LaFayette - Jack Jokinen History 201 12.3.2005 Lafayette,...

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Jack Jokinen History 201 12.3.2005 Lafayette, and French Participation in the Revolutionary War In recent years, the French have become the target of American criticism. After publicly opposing the War in Iraq, France epitomized the significant number of nations that disagreed with the United States’ foreign policy. While many Americans are quick to point out that French people would be speaking German had it not been for the U.S. military action in WWII, they are even quicker to forget that the French were vital in the war for American independence. In fact, if it weren’t for the French, we may still be paying taxes to Queen Elizabeth. The French participation in the American Revolution was embodied by Marquis de Lafayette, one of only six people to be granted honorary U.S. citizenship (Winston Churchill and William Penn are among the others). Lafayette was the son of a wealthy French general, Michel Roche Gilbert du Motier. He was highly regarded in French society, serving many years in the French army. But during his service in the French military, Lafayette fell in love with the plight of the Americans: “my heart was enrolled in it”, he later wrote in his memoirs. Through an American agent in Paris, Silas Deane, Lafayette reached an agreement to enlist in the U.S. army, hold a very high rank, and hopefully command a significantly sized military force. Such an arrangement was unprecedented; Congress had
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never before allowed a foreigner to hold such a high rank without prior service in the American military. Many in congress thought it would be unfair to those would had worked their way through the ranks, and earned the position the hard way. Nevertheless, Lafayette’s proposal was approved, based on the fact that he would
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course HIST 201 taught by Professor ??? during the Fall '05 term at Drexel.

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LaFayette - Jack Jokinen History 201 12.3.2005 Lafayette,...

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