Why Did France Give US The Statue of Liberty? The French gave the United States the Statue of Liberty as a gift to honor their support of the United States during the American Revolution. Lady Liberty symbolizes France and the United States’ alliance as well as friendship.
But to know the particular reasons behind, let’s go back to history.
Go back to history
The war with Great Britain
The American Revolution served as the foundation for the Statue of Liberty’s history. The 13 American colonies fought during this time to break free from the tyrannical British Crown.
The colonies rebelled due to a growing sense of unity among them, unrepresentative taxes, and a lack of fundamental freedoms. In 1775, the war with Great Britain began. The colonies’ chances of victory against such a massive world power appeared bleak.
Fortunately for the Americans, however, the Kingdom of France and the United Kingdom had a protracted war. Due to their shared enemy, France started smuggling supplies to the American colonies’ Continental Armies in an effort to help them overthrow the British. The victory of the Colonies would be the ideal retaliation for the French.
French involvement in the American Revolutionary War
Finally, in 1778, the French and Continental Armies signed a Treaty of Alliance. Money, weapons, and troops were then sent to the colonies.
France’s involvement in the American Revolution paved the way for the eventual victory and independence of the United States. During this war, their cooperation was critical.
It motivated a large number of French people to fight for the same ideals that Americans were: freedom, independence, and a republic.
You can explore more the meaning of the Statue of Liberty in What Does The Statue of Liberty Represent
French gave US The Statue of Liberty
Idea from Édouard de Laboulaye
By 1865, Laboulaye had a beautiful monument in mind to honor the alliance between France and America during the American Revolution because he was an idealistic political thinker.
For Laboulaye, this memorial would honor the late Abraham Lincoln, stand for liberty and democracy, and be treasured by the two nations.
After ten years of waiting and brushing shoulders with the right people, the ambitious project was formally announced in 1875.
Criticized his idea
This project, however, was not universally praised. Many people in the 19th century confused the word “liberty” (la liberté) with the violent revolution (la révolte) (la violence).
To demand liberty was to invite uprisings and disorder. This association was formed for good reason: in 1871, uprisings from the middle and working classes began, but were quickly suppressed by the government.
Many criticized Laboulaye during this chaotic period, fearing that his ideas would cause more distress, uprisings, and violence.
To counteract this, Laboulaye and Bartholdi created the statue to illustrate that liberty was not about instigating a bloody uprising but rather about illuminating the path forward with peace.
This is why it was given the moniker Liberty Enlightening the World. They used the statue’s imagery to show how liberty and peace are compatible with one another.
Get fund for the Statue
Laboulaye and Bartholdi traveled to New York City to speak with influential people and confirm that they initially desired the statue before moving forward with their plan.
The men also came to terms with the funding situation, realizing that the platform for the statue needed to be paid for by the US. This meant that creating this monument would require greater French and American cooperation. To make it a reality, the countries would have to collaborate.
The French paid $250,000 for the 151-foot-high Statue. The 154-foot pedestal cost $270,000 and was funded entirely by American sources.
The construction of the Statue of Liberty begins.
Bartholdi started the statue’s construction with the intention of finishing it by 1876, but the undertaking took much longer than anticipated and ran years behind schedule.
The arm and torch were completed first, followed by the head. In 1878, the head alone was displayed at the Paris World’s Fair. Lady Liberty was slowly but steadily put together.
Nearly everything was finished in 1884, nine years after construction began. Everything except the base on which the statue would stand.
Frances shipped statue parts to US
France shipped the statue to the United States in over 200 crates with individual pieces inside, hoping that the US could complete the pedestal. The US would need to put funding initiatives in place for it in order to be affordable because it was an expensive structure.
In preparation for assembly, the statue’s shipping crates were piled up next to its designated location. They simply lacked the necessary funds to complete the pedestal’s final construction, which would have cost $100,000.
Fortunately, the project was taken up by Joseph Pulitzer, the creator of the Pulitzer Prize. He devised an ingenious method of obtaining the funds: he enlisted the help of the American people. Pulitzer used everyday newspapers to raise awareness of the monument and ran a fundraising campaign.
The Statue of Liberty completed
Finally, sufficient funds were raised thanks to the campaign’s success. After the United States completed building the statue’s pedestal, the statue’s other components were put together. Lady Liberty was finally finished on October 28th, 1886.
The statue moved eager audiences to tears. The statue must have sparkled brilliantly in the sunlight when it was originally a gold-brown color.
The Statue of Liberty was a gift which took many years to create, from France’s assistance during the American Revolution to the start of construction in 1876. Do you know How Old Is The Statue of Liberty now?
Lady Liberty, standing tall and proud, continues to light the way hundreds of years later. Although she is widely recognized as an American icon, she actually represents the partnership between two nations and their shared optimism for the future.
This motivational American statue would not exist without Laboulaye’s dream for a better France.
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