What Was the Pastry War of 1838-1839?

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In November 1938, Mexico and France engaged in a war, termed as The Pastry War. There was a claim that since Mexico had gotten independence, loss of property and death of the French nationals had risen. Rebels and the government of Mexico had gotten into a fight leading to unrest and insecurity in the cities and main business centers The French government thus began blocking Mexicos major seaport part of which brewed the war. Rampant looting had been experienced including a raid of a renowned bakery, which had undergone a loss of in supply of pastry estimated to 60000 pesos, owned by a French national referred to as Remontel. The bakery owner alongside the French government had requested compensation from the Mexican government which accumulated to around 600,000 pesos. Mexico found it hard to settle the claims, and this pushed for an attack by France. Looting of the Bakery stirred the rising animosity after it was published in a journal hence the title, The Pastry War. The bakery owner got a friendly ear from Paris in France capital.

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Mexico equally had loans from the French government and could not settle all of them. Their economy was still weak, and all the claims from debtors got a little assurance of payment. The wrangle continued for weeks and rose to the peak when France requested for pay out of 600000 far away from the debt to also cater for the property they had lost during from the raids and property destructions. However, Mexico asked for the withdrawal of the French fleets before they could settle any debt. Negotiations began but ended unexpectedly as Mexico demanded a withdrawal of the blockade. France got impatient and made an attack on one of the Mexican fortresses. France deployed warships to the coast of Mexico which bombarded the islands of San Juan de Ulua. San Juan was a fortress that guarded the city of Veracruz (Stacy, p. 846). The action resulted in a war declaration by Mexico. It was a war between 30000 Frenchmen and up to 3000 troops from Mexico. The number prompted Mexico to an early win which never lasted to the end as they were compelled to retreat.

Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna a president who had lost a war leading to independence of Texas returned when the war was just brewing and rushed to Veracruz to pilot its protection. He had resigned from the presidency after losing Texas in 1836 and only claimed to resume when it was fit for him to do so. His troops were rooted by the strong Frenchmen forces, and they were forced to return to the city. Fortunate for him, he turned a hero after he lost his leg, which he requested an honorary burial of, and had also managed to hold France forces for a short period. It paved his way back to the presidency and remained a political figure till 1855. Mexico was running bankrupt since they depended on the customs from the French bakery forcing them to retreat (David & Emily, p. 283)

The Pastry War came to an in March 1939 end when the English intervened and asked Mexico to pay their debts to France of which they agreed to. France retrieved its forces and fresh talks were established between the two nations. France re-established their investments after the compensation.

Work cited

Edmonds-Poli, Emily, & David A. Shirk. Contemporary Mexican Politics. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009. p.283. Print.

Stacy, Lee. Mexico and the United States. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2003.p 846. Print

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