You have probably heard about Marquis de la Fayette, known as the « Hero of the two Worlds ». There is plenty of documentary to see about him but one that deserves more attention is definitely the one aired on the American Channel PBS called “Lafayette: the lost Hero”.
Ever since he died, there has been a conflict over the true meaning of his accomplishments. It is time to re-evaluate his crucial role in the establishment of America’s democracy.
He was the subject of worshipful biographies and the only foreigner, ever, to have more than 30 American towns — not to mention streets, squares and parks in almost every city in the US — named in his honor.
The record strongly indicates that he won his reputation by merit, proving himself courageous in battle and resourceful behind the scenes, advancing the cause of America and forging its crucial alliance with France.
During his lifetime, Lafayette was also an extremely popular figure in France, but the violent turning point of their revolution left him forever a compromised and controversial figure to his own people. Today he is reviled by certain extremes in French society. Many on the left or the working class regard him as a self-serving aristocrat, a monarchist who was never fully committed to the people. To the right, he will forever be a subversive traitor to his king and class.
His tomb is located in the 12th disctrict of Paris and the American flag on it is changed every year by the American Ambassador in Paris.