The Marquis de Lafayette
|"He is sensible, discreet in his manners, has made great proficiency in our language, and from the disposition he discovered at the battle of Brandywine possesses a large share of bravery and military ardour."|
Americans fucking love to talk shit about France and how we bailed their asses out after Germany kicked the holy living bejeezus out of them in World War II, but we tend to forget that if it wasn't for France - and particularly a motherfucker known as the Marquis de Lafayette - we here in the States would all still be speaking with crazy unintelligible British accents and eating a whole lot of spotted dick on our buttered crumpets fish and chips.
Lafayette's dad was exploded by a cannonball while battling the English, so you can be pretty fucking sure that the Marquis didn't have any love for the Brits. Eager to exact vengeance as soon as he possibly could, he enlisted in the French Army on his 16th birthday. By 19, he was already a Captain in the dragoons - one of the most badass cavalry units in the world at the time. To be promoted through the ranks so quickly (and at such a young age) is evidence of the fact that Lafayette didn't fuck around about anything and wasn't a man to be messed with.
It was around this time that the American Revolution broke out. Lafayette was so pumped up about kicking British asses and helping the oppressed colonists battle for their freedom that he immediately put together a company of soldiers to sail across the Atlantic and get busy with the asskickings. Unfortunately, France was being total prudes at the beginning of the war, and Lafayette - being a member of French royalty - was officially forbidden from committing any of his soldiers to the American Revolution. Lafayette responded to this order by text-messaging his superiors a picture of his taint. Dudes were sent to arrest him and stop him from single-handedly dragging France into the Revolutionary War, but Lafayette escaped them by disguising himself and 11 of his closest homeboys as FedEx International couriers. During the middle of the night, this small crew left on a tiny ship and sailed two months across the Atlantic, where they were constantly pursued by British ships determined to keep them from their destination.
Lafayette and his crew busted onto American soil on 13 June 1777 and immediately started looking for faces to smash. It wasn't long before the Marquis met up with fellow badass George Washington, and the two quickly became the Thelma and Louise of kicking British ass. When the Colonial government told Lafayette they didn't really have any money to pay him or his soldiers, Lafayette basically told them, "fuck it dudes, I'm fucking loaded already, and giving me the opportunity to jam my cavalry sabre into motherfuckers' faces is all the payment I need!" He was promoted to Major-General, attached to part of Washington's staff, and immediately set out to sever some crotches. At the Battle of Brandywine in 1777 he was capped in the leg while leading his men in a balls-out charge, and at the Battle of Barren Hill later that year Lafayette's forces managed to stop the British Army from capturing Valley Forge. Another time, he was ambushed by a much larger force of British soldiers who were trying to capture and execute him as a spy, but Lafayette managed to fight his way out of the situation, probably by head-butting twenty guys so hard that their brains exploded out the backs of their heads and then kneeing another ten guys in the balls with enough force to crack a coconut.
Despite all of his face-smashing asskicking prowess, perhaps the Marquis de Lafayette's greatest contribution to the American Revolution was his ability to get the French Crown off its ass to help bail our shit out. Lafayette pretty much sent e-mails to the King every day telling him to send money and supplies to fund the war effort, and most of the time they gave in just to get him to shut the fuck up about it. He rallied his gang on the EAST SIIIIIIDE of the Atlantic, contributed $200,000 of his own money to the cause, and eventually convinced the French to join in on all the sweet face-melting action in the U.S. of A. Once France officially declared war on England, Lafayette briefly returned home to organize the fleet and dispatch John Paul Jones on his awesome mission to sack towns on the British coast, but he returned to the colonies just in time to help organize the defense of Virginia. At only 21 years of age, Lafayette participated in the Yorktown Campaign and helped the United States gain its independence from Great Britain.
After the war, Lafayette thought that sweet, delicious freedom was so goddamned awesome that he helped author the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of Citizens – one of the documents that kicked off the French Revolution. During his own country's struggle for liberty, he was the commander of the French National Guard, and he advocated religious tolerance, popular representation, trial by jury, emancipation of slaves and freedom of the press – the same sweet-ass ideals he kicked ass for in the colonies. Unfortunately, shit got out of hand pretty quickly when the psycho Jacobins started chopping everyone's head off with the guillotine, and Lafayette was eventually thrown into an Austrian prison. He would sit for five years until finally being busted out by Napoleon, a man who knew a good badass when he saw one. Lafayette spent the final years of his life living in a gigantic fucking mansion, where he would sometimes shelter refugees trying to escape execution at the hands of murderous revolutionaries. He died in 1834.
The Marquis de Lafayette is probably one of the only Frenchmen to ever be declared a national hero in the United States - a statistic that is badass in and of itself. Roughly 40 cities in America are named after him, he has numerous statues across the country, and he is fondly remembered as a motherfucker who helped us gain our independence from our oppressive British masters. He was also a goddamned badass who kicked nuts, refused to let anybody stand in the way of his mission to bring freedom to the common man, and bravely fought for liberty and equality - even when it didn't pay dick.
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