Lafayette convinced the French court to send a huge military and naval force to aid them in their fight for independence. And then he returned to America to lead the remarkable guerrilla campaign in Virginia that climaxed with the British surrender at Yorktown.
A passionate advocate of classical liberalism Lafayette returned to France dreaming of introducing liberal ideas to his own nation only to witness the ravages of the French Revolution instead. Declared an enemy of the state, Lafayette fled France only to be imprisioned by the Austrians for five years, whils his wife and her family festered in prison, awaiting the blade of the guillotine.
American ambassador, and future president, James Monroe won the freedom of Lafayette's wife and helped his son escape France and find refuge in the home of George Washington. But others in Lafayette's family were not so lucky. Here is the dramatic story of an idealistic young liberal who decided one day to just get on a boat and come to America (aren't you glad the US didn't have the INS back then?) and help lead the country to freedom. Just a teenager when he made that decision he was soon made a general and quickly became a major force in American history.
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