Definitions for la fayette, marquis de

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  1. La Fayette, Marquis de

    born in the castle of Chavagnac; went to America in 1777, took an active and self-sacrificing part in the War of Independence; was honourably distinguished at the battle of Brandywine; sailed for France, brought over auxiliaries; he commanded Washington's vanguard in 1782; returned to Paris, and was made commander-in-chief of the National Guard in 1789; would have achieved the Revolution with the minimum of violence and set up a republic on the model of the Washington one; was obliged to escape from France during the Reign of Terror; was imprisoned five years at Olmütz, but was liberated when Napoleon appeared on the scene; as a consistent republican showed no favour to Napoleon; took part in the Revolution of 1830, became again commander-in-chief of the National Guard and a supporter of Louis Philippe, the citizen king; characterised by Carlyle as "a constitutional pedant; clear, thin, inflexible, as water turned to thin ice" (1757-1834).

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