Happy Independence Day, USofAmerica!:-)

N.B. this post is dedicated to my American close relatives, dear friends and all the readers who honor my playground by their constant or episodic presence: mille merci – I thank you, guys! ❤ We use to say now and then:”without the Allies, all Europeans would’ve spoken German…” Between the Americans and the French, there’s always been what we call “l’amour-vache”(cow love!) which could be translated by:”je t’aime, moi non plus!”, ni avec toi, ni sans toi = either with you or without you – kinda “teasing love”… 🙂 btw, an American beloved member of my family has just reminded me that July 4th is also the day Will Smith saved America from the mean aliens… 🙂

Here are some historical facts and the names of a few French men whose contribution to the UsofA has been reckoned as outstanding. First of all, the American Constitution has been largely inspired by the French one; there exists a draft of the 1789 French Declaration of the Rights of Men and Citizens, generally considered one of the most important human rights document ever drafted, with Jefferson’s handwritten signature in the margins. The alliance between France and America in 1778 was mentioned in the state constitutional texts, known as the “Code de la Nature”, published in Paris, France. In 1783, Benjamin Franklin was in Paris, he asked the French minister of foreign affairs and got the official authorization for the printing of the “Constitution des 13 États de l’Amérique”. In 1786, a year before the drafting of the American Constitution, Marquis de Condorcet, a French philosopher and mathematician, outlined his ideas for a French declaration of rights, and authored a study of the role of the American political ideas, entitled “De l’influence de la Revolution d’Amérique sur l’opinion et la legislation de l’Europe.” Let’s get to Monsieur de La Fayette: guess what, it’s not just a Louisiana town, ’cause his name is present in each state… 🙂

Marquis de La Fayette was a General of the American Revolutionary War and a leader of the “Garde nationale” during the French Revolution. Throughout the American Revolution, La Fayette served as a major-general in the Continental Army under George Washington who had asked France for MHH = military human help. Wounded after the Battle of Brandywine, he still managed to organize a successful retreat and he served with distinction in the Battle of Rhode Island. In the middle of the war, he returned to France to negotiate an increase in French support. He came back to America and he blocked the troops led by Cornwallis at Yorktown, while Washington’s soldiers and those sent by King Louis 16, under the command of General de Rochambeau, Admiral de Grasse, and Admiral de Latouche Tréville, prepared for the battle against the Brits. La Fayette was THE most important link between the American and the French Revolutions. For his accomplishments in the service of both France and the United States, he is known as “The Hero of the 2 Worlds”, since without his French army, the USofA would’ve been just another British colony… 🙂
* * *
Voici “L’Hermione” – the replica of La Fayette’s fregate(18th century!), at the foot of the New York skyscrapers, docked at Pier 15 in lower Manhattan, nearby Brooklyn Bridge. The majestic 3-masted ship, symbol of the French-American friendship, will participate for the 1st time in the celebration of the US national holiday… 🙂 pix from: http://www.lemonde.fr/ameriques/portfolio/2015/07/02/l-hermione-mouille-au-pied-des-gratte-ciel-new-yorkais_4667028_3222.html

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Another French man who has left his long-lasting landmark in the US history is the architect and civil engineer Pierre-Charles L’Enfant, best known for designing the layout of the streets of the American capital – Washington, D.C. His remains were re-buried at the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, the greatest honor for a foreigner, his tomb is on a hill, beneath the “Arlington House”, overlooking the CITY by the Potomac that he had partially designed. Since 2005, the National Building Museum in D.C. has held an annual “L’Enfant Lecture on City Planning and Design” to draw attention to the local critical issues and regional planning in the US. The American Planning Association(APA) has created an award named in L’Enfant’s honor which recognizes excellence in international planning.

Last but not least: Lady Liberty aka “The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World” was a gift of friendship from the French people to the American people and is meant to be a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. It was designed by the French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi, it was dedicated on October 28, 1886 and it was designated as a National Monument in 1924. The statue’s portrait was said to be modeled after the sculptor’s maman, Charlotte. This colossal work was influenced by the Greek and Roman civilizations, it was fully built in Paris and presented by the French-American Union to the US Ambassador in 1884. In 1886, Bartholdi supervised the statue’s assembly in NYC and participated in its inauguration. At the ceremony, Bartholdi was offered the key of the city and later, he climbed the Statue to release the tricolor French flag that veiled Liberty’s face. The prominent French architect-engineer, Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, was the 2nd designer of the internal structural elements of the Statue of Liberty. In his early work, Eiffel used to design railway bridges, thus he relied on sophisticated mathematical designs, renowned for their lightness, grace, and strength. Once his plans approved, he was in charge with the Statue’s internal construction until its completion by the end of 1883. A few years later, Eiffel began his most famous project: the Eiffel Tower which was completed for World’s Fair of Paris in 1889 and has become THE landmark of Paris… 🙂
* * *
Bonne fête nationale aux Américains de tous les horizons et de toutes origines! – Happy 4th of July to all Americans from any horizons and of any origins! 🙂

Advertisements

About Mél@nie

https://myvirtualplayground.wordpress.com/about/

Posted on 4 July 2015, in melanie. Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. ¡Viva los EEUU!
    ¡Viva Francia!
    !Viva el mundo!
    ¡Viva Mélanita cabrita!
    {Abrazos}

  2. Good to have a reminder of the historical connections between France and the US. Like Mrs P, I knew of them but hadn’t ever arranged them in an orderly manner in my mind.

  3. I may be a wandering American, but I’m still American! Thanks for the well-wishes and the reminder about the French contribution the Revolutionary War. I remember being awestruck when I visited the Statue of Liberty several decades ago, and I hope that I get to see the Eiffel Tower some time in the next several years. Best wishes, Melanie!

  4. Thanks for the blog and history lessons. How did you know so much history?

    • Ni hao, Ann and welcome to my playground! 🙂 well, history and geography are as important as maths in the European schools and I’ve always liked them, I even taught them in Houston… 🙂

  5. Merci, Melanie. Nous sommes sur la meme longueur d’ondes aujourd’hui! Sorry for the accents. I’m rushing to a party.

  6. Wonderful Melanie! I love all the history you’ve shared! I’m grateful for France. Peace.

  7. Wonderful history lesson! 🙂

  8. What a lovely way to celebrate July 4th with meaning and gratitude. Thanks.

  9. Thanks so much, Melanie! France and the U.S. are very independent in their actions. Sometimes we are in opposite sides but, in reality, we have helped each other for so many years. Our friendship is one of the most important elements in our common history. Vive les Etats Unis et vive la belle France! Bravo, dear Melanie! Hugs! 🙂

  10. Happy anniversary to all who know America, special wishes to those Americans who I served with in Vietnam, and also best wishes to your friends in America, Melanie, and all on Word Press who hail from that great country.

    • thanx-gracias, Ian! The French people have also been grateful and thankful to the Australian soldiers…

      • Hi Melanie, apologies for the delay in acknowledging your response. I believe the French people have a great affinity with our servicemen, the French people certainly played a major role in the resistance movement. Kind regards.

        • it’s O.K. Ian, no problem, real life is and will always be our first priority… 🙂 thanx for your constant visits @ my playground and my very best…

  11. I’ve been told often (having grown up in New England) of the critical role France played in helping us establish our independence. We repaid that debt in WW II, so it’s been a long and historical and beneficial relationship between out two countries, indeed! Vive la France! and Happy Fourth of July!

    • MERCI, Noëlle! your forename is French, too… 🙂 speakin’ of WW II, Europeans are grateful and thankful to ALL the allies: Canadians, Brits, Australians, New Zealanders, etc…

  12. Thank you for reminding us how interconnected we really are… knew most of your facts but when seen as a whole, the picture is much clearer. Have a wonderful weekend, Melanie! ❤ ❤

  13. Thanks for the previous (national) support and the good wishes today.

  14. Hope you have a great day and thanks for sharing about American history, Melanie! ☆♡☆

  15. PS sorry about the typos, compliments of my software that gets confused with languages 😦

  16. At uni in Paris, it was knee-jerk anti-Americanism, but simply put, it’s just love-hate! thanks for such a timely historical review!

%d bloggers like this: