“Liberty, Property, Security, and Resistance to Oppression”
In recent times, France has experienced monumental events that foreshadow quite a different future for France, and the beginning of a new revolutionary regime. Disorder and theft have unfortunately accompanied violent events and in response: the formation of the National Guard. The Guard is composed of professional soldiers, foreign mercenaries, merchant and shopkeepers’ sons, and sons of the most comfortable master workers and journeymen, and other “active” tax paying citizens of the middle class. With such an important role as to maintain order and law in France and to protect the Constitution, it is presumed that the Commander General of this Guard must be one whom is well versed in commanding a large force. I, Marquis de Lafayette, have this experience. Having been granted the position of Major General and forming close relations with General George Washington in the American Revolution, I performed to the best of my ability on the terms of no pay and as a volunteer. I received a formal recognition from the United States Congress for my services in the Rhode Island expedition, have gained much respect for my tactics in battle, and ensured the Revolution was all but won with my success in the Battle of Yorktown. As a key component in the success of the American Revolution and as a General in the French Army, I ask of you all to now grant me the position of Commander General of the National Guard of Paris. Furthermore, I ask for your support of an important piece of legislature, The Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen. This document sets forth “in a solemn declaration the natural, unalienable, and sacred rights of man, in order that this declaration, being constantly before all the members of the Social body, shall remind [you] continually of [your] rights and duties; in order that the acts of the legislative power, as well as those of the executive power, may be compared at any moment...
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