Learn about the history of the Statue of Liberty in New York with iMinds Travel's insightful fast knowledge series. Instantly recognisable, rising out of New York Harbour, she stands like an ancient goddess guarding the gates to the city. For many she is the symbol of freedom, welcoming outcasts to the shores of a new land. But who is Lady Liberty? And how did she come to be a symbol of hope for so many? The Statue of Liberty is a masterpiece of art and engineering. It is one of the few enduring symbols of America. But did you know that this statue was actually a gift from the people of France?
The idea of presenting a monumental gift to the United States was first conceived by French statesman Edouard de Laboulaye. The two countries had been close allies since the American Revolution. But in 1865, France was under the oppressive rule of Emperor Napoleon III, and the people were suffering. Many French people saw the freedoms enjoyed by the Americans and admired the new country as it was emerging from The Civil War. They idealised the American concepts of personal freedom and liberty.