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The Napoleonic Wars 1792-1815

The American War of Independence and the French Revolution

For all discussions relating to the background and causes of the Napoleonic Wars including the French Revolution of 1789-1799.

Re: The American War of Independence and the French Revoluti

Postby Josh&Historyland » June 9th, 2015, 12:08 pm

I think it is fair to say that Lafayette had more to him than personal aggrandisement in this matter, pension or not, the amount he refused from Napoleon outweighs what he accepted, doubtless he'd have liked a leading role in the government, but politics are what they are.

If he actually posed a threat to his position, or indeed life, the wisest course would be to lock him up, or chase him out of the country, or like the Duc de Enghien have him shot.

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Re: The American War of Independence and the French Revoluti

Postby Senarmont198 » June 9th, 2015, 2:04 pm

Lafayette committed no crime and there was no reason for him being incarcerated in France. And he was a minor noise during the period after 1792 and his defection. He didn't contribute anything for his country and was used as a dupe at the end of the 100 Days by Fouche and Talleyrand who wanted nothing more than to enrich themselves.

D'Enghien was tried and shot because he committed treason. That was a completely different situation.
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Re: The American War of Independence and the French Revoluti

Postby Josh&Historyland » June 9th, 2015, 2:55 pm

Senarmont198 wrote:Lafayette committed no crime and there was no reason for him being incarcerated in France. And he was a minor noise during the period after 1792 and his defection. He didn't contribute anything for his country and was used as a dupe at the end of the 100 Days by Fouche and Talleyrand who wanted nothing more than to enrich themselves.


Yes that is what I said.

Senarmont198 wrote:D'Enghien was tried and shot because he committed treason. That was a completely different situation

Yes and "If" Lafayette and been like that (and the treason is ambiguous, as he was executed for trumped up charges of being an party to the Pichegru affair, and as a Royalist he was not a traitor to France, but this is all besides the point) doubtless Napoleon would have acted similarly.

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Re: The American War of Independence and the French Revoluti

Postby Senarmont198 » June 9th, 2015, 5:01 pm

France was at war when d'Enghien was captured and tried. He was in the pay of England and supporting France's enemies. He was convicted on those facts, which were in violation of of Article 2 of the Law of 6 October 1791: 'Any conspiracy and pot aimed at disturbing the state by civil war, and arming the citizens against one another, or against lawful authority, will be punished by death.'

He was in receipt of 4200 guineas per year from the British government and stated that was 'in order to combat not France but a government to which his birth made him hostile.'
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Re: The American War of Independence and the French Revoluti

Postby Senarmont198 » June 9th, 2015, 5:02 pm

How could a Royalist not be a traitor? That is a very interesting comment, especially as royalists were also French citizens.
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Re: The American War of Independence and the French Revoluti

Postby Josh&Historyland » June 9th, 2015, 5:14 pm

This is again straying from the topic subject so I'll be brief.

To the Royalists it was the Republicans who were traitors, and since Napoleon's rule was recognsied in Europe as a usurpation in 1804 the Royalists can only be called traitors to Napoleon, who they never swore allegiance to, and cannot be traitors to France. As Enghien said himself.

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Re: The American War of Independence and the French Revoluti

Postby Senarmont198 » June 9th, 2015, 6:09 pm

Then explain the return of many emigres, brought back to France by Napoleon, who also later served Napoleon.
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Re: The American War of Independence and the French Revoluti

Postby Josh&Historyland » June 9th, 2015, 6:35 pm

I don't see the need to explain them, I see them as two different subjects. Political allegiance to Louis or Napoleon was a personal matter and is hard to generalise. Hating Napoleon did not mean a Frenchman hated France. As was the case with Lafayette, before he proclaimed himself emperor he was seen as having stopped the worse excesses of the revolution.

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Re: The American War of Independence and the French Revoluti

Postby TheBibliophile » November 8th, 2015, 8:31 pm

Senarmont198 wrote:Then explain the return of many emigres, brought back to France by Napoleon, who also later served Napoleon.

When Bonaparte became first consul, non aristocratic emigres were offered amnesty if they swore allegiance to the new constitution. The course of many non aristocratic emigres hostility to boney rested not with the overthrow of the monarchy, but with the harsh treatment of the Catholic church and clergy. When the church was restored by the new constitution, many penniless emigres who had been living in near poverty in places like Jersey, supported by people like Phillip Dauvergne, then elected to return home.

See "G R Balleine: The tragedy of Phillip Davergne". Phillimore & Co (1973)

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Re: The American War of Independence and the French Revoluti

Postby Senarmont198 » November 8th, 2015, 10:31 pm

The pardon of the emigres was to both noble and non-noble. And many of the nobles decided to serve Napoleon after they returned.
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