When you think of a political revolution in a country, you might think of it as the citizens rising up to reclaim certain freedoms. Though often the case, when the Americans decided to cut the ties that bound them to Britain, it wasn't just Americans who fought. Others who prized freedom joined the fray. One such man was a young French nobleman, the Marquis de Lafayette.
Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier was born on September 6, 1757, in a French castle. The men in his family had been soldiers for generations. He was not quite two years old when his father was killed during a battle. He inherited the title of marquis when his father died. When he was twelve, both his mother and grandfather died. The young marquis was a wealthy orphan.
The young man had already settled on his chosen life's work. He would be like his father and become a soldier. At the age of 13 he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Black Musketeers. His duties were mostly ceremonial. He marched in military parades and presented himself at the king's court while continuing his schooling. At the age of 16, the Marquis agreed to an arranged marriage with a duke's daughter.