Major Jean Villeneuve was suggested by the Marquis De Lafayette and Baron von Steuben. Lafayette was a French military officer who came to America to offer his services to the Continentals. Baron von Steuben was a Prussian mercenary that spent the winter in Valley Forge with Washington and helped train the army. Von Steuben later became the Inspector General of the Continental Army.
Villeneuve mainly is used as comic relief with some French jokes. Although the issue of being a Frenchman among veterans of the French and Indian War who were on the opposite side at the time does emerge and create some tension, it never reaches some sort of resolution, but rather everyone just tolerates the situation. His relationship with Benjamin Martin is icy because of Martin's involvement in the French and Indian War, but they find common ground in the loss of their children at the hands of the British.
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