The Marseillaise

'The War Song for the Army of the Rhine' was composed and first sung at Strasbourg some months before it was adopted by the citizens of Marseilles.

Rouget de Lisle, composer of the Marseillaise, sings it for the first time at the home of Dietrich, Mayor of Strasbourg (Musée historique de Strasbourg, published 1849, artist Isidore Pils)The year of 1792 was no more than four months old when, at Pilnitz near Dresden, the Emperor Francis II of Austria and King Frederick William II of Prussia concluded a pact designed to oppose the dangerous new ideology taking shape in France and to prevent its spread to other countries, particularly their own. Louis XVI, still nominally King of France, was by then no more than a tool in the hands of the Legislative Assembly, who viewed the pact with the utmost misgivings.

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