Debt repayment

— 1861 Mexican Patriotic War

since ancient times, the road of independence and freedom of a weak and small country has always been full of thorns and difficulties.

“geographical location map of Mexico

it is said that long ago, the Aztec people living in northern Mexico, inspired by the sun god, migrated all the way south. When they saw an eagle standing on a cactus with a snake in its mouth, they could settle and start businesses there, and the tribe would prosper and the economy would prosper. The Aztec people, led by the leader tenoch, led by a hummingbird from north to south, finally came to the Bank of Tesco Lake in 1325. There is a desert island in the center of the lake, with reeds, fragrant flowers and lush grass. After they went to the island, they found that at the intersection of the Red River and the blue river stood a huge stone with a vigorous cactus on it. A vigorous eagle was standing on the cactus and pecking at a long snake. They settled here, filling land and building embankments, connecting islands and land, and named “Mexico”, which means the center of moon lake.

September 16, 1847, Mexican national hero Juarez and the Mexican people look forward to the future: “There will be peace and harmony between us, and our motherland will eventually become a paradise of glory, restraint and justice. At that time, the sacred tree of freedom will take deep roots, and our children and grandchildren will rest happily in the shade of this leafy tree and send us eternal thanks.”

however, the God of luck did not pay so much attention to “disaster prone” Mexico as expected.

after six years of bourgeois revolution and civil strife, the Liberal government of Juarez (previously interim president) who was elected president in June 1861 was in a very difficult situation. Years of continuous war exhausted the country’s wealth, agricultural decline and commercial depression, and the millions of pesos gained from the sale of confiscated monk property soon ran out. In the fiscal year 1860-1861, the national budget deficit was more than 5 million pesos, and the government even lacked money to maintain and arm the army.

in this case, the government is unable to pay the interest on the harsh foreign debt borrowed by previous governments, because these interest amounts to 14% of the total national budget. On July 17, 1861, Congress decided to stop paying foreign debt for two years, so as to give the country even a short respite.

Mexico’s move aroused strong dissatisfaction from European powers. Britain, France and Spain immediately signed the London Agreement on October 31, 1861, formulated a common plan for armed intervention in Mexico, and prepared to jointly launch a war of aggression against Mexico under the pretext of protecting the economic interests of European countries and repaying the debts of European countries. “Keeping Juarez in power means making the whole expedition ineffective,” the times said in an editorial in 1862 Marx once condemned this as “one of the most ferocious activities” in international history and regarded the alliance of Britain, France and Spain as a new “sacred alliance”.

on December 18, 1861, the joint expeditionary forces of Britain, France and Spain successively arrived in Mexico and occupied the city of Veracruz. The commander-in-chief of the expeditionary force, field marshal prim of Spain, and the representative began to hypocritically claim that “the only purpose of the expeditionary force is to ask for debt”, “do not mention territorial claims”, “do not harm the free right of the Mexican people to choose and establish a regime”, and so on. At first, Juarez believed that it was Mexico’s debt delay that led to the invasion of the joint expeditionary force, so he kindly hoped to resolve their disputes through negotiation. In order to show sincerity, when the joint expeditionary force was threatened by the plague, the Juarez government also specially relocated the camp for them, and moved some joint expeditionary forces to the mainland.

this is simply a replica of the story of “Mr. Dongguo and the wolf”.

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after the negotiation of the Juarez government and France’s efforts to monopolize Mexico, the representatives of the four countries finally signed a preliminary agreement in La Grande on February 19, 1862, stipulating the continuation of negotiations in order to properly solve the diplomatic victory of the three countries over Mexico.

the governments of Britain and Spain agreed with the lasso ledade agreement and withdrew in April 1862. However, France still adheres to the policy of aggression, its attitude is arrogant and tough, puts forward many unreasonable demands, and intervenes in Mexico’s politics, economy and military for many times.

when the Mexican government realized that a large-scale war with France was obviously inevitable, the Mexican government issued an order on April 12, 1862, declaring that all areas occupied by the French army were under special martial law. Mexicans aged from 20 to 60 all take up arms to resist foreign enemies.

on April 16, 1862, the Mexican special envoy of the French government announced that France was in a state of war with the Juarez government and called on all Mexicans to “unite around the French flag in order to obtain a solid government for their country.” The next day, the conservative general Almont issued a similar declaration, and the French soon recognized him as “the interim supreme head of the Mexican nation”. On April 19, the French and Mexican armies began fighting. General Zaragoza of Mexico led his troops to defend the city of Puebla against the attack of the French army. In the defense battle on May 5, the heroic Mexican army annihilated more than 1000 enemies. In 1862, the deployment was adjusted and Frey was appointed as the commander-in-chief of the expeditionary army, and the military strength increased to 34000. Until May 17, 1863, after paying a heavy price of 4000 casualties, the French army finally captured Puebla and opened the road to the capital Mexico. The Juarez government was forced to withdraw from Mexico City. In early June of that year, the French army entered Mexico City, occupied the main ports at that time (Veracruz, Tampico, etc.), declared Mexico a monarchy, and supported a puppet Maximilian as the emperor of Mexico.

this makes the Juarez government lose tariff revenue and its financial situation more difficult. Against foreign invaders