give me a thumbnail of what Marquis de Lafayette did during Napolean?

Marquis de Lafayette, the French Soldier & Statesman (1757 - 1834) helped win the American Revolution.

I get the French revolutionary period OK, after 1782 Lafayette was an advocate of a constitutional monarchy and by 1792 he fled the Revolutionary terror until 1800.

Then, I know he was crucial in the revolution that topples the Burbons & in establising Louis Phillipe in the 1830’s.

But what the heck did this man, who bestrode his times like a colossus: American & French revolutions, Burbons falling … do during the Napeolonic Wars?

It almost seems like he is a prime mover of history for 25 years, takes 30 years off and re-appears as a big deal.

Any thumbnail sketches, books or websites on the matter?


He got out of prison in 1797, visited Holstein and Holland, then in 1800, came back to France, and stayed out of public life till around 1815, when he got elected to the chamber of representatives and called for Napoleon’s abdication. Then he took some more time off, then in 1818, got elected to the chamber of deputies, until 1824. Then he visited the US. When he came back, he was reelected to the chamber of deputies.

Well, just prior to “fleeing the terror” of the Revolution, he was in command of the guards who fired into an anti-monarchist crowd (mob) and forfeited all the popularity he had built up with his support for the move toward democracy and the guarantee of human rights.

In the war between Austria (whose emperor was trying to save the crown (and life) of his sister, Marie Antoinette), Lafayette commanded a French army. When the anti-monarchists succeeded in deposing the king, he was declared a traitor and defected to the Austrians to keep from going to the guillotine. (The Austrians (or their Prussian allies) held him captive for five years and he remained outside of France during the last couple of years before Napolean came to power. Once Napolean took over, Lafayette returned to France and settled down on his estates, avoiding politics. (Napolean was not interested in trying him for “crimes” declared during the Regin of Terror and Lafayette had no interest in participating in an anti-democratic government.)

After Napolean’s defeat, Lafayette held a seat in the Chamber of Deputies for around ten years before making a tour of America.

your incredibly virtuoso and knowledgeable and articulate perfomances–nearly without peer–on the Straightdope make me reluctant to point out your unusual spelling of the “little corporal’s” name–but what the heck, here goes…

sorry, that’s performance–Gaudere’s rule strikes again!

Yeah, I have some sort of block on Napoleon. (I suspect that if someone did a search on “Napolean” on the SDMB, about half the hits would be mine.)