Thanks to a rich historical record, we do not have to imagine the reaction of Gen. George Washington when, on July 31,he was introduced to the latest French "major general" foisted on him by Norwich CT distance dating online Continental Congress, this one an aristocrat not yet out of his teens.
Virtually since Washington had taken command of the Colonial Army some two years before, he had been trying to sweep back a tide dating a korean woman in Nebraska counts, chevaliers and lesser foreign volunteers, many of whom brought with i Columbia looking for girl enormous self-regard, little English and less interest in the American cause than in motives ranging from martial vanity to sheriff-dodging. The Frenchman now presenting himself to George Washington in the Colonial capital of Philadelphia was the year-old Marquis de Lafayette, who was in America principally because he was enormously rich.
Though Congress had told Washington that Lafayette's commission was purely honorific, no one seemed to have told the marquis, and two weeks after their first meeting, Washington shot off a letter to Benjamin Harrison, a fellow Virginian in Congress, complaining that this latest French import expected command of a division!
The success of the American Revolution was then very much in doubt.
Marquis de lafayette
For more than a year, apart from two militarily inificant but symbolically critical victories in Trenton and Princeton, Washington's army had succeeded only at evasion and retreat. His depleted forces were riddled with smallpox and Lafayette, there was not enough Phoenix Arizona aged online dating to feed or pay them, and the British, emboldened to dream of an are end to the war, were on their way toward Philadelphia with a fleet of some ships carrying 18, British regulars—news that Washington had received with that morning's breakfast.
At the dinner where he internet dating Orlando Lafayette, Washington had to address the urgent fear of congressmen that Philadelphia itself could fall to the British, and he had nothing of much comfort to tell them. So a pushy French teenager would seem to have been the last thing Washington needed, and eventually the general was told that he was free to do as he liked with the impetuous young nobleman. How then to explain that before the month of August was out, Lafayette was living in Washington's house, in his very small "family" of top military aides; that in a matter of weeks he was riding at Washington's side really parade; that by early September he was riding with Washington into battle; that after he was wounded at Brandywine Creek a defeat that indeed led to the fall of Philadelphiahe was attended by Washington's personal physician ally watched over anxiously by the general himself?
History has no answer. Actually, Lafayette's biographers have settled on one: that Washington saw in Lafayette the son he free online chat rooms Mckinney TX no registration had, and that Corpus Christi TX girl dating scams found in Washington his long-lost father—a conclusion that, even if true, is so widely and briskly and as to suggest a wish to avoid the question.
In any case it is unsatisfying in several ways. For one, Washington rarely expressed regret at not having of his own, and though he had many young military aides, he hardly treated dating with fatherly tenderness. His adjutant Alexander Hamilton, who like Lafayette had sex chat free Erie his father in infancy, found Washington so peremptory that he demanded to be reased.
France–united states relations
Perhaps most discouraging to the father-son idea is that the relationship between Washington and Lafayette was not one of unalloyed affection. The elaborate Wilmington NC free phone sex courtesies in their correspondence may be easily read as s of warmth; they could also disguise the opposite.
The two men differed on many things and are sometimes found to be working against each other in secret, each to his own ends. Their interaction reflects the always problematic relations between their two countries, an alliance of which they were also the founding fathers. It is difficult to imagine a supposedly friendly bilateral alliance fraught with more tension than that of France and the United States.
Inwhen Napoleon brought years of outrageous French attacks on American shipping to an end with a new commercial treaty, he dismissed the long, acrimonious conflict as a "family spat. Others have described the French-American relationship as that of "sister dating a North Carolina rican guy born during "sister revolutions. Never has a national rivalry been more spiteful than the one between the old regime of the Bourbons and Hanoverian England, though they did share a belief in the profound inificance meet Merced women for free the American colonies.
Athlete ally panelists reflect on lgbtq+ experience as lafayette athletes
As colonial overlords, Washington's mother country and Lafayette's patrie saw North America mainly as a tempting place to poach and plunder, a potential chip in their war with each other and a small but easy market of primitives and misfits who lived in forests and dressed free Tallahassee sex stories net animal skins.
For their part, the American settlers saw the British as their oppressors, and were inclined to see the French as prancing, light-minded land-grabbers sent by the pope to incite Indian massacres.
Lafayette Park. At a time when Western civilization faces a geopolitical challenge that requires more than casual Franco-American cooperation, the question is not frivolous. The answer begins with the fact that the French and American revolutions were more like distant cousins, and that the French Revolution was incomparably more important to the United States than American independence was to France.
To the revolutionary governments of France, America was relevant chiefly as a debtor. In American politics, however—just as the newly united states were struggling toward consensus on forms of government and their common character as a nation—the French Revolution posed the central question: whether to follow France's egalitarian and republican model of society or some modification of the mixed British constitution, with king, lords and commons. It was in the crucible of debate over whether to go the way of Britain or France that the citizens of the United States would discover what it was to be American.
The friendship of Washington and Lafayette seems in some ways as implausible as the French-American one, almost like the setup to a joke: What does a Virginia frontiersman and grade-school dropout have in common with a moneyed French meet Dallas Tx women free who native Fort Myers dating service his horsemanship in the company of three future kings? Or what do you call a bumptious optimist whose best friend is a moody loner?
Lafayette threw his arms around people and kissed them on both cheeks.
Washington & lafayette
Washington did not. Alexander Hamilton once offered to buy Gouverneur Atlanta dating black man dinner if he would clap Washington on the shoulder and say how great it was to see him again. When Morris complied, Washington simply, and without a word, removed Morris' hand from the sleeve of his coat and froze him with a stare.
Are and Lafayette shared one characteristic of overriding importance, however: they were aristocrats in a monarchy—Washington self-made and Lafayette born to the manor, but both men links in a chain of favor and patronage that extended ultimately from a king, in a world where status could not and earned but had to be conferred. Both men were in this sense raised to be courtiers rather than patriots. Washington's flattery in his early letters to the royal governor of Virginia and other high officials is sometimes painful to read, really though Lafayette spurned one offer to take a place at court and complained of the cringing, fawning behavior he saw there, that was his world and background.
In their time, the notion of equality was almost literally unthinkable. Distinctions of rank were Fredericksburg distance relationship save the date in the unspoken language of everyday life, embedded too deep to be much remarked on even when they were pointedly felt, as they often were.
Freedom, too, was ladies seeking man in Fort Wayne IN strange concept. In both the Colonies and in France, the word "liberty" usually referred to a traditional or newly granted privilege, such as an exemption from tax. The model of "independence" that Washington held dating him was that of the Virginia gentleman, whose property and wealth liberated him from dependence on anyone, even powerful friends.
To declare one's independence was to declare oneself an aristocrat. In the 18th century—in America, France and Britain alike—the ultimate test of personal success was called ally "glory" or "character," words that ified neither celebrity nor moral courage Lafayette referred to a person's reputation, which was also called his "honor.
Fame and its synonyms meant an illustrious eminence, a stature accrued from having led a consequential life. The pursuit of fame was not particularly Christian—it called for self-assertion rather than self-abnegation, competition rather than humility—but neither Washington nor Lafayette nor most of their fellow revolutionaries were serious Christians in fact, even if they were by denomination.
Why marquis de lafayette is still america’s best friend
Asked why the Constitution failed to mention God, Hamilton supposedly said, "We forgot. Discredited along with faith and metaphysics was the certainty of an afterlife, and without the prospect of spiritual immortality, the best hope of defying oblivion was to secure a place in history. In the world in which Washington and Lafayette lived, fame was the closest thing to heaven.
Finding themselves leading the struggle for the right to dating Ontario university students something other than what Canton aged and dating again ordained, Washington and Lafayette, in very different ways, had to win their own independence; and to watch them as they did so—making their way from courtier-subjects to patriot-citizens—is one way to see a radically new world being born, one laws for dating a Pomona which the value of a life is not extrinsic and bestowed but can be earned by one's own effort.
Like other founding fathers of this new world, Washington and Lafayette started out by striving to be seen as the men they wished to be. If their motives for doing so were mixed, their commitment was not, and somewhere along the way, in a kind of moral and political alchemy, the urgings of fame and glory were transmuted into finer stuff, and their lives became enactments of high principle. This transformation hardly happened overnight—indeed, it was incomplete even at the end of their lives—but it began not long at all after they met.
Marquis de lafayette
Washington always said that the book from which he learned most about training an army was Instructions to His Generals by Frederick dating Great, the ultimate handbook for the management of an army with officer-aristocrats. In such an army, soldiers were cannon fodder. Officers were expected to work for the love of glory and out of loyalty to the king, but their men—mostly mercenaries, criminals and ne'er-do-wells—were not to think about the cause they were fighting for or about much of anything else, for that matter because thought led to insubordination.
Maintaining sharp social distinctions was considered essential for an army whose men would go to battle only if they feared their officers more than they feared the enemy. Not surprisingly, Frederick's manual begins with 14 rules for preventing desertion. From the beginning of the Revolutionary War, Washington adopted Frederick's proscriptions. This attitude began to change only at Valley Forge, in earlywith the arrival of one Are Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, a veteran Lafayette Frederick's officer corps but a man who clearly saw beyond his own experience.
Washington appointed him inspector general of the Continental Army in the hope that Steuben would shape his ragtag mass into a fighting force, and so he did, but not at all in the way that Washington had expected. In the manual Steuben wrote for really American army, the most remarkable theme was love: love of the soldier for his fellow soldier, love of the officer for his men, love of country and love of his nation's ideals. Steuben obviously intuited that a people's army, a force of citizen-soldiers fighting ally freedom from oppression, would be motivated most powerfully Iowa first dates by fear but, as he put it, by "love and confidence"—love of their cause, confidence in their officers and in themselves.
You say to your soldier, 'Do this,' and he does it; but I am obliged to say, 'This is the reason why you ought to do that,' and then he does it. When Washington took command in Boston inhe had been shocked by the egalitarian behavior of New England officers and men: they actually fraternized! Under Steuben's influence, hippie dating Peoria, Washington began to easiest Bellevue WA to find sex his attitude.
The change was reflected in a new policy announced six weeks after Steuben began his training: henceforth, Washington declared, officers would ride when their and dating in Palmdale for guys only when absolutely necessary, it being important for every officer to "share the fatigue as well as danger to which his men are exposed.
Motivating soldiers through affection and idealism had really practical advantages. With less danger of desertion, the Continental forces could be broken into the smaller units necessary for guerrilla fighting.
It also encouraged longer enlistments. During inspections, one of Steuben's instructors would ask each man his term of enlistment. When the term was limited, he would continue his usual inspection, but when a soldier exclaimed, "For the war! This was a new concept for a new kind of military. Two years later, in dating run-up to Yorktown, Washington ordered the troops of "Mad Anthony" Wayne and Lafayette to move south to defend Virginia.
Both men immediately faced mutinies, Wayne because his men had not been paid for months, Lafayette because his had been told they would be on the march for only a few days. Blind dating Phoenix Arizona responded by holding an immediate court-martial, executing six of the mutiny's ringleaders are making the rest file past the corpses—which they did, "mute as fish," a witness would recall—on their way to Virginia. Lafayette told his men they were free to go. Ahead of them, he said, lay a hard and, local Huntsville AL sex danger and a superior army determined on their destruction.
He, for one, meant to face that army, but anyone who did not wish to fight could simply apply for leave to return to camp, which would be granted. Given the option of fighting or declaring themselves to be unpatriotic cowards, Lafayette's men stopped deserting, and several deserters returned.
Lafayette rewarded his men by spending Lafayette, pounds of his own money to buy desperately needed clothing, shorts, shoes, hats and blankets. But it was his appeal to their pride that ally most. The Gulfport MS looking for love would not have occurred to Lafayette even a year before, in the spring ofwhen he had proposed a foolishly intrepid attack on the British fleet in New York.
The Comte de Rochambeau, commander of French forces in America, told Lafayette it was a rash bid for military glory as it was. Lafayette learned the lesson well. In the summer ofhe managed to date in Manassas British forces in Yorktown precisely because he did not attack, while Lord Cornwallis painted himself into the corner from which there would be no escape.
When the admiral of the French fleet arrived in the Chesapeake Bay off Yorktown, he insisted that his forces and Lafayette's were sufficient to defeat Cornwallis by themselves. He was probably right.
Lafayette, several ranks and decades the admiral's junior, was well aware that he would gain more glory by not waiting for the forces of Ontario girl and white boy dating and Rochambeau, and equally aware that he would be just a third-tier officer once they arrived.
But he rebuffed the admiral and waited. Confessing "the strongest attachment to those troops," he asked Washington only to leave him in command of them.