French and other languages (Langues d'oïl
German (Alsatian & Franconian)
Dutch (French Flemish)
Predominantly Roman Catholicism
Minority : Protestantism
Related ethnic groups
The French (French: Français) are an ethnic group and
nation who are identified with the country of France. This connection
may be legal, historical, or cultural.
Historically the French people's heritage is diverse, including
populations of Gauls, Ligures, Latins, Franks, Iberians,
France has long been a patchwork of local customs and
regional differences, and while most
French people still speak the
French language as their mother tongue, languages like Norman,
Occitan, Catalan, Auvergnat, Corsican, Basque, French Flemish,
Lorraine Franconian, Alsatian and Breton remain spoken in their
Modern French society is a melting pot. From the middle of the
19th century, it experienced a high rate of inward migration and the
France as an inclusive nation with universal
values, advocated assimilation through which immigrants were expected
to adhere to French values and cultural norms. Nowadays, while the
government has let newcomers retain their distinctive cultures since
the mid-1980s and requires from them a mere integration, French
citizens still equate their nationality with citizenship as does
In addition to mainland France,
French people and people of French
descent can be found internationally, in overseas departments and
France such as the
French West Indies
French West Indies (French
Caribbean), and in foreign countries with significant French-speaking
population groups or not, such as
Switzerland (French Swiss), the
United States (French Americans),
Canada (French Canadians), Argentina
Brazil (French Brazilians),
Uruguay (French Uruguayans).
Citizenship and legal residence
2.1 Celtic and Roman Gaul
2.2 Frankish Kingdom
2.3 Kingdom of France
2.4 French Republic
2.5 20th century
3.1 In France
4 Nationality, citizenship, ethnicity
Nationality and citizenship
Multiculturalism versus universalism
4.4 Ernest Renan's
What is a Nation? (1882)
Jus soli and jus sanguinis
4.6 European citizenship
Citizenship of foreigners
5 Populations with French ancestry
5.2 United States
5.5 United Kingdom
5.6 Costa Rica
5.11 Latin America
6 See also
7 Notes and references
8 External links
Citizenship and legal residence
To be French, according to the first article of the French
Constitution, is to be a citizen of France, regardless of one's
origin, race, or religion (sans distinction d'origine, de race ou de
religion). According to its principles,
France has devoted itself
to the destiny of a proposition nation, a generic territory where
people are bounded only by the
French language and the assumed
willingness to live together, as defined by Ernest Renan's
"plébiscite de tous les jours" ('everyday plebiscite') on the
willingness to live together, in Renan's 1882 essay "Qu'est-ce qu'une
The debate concerning the integration of this view with the principles
underlying the European Community remains open.
A large number of foreigners have traditionally been permitted to
France and succeeded in doing so. Indeed, the country has
long valued its openness, tolerance and the quality of services
available. Application for
French citizenship is often interpreted
as a renunciation of previous state allegiance unless a dual
citizenship agreement exists between the two countries (for instance,
this is the case with Switzerland: one can be both French and Swiss).
European treaties have formally permitted movement and European
citizens enjoy formal rights to employment in the state sector (though
not as trainees in reserved branches, e.g., as magistrates).
Seeing itself as an inclusive nation with universal values,
always valued and strongly advocated assimilation. However, the
success of such assimilation has recently been called into question.
There is increasing dissatisfaction with, and within, growing
ethno-cultural enclaves (communautarisme). The
2005 French riots
2005 French riots in
some troubled and impoverished suburbs (les quartiers sensibles) were
an example of such tensions. However they should not be interpreted as
ethnic conflicts (as appeared before in other countries like the USA
and the UK) but as social conflicts born out of socioeconomic problems
endangering proper integration.
Main article: History of France
French people are the descendants of
Gauls and Romans, western
European Celtic and Italic peoples, as well as Bretons, Aquitanians,
Germanic people arriving at the beginning of the
Frankish Empire such as the Franks, the Visigoths, the Suebi, the
Allemanni and the Burgundians, and later Germanic groups
such as the
Vikings (known as Normans), who settled in
Normandy and to
a lesser extent in
Brittany in the 9th century.
The name "France" etymologically derives from the word Francia, the
territory of the Franks. The
Franks were a Germanic tribe that overran
Gaul at the end of the Roman Empire.
Celtic and Roman Gaul
Gaul before complete Roman conquest (circa 58 BCE) and its five
main regions : Celtica, Belgica, Cisalpina, Narbonensis and
Main articles: Celts, Gaul, Gauls, and Roman Empire
In the pre-Roman era, all of
Gaul (an area of
Western Europe that
encompassed all of what is known today as France, Belgium, part of
Germany and Switzerland, and Northern Italy) was inhabited by a
variety of peoples who were known collectively as the
Their ancestors were
Celts who came from Central
Europe in the 7th
century BCE (and even before, according to new research), and
dominated native peoples which can't be clearly identified except the
Ligures (Alps and Provence), the
Iberians at the eastern bottom of the
Pyrenees (south of Agde according to Avenius) and Aquitanic people
(among them, the Basques) in Aquitaine. Some, particularly in the
northern and eastern areas, had Germanic admixture (the Belgae); many
of these peoples had already spoken Celtic (Gaulish) by the time of
the Roman conquest, but others seem to have spoken a Celto-Germanic
Gaul was militarily conquered in 58-51 BCE by the
Roman legions under
the command of General
Julius Caesar (except the south-east which had
already been conquered about one century earlier). The area then
became part of the Roman Empire. Over the next five centuries the two
cultures intermingled, creating a hybridized Gallo-Roman culture. The
Gaulish vernacular language disappeared step by step to be replaced
everywhere by Vulgar Latin, which would later develop under Frankish
influence into the
French language in the North of France. Today, the
last redoubt of Celtic culture and language in
France can be found in
the northwestern region of Brittany, although this is not the result
of a survival of
Gaulish language but of a 5th-century AD migration of
Celts from Britain.
Franks and Frankish Kingdom
With the decline of the
Roman Empire in Western Europe, a federation
Germanic peoples entered the picture: the Franks, from which the
word "French" derives. The
Franks were Germanic pagans who began to
settle in northern
Gaul as laeti, already during the Roman era. They
continued to filter across the
Rhine River from present-day
Germany between the third to the 7th century. At the
beginning, they served in the Roman army and reached high commands.
Their language is still spoken as a kind of Dutch (Flemish - Low
Frankish) in northern
France (Westhoek) and Frankish (Central
Franconian) in German speaking Lorraine. Another Germanic people
immigrated massively to Alsace: the Alamans, which explains the
Alemannic German spoken there. They were competitors of the Franks;
that's why, in Renaissance times, it became the French word for
By the early 6th century the Franks, led by the
Clovis I and his sons, had consolidated their hold on much of
modern-day France, the country to which they gave their name. The
Germanic people to arrive in
France (after the Burgundians
and the Visigoths) were the
Norsemen or Northmen, (which was shortened
to Norman in France),
Viking raiders from modern
Denmark and Norway,
who settled with Anglo-Scandinavians and Anglo-
Saxons from the Danelaw
definitely in the northern region known today as
Normandy in the 9th
and 10th century, and which was given in fiefdom of the kingdom of
France by king Charles III. The
Vikings eventually intermarried with
the local people, converting to
Christianity in the process. It was
Normans who, two centuries later, would go on to conquer England
and Southern Italy.
Eventually, though, the largely autonomous duchy of
incorporated back into the royal domain (i. e. the territory under
direct control of the French king) in the Middle Ages. In the crusader
Kingdom of Jerusalem, founded in 1099, at most 120 000 Franks
(predominantly French-speaking Western Christians) ruled over 350,000
Muslims, Jews, and native Eastern Christians.
Kingdom of France
See also: Medieval demography
Louis XIV of
France "The Sun-King"
In the roughly 900 years after the Norman invasions
France had a
fairly settled population. Unlike elsewhere in
France experienced relatively low levels of emigration to the
Americas, with the exception of the Huguenots, due to a lower
birthrate than in the rest of Europe. However, significant emigration
Roman Catholic French populations led to the settlement of
the Province of Acadia,
Canada (New France) and Louisiana, all (at the
time) French possessions, as well as colonies in the West Indies,
Mascarene islands and Africa.
On 30 December 1687 a community of French
Huguenots settled in South
Africa. Most of these originally settled in the Cape Colony, but have
since been quickly absorbed into the
Afrikaner population. After
Champlain's founding of
Quebec City in 1608, it became the capital of
New France. Encouraging settlement was difficult, and while some
immigration did occur, by 1763 New
France only had a population of
some 65,000. From 1713 to 1787, 30,000 colonists immigrated from
France to the Saint-Domingue. In 1805, when the French were forced out
Saint-Domingue (Haiti), 35,000 French settlers were given lands in
By the beginning of the 17th century, some 20% of the total male
Catalonia was made up of French immigrants. In the
18th century and early 19th century, a small migration of French
emigrated by official invitation of the
Habsburgs to the
Austro-Hungarian Empire, now the nations of Austria, Czech Republic,
Serbia and Romania. Some of them, coming from
French-speaking communes in Lorraine or being
French Swiss Walsers
Valais canton in Switzerland, maintained for some generations
French language and a specific ethnic identity, later labelled as
Banat (French: Français du Banat). By 1788 there were 8 villages
populated by French colonists.
Liberty Leading the People
Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix
French First Republic
French First Republic appeared following the 1789 French
Revolution. It replaced the ancient kingdom of France, ruled by the
divine right of kings.
Hobsbawm highlighted the role of conscription, invented by Napoleon,
and of the 1880s public instruction laws, which allowed mixing of the
various groups of
France into a nationalist mold which created the
French citizen and his consciousness of membership to a common nation,
while the various regional languages of
France were progressively
The 1870 Franco-Prussian War, which led to the short-lived Paris
Commune of 1871, was instrumental in bolstering patriotic feelings;
World War I
World War I (1914–1918), French politicians never completely
lost sight of the disputed
Alsace-Lorraine region which played a major
role in the definition of the French nation and therefore of the
The decrees of 24 October 1870 by
Adolphe Crémieux granted automatic
French citizenship to all
Jewish people of Algeria.
Successive waves of immigrants during the 19th and 20th centuries were
rapidly assimilated into French culture. France's population dynamics
began to change in the middle of the 19th century, as
the Industrial Revolution. The pace of industrial growth attracted
millions of European immigrants over the next century, with especially
large numbers arriving from Poland, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, and
In the period from 1915 to 1950, many immigrants came from
Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Russia,
Scandinavia and Yugoslavia. Small but
significant numbers of Frenchmen in the North and Northeast regions
have relatives in
Germany and Great Britain.
Between 1956 and 1967, about 235,000
Jews from Algeria,
Morocco also immigrated to
France due to the decline of
the French empire and following the Six-Day War. Hence, by 1968, Jews
North African origin comprised the majority of the Jewish
population of France. As these new immigrants were already culturally
French they needed little time to adjust to French society.
French law made it easy for thousands of settlers (colons in French),
national French from former colonies of North and East Africa, India
Indochina to live in mainland France. It is estimated that 20,000
settlers were living in
Saigon in 1945, and there were 68,430 European
settlers living in
Madagascar in 1958. 1.6 million European
pieds noirs settlers migrated from Algeria,
Tunisia and Morocco.
In just a few months in 1962, 900,000 pied noir settlers left Algeria
in the most massive relocation of population in
Europe since the World
War II. In the 1970s, over 30,000 French settlers left Cambodia
Khmer Rouge regime as the
Pol Pot government confiscated
their farms and land properties.
In the 1960s, a second wave of immigration came to France, which was
needed for reconstruction purposes and for cheaper labour after the
devastation brought on by World War II. French entrepreneurs went to
Maghreb countries looking for cheap labour, thus encouraging
work-immigration to France. Their settlement was officialized with
Jacques Chirac's family regrouping act of 1976 (regroupement
familial). Since then, immigration has become more varied, although
France stopped being a major immigration country compared to other
European countries. The large impact of
North African and Arab
immigration is the greatest and has brought racial, socio-cultural and
religious questions to a country seen as homogenously European, French
Christian for thousands of years. Nevertherless, according to
Justin Vaïsse, professor at Sciences Po Paris, integration of Muslim
immigrants is happening as part of a background evolution and
recent studies confirmed the results of their assimilation, showing
that "North Africans seem to be characterized by a high degree of
cultural integration reflected in a relatively high propensity to
exogamy" with rates ranging from 20% to 50%. According to Emmanuel
Todd the relatively high exogamy among French Algerians can be
explained by the colonial link between
France and Algeria.
A small French descent group also subsequently arrived from Latin
Chile and Uruguay) in the 1970s.
French language and Languages of France
A map showing the ethno-linguistic groups in Metropolitan France:
Langues d'oil speakers
French people speak the
French language as their mother tongue,
but certain languages like Norman, Occitan, Auvergnat, Corsican,
French Flemish and Breton remain spoken in certain regions
Language policy in France). There have also been periods of
history when a majority of
French people had other first languages
(local languages such as Occitan, Catalan, Alsatian, West Flemish,
Lorraine Franconian, Gallo, Picard or Ch'timi and Arpitan). Today,
many immigrants speak another tongue at home.
According to historian Eric Hobsbawm, "the
French language has been
essential to the concept of 'France'," although in 1789, 50 percent of
French people did not speak it at all, and only 12 to 13 percent
spoke it fairly well; even in oïl languages zones, it was not usually
used except in cities, and even there not always in the outlying
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The Royal coat of arms of the
United Kingdom has two French mottos:
Dieu et mon droit
Dieu et mon droit and Honi soit qui mal y pense.
French language is spoken in many different countries –
in particular the former French colonies. Nevertheless, speaking
French is distinct from being a French citizen. Thus, francophonie, or
the speaking of French, must not be confused with French citizenship
or ethnicity. For example, French speakers in
Switzerland are not
Native English-speaking Blacks on the island of
French nationality even though they do not speak French as a first
language, while their neighbouring French-speaking Haitian immigrants
(who also speak a French-creole) remain foreigners. Large numbers of
people of French ancestry outside
Europe speak other first languages,
particularly English, throughout most of
North America (except French
Canada), Spanish or Portuguese in southern South America, and
Afrikaans in South Africa.
The adjective "French" can be used to mean either "French citizen" or
"French-speaker", and usage varies depending on the context, with the
former being common in France. The latter meaning is often used in
Canada, when discussing matters internal to Canada.
Nationality, citizenship, ethnicity
The modern ethnic French are the descendants of Celts, Iberians,
Greeks in southern France, mixed with Germanic
peoples arriving at the end of the
Roman Empire such as the
the Burgundians, and some
Vikings who mixed with the
Normans and settled mostly in
Normandy in the 9th century.
According to Dominique Schnapper, "The classical conception of the
nation is that of an entity which, opposed to the ethnic group,
affirms itself as an open community, the will to live together
expressing itself by the acceptation of the rules of a unified public
domain which transcends all particularisms". This conception of
the nation as being composed by a "will to live together," supported
by the classic lecture of
Ernest Renan in 1882, has been opposed by
the French far-right, in particular the nationalist Front National
("National Front" - FN) party which claims that there is such a thing
as a "French ethnic group". The discourse of ethno-nationalist groups
such as the Front National (FN), however, advances the concept of
Français de souche or "indigenous" French.
French people in Paris, August 1944
The conventional conception of French history starts with Ancient
Gaul, and French national identity often views the
Gauls as national
precursors, either as biological ancestors (hence the refrain nos
ancêtres les Gaulois), as emotional/spiritual ancestors, or
both. Vercingetorix, the
Gaulish chieftain who tried to
unite the various Gallic tribes of the land against Roman encroachment
but was ultimately vanquished by Julius Caesar, is often revered as a
"first national hero". In the famously popular French comic
Asterix, the main characters are patriotic
Gauls fight against Roman
invaders while in modern days the term Gaulois is used in
French to distinguish the "native" French from French of immigrant
origins. However, despite its occasional nativist usage, the Gaulish
identity has also been embraced by French of non-native origins as
well: notably, Napoleon III, whose family was ultimately of Corsican
and Italian roots, identified
Gaul and Vercingetorix,
and declared that "New France, ancient France,
Gaul are one and the
same moral person."
It has been noted that the French view of having Gallic origins has
evolved over history. Before the French Revolution, it divided social
classes, with the peasants identifying with the native
Gauls while the
aristocracy identified with the Franks. During the early
nineteenth century, intellectuals began using the identification
Gaul instead as a unifying force to bridge divisions within
French society with a common national origin myth. Myriam Krepps of
the University of Nebraska-Omaha argues that the view of "a unified
territory (one land since the beginning of civilization) and a unified
people" which de-emphasized "all disparities and the succession of
waves of invaders" was first imprinted on the masses by the unified
history curriculum of French textbooks in the late 1870s.
Since the beginning of the Third Republic (1871–1940), the state has
not categorized people according to their alleged ethnic origins.
Hence, in contrast to the
United States Census,
French people are not
asked to define their ethnic appartenance, whichever it may be. The
usage of ethnic and racial categorization is avoided to prevent any
case of discrimination; the same regulations apply to religious
membership data that cannot be compiled under the French Census. This
classic French republican non-essentialist conception of nationality
is officialized by the French Constitution, according to which
"French" is a nationality, and not a specific ethnicity.
Haplogroup R1b (Y-DNA), typical in all West European populations.
France has been influenced by the many different human migrations that
Europe over time. Prehistoric and Neolithic population
movements could have influenced the genetic diversity of this country.
A study in 2009 analysed 555 French individuals from 7 different
regions in mainland
France and found the following Y-DNA Haplogroups.
The five main haplogroups are R1 (63.41%), E (11.41%) (traced mostly
in the Paris area), I (8.88%), J (7.97%) and G (5.16%). R1b
(particularly R1b1b2) was found to be the most dominant Y chromosomal
lineage in France, covering about 60% of the Y chromosomal lineages.
The high frequency of this haplogroup is typical in all West European
populations. Haplogroups I and G are also characteristic markers for
many different West European populations. Haplogroups J and E1b1b
(M35, M78, M81 and M34) consist of lineages with differential
distribution within Middle East, North
Africa and Europe. Only adults
with French surnames were analyzed by the study.
7 Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Provence, a province of southern
France was colonized by Ancient
Greeks who founded the cities of
Marseilles and Nice. A study in 2011
found that 17% of the Y-chromosomes (exclusive to males) of Marseilles
may be attributed to Greek colonization, predicting a maximum of a 10%
Greek contribution into the local population as opposed to
Celto-Ligurian autochthonous input, suggesting a Greek male
elite-dominant input into the Iron Age
Provence population. There was
also some evidence for limited Greek influence in Corsica.
Nationality and citizenship
Nationality and Citizenship
French nationality has not meant automatic citizenship. Some
French people have been excluded, throughout the years,
from full citizenship:
Women: until the Liberation, they were deprived of the right to vote.
The provisional government of General de Gaulle accorded them this
right by the 21 April 1944 prescription. However, women still suffer
from under-representation in the political class. The 6 June 2000 law
on parity attempted to address this question.
Military: for a long time, it was called "la grande muette" ("the
great mute") in reference to its prohibition from interfering in
political life. During a large part of the Third Republic
(1871–1940), the Army was in its majority anti-republican (and thus
Dreyfus Affair and the 16 May 1877 crisis,
which almost led to a monarchist coup d'état by MacMahon, are
examples of this anti-republican spirit. Therefore, they would only
gain the right to vote with the 17 August 1945 prescription: the
contribution of De Gaulle to the interior
French Resistance reconciled
the Army with the Republic. Nevertheless, militaries do not benefit
from the whole of public liberties, as the 13 July 1972 law on the
general statute of militaries specify.
Young people: the July 1974 law, voted at the instigation of president
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, reduced from 21 to 18 the age of majority.
Naturalized foreigners: since the 9 January 1973 law, foreigners who
have acquired French nationality do not have to wait five years after
their naturalization to be able to vote anymore.
Inhabitants of the colonies: the 7 May 1946 law meant that soldiers
from the "Empire" (such as the tirailleurs) killed during World War I
World War II
World War II were not citizens.
the special case of foreign citizens of an EU member state who, even
if not French, are allowed to vote in French local elections and
may turn to any French consular or diplomatic mission.
France was one of the first countries to implement denaturalization
Giorgio Agamben has pointed out this fact that the
1915 French law which permitted denaturalization with regard to
naturalized citizens of "enemy" origins was one of the first example
of such legislation, which
Germany later implemented with the
1935 Nuremberg Laws.
Furthermore, some authors who have insisted on the "crisis of the
nation-state" allege that nationality and citizenship are becoming
separate concepts. They show as example "international",
"supranational citizenship" or "world citizenship" (membership to
international nongovernmental organizations such as Amnesty
International or Greenpeace). This would indicate a path toward a
Beside this, modern citizenship is linked to civic participation (also
called positive freedom), which implies voting, demonstrations,
petitions, activism, etc. Therefore, social exclusion may lead to
deprivation of citizenship. This has led various authors (Philippe Van
Parijs, Jean-Marc Ferry, Alain Caillé, André Gorz) to theorize a
guaranteed minimum income which would impede exclusion from
Multiculturalism versus universalism
Alfred-Amédée Dodds, a mixed-race French general and colonial
administrator born in Senegal
In France, the conception of citizenship teeters between universalism
and multiculturalism, especially in recent years. French citizenship
has been defined for a long time by three factors: integration,
individual adherence, and the primacy of the soil (jus soli).
Political integration (which includes but is not limited to racial
integration) is based on voluntary policies which aims at creating a
common identity, and the interiorization by each individual of a
common cultural and historic legacy. Since in France, the state
preceded the nation, voluntary policies have taken an important place
in the creation of this common cultural identity.
On the other hand, the interiorization of a common legacy is a slow
process, which B. Villalba compares to acculturation. According to
him, "integration is therefore the result of a double will: the
nation's will to create a common culture for all members of the
nation, and the communities' will living in the nation to recognize
the legitimacy of this common culture". Villalba warns against
confusing recent processes of integration (related to the so-called
"second generation immigrants", who are subject to discrimination),
with older processes which have made modern France. Villalba thus
shows that any democratic nation characterize itself by its project of
transcending all forms of particular memberships (whether biological -
or seen as such, ethnic, historic, economic, social, religious or
cultural). The citizen thus emancipates himself from the
particularisms of identity which characterize himself to attain a more
"universal" dimension. He is a citizen, before being a member of a
community or of a social class
Therefore, according to Villalba, "a democratic nation is, by
definition, multicultural as it gathers various populations, which
differs by their regional origins (Auvergnats, Bretons,
Lorrains...), their national origins (immigrant, son or grandson of an
immigrant), or religious origins (Catholics, Protestants, Jews,
Muslims, Agnostics or Atheists...)."
What is a Nation? (1882)
Ernest Renan described this republican conception in his famous 11
March 1882 conference at the Sorbonne,
Qu'est-ce qu'une nation? ("What
is a Nation?"). According to him, to belong to a nation is a
subjective act which always has to be repeated, as it is not assured
by objective criteria. A nation-state is not composed of a single
homogeneous ethnic group (a community), but of a variety of
individuals willing to live together.
Renan's non-essentialist definition, which forms the basis of the
French Republic, is diametrically opposed to the German ethnic
conception of a nation, first formulated by Fichte. The German
conception is usually qualified in
France as an "exclusive" view of
nationality, as it includes only the members of the corresponding
ethnic group, while the Republican conception thinks itself as
universalist, following the Enlightenment's ideals officialized by the
1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. While Ernest
Renan's arguments were also concerned by the debate about the disputed
Alsace-Lorraine region, he said that not only one referendum had to be
made in order to ask the opinions of the Alsatian people, but also a
"daily referendum" should be made concerning all those citizens
wanting to live in the French nation-state. This plébiscite de tous
les jours ('everyday plebiscite') might be compared to a social
contract or even to the classic definition of consciousness as an act
which repeats itself endlessly.
Henceforth, contrary to the German definition of a nation based on
objective criteria, such as race or ethnic group, which may be defined
by the existence of a common language, among other criteria, the
France is defined as all the people living in the French
nation-state and willing to do so, i.e. by its citizenship. This
definition of the French nation-state contradicts the common opinion,
which holds that the concept of the
French people identifies with one
particular ethnic group. This contradiction explains the seeming
paradox encountered when attempting to identify a "French ethnic
group": the French conception of the nation is radically opposed to
(and was thought in opposition to) the German conception of the Volk
This universalist conception of citizenship and of the nation has
influenced the French model of colonization. While the British empire
preferred an indirect rule system, which did not mix the colonized
people with the colonists, the
French Republic theoretically chose an
integration system and considered parts of its colonial empire as
France itself and its population as French people. The ruthless
Algeria thus led to the integration of the territory as a
Département of the French territory.
This ideal also led to the ironic sentence which opened up history
France as in its colonies: "Our ancestors the Gauls...".
However, this universal ideal, rooted in the 1789 French Revolution
("bringing liberty to the people"), suffered from the racism that
impregnated colonialism. Thus, in Algeria, the
Crémieux decrees at
the end of the 19th century gave
French citizenship to north African
Jews, while Muslims were regulated by the 1881 Indigenous Code.
Liberal author Tocqueville himself considered that the British model
was better adapted than the French one and did not balk before the
cruelties of General Bugeaud's conquest. He went as far as advocating
racial segregation there.
This paradoxical tension between the universalist conception of the
French nation and the racism inherent in colonization is most obvious
Ernest Renan himself, who went as far as advocating a kind of
eugenics. In a 26 June 1856 letter to Arthur de Gobineau, author of An
Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races (1853–55) and one of the
first theoreticians of "scientific racism", he wrote:
"You have written a remarkable book here, full of vigour and
originality of mind, only it's written to be little understood in
France or rather it's written to be misunderstood here. The French
mind turns little to ethnographic considerations:
France has little
belief in race, [...] The fact of race is huge originally; but it's
been continually losing its importance, and sometimes, as in France,
it happens to disappear completely. Does that mean total decadence?
Yes, certainly from the standpoint of the stability of institutions,
the originality of character, a certain nobility that I hold to be the
most important factor in the conjunction of human affairs. But also
what compensations! No doubt if the noble elements mixed in the blood
of a people happened to disappear completely, then there would be a
demeaning equality, like that of some Eastern states and in some
respects China. But it is in fact a very small amount of noble blood
put into the circulation of a people that is enough to ennoble them,
at least as to historical effects; this is how France, a nation so
completely fallen into commonness, in practice plays on the world
stage the role of a gentleman. Setting aside the quite inferior races
whose intermingling with the great races would only poison the human
species, I see in the future a homogeneous humanity."
Jus soli and jus sanguinis
Main article: French nationality law
Ancien Régime (before the 1789 French revolution), jus
soli (or "right of territory") was predominant. Feudal law recognized
personal allegeance to the sovereign, but the subjects of the
sovereign were defined by their birthland. According to the 3
September 1791 Constitution, those who are born in
France from a
foreign father and have fixed their residency in France, or those who,
after being born in foreign country from a French father, have come to
France and have sworn their civil oath, become French citizens.
Because of the war, distrust toward foreigners led to the obligation
on the part of this last category to swear a civil oath in order to
gain French nationality.
Napoleonic Code would insist on jus sanguinis ("right of
blood"). Paternity, against Napoléon Bonaparte's wish, became the
principal criterion of nationality, and therefore broke for the first
time with the ancient tradition of jus soli, by breaking any residency
condition toward children born abroad from French parents. However,
according to Patrick Weil, it was not "ethnically motivated" but "only
meant that family links transmitted by the pater familias had become
more important than subjecthood".
With the 7 February 1851 law, voted during the Second Republic
(1848–1852), "double jus soli" was introduced in French legislation,
combining birth origin with paternity. Thus, it gave French
nationality to the child of a foreigner, if both are born in France,
except if the year following his coming of age he reclaims a foreign
nationality (thus prohibiting dual nationality). This 1851 law was in
part passed because of conscription concerns. This system more or less
remained the same until the 1993 reform of the
created by the 9 January 1973 law.
The 1993 reform, which defines the
Nationality law, is deemed
controversial by some. It commits young people born in
foreign parents to solicit French nationality between the ages of 16
and 21. This has been criticized, some arguing that the principle of
equality before the law was not complied with, since French
nationality was no longer given automatically at birth, as in the
classic "double jus soli" law, but was to be requested when
approaching adulthood. Henceforth, children born in
France from French
parents were differentiated from children born in
France from foreign
parents, creating a hiatus between these two categories.
The 1993 reform was prepared by the Pasqua laws. The first Pasqua law,
in 1986, restricts residence conditions in
France and facilitates
expulsions. With this 1986 law, a child born in
France from foreign
parents can only acquire French nationality if he or she demonstrates
his or her will to do so, at age 16, by proving that he or she has
been schooled in
France and has a sufficient command of the French
language. This new policy is symbolized by the expulsion of 101
Malians by charter.
The second Pasqua law on "immigration control" makes regularisation of
illegal aliens more difficult and, in general, residence conditions
for foreigners much harder. Charles Pasqua, who said on 11 May 1987:
"Some have reproached me of having used a plane, but, if necessary, I
will use trains", declared to
Le Monde on 2 June 1993: "
been a country of immigration, it doesn't want to be one anymore. Our
aim, taking into account the difficulties of the economic situation,
is to tend toward 'zero immigration' ("immigration zéro")".
French nationality law
French nationality law combines four factors:
paternality or 'right of blood', birth origin, residency and the will
expressed by a foreigner, or a person born in
France to foreign
parents, to become French.
Citizenship of the European Union
Maastricht Treaty introduced the concept of European
citizenship, which comes in addition to national citizenships.
Citizenship of foreigners
By definition, a "foreigner" is someone who does not have French
nationality. Therefore, it is not a synonym of "immigrant", as a
foreigner may be born in France. On the other hand, a Frenchman born
abroad may be considered an immigrant (e.g. former prime minister
Dominique de Villepin
Dominique de Villepin who lived the majority of his life abroad). In
most of the cases, however, a foreigner is an immigrant, and vice
versa. They either benefit from legal sojourn in France, which, after
a residency of ten years, makes it possible to ask for
naturalisation. If they do not, they are considered "illegal
aliens". Some argue that this privation of nationality and citizenship
does not square with their contribution to the national economic
efforts, and thus to economic growth.
In any cases, rights of foreigners in
France have improved over the
1946: right to elect trade union representative (but not to be elected
as a representative)
1968: right to become a trade-union delegate
1972: right to sit in works council and to be a delegate of the
workers at the condition of "knowing how to read and write French"
1975: additional condition: "to be able to express oneself in French";
they may vote at prud'hommes elections ("industrial tribunal
elections") but may not be elected; foreigners may also have
administrative or leadership positions in tradeunions but under
1982: those conditions are suppressed, only the function of conseiller
prud'hommal is reserved to those who have acquired French nationality.
They may be elected in workers' representation functions (Auroux
laws). They also may become administrators in public structures such
Social security banks (caisses de sécurité sociale), OPAC (which
administers HLMs), Ophlm...
1992: for European Union citizens, right to vote at the European
elections, first exercised during the 1994 European elections, and at
municipal elections (first exercised during the 2001 municipal
INSEE does not collect data about language, religion, or ethnicity
– on the principle of the secular and unitary nature of the French
Nevertheless, there are some sources dealing with just such
CIA World Factbook
CIA World Factbook defines the ethnic groups of
France as being
"Celtic and Latin with Teutonic, Slavic, North African, Sub-Saharan
African, Indochinese, and Basque minorities. Overseas departments:
black, white, mulatto, East Indian, Chinese, Amerindian". Its
definition is reproduced on several Web sites collecting or reporting
The U.S. Department of State goes into further detail: "Since
France has been a crossroads of trade, travel, and
invasion. Three basic European ethnic stocks – Celtic, Latin, and
Teutonic (Frankish) – have blended over the centuries to make up its
present population. . . . Traditionally,
France has had a high level
of immigration. . . . In 2004, there were over 6 million Muslims,
North African descent, living in France.
France is home to
both the largest Muslim and Jewish populations in Europe."
Encyclopædia Britannica says that "the French are strongly
conscious of belonging to a single nation, but they hardly constitute
a unified ethnic group by any scientific gauge", and it mentions as
part of the population of
France the Basques, the
Celts (called Gauls
by Romans), and the Germanic (Teutonic) peoples (including the
Norsemen or Vikings).
France also became "in the 19th and especially
in the 20th century, the prime recipient of foreign immigration into
Europe. . . ."
It is said by some[who?] that
France adheres to the ideal of a single,
homogeneous national culture, supported by the absence of hyphenated
identities and by avoidance of the very term "ethnicity" in French
Immigration to France
As of 2008, the French national institute of statistics INSEE
estimated that 5,3 million foreign-born immigrants and 6,5 million
direct descendants of immigrants (born in
France with at least one
immigrant parent) lived in
France representing a total of 11.8 million
and 19% of the total population in metropolitan
France (62,1 million
in 2008). Among them, about 5,5 million are of European origin and 4
North African origin.
Populations with French ancestry
See also: French diaspora
Between 1848 and 1939, 1 million people with French passports
emigrated to other countries. The main communities of French
ancestry in the
New World are found in the United States,
Argentina while sizeable groups are also found in Brazil, Chile,
Uruguay and Australia.
See also: French Canadian
Acadians celebrating the
National Acadian Day
National Acadian Day in
Caraquet, New Brunswick.
There are nearly seven million French speakers out of nine to ten
million people of French and partial French ancestry in Canada. The
Canadian province of
Quebec (2006 census population of 7,546,131),
where more than 95 percent of the people speak French as either their
first, second or even third language, is the center of French life on
the Western side of the Atlantic; however, French settlement began
further east, in Acadia.
Quebec is home to vibrant French-language
arts, media, and learning. There are sizable French-Canadian
communities scattered throughout the other provinces of Canada,
particularly in Ontario, which has about 1 million people with French
ancestry (400 000 who have French as their mother tongue), Manitoba,
and New Brunswick, which is the only fully bilingual province and is
33 percent Acadian.
See also: French American
United States is home to an estimated 13 to 16 million people of
French descent, or 4 to 5 percent of the US population, particularly
New England and parts of the Midwest. The French
Louisiana consists of the Creoles, the descendants of the
French settlers who arrived when
Louisiana was a French colony, and
the Cajuns, the descendants of
Acadian refugees from the Great
Upheaval. Very few creoles remain in New Orleans in present times. In
New England, the vast majority of French immigration in the 19th and
early 20th centuries came not from France, but from over the border in
Quebec diaspora. These French Canadians arrived to work in
the timber mills and textile plants that appeared throughout the
region as it industrialized. Today, nearly 25 percent of the
New Hampshire is of French ancestry, the highest of any
English and Dutch colonies of pre-Revolutionary America attracted
large numbers of French
Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in
France. In the Dutch colony of
New Netherland that later became New
York, northern New Jersey, and western Connecticut, these French
Huguenots, nearly identical in religion to the Dutch Reformed Church,
assimilated almost completely into the Dutch community. However, large
it may have been at one time, it has lost all identity of its French
origin, often with the translation of names (examples: de la Montagne
> Vandenberg by translation; de Vaux > DeVos or Devoe by
Huguenots appeared in all of the English
colonies and likewise assimilated. Even though this mass settlement
approached the size of the settlement of the French settlement of
Quebec, it has assimilated into the English-speaking mainstream to a
much greater extent than other French colonial groups and has left few
traces of cultural influence.
New Rochelle, New York
New Rochelle, New York is named after La
Rochelle, France, one of the sources of
Huguenot emigration to the
Dutch colony; and New Paltz, New York, is one of the few non-urban
Huguenots that did not undergo massive recycling of
buildings in the usual redevelopment of such older, larger cities as
New York City or New Rochelle.
See also: French Argentine
French Argentines form the third largest ancestry group in Argentina,
after Italian and Spanish Argentines. Most of French immigrants came
Argentina between 1871 and 1890, though considerable immigration
continued until the late 1940s. At least half of these immigrants came
from Southwestern France, especially from the Basque Country, Béarn
(Basses-Pyrénées accounted for more than 20% of immigrants), Bigorre
and Rouergue but also from Savoy and the Paris region. Today around
6.8 million Argentines have some degree of French ancestry or are
of partial or wholly of French descent (up to 17% of the total
population). French Argentines had a considerable influence over
the country, particularly on its architectural styles and literary
traditions, as well as on the scientific field. Some notable
Argentines of French descent include writer Julio Cortázar,
Nobel Prize winner
Bernardo Houssay or activist
Alicia Moreau de Justo. With something akin to Latin culture, the
French immigrants quickly assimilated into mainstream Argentine
Main article: French Uruguayan
French Uruguayans form the third largest ancestry group in Uruguay,
after Italian and Spanish Uruguayans. During the first half of the
Uruguay received mostly French immigrants to South
America. It constituted back then the second receptor of French
immigrants in the
New World after the United States. Thus, while the
United States received 195,971 French immigrants between 1820 and
1855, 13,922 Frenchmen, most of them from the Basque Country and
Béarn, left for
Uruguay between 1833 and 1842.
The majority of immigrants were coming from the Basque Country, Béarn
and Bigorre. Today, there are an estimated at 300,000 French
descendants in Uruguay.
Main article: French British
French migration to the
United Kingdom is a phenomenon that has
occurred at various points in history. Many British people have French
ancestry, and French remains the foreign language most learned by
British people. Much of the UK's mediaeval aristocracy was descended
from Franco-Norman migrants at the time of the Norman Conquest of
England, and also during the
Angevin Empire of the Plantagenet
According to a study by Ancestry.co.uk, 3 million British people are
of French descent. Among those are television presenters Davina
McCall and Louis Theroux. There are currently an estimated 400,000
French people in the United Kingdom, most of them in London.
The first French emigration in
Costa Rica was a very small number to
Cartago in the mid-nineteenth century. Due to World War II, a group of
exiled French (mostly soldiers and families orphaned) migrated to the
See also: French immigration to Mexico
In Mexico, a sizeable population can trace its ancestry to France.
After Spain, this makes
France the second largest European ethnicity
in the country. The bulk of French immigrants arrived in
the 19th and early 20th centuries.
From 1814 to 1955, inhabitants of
Barcelonnette and the surrounding
Ubaye Valley emigrated to
Mexico by the dozens. Many established
textile businesses between
Mexico and France. At the turn of the 20th
century, there were 5,000 French families from the Barcelonnette
region registered with the French Consulate in Mexico. While 90%
stayed in Mexico, some returned, and from 1880 to 1930, built grand
mansions called Maisons Mexicaines and left a mark upon the city.
In the 1860s, during the
Second Mexican Empire
Second Mexican Empire ruled by Emperor
Maximilian I of Mexico—which was part of Napoleon III's scheme to
create a Latin empire in the
New World (indeed responsible for coining
the term of "Amérique latine", "Latin America" in English)-- many
French soldiers, merchants, and families set foot upon Mexican soil.
Emperor Maximilian's consort, Carlota of Mexico, a Belgian princess,
was a granddaughter of Louis-Philippe of France.
Many Mexicans of French descent live in cities or states such as
Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Monterrey, Puebla, Guadalajara,
and the capital,
Mexico City, where French surnames such as
Chairez/Chaires, Renaux, Pierres, Michel, Betancourt, Alaniz, Blanc,
Ney, Jurado (Jure), Colo (Coleau), Dumas, or Moussier can be found.
Main article: French Chilean
The French came to
Chile in the 18th century, arriving at Concepción
as merchants, and in the mid-19th century to cultivate vines in the
haciendas of the Central Valley, the homebase of world-famous Chilean
Araucanía Region also has an important number of people of
French ancestry, as the area hosted settlers arrived by the second
half of the 19th century as farmers and shopkeepers. With something
akin to Latin culture, the French immigrants quickly assimilated into
mainstream Chilean society.
From 1840 to 1940, around 25,000 Frenchmen immigrated to Chile. 80% of
them were coming from Southwestern France, especially from
Basses-Pyrénées (Basque country and Béarn), Gironde,
Charente and regions situated between Gers
Most of French immigrants settled in the country between 1875 and
1895. Between October 1882 and December 1897, 8,413 Frenchmen settled
in Chile, making up 23% of immigrants (second only after Spaniards)
from this period. In 1863, 1,650 French citizens were registered in
Chile. At the end of the century they were almost 30,000.
According to the census of 1865, out of 23,220 foreigners established
in Chile, 2,483 were French, the third largest European community in
the country after Germans and Englishmen. In 1875, the community
reached 3,000 members, 12% of the almost 25,000 foreigners
established in the country. It was estimated that 10,000 Frenchmen
were living in
Chile in 1912, 7% of the 149,400 Frenchmen living in
In World War II, a group of over 10,000 Chileans of French descent,
the majority have French relatives joined the
Free French Forces
Free French Forces and
Nazi occupation of
France .
Today it is estimated that 500,000 Chileans are of French descent.
Current president of Chile,
Michelle Bachelet is of French origin, as
was dictator Augusto Pinochet. A large percentage of politicians,
businessmen, professionals and entertainers in the country are of
Main article: French Brazilian
French immigrants to
Brazil from 1913 to 1924
It is estimated that there are 1 million to 2 million or more
Brazilians of French descent today. This gives
Brazil the second
largest French community in South America.
From 1819 to 1940, 40,383 Frenchmen immigrated to Brazil. Most of them
settled in the country between 1884 and 1925 (8,008 from 1819 to 1883,
25,727 from 1884 to 1925, 6,648 from 1926 to 1940). Another source
estimates that around 100,000
French people immigrated to Brazil
between 1850 and 1965.
The French community in
Brazil numbered 592 in 1888 and 5,000 in
1915. It was estimated that 14,000 Frenchmen were living in
Brazil in 1912, 9% of the 149,400 Frenchmen living in Latin America,
the second largest community after
Brazilian Imperial Family
Brazilian Imperial Family originates from the Portuguese House of
Braganza and the last emperor's heir and daughter, Isabella, married
Prince Gaston d'Orleans, Comte d'Eu, a member of the House of
Orléans, a cadet branch of the Bourbons, the French Royal Family.
See also: French Guatemalan
The first French immigrants were politicians such as Nicolas Raoul and
Isidore Saget, Henri Terralonge and officers Aluard, Courbal,
Duplessis, Gibourdel and Goudot. Later, when the Central American
Federation was divided in 7 countries, Some of them settled to Costa
Rica, others to Nicaragua, although the majority still remained in
Guatemala. The relationships start to 1827, politicians, scientists,
painters, builders, singers and some families emigrated to Guatemala.
Later in a Conservative government, annihilated nearly all the
France and Guatemala, and most of French immigrants
went to Costa Rica, but these relationships were again return to the
late of the nineteenth century.
Further information: Rubber boom
Elsewhere in the Americas, French settlement took place in the 16th to
20th centuries. They can be found in Haiti,
Cuba (refugees from the
Haitian Revolution) and Uruguay. The Betancourt political families who
influenced Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Bolivia
Panama have some French ancestry.
Large numbers of
Huguenots are known to have settled in the United
Kingdom (ab 50 000), Ireland, in Protestant areas of Germany
(especially the city of Berlin) (ab 40 000), in the
Netherlands (ab 50
000), in South
Africa and in North America. Many people in these
countries still bear French names.
Building of the
École française d'Extrême-Orient
École française d'Extrême-Orient in Pondicherry
In Asia, a proportion of people with mixed French and Vietnamese
descent can be found in Vietnam. Including the number of persons of
pure French descent. Many are descendants of French settlers who
intermarried with local Vietnamese people. Approximately 5,000 in
Vietnam are of pure French descent, however, this number is
disputed. A small proportion of people with mixed French and
Khmer descent can be found in Cambodia. These people number
approximately 16,000 in Cambodia, among this number, approximately
3,000 are of pure French descent. An unknown number with mixed
French and Lao ancestry can be found throughout Laos. A few
thousand French citizens of Indian, European or creole ethnic origins
live in the former French possessions in
India (mostly Pondicherry).
In addition to these Countries, small minorities can be found
elsewhere in Asia; the majority of these living as expatriates.
French people born in New Caledonia
Apart from Québécois, Acadians, Cajuns, and Métis, other
populations with some French ancestry outside metropolitan France
include the Caldoches of New Caledonia,
Louisiana Creole people of the
United States, the so-called
Zoreilles and Petits-blancs of various
Indian Ocean islands, as well as populations of the former French
colonial empire in Africa.
Armenians in France
Ethnic groups in Europe
Peruvians in France
French people in Madagascar
Genetic history of Europe
History of the
Jews in France
List of French people
List of French people
List of French people of immigrant origin
Pied-Noir - French citizens in French Algeria
Notes and references
^ The total figure is merely an estimation; sum of all the referenced
^ "Démographie - Population au début du mois - France". Insee.fr.
Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques.
Retrieved 28 February 2016.
^ "2013 ACS Ancestry estimates". Factfinder2.census.gov. 2013.
^ Statistics Canada. "2011 National Household Survey: Data tables".
Retrieved 8 March 2014.
^ "Les merveilleux francophiles argentins". Canalacademie.com.
^ "La influencia francesa en la vida social de
Chile de la segunda
mitad del siglo XIX" (PDF). Los datos que poseía el Ministerio de
Relaciones Exteriores de
Chile al año 2008, tal como lo
consignaba el Ministerio Plenipotenciario Francés en Chile, a un
número cercano a los 700.000 descendientes de franceses en
^ a b "Vivre à l'étranger". Ils ont été 100 000 à émigrer dans
ce pays entre 1850 et 1965 et auraient entre 500 000 et 1 million de
^ a b "Migration - Uruguay". Nationsencyclopedia.com. Retrieved 12
^ a b Erwin Dopf. "Inmigración francesa al Perú".
Espejodelperu.com.pe. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
Ethnic People in all Countries". Joshua Project. Retrieved
^ a b c d e f g "Les Français établis hors de France". Au 31
décembre 2012, 1 611 054 de nos compatriotes étaient inscrits au
registre mondial des Français établis hors de France.
^ "Etat et structure de la population – Données détaillées,
Population résidante selon le sexe et la nationalité par pays,
(su-f-01.01.01.03), Office fédéral de la statistique OFS".
Bfs.admin.ch. 29 January 2010. Archived from the original on 12
November 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2011.
^ "Anzahl der Ausländer in Deutschland nach Herkunftsland (Stand: 31.
^ "Federal Statistical Office Germany". Genesis.destatis.de. Retrieved
^ Kevin Shillington, Encyclopedia of African History, CRC Press, 2005,
^ SPF Intérieur - Office des Étrangers Archived 7 February 2009 at
the Wayback Machine.
^ "Avance del Padrón municipal a 1 de enero de 2011. Datos
provisionales. 2011. INE" (PDF). Ine.es. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
^ "20680-Ancestry (full classification list) by Sex - Australia". 2006
Census. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Archived from the original
(Microsoft Excel download) on 10 March 2008. Retrieved
^ "20680-Country of Birth of Person (full classification list) by Sex
- Australia" (Microsoft Excel download). 2006 Census. Australian
Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
^ "Les Barcelonnettes au Mexique". Archived from the original on 9
December 2007. On estime à 60 000 les descendants des Barcelonnettes,
dispersés sur tout le territoire mexicain.
^ "État de la population (x1000) 1981, 1991, 2001–2007".
Statistiques.public.lu. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
^ "Message from Consul General of
Hong Kong and Macau".
Scmp.com. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
^ "Présidentielle française 2012 – À Maurice, Sarkozy l'emporte
devant Hollande" (in French). Le Défi Media Group. 23 April 2012.
Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 11 July
^ "General Population Census 2008: Population Recensee et Population
Estimee" (PDF) (in French). Government of the Principality of Monaco.
2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-06-14. Retrieved 7
^ "Foreign born after country of birth and immigration year".
^ "Bevölkerung nach Staatsangehörigkeit und Geburtsland". Statistik
Austria (in German). Retrieved 1 January 2016.
^ "CIA Factbook - France". Archived from the original on 14 February
Roman Catholic 83%-88%
^ Kertzer, David I.; Arel, Dominique (2002). Census and Identity: The
Politics of Race, Ethnicity, and
Language in National Censuses.
Cambridge University Press. p. 80. ISBN 0521004276.
Ethnic Diversity Survey: portrait of a multicultural society"
(PDF). Statistics Canada. 2003.
^ Jantzen, Lorna (2005). "The Advantages of Analyzing
Across Generation – Results from the
Ethnic Diversity Survey". In
Adsett, Margaret; Mallandain, Caroline; Stettner, Shannon. Canadian
and French perspectives on diversity: Conference proceedings, October
16, 2003 (PDF). Ottawa: Canadian Heritage, Minister of Public Works
and Government Services Canada. p. 111. ISBN 0-662-38231-5.
Retrieved 19 May 2016.
^ a b "Les Gaulois figurent seulement parmi d'autres dans la multitude
de couches de peuplement fort divers (Ligures, Ibères, Latins, Francs
et Alamans, Nordiques, Sarrasins...) qui aboutissent à la population
du pays à un moment donné ", Jean-Louis Brunaux, Nos ancêtres les
Gaulois, éd. Seuil, 2008, p. 261
^ French historian Gérard Noiriel uses the phrase "creuset français"
to express the idea, in his pioneering work Le Creuset français
(1988). See Noiriel, Gérard (1996). The French melting pot:
immigration, citizenship, and national identity. Minneapolis:
University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 0816624194. ;
translated from French by Geoffroy de Laforcade.
^ "French Government Revives Assimilation Policy".
Migrationpolicy.org. 1 October 2003. Archived from the original on 30
January 2015. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
^ a b "
France shall be an indivisible, secular, democratic and social
Republic. It shall ensure the equality of all citizens before the law,
without distinction of origin, race or religion", Constitution of 4
^ Alexandra Hughes, Alex Hughes, Keith A Reader, Keith Reader
-Encyclopedia of Contemporary French Culture - p 232. Retrieved 12
^ Countries and Their Cultures French Canadians - everyculture.com
Retrieved 12 April 2013.
^ One point of friction can be the status of minority languages.
However, though almost extinct, such regional languages are preserved
France and one can learn them at school as a second language
(enseignement de langue regionale).
Encyclopædia Britannica "in the 19th and especially in the 20th
France has become] the prime recipient of foreign
immigration into Europe"
Encyclopædia Britannica Article: French
^ Josephine Baker, one of the most famous American residents in
France, has said: the USA is my country but Paris is my home.
^ For instance, the
World Health Organization
World Health Organization found that France
provided the "best overall health care" in the world World Health
Organization Assesses the World's Health Systems
^ Hughes LAGRANGES, Emeutes, renovation urbaine et alienation
politique, Observatoire sociologique du changement, Paris, 2007 
^ a b The normans Archived 26 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
Jersey heritage trust
^ W. Kruta, Dictionnaire des Celtes
^ Benjamin Z. Kedar, "The Subjected Muslims of the Frankish Levant",
in The Crusades: The Essential Readings, ed. Thomas F. Madden,
Blackwell, 2002, pg. 244. Originally published in Muslims Under Latin
Rule, 1100–1300, ed. James M. Powell, Princeton University Press,
1990. Kedar quotes his numbers from Joshua Prawer, Histoire du royaume
latin de Jérusalem, tr. G. Nahon, Paris, 1969, vol. 1, pp. 498,
^ British North America: 1763–1841. Archived from the original on 1
^ Hispanics in the American Revolution Archived 13 May 2008 at the
^ John Huxtable Elliott (1984). The revolt of the Catalans: a study in
the decline of
Spain (1598–1640). Cambridge University Press.
p. 26. ISBN 0-521-27890-2.
^ "French villages in Banat".
Freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
^ "Smaranda Vultur, De l'Ouest à l'Est et de l'Est à l'Ouest :
les avatars identitaires des Français du Banat, Texte presenté a la
conférence d'histoire orale "Visibles mais pas nombreuses : les
circulations migratoires roumaines", Paris, 2001". Memoria.ro.
^ "Transactions of the American Philosophical Society. III. French
Government and the Refugees". American Philosophical Society, James E.
Hassell (1991). p.22. ISBN 0-87169-817-X
^ Esther Benbassa, The
Jews of France: A History from Antiquity to the
Present, Princeton University Press, 1999
^ "The educated African: a country-by-country survey of educational
development in Africa". Helen A. Kitchen (1962). p.256.
^ Markham, James M. (1988-04-06). "For Pieds-Noirs, the Anger
Endures". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
^ Raimondo Cagiano De Azevedo (1994). "Migration and development
^ Unrest in France, November 2005 : immigration, islam and the
challenge of integration Archived 6 March 2009 at the Wayback
Machine., Justin Vaïsse, Presentation to Congressional Staff, 10 and
12 January 2006, Washington, DC
^ "Compared with the Europeans, the Tunisians belong to a much more
recent wave of migration and occupy a much less favourable
socioeconomic position, yet their pattern of marriage behaviour is
nonetheless similar (...). Algerian and Moroccan immigrants have a
higher propensity to exogamy than Asians or Portuguese but a much
weaker labour market position. (...) Confirming the results from other
analyses of immigrant assimilation in France, this study shows that
North Africans seem to be characterized by a high degree of cultural
integration (reflected in a relatively high propensity to exogamy,
notably for Tunisians) that contrasts with a persistent disadvantage
in the labour market.", Intermarriage and assimilation: disparities in
levels of exogamy among immigrants in France, Mirna Safi, Volume 63
^ Emmanuel Todd, Le destin des immigrés: assimilation et
ségrégation dans les démocraties occidentales, Paris, 1994, p.307
^ Eric Hobsbawm, Nations and
Nationalism since 1780 : programme,
myth, reality (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1990; ISBN 0-521-43961-2)
chapter II "The popular protonationalism", pp.80-81 French edition
(Gallimard, 1992). According to Hobsbawm, the base source for this
Ferdinand Brunot (ed.), Histoire de la langue française,
Paris, 1927–1943, 13 volumes, in particular the tome IX. He also
refers to Michel de Certeau, Dominique Julia, Judith Revel, Une
politique de la langue: la Révolution française et les patois:
l'enquête de l'abbé Grégoire, Paris, 1975. For the problem of the
transformation of a minority official language into a mass national
language during and after the French Revolution, see Renée Balibar,
L'Institution du français: essai sur le co-linguisme des Carolingiens
à la République, Paris, 1985 (also Le co-linguisme, PUF, Que
sais-je?, 1994, but out of print) ("The Institution of the French
language: essay on colinguism from the
Carolingian to the Republic").
Finally, Hobsbawm refers to Renée Balibar and Dominique Laporte, Le
Français national: politique et pratique de la langue nationale sous
la Révolution, Paris, 1974.
^ Éric Gailledrat, Les Ibères de l'Èbre à l'Hérault (VIe-IVe s.
avant J.-C.), Lattes, Sociétés de la Protohistoire et de
France Méditerranéenne, Monographies d'Archéologie
Méditerranéenne - 1, 1997
^ Dominique Garcia: Entre Ibères et Ligures. Lodévois et moyenne
vallée de l'Hérault protohistoriques. Paris, CNRS éd., 1993; Les
Ibères dans le midi de la France. L'Archéologue, n°32, 1997, pp.
^ "Notre Midi a sa pinte de sang sarrasin", Fernand Braudel,
L'identité de la
France - Les Hommes et les Choses (1986),
Flammarion, 1990, p. 215
^ "Les premiers musulmans arrivèrent en
France à la suite de
l'occupation de l'Espagne par les Maures, il y a plus d'un
millénaire, et s'installèrent dans les environs de Toulouse - et
jusqu'en Bourgogne. À Narbonne, les traces d'une mosquée datant du
VIIIe siècle sont le témoignage de l'ancienneté de ce passé. Lors
de la célèbre, et en partie mythologique, bataille de Poitiers en
732, dont les historiens reconsidèrent aujourd'hui l'importance,
Charles Martel aurait stoppé la progression des envahisseurs arabes.
Des réfugiés musulmans qui fuyaient la Reconquista espagnole, et
plus tard l'Inquisition, firent souche en Languedoc-Roussillon et dans
le Pays basque français, ainsi que dans le Béarn", Justin Vaïsse,
Intégrer l'Islam, Odile Jacob, 2007, pp. 32–33
^ Dominique Schnapper, "La conception de la nation", "Citoyenneté et
société", Cahiers Francais, n° 281, mai-juin 1997
^ a b "What Is France? Who Are the French?". Archived from the
original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2010.
^ a b c d e f Dr. Myriam Krepps (7–9 October 2011). French Identity,
French Heroes: From Vercingétorix to Vatel (PDF). Pittsburg State
University, Pittsburg, Kansas. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28
^ a b c d e Hugh Schofield (26 August 2012). "France's ancient Alesia
dispute rumbles on". BBC News.
^ Ramos-Luisa et al. (2009), "Phylogeography of French male lineages
(supplemental data from 23rd
International ISFG Congress held from 14
to 18 September 2009 in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires)", Forensic
International 2: 439-441, doi:10.1016/j.fsigss.2009.09.026
^ "Sample collection was performed drawing blood of unrelated male
individuals with French surname after informed consent", Ramos-Luisa
et al. (2009)
^ Chiaroni, Jacques (2011). The coming of the
Corsica: Y-chromosome models of archaic Greek colonization of the
western Mediterranean. BMC Evolutionary Biology.
doi:10.1186/1471-2148-11-69. The process of Greek colonization of the
central and western Mediterranean during the Archaic and Classical
Eras has been understudied from the perspective of population
genetics. To investigate the Y chromosomal demography of Greek
colonization in the western Mediterranean, Y-chromosome data
consisting of 29 YSNPs and 37 YSTRs were compared from 51 subjects
from Provence, 58 subjects from Smyrna and 31 subjects whose paternal
ancestry derives from Asia Minor Phokaia, the ancestral embarkation
port to the 6th century BCE Greek colonies of Massalia (Marseilles)
and Alalie (Aleria, Corsica). Results 19% of the Phokaian and 12% of
the Smyrnian representatives were derived for haplogroup E-V13,
characteristic of the Greek and Balkan mainland, while 4% of the
Provencal, 4.6% of East Corsican and 1.6% of West Corsican samples
were derived for E-V13. An admixture analysis estimated that 17% of
the Y-chromosomes of
Provence may be attributed to Greek colonization.
Using the following putative Neolithic Anatolian lineages: J2a-DYS445
= 6, G2a-M406 and J2a1b1-M92, the data predict a 0% Neolithic
Provence from Anatolia. Estimates of colonial Greek
vs. indigenous Celto-Ligurian demography predict a maximum of a 10%
Greek contribution, suggesting a Greek male elite-dominant input into
the Iron Age
^ Loi no 2000-493 du 6 juin 2000 tendant à favoriser l'égal accès
des femmes et des hommes aux mandats électoraux et fonctions
électives (in French)
^ a b c d e f B. Villalba. "Chapitre 2 - Les incertitudes de la
citoyenneté" (in French). Catholic University of Lille, Law
Department. Archived from the original on 16 November 2006. Retrieved
3 May 2006.
^ if living in France
^ if there is no such representations of their own country
^ See Giorgio Agamben, Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life,
Stanford University Press (1998), ISBN 0-8047-3218-3.
^ (in French) P. Hassenteufel, "Exclusion sociale et citoyenneté",
"Citoyenneté et société", Cahiers Francais, n° 281, mai-juin
1997), quoted by B. Villalba of the Catholic University of Lille,
^ See Eric Hobsbawm, op.cit.
^ Even the biological conception of sex may be questioned: see gender
^ It may be interesting to refer to Michel Foucault's description of
the discourse of "race struggle", as he shows that this medieval
discourse - held by such people as
Edward Coke or
John Lilburne in
Great Britain, and, in France, by Nicolas Fréret, Boulainvilliers,
and then Sieyès,
Augustin Thierry and Cournot -, tended to identify
the French noble classes to a Northern and foreign race, while the
"people" was considered as an aborigine - and "inferior" races. This
historical discourse of "race struggle", as isolated by Foucault, was
not based on a biological conception of race, as would be latter
racialism (aka "scientific racism")
^  Archived 16 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
^ See John Locke's definition of consciousness and of identity.
Consciousness is an act accompanying all thoughts (I am conscious that
I am thinking this or that...), and which therefore doubles all
thoughts. Personal identity is composed by the repeated consciousness,
and thus extends so far in time (both in the past and in the future)
as I am conscious of it (An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
(1689), Chapter XXVII "Of Identity and Diversity", available here )
^ See e.g. Hannah Arendt,
The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951),
second part on "Imperialism"
Olivier LeCour Grandmaison
Olivier LeCour Grandmaison (June 2001). "Torture in Algeria: Past
Acts That Haunt
France - Liberty, Equality and Colony". Le Monde
^ Ernest Renan's 26 June 1856 letter to Arthur de Gobineau, quoted by
Jacques Morel in Calendrier des crimes de la
L'esprit frappeur, 2001 (Morel gives as source: Ernest Renan,
Qu'est-ce qu'une nation? et autres textes politiques, chosen and
presented by Joël Roman, Presses Pocket, 1992, p 221.)
^ "In eighteenth-century Europe, jus soli was the dominant criterion
of nationality law in the two most powerful kingdoms :
United Kingdom. It was the transfer of a feudal tradition to the state
level : human beings were linked to the lord who held the land
where they were born. The
French Revolution broke from this feudal
tradition. Because jus soli connoted feudal allegiance, it was
decided, against Napoléon Bonaparte's wish, that the new Civil Code
of 1804 would grant French nationality at birth only to a child born
to a French father, either in
France or abroad . It was not ethnically
motivated; it only meant that family links transmitted by the pater
familias had become more important than subjecthood", Patrick Weil,
Access to citizenship : A comparison of twenty five nationality
laws Archived 1 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine., dans T. Alexander
Aleinikoff and Douglas Klusmeyer (ed.),
Citizenship Today: Global
Perspectives and Practices, Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace, Washington DC, 2001, p.17-35.
^ This ten-year clause is threatened by Interior Minister Nicolas
Sarkozy's law proposition on immigration.
Language Groups: Towards a Set of Rules for
Data Collection and Statistical Analysis, Werner Haug
^ "CIA Factbook - France". Cia.gov. Archived from the original on 14
February 2010. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
France Population -
Nation by Nation
^ Background Notes:
France - U.S. Department of State
Encyclopædia Britannica Article: French ethnic groups. Retrieved
July 2003 2008
^ Race, Ethnicity, and National Identity in
France and the United
States: A Comparative Historical Overview Archived 8 December 2003 at
the Wayback Machine. George M. Fredrickson, Stanford University, 2003.
Retrieved 17 March 2008
^ Être né en
France d'un parent immigré, Insee Première, n°1287,
mars 2010, Catherine Borrel et Bertrand Lhommeau, Insee
^ Répartition des immigrés par pays de naissance 2008, Insee,
^ Pastor, José Manuel Azcona (2004). Possible paradises: Basque
emigration to Latin America. University of Nevada Press.
ISBN 978-0-87417-444-1. In any event, between 1848 and 1939, one
million people with French passports headed definitively abroad (page
^ Canal Académie: Les merveilleux francophiles argentins Archived 5
June 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
^ L'immigration française en Argentine, 1850–1930. L'
seulement 13.922 [immigrants français] entre 1833 et 1842, la plupart
d'entre eux originaires du Pays Basque et du Béarn.
^ Wardrop, Murray (12 April 2010). "Britons can trace French ancestry
after millions of records go online". The Daily Telegraph. London. The
documents disclose that despite our rivalry with our continental
counterparts, 3 million Britons - one in 20 – can trace their
ancestry back to France.
^ "London, France's sixth biggest city". BBC News. 2012-05-30.
Retrieved 2013-02-23. The French consulate in
London estimates between
300,000 and 400,000 French citizens live in the British capital
^ "Sarkozy raises hopes of expats". Baltimoresun.com. 19 October 2011.
Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 12 November
^ Los franco-ticos la genealogía y la paz Archived 24 May 2015 at the
Wayback Machine. October 2008, ISSN 1659-3529.
^ "La emigración francesa en Chile, 1875–1914". El 80% de los
colonos que llegan a
Chile provienen del País Vasco, del Bordelais,
de Charentes y de las regiones situadas entre
Gers y Périgord.
^ "La influencia francesa en la vida social de
Chile de la segunda
mitad del siglo XIX" (PDF). Los datos que poseía el Ministerio de
Relaciones Exteriores de
Francia ya en 1863, cuando aúno se abría
Agencia General de Colonización del Gobierno de
Chile en Europa, con
sede en París, daban cuenta de 1.650 ciudadanos franceses residentes.
Esta cifra fue aumentando paulatinamente hasta llegar, tal como lo
consignaba el Ministerio Plenipotenciario Francés en Chile, a un
número cercano a los 30.000 franceses residentes a fines del
^ Paris, Société d'éConomie Politique of; Paris, Société de
Statistique de (1867). Journal des économistes. Le recensement de la
population du Chili a constaté la présence de 23,220 étrangers.
(...) Nous trouvons les étrangers établis au Chili répartis par
nationalité de la manière suivante : Allemands (3,876), Anglais
(2,818), Français (2,483), Espagnols (1,247), Italiens (1,037),
Nord-Américains (831), Portugais (313) (page 281).
^ Collier, Simon; Sater, William F (2004). A history of Chile,
1808–2002. ISBN 978-0-521-53484-0. p. 29. The census of
twenty-one years later put the total at around 25,000 - including
^ Eeuwen, Daniel van (2002). L'Amérique latine et l'
Europe à l'heure
de la mondialisation. ISBN 978-2-84586-281-4. p. 194.
Chili : 10 000 (7%).
^ Possible paradises: Basque emigration to Latin America. The French
colony in this country numbered 592 in 1888 and 5,000 in 1915 (page
^ L'Amérique latine et l'
Europe à l'heure de la mondialisation. p.
194. Brésil : 14 000 (9%).
^ Asociación para el Fomento de los Estudios Históricos en
Centroamérica (AFEHC) Relaciones entre
Francia y Guatemala
(1823–1954) Guatemala, 2007. Retrieved 4 December 2014.
^ "The Population of Bolivia. People and Culture. Demographics.
Bolivia Population". Boliviabella.com. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
^ Naissances selon le pays de naissance des parents 2010, Insee,
Ethnic People Groups of Cambodia". Joshua Project. Retrieved
^ a b "Afghani, Tajik of Afghanistan
Ethnic People Profile".
Joshuaproject.net. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
Abélès, Marc (1999). "How the Anthropology of
France Has Changed
Anthropology in France: Assessing New Directions in the Field".
Cultural Anthropology. American Anthropological Association. 14 (3):
404–8. ISSN 1548-1360. JSTOR 656657 – via JSTOR.
(Registration required (help)).
Wieviorka, M L'espace du racisme 1991 Éditions du Seuil
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