Saint Patrick’s Battalion who fought for the Mexican side of the Mexican-American War.

READ: Because Some People Still Can’t Tell You Why Cinco De Mayo Is Significant, Here’s An Easy Explainer

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Mexico City Could Soon Change Its Name To Better Embrace Its Indigenous Identity

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Mexico City Could Soon Change Its Name To Better Embrace Its Indigenous Identity

Mexico City is the oldest surviving capital city in all of the Americas. It also is one of only two that actually served as capitals of their Indigenous communities – the other being Quito, Ecuador. But much of that incredible history is washed over in history books, tourism advertisements, and the everyday hustle and bustle of a city of 21 million people.

Recently, city residents voted on a non-binding resolution that could see the city’s name changed back to it’s pre-Hispanic origin to help shine a light on its rich Indigenous history.

Mexico City could soon be renamed in honor of its pre-Hispanic identity.

A recent poll shows that 54% of chilangos (as residents of Mexico City are called) are in favor of changing the city’s official name from Ciudad de México to México-Tenochtitlán. In contrast, 42% of respondents said they didn’t support a name change while 4% said they they didn’t know.

Conducted earlier this month as Mexico City gears up to mark the 500th anniversary of the fall of the Aztec empire capital with a series of cultural events, the poll also asked respondents if they identified more as Mexicas, as Aztec people were also known, Spanish or mestizo (mixed indigenous and Spanish blood).

Mestizo was the most popular response, with 55% of respondents saying they identified as such while 37% saw themselves more as Mexicas. Only 4% identified as Spaniards and the same percentage said they didn’t know with whom they identified most.

The poll also touched on the city’s history.

The ancient city of Tenochtitlán.

The same poll also asked people if they thought that the 500th anniversary of the Spanish conquest of Tenochtitlán by Spanish conquistadoresshould be commemorated or forgotten, 80% chose the former option while just 16% opted for the latter.

Three-quarters of respondents said they preferred areas of the the capital where colonial-era architecture predominates, such as the historic center, while 24% said that they favored zones with modern architecture.

There are also numerous examples of pre-Hispanic architecture in Mexico City including the Templo Mayor, Tlatelolco and Cuicuilco archaeological sites.

Tenochtitlán was one of the world’s most advanced cities when the Spanish arrived.

Tenochtitlán, which means “place where prickly pears abound” in Náhuatl, was founded by the Mexica people in 1325 on an island located on Lake Texcoco. The legend goes that they decided to build a city on the island because they saw the omen they were seeking: an eagle devouring a snake while perched on a nopal.

At its peak, it was the largest city in the pre-Columbian Americas. It subsequently became a cabecera of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Today, the ruins of Tenochtitlán are in the historic center of the Mexican capital. The World Heritage Site of Xochimilco contains what remains of the geography (water, boats, floating gardens) of the Mexica capital.

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Mexico Plunges 23 Places On The World Happiness Report As The Country Struggles To Bounce Back

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Mexico Plunges 23 Places On The World Happiness Report As The Country Struggles To Bounce Back

When it comes to international happiness rankings, Mexico has long done well in many measurements. In fact, in 2019, Mexico placed number 23 beating out every other Latin American country except for Costa Rica. But in 2020, things looks a lot different as the country slipped 23 spots on the list. What does this mean for Mexico and its residents? 

Mexico slips 23 spots on the World Happiness Report thanks to a variety of compelling factors.

Mexico plummeted 23 places to the 46th happiest nation in the world, according to the 2020 happiness rankings in the latest edition of the United Nations’ World Happiness Report. The coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on Mexicans’ happiness in 2020, the new report indicates.

“Covid-19 has shaken, taken, and reshaped lives everywhere,” the report noted, and that is especially true in Mexico, where almost 200,000 people have lost their lives to the disease and millions lost their jobs last year as the economy recorded its worst downturn since the Great Depression.

Based on results of the Gallup World Poll as well as an analysis of data related to the happiness impacts of Covid-19, Mexico’s score on the World Happiness Report index was 5.96, an 8% slump compared to its average score between 2017 and 2019 when its average ranking was 23rd.

The only nations that dropped more than Mexico – the worst country to be in during the pandemic, according to an analysis by the Bloomberg news agency – were El Salvador, the Philippines and Benin.

Mexico has struggled especially hard against the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Since the pandemic started, Mexico has fared far worse than many other countries across Latin America. Today, there are reports that Mexico has been undercounting and underreporting both the number of confirmed cases and the number of deaths. Given this reality, the country is 2nd worst in the world when it comes to number of suspected deaths, with more than 200,000 people dead. 

Could the happiness level have an impact on this year’s elections?

Given that Mexico’s decline in the rankings appears related to the severity of the coronavirus pandemic here, one might assume that the popularity of the federal government – which has been widely condemned for its management of the crisis from both a health and economic perspective – would take a hit.

But a poll published earlier this month found that 55.9% of respondents approved of President López Obrador’s management of the pandemic and 44% indicated that they would vote for the ruling Morena party if the election for federal deputies were held the day they were polled.

Support for Morena, which apparently got a shot in the arm from the national vaccination program even as it proceeded slowly, was more than four times higher than that for the two main opposition parties, the PAN and the PRI.

Still, Mexico’s slide in the happiness rankings could give López Obrador – who has claimed that ordinary Mexicans are happier with him in office – pause for thought.

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