Marquisde Lafayette's Role In America's Independence

684 words - 3 pages

How could a Frenchman play a vital role in America’s independence? Marquis de Lafayette was born in Chavaniac in 1757, and died in Paris in 1834. He was a French general and political leader who passionately supported the American Revolution, even before France had made an alliance with the United States. The Continental Congress appointed him as major general in 1777. Lafayette was injured at Brandywine in September 1777, and endured the cruel winter at Valley Forge with Washington and his troops. He died in 1834 of pneumonia.

Marie Jean Paul Joseph Roche Yves Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette was born on September 6, 1757 into a noble military family. Lafayette’s father was killed during the Seven Year’s War, and his Mother and Grandmother both died in 1770, leaving him very wealthy in inheritance. In 1771, he joined the Royal Army for France, and in 1773 he married a 14-year-old Marie Adrienne Françoise de Noailles. He fled France during the French Revolution, and, inspired by tales of how the American colonies were fighting for their independence from Great Britain, he went to the newborn nation and joined the uprising in 1777.

He was initially rejected by colonial leaders, but he impressed them his passion and willingness to serve without pay, and was appointed a major-general in the Continental Army. His first major battle was at the Battle of Brandywine, where he was shot in the leg while helping to organize a retreat. General George Washington told the doctors to take special care of Lafayette in the infirmary, sparking a strong friendship between the two that lasted until their deaths. Following the winter at Valley Forge with Washington, Lafayette proved himself as an excellent leader when he helped draw more French resources to the colonies. In 1778, he outsmarted the British sent to capture him at Bunker Hill (Later renamed Lafayette Hill), and rallied a Continental attack at the Monmouth Courthouse that resulted in a stalemate. After returning to France to pressure King...

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