The First French Intervention in Mexico
The Pastry War, a minor conflict between Mexico and France, took place from 1838 to 1839. The conflict arose from the claim of a French pastry cook, whose last name was Remontel and who lived in Tacubaya, a neighborhood in Mexico City, that some Mexican army officers had damaged his restaurant and had eaten all the pastries. However, the conflict escalated quickly as more French people in Mexico began denouncing looting and damages to their businesses during the Revolution and other conflicts and compensation claims increased. A number of foreign powers had been pressing the Mexican government without success to pay for losses that some of their nationals claimed they had suffered during several years of civil disturbances. France decided to back up the demand for MXN $600,000 by sending a fleet to Veracruz, the principal Mexican port on the Gulf of Mexico. After bombarding the fortress of San Juan de Ulúa, located on a reef outside the harbor, and occupying the city on April 16, 1838, the French won a guarantee of payment through the good offices of Great Britain and withdrew their fleet on March 9, 1839.