This is the original manuscript for the French national hymn, handwritten by the author, poet, and military officer, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle. Initially named 'Chant de guerre de l’armée du Rhin' (War chant of the Rhine army), this hymn was first written in 1791, when Rouget joined the Rhine Army garrison in Strasbourg and was assigned to the 'Les enfants des la Patrie' battalion. One night, as the nation had just declared war against the king of Bohemia and Hungary, Rouget is invited to dine with Baron Philippe-Frédéric de Dietrich, mayor of the city, who asked him to compose a chant for the homeland.
Orchestrated by Berlioz
The piece is decreed the national hymn by the Convention on July 14th, 1795. It is then banned under the Restoration Empire, only to appear again during the 'Cent Jours' in 1815. Berlioz offers an orchestration in 1830 and the Marseillaise is officially reinstated as the national hymn in 1879.
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