Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2018

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School




Program or Major


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

First Advisor

Janet Polasky


This paper addresses the impressions the Marquis de Lafayette made upon the American people during the American Revolution and his return tour in 1824. As someone who has admired Lafayette since I was young, I was aware of the fact that many locations are named after the general and that he plays a prominent role in shows such as the Broadway musical Hamilton. I wanted to study why Lafayette had such an impact on the American people, and why he has been memorialized in a positive manner. As a promoter of liberty, Lafayette was embraced by the colonists for his stubbornness and willingness to defend the American cause. Despite being unable to carry his ideals of liberty to France, Lafayette was remembered fondly by the American people and welcomed back fifty years after the Revolution to widespread acclaim. Although he was a foreigner, he was hailed as a hero and found eternal remembrance in locations that still carry his name.