What's it all about? The origination for Cinco De Mayo, The Fifth Of May, commemorates the defeat of the French army by the Mexicans at The Battle Of Puebla in 1862. During this period Mexico had accumulated heavy debts to several nations, including Spain, England and France, who were demanding payment. When Mexico finally stopped making any payment, France, eager to add to its empire, decided to establish its own leadership in Mexico by installing Napoleon's relative, Archduke Maximillian, as ruler of Mexico. France invaded the Gulf coast of Mexico and began to march towards Mexico City.