In What Years Did Other Countries Invade Mexico?

Mexico was invaded by other countries in several years. 

Spain invaded in 1829, France in 1838, the United States in 1846, and France again in 1862.

Mexico declared its independence in 1821 but, despite the withdrawal of its armies, Spain did not recognize independence and starred in the first invasion of Mexican territory in 1829.

Chronology of invasions to Mexico

1- Invasion of Spain

In 1829, Spain sent an expedition to Mexican territory, led by Isidro Barradas.

Coming from Cuba, Barradas arrived at the port of Tampico. Tampico was at that time a port without much importance. 
The purpose was to recover the territories of New Spain for the crown, and from there to reconquer its former dominions.

On September 11, 1829 they were defeated by the forces commanded by Antonio López de Santa Anna.

2- First Invasion of France: the War of the Cakes

Bombardment of San Juan de Ulloa – Source: Théodore Gudin / Public domain

In 1827, Mexico entered into an agreement for Provisional Declarations with France. In this agreement the bases for the future arrangement of relations between the two countries were listed.

French merchants living in Mexico sent a series of claims to the French government through their ambassador, Baron Deffaudis.

One of those complaints was that of the owner of a restaurant, where some soldiers under Santa Anna’s command ate some cakes that they did not pay for.

For this reason it was called the War of the Cakes. In exchange, a compensation of 60 thousand pesos was demanded.

To all this, a French citizen accused of piracy was shot in Tampico, which further complicated the situation.

Deffaudis asks the Mexican government for a compensation of 600 thousand pesos. Upon receiving a negative answer, he returned to France.

He expected to return in March 1838 with ten warships. They anchored on the Isla de Sacrificios, in Veracruz, threatening to invade the country if the ultimatum was not complied with before April 15.

Bustamante, the Mexican president, refused to negotiate while there were ships in Veracruz. The French admiral in command of the fleet seized Mexican merchant ships, initiating a blockade that would last eight months. As of April 16, 1838, France and Mexico break off relations.

France did not allow other powers to enter the port. This is why England got involved in the conflict.

The mediator was the Englishman Richard Pakenham, who managed to reunite the Mexican representatives with the French.

On March 9, 1939, the peace agreement was signed. Mexico would pay the 600 thousand pesos of compensation for the damages to the merchants. France lifted the blockade and returned the seized vessels.

3- Invasion of the United States

The beginning coincides with the independence of Texas, which Mexico still considered its own.

The war began when the North American president James Knox Polk wanted to preserve the territory of Texas, sending an army to the border.
Upon entering the disputed territory, the army was attacked, serving as a pretext to declare war.

The invasion occurred on several fronts: through the territory of Alta California, through the territory of New Mexico, through Tamaulipas and through Nuevo León. But the most important contingent landed in Veracruz and advanced to the capital of Mexico.

After the occupation of several states and the maritime blockade of the ports, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed.

Mexico recognized the independence of Texas and ceded the territories of Alta California and New Mexico to the United States. As compensation for war damages, the United States would pay the sum of 15 million dollars.

4- Second invasion of France

Second French intervention in Mexico
Flag of the Second Mexican Empire

In 1861, Mexican President Benito Juárez announced the suspension of payment of the foreign debt. France, Spain and Great Britain, his creditors, announced that they would send troops to Mexico to collect their debts.

In 1862 the alliance troops arrived in Veracruz to negotiate with the government. The representatives of Great Britain and Spain vote not to advance, but the French decide to take Mexico. 

Advancing from the coast, with some setbacks, they came to occupy Mexico City on June 10, 1863.

In 1866, before the imminent war between France and Prussia, the French soldiers began to withdraw. At the same time, Mexican conservatives based in Europe began negotiations to install a monarchy in Mexico, taking advantage of the French occupation.

In 1863, Maximilian of Habsburg and his wife Carlota of Belgium accept the office of monarchs. That same year they embarked for Mexico and were crowned emperors.

They hold that position until 1867, when Maximiliano is captured by Republican forces and shot in Santiago de Querétaro. This is the end of the monarchy.


  1. “North American Invasion of Mexico (1846-1848)” in Saber sin fin (November 2011). Recovered in September 2017 in Saber sin fin from:
  2. “Second French intervention in Mexico” in Universal History. Recovered in September 2017 in Universal History from:
  3. “The war of cakes – First French intervention in Mexico” in History of Mexico. Recovered in September 2017 in History of Mexico from:
  4. “The war of cakes” in History of Mexico. Recovered in September 2017 in History of Mexico from:

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