Monday, March 15, 2021

A Brief History of Los San Patricios

 

Comandante John Riley bust in the Plaza San Jacinto, San Angel quarter, Mexico City.
Osioni, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Saint Patrick's Day is coming up on Wednesday. Are you looking for print-and-go resources for your young students? I have a few, which I will list below. 

But first, I want to draw your attention to the image above. It is a bust of Commander John Patrick Riley. He was an Irish soldier in the British Army who emigrated to the United States and enlisted in the United States Army. During the Mexican–American War of 1846–1848, Riley led a number of other Irish Catholics in the ranks who defected to Mexico, where they formed the Saint Patrick's Battalion in the Mexican Army.

This group of about 200 Irishmen who deserted the U.S. army during the US-Mexican War are known as Los San Patricios. Historians argue over the reason why the San Patricios decided to side with Mexico, but many believe the Irish sympathized with the Mexicans, whose Catholic religion was the same as theirs, and whose situation with the U.S. bore striking similarities to their own native Ireland and its British neighbors.

Here is an excellent history lesson by The History Guy for older students (and parents!) about this remarkable group. (You'll have to forgive his bad Spanish pronunciations.)


You may also like this short video by the BBC:


You may also really enjoy this video of St Patrick's Battalion Pipes & Drums during the St. Patrick's Day parade in Mexico City.


The St. Patrick's Day Bilingual Printables



A Brief History of Los San Patricios
One-Page Reading Passage w/ Quiz





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