UBC Undergraduate Research

Devoted to the Cause : An Examination of the Formation and Evolution of the Marquis de Lafayette's Republican Ideals Flechl, Katelyn M.


The Marquis de Lafayette’s role as simply a myth and military hero of the American Revolution must be re-examined, to allow for his role as Enlightenment thinker. As is made clear from examining his education and participation in the American Revolution, as well as his coauthorship of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen with Thomas Jefferson, an ideology built on French and American republican principles influenced his decisions and contributions to, the early stages of the French Revolution. Lafayette failed to bring the American model to France, due to political inexperience concerning practical application of his ideological principles, maintenance of a moderate position, and the rise of radical revolutionaries. Despite Lafayette’s tenuous position in the later stages of the French Revolution, his importance must not be understated, as perhaps no other person so aptly personifies an ideological bridge between the American and French Revolutions.

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