Cake War definition/causes/characters/effects/winner

Cake War (1838 – 1839)

During the 19th century, Mexico was considered one of the most important countries in the American continent in an economic sense. In fact, it had prominent business deals with European countries. This distinction that marked the American country did not go unnoticed. Cake War definition

The cake war is developed as an economic measure that seized a rich and advanced country in trade in a nation that was slow to recover from the attack it received.

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What was the cake war?

It was the war that took place between 1838 and 1839 in which the countries of France and Mexico faced each other . In fact, it is known historically as the First Intervention of France in Mexico . This war event was the end of the attempt of the European country to block the economy of the American country. It is noteworthy that similar strategies had already worked with other countries in America, such as Argentina. However, the attack that Mexico received and, therefore, the economic blockade that it endured for just over three months was synonymous with regression and more poverty.

Causes of the cake war

Although in 1821 Mexico achieved independence from Spain, the country was in a state of instability. These circumstances of disorder began to cause numerous internal conflicts. In the midst of the great anarchy that reigned over Mexico, different factions began to compete with each other to seize power . These circumstances of political, economic and demographic disorder were noted not only internally, but also internationally.

On the other hand, in 1828 a conflict arose between President Guadalupe Victoria and Governor Lorenzo Zavala . These confrontations gave the victory to Zavala, being under the presidency of Mexico Vicente Guerrero. In the midst of these confrontations and riots, many merchants were affected, both Mexican and foreign. This situation caused great discomfort among the merchants because they did not receive any type of material compensation. Cake War definition

Among those affected were merchants of French nationality , who repeatedly expressed their complaints to Baron Deffaudis, who was serving as French ambassador to Mexico.

The complaints of the French merchants bothered Baron Deffaudis, who tried to solve the injustices that his compatriots were suffering without any success. One of the merchants who was most energetic in his denunciations was a pastry chef named Remontel, who owned a business in Tacubaya, in Mexico City.

Remontel demanded compensation from the government for the damages received from Mexican officials , who had broken into his trade and after eating a large quantity of cakes, left without paying. This is why the conflict between Mexico and France, which began on April 16, 1838, is known as the war of cakes.

Cake War Characters

Among the main characters who led the cake war we find:

  • Anastasio Bustamante : He served as a military man and a politician . In addition , he served as president of Mexico for three different terms . In addition, he was an active participant in the independence movements of his country, obtaining victory. His presidential terms were marked by the repression of foreign organizations, the press and anyone who opposed his mandate. It constituted what became known as the Centralist Republic.
  • Luis Felipe I of France : He was king of France from the year 1830 . During his reign three things developed: industry, the bourgeois class and the working class. He was heavily involved in the revolution movements of his country, continuing the family traditionIn 1838 he starred in the cake war in Mexico, by interrupting the port activity of the American country . Eventually, his government fell into decline due to economic and political problems that led to Luis Felipe being overthrown. Cake War definition

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Development of the cake war

The military conflict began on November 21, 1838 . On this date, a group of French military ships attacked the port of Veracruz and the fort of San Juan de Ulúa. For its part, the Mexican government did not admit defeat, rather declared war on the European country. Therefore, they placed Santa Anna to lead the battle.

On the other hand, the French side sent Baudin, who had an army of about a thousand soldiers on the ground who were approaching the Mexican lines. During this altercation, neither side was the winner. However, the French retreated to their respective warships, while the Mexican soldiers pursued them. The pursuit stopped because when the Mexicans reached the area where the French fleet was located, they fired their cannons, wounding the American leader .

Next, the French ships began to attack the city and to carry out a blockade that had strong repercussions on the Mexican economy. Left with no way out in the face of the situation they faced, the British government intervened between the fighting nations . Cake War definition


After beginning the attack and, therefore, the blockade against Mexico, France managed to corner them. The problem was that they had no way of obtaining sufficient resources. They tried to smuggle, using the Texas pass. However, the fear that they too would be victims of the French aggression forced Texans to stop any kind of smuggling crime, which left Mexico without alternatives in the economic field. For this reason, the King of France and his army won this war. Reaching a peace pact on March 9, 1839 .


  • By the time the cake war unfolded, Mexico was an important point in the economy on the American continent. In fact, it was one of the most important suppliers for countries like England. Therefore, when the attack on the American country was presented, the English were forced to intervene .
  • It left a balance of more than a hundred wounded and ninety dead .
  • For the French, this conflict meant that they had to return the fleet of warships that they had captured that belonged to the Mexican navy.
  • The peace agreement had serious economic repercussions. The government of France demanded that Mexico cancel the total of 600,000 pesos due to all damages that those French citizens with residence in Mexico had received . These measures represented a crisis for Mexicans that slowed down the recovery that the city of Veracruz had suffered during the attack by France.
  • For about twenty years France exercised a power in the economy of Mexico.
  • The cake war allowed Santa Anna to develop an important role as a military leader . His participation in this conflict allowed him to be a recognized character, to later become president and dictator of the country. Although he had been on the side that was defeated, his participation credited him with sufficient credentials to be an important figure in Mexico. Cake War definition

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