The Marquis de Lafayette was a prominent military figure in the revolution. His ties to France helped the US relationship with France, and his military intelligence helped the Continental army across many campaigns. Do you think that the war would still have been won by the colonists if Lafayette was not involved?
Well without the French the likelihood of an American victory dwindles quite allot. Men like the marquis certainly encouraged French support, and that I think is his prime contribution.
I’m not sure if he was a crucial military influence on the outcome of the war though, he’s not known as an exceptional soldier is he?
To my knowledge I would agree, I don’t believe Lafayette was revered so much for his military prowess (as say, Baron von Steuben, for example). Lafayette did have good political influence, and as you mention helped in part secure French support which was key. I also think he helped from a figure-head standpoint. He carried himself well, was respected by Washington, and was a leader that could be looked up to in what became a multinational (French, Spanish, US) cause for freedom.
I do wonder, however, if the Marquis never got involved, if some other influence might have come into play just the same. A small change of events here or there and some of the more prominent contributors might not have found themselves in the same place. In hindsight it is easy to see how large a role they played, though possible to consider that maybe someone else might have stepped up in a different way. It is also wild to think that maybe had things not happened as they had, a key contributor/event different here or there, the war might have been lost by the US. Ah, the reflection on history 🙂
Laffayette seems to have been a man who achieved notariety post war, becoming famous as the romantic French aristo who adopted the American cause. Representing in a way the Franco American relationship of the time.
In general he has an amazing story, it must have been nice to come back to such a welcome in America, sort of his second home, indeed I think he fled there after the revolution in his own country got out of control.