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Marquis de Lafayette - Essay Example

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Marquis De Lafayette Marquis de Lafayette was a French general and political leader who devotedly played a major role in the establishment of America’s democracy. Lafayette was hailed as a Hero of Two Worlds and he became a household name and an admirable man by Americans…
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Marquis de Lafayette

Download file to see previous pages... It is unfortunate that Lafayette’s extraordinary accomplishments have faded from memory and that the thorniest issues he tackled such as racism, slavery, class difference, religious intolerance are still seen as major challenges in both America and France. On July 31, 1777, the Continental Congress introduced Lafayette, 19 to George Washington after Washington had taken command of the Colonial Army two years before and there were few foreigners interested in the American cause. Although the Congress told Washington that Lafayette’s commission was purely honorific, he was not informed about it and Washington complained about Lafayette’s expected command of a division. This made the success of American Revolution in doubt and for more than a year, there were only two critical victories in Trenton and Princeton and the army only succeeded at evasion and retreat. Washington was worried that perhaps Philadelphia could fall to the enemies and therefore the only thing he had was the young French teenager, Lafayette (Gaines Web). Earl explains that Washington was later given a leeway on making decision regarding Lafayette’s role in the war and by September, he was riding with Washington into battle where he was wounded at Brandywine Creek (85-89). Washington’s personal physician then attended him and the history tells that Washington believed in Lafayette as a son and Lafayette treated him as a father. He treated Lafayette with fatherly tenderness however, the two men sometimes differed and could work against one another and their interaction symbolizes problematic relations between their two countries. Nevertheless, the friendship between the two continued for all the time Washington lived despite challenges and this friendship can be linked with the implausible French-American relationship. Lafayette always showed his sincere devotion and support of Washington, which made him seek for Washington’s approval before carrying out any military duty (“New-York Historical Society” Web). Volunteering to aid America in their quest to secure independence was a crucial role that Lafayette played in a foreign nation. Learning that the British troops had evacuated Philadelphia, on June 19, 1778, Washington commanded his men to pursue the British across New Jersey and Lafayette advised Washington to send more soldiers to attack the rear of the British. Lafayette, alongside other officers including Wayne and Green explained that the general attack should be initiated if the results were favourable and Washington agreed to the plan. Lafayette then asked Lee who had initially been offered the command but contemplated disaster to let him lead the command. With Washington approval, Lafayette took the command and advanced to meet the British troops but upon further consideration, lee felt that Lafayette’s success might tarnish his name against the congress (“New-York Historical Society” Web). Nevertheless, Lafayette refused to relinquish the command and he promised that he would only resign the command in favour of Lee if he does not find the enemy of which he did in the evening and lee assumed the charge of the division. Unfortunately, Washington and his men caught up with the British the following day thus prompting him to order lee to attack the enemy and that he would advance with other men to defeat the enemy. Surprisingly, upon ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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