Lafayette & the French Revolution

“I go to defend Liberty as a friend. The happiness of America is intimately tied to the happiness of all mankind. One day she will become the safe haven of tolerance, equality and peaceful liberty.” – The Marquis De Layfette, in a letter to his wife explaining why he wanted to go to America.

Via History.com

Via History.com

The French had helped us win the Revolution, but now their people were in trouble.  They had been taxed so much by their kings, kings who had borrowed way too much from foreign countries, that they were tapped out.  They saw what had happened in America. The ideals of Liberty, Equality, and Brotherhood took root.  Before long, the commoners had stormed the Bastille, and demanded the king give up much of his power and influence. The Marquis De Lafayette played a big role in the French Revolution. With a little help from his good friend Thomas Jefferson, Lafayette drafted the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, which became the French version of the American Declaration of Independence.

Later, Lafayette would be forced to flee France when Robispierre took over and delcared The Marquis to be an instrument of the royalty.  Eventually the new Emperor of France, Napoleon Bonaparte, got Lafayette out of jail in Austria and allowed him back in France.  This did NOT win Lafayette’s loyalty. To the contrary, Lafayette was opposed to Bonaparte’s rule, and helped overthrow him.

Resources:

http://www.ushistory.org/brandywine/special/marquis.htm

Lafayette Thanks Citizens Who Stormed the Bastille

The Marquis sent the key to the Bastille to Gen. George Washington.

Bio of Lafayette

Videos:

My boys loved this one by Horrible Histories:

My Diva loved this one:

Nobody liked this one, but I’ll include it here anyway: