People often find justifications for war in the smallest details, but for a war to break out because of a pastry shop, this is what many may not believe.

Although the name of this war may bring to mind the comic cartoon scenes in which the heroes of the film throw cakes and pies at each other, the Pancake War (1838-1839) between France and Mexico was an event of international blackmail that claimed many lives.

How was Mexico at that time?

After Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821, it entered a period of internal and external strife.

Internally, the dispute over the government's structure has led to widespread unrest.

In the face of this inner chaos, the destruction and looting of private property was common and frequent.

The victims of these criminal operations were left without any representative or body to defend them and punish the perpetrators.

Even the foreigners who settled in Mexico at that time were not spared the effects of this chaos, so they turned to their governments for support and protection in the troubled Mexico.

Tense relationship with France

Externally, Mexico has struggled to obtain international recognition of its independence and has sought to develop its diplomatic relations with other countries.

The relationship with France was particularly tense, for several reasons, as Mexico, after its independence, remained allied with Spain.

Because of this alliance, then King Louis XVIII of France refused to recognize Mexico as a sovereign state.

Then France finally recognized Mexico and established diplomatic relations with it in 1830 with the arrival of Louis-Philippe to power.

Soon, France became Mexico's third largest trading partner.

Despite this development, the tension between the two countries was high, with the Mexicans raising taxes on French goods compared to trade deals with the United States and Britain, and the Mexican authority was unable to pay its previous debts to France.

These are the things that paved the way for the outbreak of a war that falls among the "dumber wars in the world", according to the historical site "History".

Monsieur Rimontel's pastry and pastry shop was looted and vandalized following a military coup against Mexican President Manuel Gómez Pedraza (Pixabe)

The 'idiot' reason is well exploited

The story began in 1828, when looting and destruction erupted in Mexico following a military coup against President Manuel Gómez Pedraza, and the arrival of local governor Lorenzo de Zavala to power after days of fighting in the capital, Mexico City.

Angry crowds and military soldiers destroyed and looted large parts of the capital.

One of the victims of the riots was a French expatriate chef named Monsieur Rimontel, whose small cafe for pastries and pastries was looted and vandalized.

Mexican officials ignored his complaint and his request to the government to compensate him for 60,000 pesos worth of his shop.

This was quite exaggerated and retaliatory, equating to 165 years of wages for the average worker at the time.

In contrast, the actual estimated value of the Rimontel store was about 1,000 pesos at most, according to the History of Yesterday website.

As the Mexican government continued to refuse his request, he submitted his complaint to the French government.

There his request remained unnoticed until a decade later, when the case caught the attention of King Louis-Philippe.

The king was already angry that Mexico had failed to repay loans owed in the millions to France, and demanded that they pay 600,000 pesos to compensate the pastry chef for his "losses", doubling the chef's number as a further punishment.

When the Mexicans declined to deliver such an amount at the time, Luis Philippe declared the unexpected: war.

Siege of Mexico until surrender

On April 16, 1838, France began a tight siege of the city and port of Veracruz.

With it, the bulk of Mexican foreign trade was cut off.

Then-Mexican President Anastasio Bustamante doubled down on his refusal to pay, insisting that Mexico would not pay a single peso unless the blockade was lifted.

In October 1838, a French fleet arrived in Mexico and ships began bombarding the fortress of San Juan de Ulloa.

Some small side battles ensued, and by December as many as 250 Mexican soldiers had been killed, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

Painting of the Pastry War in Mexico in the 19th century (Getty Images)

The unfortunate end of the war

The fighting finally ended in March 1839, when the British government brokered a peace agreement between the two countries.

After 7 months of siege and occupation of Veracruz, the Mexican economy was in dire straits, with thousands of pesos bleeding daily as the main port of commerce was damaged.

So Mexico turned to Britain, agreed to the terms, and as part of the treaty the Mexicans were actually forced to cash 600,000 pesos, undoubtedly a large sum for a sweet shop at the time.

After emptying the treasury and draining the state financially by destroying its main source of the economy, France permanently left Mexico, leaving behind a devastated country.

With an economy in disarray and an army too weak to resist, Mexico descended further into chaos and was captured by the United States in 1846, annexing half of Mexico's territory by force.

The unfortunate "cake war" that broke out over a French bakery shop robbery thus becomes one of the most "stupid wars" in history, and has changed the landscape of Mexico to this day.

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