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The French people (french: Français) are an
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousn ...
primarily located in
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical r ...

Western Europe
and
nation A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communities may share a sense ...

nation
that shares a common
French culture The culture of France has been shaped by Geography of France, geography, by History of France, historical events, and by foreign and internal forces and groups. France, and in particular Paris, has played an important role as a center of high c ...
,
history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...

history
, the
French language French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a range of inf ...

French language
and is identified with the country of
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
. The French people, especially the native speakers of
langues d'oïl The ''langues d'oïl'' (; ) are a dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a series of language varieties spoken across some geographical area such that neighboring varieties are mutually intelligible In linguistics ...
from northern and central France, are primarily the descendants of
Gauls The Gauls ( la, Galli; grc, Γαλάται, ''Galátai'') were a group of Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS ...
(including the
Belgae The Belgae () were a large confederation of tribes living in northern Gaul, between the English Channel, the west bank of the Rhine, and northern bank of the river Seine, from at least the third century BC. They were discussed in depth by Julius ...
) and
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
(or
Gallo-Romans The term "Gallo-Roman" describes the Romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for st ...
, western European
Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: ...

Celtic
and
Italic peoples The Italic peoples were an ethnolinguistic group identified by their use of Italic languages, a branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European language family. The Italic peoples are descended from the Indo-European speaking peoples who inh ...
), as well as
Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

Germanic peoples
such as the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
, the
Visigoths The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe a ...
, the
Suebi The Suebi (or Suebians, also spelled Suevi, Suavi) were a large group of Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe and Scandinavia. Since the 19th century, they have traditionally been d ...
and the
Burgundians The Burgundians ( la, Burgundiōnes, Burgundī; on, Burgundar; ang, Burgendas; grc-gre, Βούργουνδοι) were an early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germa ...
who settled in
Gaul Gaul ( la, Gallia) was a region of Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rat ...

Gaul
from east of the Rhine after the fall of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
, as well as various later waves of lower-level irregular migration that have continued to the present day. The
Norse Norse is demonym for Norsemen, a medieval North Germanic ethnolinguistic group ancestral to modern Scandinavians, defined as speakers of Old Norse from about the 9th to the 13th centuries. Norse may also refer to: Culture and religion * Norse m ...
also settled in
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, ...

Normandy
in the 10th century and contributed ancestry to the
Normans The Normans (Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of N ...

Normans
. Furthermore, regional ethnic minorities also exist within France that have distinct lineages, languages and cultures such as
Bretons The Bretons ( br, Bretoned, ) are a Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period ...
in
Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to ...
,
Occitans The Occitans ( oc, occitans) are a Romance Romance (from Vulgar Latin , "in the Roman language", i.e., "Latin") may refer to: Common meanings * Romance (love) Romance or Romantic love is an emotional feeling of love for, or a strong at ...

Occitans
in
Occitania Occitania ( oc, Occitània, , or ) is the historical region in Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe where Occitan language, Occitan was historically the main language spoken, and where it is sometimes still used, for the most part as ...

Occitania
,
Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to the ancient Vascones and Aquitania ...
in the
French Basque Country The French Basque Country, or Northern Basque Country ( eu, Iparralde (), french: Pays basque, es, País Vasco francés) is a region lying on the west of the French department of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques Pyrénées-Atlantiques (; Gasco ...
,
Catalans The Catalans are a Romance-speaking The Romance languages (less commonly Latin languages, or Neo-Latin languages) are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin between the third and eighth centuries. They are a subgroup of the Ita ...

Catalans
in
northern Catalonia Northern Catalonia, ; french: Catalogne (du) Nord ; oc, Catalonha (del) Nòrd; es, Cataluña (del) Norte) French Catalonia or Roussillon refers to the Catalan language, Catalan-speaking and Catalan-culture territory ceded to France by Spain t ...
,
Germans Germans (, ) are the natives or inhabitants of Germany Germany (german: Deutschland, ), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in . It is the in Europe after , and the most populous . Germany is situated between the and seas ...
in
Alsace Alsace (, also ; Low Alemannic German Low Alemannic German (german: Niederalemannisch) is a branch of Alemannic German Alemannic, or rarely Alemannish (''Alemannisch'', ), is a group of High German dialects. The name derives from the ancie ...

Alsace
and
Flemings The Flemish or Flemings ( nl, Vlamingen ) are a West Germanic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a ...
in
French Flanders French Flanders (french: La Flandre française; nl, Frans-Vlaanderen; vls, Frans-Vloandern) is a part of the historical County of Flanders The County of Flanders ( nl, Graafschap Vlaanderen; vls, Groafschap Vloandern; french: Comté de Flandr ...
. France has long been a patchwork of local customs and regional differences, and while most French people still speak the
French language French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a range of inf ...

French language
as their
mother tongue A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1) is a language or dialect that a person has been exposed to from birth or within the critical period hypothesis, critical pe ...
, languages like
Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of Normandy, descended from ...
, Picard,
Poitevin-Saintongeais Poitevin-Saintongeais (french: poitevin-saintongeais, link=no, ; autonym: ''poetevin-séntunjhaes''; also called ''Parlanjhe'', ''Aguiain'' or even ''Aguiainais'' in French) is a langues d'oïl language spoken in the Regions of France, regions of th ...
, Franco-Provencal,
Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evol ...
,
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
,
Auvergnat Auvergnat or Occitan auvergnat (endonym: ''auvernhat'' ) is a northern dialect of Occitan spoken in central and southern France, in particular in the eponymous administrative region of Auvergne. Since there are no universally accepted criteria f ...
,
CorsicanCorsican may refer to: *Someone or something from Corsica *Corsicans, inhabitants of Corsica *Corsican language, a Romance language spoken on Corsica and northern Sardinia *Corsican Republic, a former country in Europe *"The Corsicans", the original ...
,
Basque Basque may refer to: * Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to th ...
,
French Flemish French Flemish (French Flemish: , Dutch language, Standard Dutch: , french: flamand français) is a West Flemish dialect spoken in the north of contemporary France. Place names attest to Flemish having been spoken since the 8th century in the p ...
,
Lorraine Franconian Lorraine Franconian (Lorraine Franconian: ''Plàtt'' or ''lottrìnger Plàtt''; french: francique lorrain or ''platt lorrain''; german: Lothringisch) is an ambiguous designation for dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient ...
, Alsatian, and
Breton Breton most often refers to: *anything associated with Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo language, Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula and cultural region in the west of France, covering the western part ...
remain spoken in their respective regions.
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...
is also widely spoken, arguably the largest minority language in France as of the 21st century (a spot previously held by
Breton Breton most often refers to: *anything associated with Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo language, Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula and cultural region in the west of France, covering the western part ...
and
Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evol ...
). Modern French society is a
melting pot The melting pot is a monocultural metaphor for a heterogeneous Homogeneity and heterogeneity are concepts often used in the sciences Science (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languag ...

melting pot
. From the middle of the 19th century, it experienced a high rate of inward migration, mainly consisting of
Arab-Berber Arab-Berbers ( ar, العرب والبربر ''al-ʿarab wa-l-barbar'') are an ethnolinguistic group of the Maghreb, a vast region of North Africa in the western part of the Arab world along the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Arab-Berb ...
s,
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...

Jews
,
Sub-Saharan Sub-Saharan Africa (commonly called Black Africa) is, geographically, the area of the continent of Africa that lies south of the Sahara. According to the United Nations, it consists of all list of sovereign states and dependent territories i ...

Sub-Saharan
Africans The population of Africa has population growth, grown rapidly over the past century and consequently shows a large youth bulge, further reinforced by a low life expectancy of below 50 years in some African countries. Total population as of 20 ...
,
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...

Chinese
, and other peoples from
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
, the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
and
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...

East Asia
, and the government, defining 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 Nationality is a legal identification of a person in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation ...
with
citizenship Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines the conditions under which it will recognize persons as its citizens, and t ...

citizenship
as does French law. In addition to mainland France, French people and people of French descent can be found internationally, in
overseas departments and territories of France Overseas France (french: France d'outre-mer) consists of thirteen French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, Rép ...
such as the
French West Indies The term French West Indies or French Antilles (french: Antilles françaises, ) refers to the part of France located in the Antilles islands of the Caribbean: * The two Overseas department and region of France, overseas departments of: ** Guade ...
(''French Caribbean''), and in foreign countries with significant French-speaking population groups or not, such as
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
('' French Swiss''), the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
(''
French American French Americans or Franco-Americans (french: Franco-Américains), are citizens Citizenship is the Status (law), status of a person recognized under the law of a country (and/or local jurisdiction) of belonging to thereof. In international ...
s''),
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
(''
French Canadian French Canadians (referred to as Canadiens mainly before the twentieth century ; french: Canadiens français, ; feminine form: , ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of p ...
s''),
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
(''
French Argentine French Argentines (french: Franco-Argentins; es, franco-argentinos) refers to Argentine citizens of full or partial French ancestry or persons born in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République fran ...
s''),
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
(''
French Brazilian French Brazilians (french: Franco-Brésilien; pt, Franco-brasileiro or galo-brasileiro) refers to Brazilians, Brazilian citizens of full of partial French people, French ancestry or persons born in France who reside in Brazil. Between 1850 and 196 ...
s''),
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

Mexico
(''
French Mexicans French Mexicans (french: Franco-Mexicains, links=no, es, franco-mexicanos, links=no or es, galo-mexicanos, links=no) are Mexican Mexican may refer to: Mexico and its culture *Being related to, from, or connected to the country of Mexico, in ...
''),
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively small portion in the . It can also be described as the southern ...

Chile
(''
French Chilean A French Chilean (french: Franco-Chilien, es, franco-chileno) is a Chilean citizen of full or partial French ancestry. Between 1840 and 1940, 20,000 to 25,000 French people immigrated to Chile. The country received the fourth largest number of F ...
s'') and
Uruguay Uruguay (; ; pt, Uruguai), officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay ( es, República Oriental del Uruguay), is a country in South America. It shares borders with Argentina to its west and southwest and Brazil to its north and northeast; whi ...

Uruguay
(''
French Uruguayan French Uruguayans (french: Franco-Uruguayen; es, Franco-Uruguayos) are Uruguayans, Uruguayan citizens of full or partial French people, French ancestry. French Uruguayans form the third largest ancestry group after Spanish Uruguayans and Italian ...
s'').


Citizenship and legal residence

To be French, according to the first article of the French
Constitution A constitution is an aggregate of fundamental principles A principle is a proposition or value that is a guide for behavior or evaluation. In law, it is a rule Rule or ruling may refer to: Human activity * The exercise of political ...
, is to be a citizen of France, regardless of one's origin, race, or religion (''sans distinction d'origine, de race ou de religion'')."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 October 1958
/ref> 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 French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a range of inf ...

French language
and the assumed willingness to live together, as defined by
Ernest Renan Joseph Ernest Renan (; 27 February 18232 October 1892) was a French Orientalist Orientalist may refer to: *A scholar of Oriental studies *A person or thing relating to the Western intellectual or artistic paradigm known as Orientalism (as in 'a ...

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 nation?"). The debate concerning the integration of this view with the principles underlying the
European Community The European Economic Community (EEC) was a regional organization and Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece ...

European Community
remains open. France has been historically open to immigration, although this has changed in recent years. Referring to this perceived openness,
Gertrude Stein Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946) was an American novelist, poet, playwright, and art collector. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the Allegheny West (Pittsburgh), Allegheny West neighborhood and raised in Oakland, Califor ...

Gertrude Stein
, wrote: "America is my country but Paris is my home". Indeed, the country has long valued its
openness Openness is an overarching concept or philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mi ...

openness
, tolerance and the quality of services available. Application for French citizenship is often interpreted as a renunciation of previous state
allegiance An allegiance is a duty of fidelity said to be owed, or freely committed, by the people, subjects or citizen Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to it ...
unless a
dual citizenship Multiple/dual citizenship (or multiple/dual nationality) is a legal status Legal status is the position held by something or someone with regard to law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated el ...
agreement exists between the two countries (for instance, this is the case with
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
: one can be both French and Swiss). The
European treaties European, or Europeans, may refer to: In general * ''European'', an adjective referring to something of, from, or related to Europe ** Ethnic groups in Europe ** Demographics of Europe ** European cuisine, the cuisines of Europe and other Western ...
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 The term magistrate is used in a variety of systems of governments and laws to refer to a civilian officer who administers the law. In ancient Rome, a ''Roman magistrate, magistratus'' was one of the highest ranking government officers, and posse ...
). Seeing itself as an inclusive nation with universal values, France has 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 The 2005 French riots (french: Émeutes de 2005 dans les Banlieues Françaises), was a three-week period of riots in the suburbs of Paris and other French cities, in October and November 2005. These riots involved youth in violent attacks, and the ...
in some troubled and impoverished suburbs (''les quartiers sensibles'') were an example of such tensions. However they should not be interpreted as
ethnic conflict A refugee camp for displaced Rwandans in Zaire following the Rwandan genocide of 1994 An ethnic conflict is a conflict between two or more contending ethnic groups. While the source of the conflict may be political, social, economic or religio ...
s (as appeared before in other countries like the US and the UK) but as
social conflict Social conflict is the struggle for agency or power Power typically refers to: * Power (physics) In physics, power is the amount of energy transferred or converted per unit time. In the International System of Units, the unit of power is the ...
s born out of socioeconomic problems endangering proper integration.


History

Historically, the heritage of the French people is mostly of
Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: ...

Celtic
or Gallic, Latin (
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
) origin, descending from the ancient and medieval populations of
Gauls The Gauls ( la, Galli; grc, Γαλάται, ''Galátai'') were a group of Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS ...
or
Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: Celtic a collection of Indo-European peoples The Indo-European languages ar ...

Celts
from the Atlantic to the Rhone Alps, Germanic tribes that settled
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
from east of the
Rhine ), Surselva Surselva Region is one of the eleven administrative districts Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many s ...

Rhine
and
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
after the fall of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
such as the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
,
Burgundians The Burgundians ( la, Burgundiōnes, Burgundī; on, Burgundar; ang, Burgendas; grc-gre, Βούργουνδοι) were an early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germa ...
,
Allemanni The Alemanni (also ''Alamanni''; ''Suebi'' "Swabians") were a confederation of Germanic peoples, Germanic tribes * * * on the Upper Rhine River. First mentioned by Cassius Dio in the context of the campaign of Caracalla of 213, the Alemanni captu ...
,
Visigoths The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe a ...
and
Suebi The Suebi (or Suebians, also spelled Suevi, Suavi) were a large group of Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe and Scandinavia. Since the 19th century, they have traditionally been d ...
,
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...
and
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...
tribes such as
Ligurians The Ligures (singular Ligus or Ligur; English language, English: Ligurians; Ancient Greek, Greek: ) were an ancient population that gave the name to Liguria, a region of Northern Italy, north-western Italy. File:Meyers b9 s0067b.jpg, Roman Liguri ...
and
Gallo-Romans The term "Gallo-Roman" describes the Romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for st ...
,
Norse Norse is demonym for Norsemen, a medieval North Germanic ethnolinguistic group ancestral to modern Scandinavians, defined as speakers of Old Norse from about the 9th to the 13th centuries. Norse may also refer to: Culture and religion * Norse m ...
populations largely settling in
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, ...

Normandy
at the beginning of the 10th century and "
Bretons The Bretons ( br, Bretoned, ) are a Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period ...
" (Celtic Britons) settling in
Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to ...
in Western
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

France
. The name "France" etymologically derives from the word
Francia Francia, also called the Kingdom of the Franks ( la, Regnum Francorum), Frankish Kingdom, Frankland or Frankish Empire, was the largest History of the Roman Empire, post-Roman barbarian kingdom in Western Europe. It was ruled by the Franks du ...

Francia
, the territory of the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
. The Franks were a Germanic tribe that overran Roman Gaul at the end of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
.


Celtic and Roman Gaul

In the pre-Roman era,
Gaul Gaul ( la, Gallia) was a region of Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rat ...

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 Gaulish tribes. Their ancestors were
Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: Celtic a collection of Indo-European peoples The Indo-European languages ar ...

Celts
who came from Central Europe in the 7th century
BCE Common Era (CE) is one of the year notations used for the Gregorian calendar The Gregorian calendar is the used in most of the world. It was introduced in October 1582 by as a modification of the , reducing the average year from 365.2 ...
or earlier, and non-Celtic peoples including the
Ligures The Ligures (singular Ligus or Ligur; English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has e ...
,
Aquitanians The Aquitanians (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman ...
and
Basques The Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to the ancient Vascones and Aquitania ...

Basques
in Aquitaine. The
Belgae The Belgae () were a large confederation of tribes living in northern Gaul, between the English Channel, the west bank of the Rhine, and northern bank of the river Seine, from at least the third century BC. They were discussed in depth by Julius ...
, who lived in the northern and eastern areas, may have had Germanic admixture; many of these peoples had already spoken
Gaulish Gaulish was an ancient Celtic language The Celtic languages ( , ) are a group of related languages descended from Proto-Celtic The Proto-Celtic language, also called Common Celtic, is the ancestral proto-language of all the known Celti ...
by the time of the Roman conquest. Gaul was militarily conquered in 58–51 BCE by the
Roman legions The Roman legion ( la, legiō, ) was the largest military unit of the Roman army The Roman army (: ) was the armed forces deployed by the Romans throughout the duration of , from the (to c. 500 BC) to the (500–31 BC) and the (31 BC– ...
under the command of General
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...

Julius Caesar
, except for the south-east which had already been conquered about one century earlier. Over the next six centuries, the two cultures intermingled, creating a hybridized
Gallo-Roman culture The term "Gallo-Roman" describes the Romanization (cultural), Romanized culture of Gaul under the rule of the Roman Empire. This was characterized by the Gaulish adoption or adaptation of Roman culture, Roman culture, language, morals and way of ...
. In the late Roman era, in addition to colonists from elsewhere in the Empire and Gaulish natives, Gallia also became home to some immigrant populations of Germanic and Scythian origin, such as the
Alans The Alans or Alāns (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power o ...

Alans
. The
Gaulish language Gaulish was an ancient Celtic language The Celtic languages ( , ) are a Language family, group of related languages descended from Proto-Celtic language, Proto-Celtic. They form a branch of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European langu ...
is thought to have survived into the 6th century in France, despite considerable Romanization of the local material culture. Coexisting with Latin, Gaulish helped shape the
Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin, is non-literary Literature broadly is any collection of written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is th ...
dialects that developed into French, with effects including loanwords and
calque In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the me ...

calque
s (including ''oui'', the word for "yes"), sound changes, and influences in conjugation and word order. Today, the last redoubt of Celtic language in France can be found in the northwestern region of
Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from ' "almost" and ' "island") is a landform surrounded by water on most of its border while being connected to ...
, although this is not the result of a survival of
Gaulish Gaulish was an ancient Celtic language The Celtic languages ( , ) are a group of related languages descended from Proto-Celtic The Proto-Celtic language, also called Common Celtic, is the ancestral proto-language of all the known Celti ...
language but of a 5th-century migration of Brythonic speaking
Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: Celtic a collection of Indo-European peoples The Indo-European languages ar ...

Celts
from
Britain Britain usually refers to: * United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United ...

Britain
. The Vulgar Latin in the region of Gallia took on a distinctly local character, some of which is attested in graffiti, which evolved into the
Gallo-Romance The Gallo-Romance branch of the Romance languages The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a rang ...
dialects which include French and its closest relatives.


Frankish Kingdom

With the decline of the Roman Empire in Western Europe, a federation of Germanic peoples entered the picture: the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
, from which the word "French" derives. The Franks were Germanic pagans who began to settle in northern Gaul as ''
laeti Laeti , the plural form of laetus , was a term used in the late Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post- period of . As a it inc ...
'' during the Roman era. They continued to filter across the
Rhine River ), Surselva Surselva Region is one of the eleven administrative districts Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many s ...
from present-day
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
and
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
between the 3rd and 7th centuries. Initially, they served in the Roman army and obtained important commands. Their language is still spoken as a kind of Dutch (
French Flemish French Flemish (French Flemish: , Dutch language, Standard Dutch: , french: flamand français) is a West Flemish dialect spoken in the north of contemporary France. Place names attest to Flemish having been spoken since the 8th century in the p ...
) in northern France (
French Flanders French Flanders (french: La Flandre française; nl, Frans-Vlaanderen; vls, Frans-Vloandern) is a part of the historical County of Flanders The County of Flanders ( nl, Graafschap Vlaanderen; vls, Groafschap Vloandern; french: Comté de Flandr ...
). The Alamans, another Germanic people immigrated to
Alsace Alsace (, also ; Low Alemannic German Low Alemannic German (german: Niederalemannisch) is a branch of Alemannic German Alemannic, or rarely Alemannish (''Alemannisch'', ), is a group of High German dialects. The name derives from the ancie ...

Alsace
, hence the
Alemannic German Alemannic, or rarely Alemannish (''Alemannisch'', ), is a group of High German dialects. The name derives from the ancient Germanic tribal confederation known as the Alemanni. Distribution Alemannic dialects are spoken by approximately ten mi ...
now spoken there. The Alamans were competitors of the Franks, and their name is the origin of the French word for "German": ''Allemand''. By the early 6th century the Franks, led by the
Merovingian The Merovingian dynasty () was the ruling family of the Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the ...
king
Clovis I Clovis ( la, Chlodovechus; reconstructed Old Frankish, Frankish: ; – 27 November 511) was the first List of Frankish kings, king of the Franks to unite all of the Franks, Frankish tribes under one ruler, changing the form of leadership from a ...

Clovis I
and his sons, had consolidated their hold on much of modern-day France. The other major Germanic people to arrive in France, after the
Burgundians The Burgundians ( la, Burgundiōnes, Burgundī; on, Burgundar; ang, Burgendas; grc-gre, Βούργουνδοι) were an early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germa ...
and the
Visigoths The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe a ...
, were the
Norsemen The Norsemen (or Norse people) were a North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are ...
or Northmen. Known by the shortened name "
Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of Normandy, descended from ...
" in France, these were
Viking Vikings—"pirate", non, víkingr is the modern name given to seafaring people primarily from Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sami Places * Sápmi, a cultural region in Northern Europe * Sami, Burkina Faso, a district of the Banwa Pro ...

Viking
raiders from modern
Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics ( physical geography), hu ...

Denmark
and
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Norway
. They settled with Anglo-Scandinavians and Anglo-Saxons from the
Danelaw The Danelaw (, also known as the Danelagh; ang, Dena lagu; da, Danelagen) was the part of England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west a ...
in the region known today as
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, ...

Normandy
in the 9th and 10th centuries. This later became a fiefdom of the Kingdom of France under King . The Vikings eventually intermarried with the local people, converting to
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic The Abrahamic religions, also referred to collectively as the world of Abrahamism and Semitic religions, are a group of Semitic-originated religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of ...

Christianity
in the process. It was the Normans who, two centuries later, would go on to conquer England and
Southern Italy Southern Italy ( it, Sud Italia; nap, 'o Sudde; scn, Italia dû Sud), also known as ''Meridione'' or ''Mezzogiorno'' (, literally "Midday"; in nap, 'o Miezojuorno; in scn, Mezzujornu), is a macroregionA macroregion is a geopolitical subdivis ...
. Eventually, though, the largely autonomous
Duchy of Normandy The Duchy of Normandy grew out of the 911 Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law. It is usually entered into by sovereign states and international organizati ...

Duchy of Normandy
was incorporated back into the
royal domain Crown land (sometimes spelled crownland), also known as royal domain, is a territorial area belonging to the monarch, who personifies the Crown The Crown is the state (polity), state in all its aspects within the jurisprudence of the Commonw ...
(i. e. the territory under direct control of the French king) in the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
. In the crusader
Kingdom of Jerusalem The Kingdom of Jerusalem ( la, Regnum Hierosolymitanum; fro, Roiaume de Jherusalem; Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middl ...
, founded in 1099, at most 120,000 Franks, who were predominantly -speaking Western Christians, ruled over 350,000 Muslims, Jews, and native Eastern Christians.


Kingdom of France

Unlike elsewhere in Europe, France experienced relatively low levels of emigration to the
Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North America, North and South America. The Americas make up most of the land in Earth's Western Hemisphere and comprise the New World. Along with th ...

Americas
, with the exception of the
Huguenots The Huguenots ( , also , ) were a religious group of French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République fran ...
, due to a lower birthrate than in the rest of Europe. However, significant emigration of mainly
Roman Catholic Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...

Roman Catholic
French populations led to the settlement of the Province of
Acadia Acadia (french: link=no, Acadie) was a colony of New France New France (french: Nouvelle-France) was the area colonized by France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanni ...

Acadia
,
Canada (New France) The colony of Canada was a French colony From the 16th to the 17th centuries, the First French colonial empire stretched from a total area at its peak in 1680 to over , the second largest empire in the world at the time behind only the Spanis ...
and
Louisiana Louisiana (Standard French Standard French (in French: ''le français standard'', ''le français normé'', ''le français neutre'' eutral Frenchor ''le français international'' nternational French is an unofficial term for a standard ...

Louisiana
, all (at the time) French possessions, as well as colonies in the
West Indies The West Indies are a subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, in ...
,
Mascarene The Mascarene Islands (, ) or Mascarenes or Mascarenhas Archipelago is a group of island upright=1.15, Great_Britain.html"_;"title="Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain">Ireland_(left)_and_Great_Britain_(right),_are_large_islands_of_north-west_ ...
islands and
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
. On 30 December 1687, a community of French
Huguenots The Huguenots ( , also , ) were a religious group of French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République fran ...
settled in
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
. Most of these originally settled in the
Cape Colony The Cape Colony ( nl, Kaapkolonie), also known as the Cape of Good Hope, was a British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Cro ...
, but have since been quickly absorbed into the
Afrikaner Afrikaners () are an ethnic group in Southern Africa descended from Free Burghers, predominantly Dutch settlers first arriving at the Cape of Good Hope in the 17th and 18th centuries.Entry: Cape Colony. ''Encyclopædia Britannica Volume 4 Par ...

Afrikaner
population. After Champlain's founding of Quebec City in 1608, it became the capital of
New France New France (french: Nouvelle-France) was the area colonized by France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the a ...

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 Saint-Domingue () was a French colony on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola from 1659 to 1804, in what is now an island that hosts two countries; the Dominican Republic and Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ); french: Haïti ; officially the ...
. In 1805, when the French were forced out of Saint-Domingue (
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; french: Haïti ), officially the Republic of Haiti (; ), and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, to the east of Cuba and J ...

Haiti
), 35,000 French settlers were given lands in
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud (; en, Isle of Youth) is the second-largest Cuban islan ...

Cuba
. By the beginning of the 17th century, some 20% of the total male population of
Catalonia Catalonia (; ca, Catalunya ; Aranese, Aranese Occitan: ''Catalonha'' ; es, Cataluña ) is an Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community in the northeastern corner of Spain, designated as a ''nationalities and regions of Spain, na ...

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 The House of Habsburg (), alternatively spelled Hapsburg in English (german: Haus Habsburg ; es, Casa de Habsburgo ; hu, Habsburg-család), also known as the House of Austria (german: link=no, Haus Österreich; es, link=no, Casa de Austria), ...
to the
Austro-Hungarian Empire Austria-Hungary, often referred to as the Austro-Hungarian Empire or the Dual Monarchy, was a constitutional monarchy A constitutional monarchy, parliamentary monarchy, or democratic monarchy is a form of monarchy in which the monarch exer ...
, now the nations of
Austria Austria (, ; german: Österreich ), officially the Republic of Austria (german: Republik Österreich, links=no, ), is a landlocked Eastern Alps, East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine States o ...

Austria
,
Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Austria to the south, Germany to the west, Poland to the northeast, and Slovakia to ...
,
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
,
Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Republic ( sk, Slovenská republika, links=no ), is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Poland to the north, Ukraine to the east, Hungary to the south, Austria to th ...

Slovakia
,
Serbia Serbia (, ; Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * in both meanings, depending on the context, it may ref ...

Serbia
and
Romania Romania ( ; ro, România ) is a country at the crossroads of Central Central is an adjective usually referring to being in the center (disambiguation), center of some place or (mathematical) object. Central may also refer to: Directions ...

Romania
. Some of them, coming from French-speaking communes in
Lorraine Lorraine , also , , ; LorrainLorrain may refer to: * Claude Lorrain (1600–82), a 17th-century French artist of the baroque style * Lorrain language Lorrain is a dialect (often referred to as patois) spoken by a minority of people in Lo ...
or being French Swiss ''Walsers'' from the
Valais Valais (in French language, French) ( , , ; frp, Valês), or Wallis (in German language, German) (german: Wallis ), more formally the Canton of Valais,; german: Kanton Wallis; in other official Swiss languages outside Valais: it, (Canton) Valle ...

Valais
canton in
Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
, maintained for some generations the French language and a specific ethnic identity, later labelled as
Banat Banat (, ) is a geographical and historical region straddling between Central and Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the region of the European continent between Western Europe and Asia. There is no consistent definition of the precise area it ...

Banat
(French: ''Français du Banat''). By 1788 there were 8 villages populated by French colonists.


French Republic

The
French First Republic In the history of France, the First Republic (French: ''Première République''), officially the French Republic (''République française''), was founded on 21 September 1792 during the French Revolution. The First Republic lasted until the dec ...
appeared following the 1789
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
. It replaced the ancient kingdom of France, ruled by the
divine right of kings In European Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the M ...
. Hobsbawm highlighted the role of
conscription Conscription, sometimes called the draft in the United States, is the mandatory enlistment of people in a national service National service is a system of either compulsory or voluntary government service, usually military service Mili ...

conscription
, invented by Napoleon, and of the 1880s public instruction laws, which allowed mixing of the various groups of France into a
nationalist Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of people),Anthony D. Smith, Smith, Anthony. ''Nationalism: Theory, Ideology, History''. Polity (publisher), Polity, ...
mold which created the French citizen and his consciousness of membership to a common nation, while the various regional
languages of France Of the languages of France, French is the sole official language An official language is a language given a special status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically the term "official language" does not refer to the langua ...
were progressively eradicated. The 1870
Franco-Prussian War The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War,, german: Deutsch-Französischer Krieg often referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire The Second French Empire (; officially the French Empire ...
, which led to the short-lived
Paris Commune The Paris Commune (french: Commune de Paris, ) was a revolutionary government that seized power in Paris from 18 March to 28 May 1871. During the , Paris had been defended by the , where radicalism grew among soldiers. In March 1871, after th ...
of 1871, was instrumental in bolstering
patriotic Patriotism or national pride is the feeling of love, devotion, and sense of attachment to a homeland and alliance with other citizens who share the same sentiment. This attachment can be a combination of many different feelings relating to on ...

patriotic
feelings; until
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
(1914–1918), French politicians never completely lost sight of the disputed
Alsace-Lorraine The Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine (german: Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen or ; gsw-als, 's Rìchslànd Elsàss-Lothrìnga; Moselle Franconian __NOTOC__ Moselle Franconian (German ''Moselfränkisch'') is a West Central German language ...

Alsace-Lorraine
region which played a major role in the definition of the French nation and therefore of the French people. The decrees of 24 October 1870 by
Adolphe Crémieux Isaac-Jacob Adolphe Crémieux (; 30 April 1796 – 10 February 1880) was a French lawyer and politician who served as Minister of Justice A justice ministry, ministry of justice, or department of justice is a ministry or other government agen ...
granted automatic and massive French citizenship to all
Jewish people Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2International Organization for Standardization, ISO 259 is a series of international standards for the romanization of Hebrew, romanization of Hebrew alphabet, Hebrew characters into Latin alphabet, La ...
of Algeria.


20th century

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 France joined the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
. The pace of industrial growth attracted millions of European
immigrants Immigration is the international movement of people to a destination country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective ident ...

immigrants
over the next century, with especially large numbers arriving from
Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , and has a largely Temperate climate, temperate seasonal cli ...

Poland
,
Belgium Belgium ( nl, België ; french: Belgique ; german: Belgien ), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe. The region's countries and territories vary depending on cont ...

Belgium
,
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who ...

Portugal
,
Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps The Alps ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps; sl, Alpe ) are the highest ...

Italy
, and
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption = , image_map2 ...

Spain
. In the period from 1915 to 1950, many immigrants came from
Czechoslovakia , , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918–19391945–1992 , p1 = Austria-Hungary , image_p1 = , s1 = Czech Re ...

Czechoslovakia
,
Hungary Hungary ( hu, Magyarország ) is a in . Spanning of the , it is bordered by to the north, to the northeast, to the east and southeast, to the south, and to the southwest and to the west. Hungary has a population of 10 million, mostl ...

Hungary
,
Russia Russia ( rus, link=no, Россия, Rossiya, ), or the Russian Federation, is a country spanning Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of . There is no consistent definition of the precise area it covers, partly because th ...

Russia
,
Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sami Places * Sápmi, a cultural region in Northern Europe * Sami, Burkina Faso, a district of the Banwa Province * Sami District, Gambia * Sami, Cephalonia, a municipality in Greece * Sami (ancient city), in Elis, Greece * Sa ...

Scandinavia
and
Yugoslavia Yugoslavia (; sh, Jugoslavija / ; sl, Jugoslavija ; mk, Југославија ;; rup, Iugoslavia; hu, Jugoszlávia; Pannonian Rusyn Image:Novi Sad mayor office.jpg, 250px, Mayor office written in four official languages used in the ...

Yugoslavia
. Small but significant numbers of Frenchmen in the North and Northeast regions have relatives in
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
and
Great Britain Great Britain is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atoll An atoll (), ...

Great Britain
. Between 1956 and 1967, about 235,000 North African
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...

Jews
from Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco also immigrated to France due to the decline of the French empire and following the Six-Day War. Hence, by 1968, Jews of 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 A settler is a person who has migrated to an area and established a permanent residence there, often to colonize Colonization, or colonisation refers to large-scale population movements where the migrants maintain strong links with their or ...
(''colons'' in French), national French from former colonies of North and East
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

Africa
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
and
Indochina Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as the Indochinese Peninsula or Indochina, is the continental portion of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...
to live in mainland France. It is estimated that 20,000 settlers were living in
Saigon Ho Chi Minh City ( vi, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh; or ), commonly and formerly officially known as Saigon ( vi, Sài Gòn; or ), is the largest city in , situated in the . In the southeastern region, the city surrounds the and covers about . P ...

Saigon
in 1945, and there were 68,430 European settlers living in
Madagascar Madagascar (; mg, Madagasikara), officially the Republic of Madagascar ( mg, Repoblikan'i Madagasikara, links=no, ; french: République de Madagascar), and previously known as the Malagasy Republic The Malagasy Republic ( mg, Repoblika Mal ...

Madagascar
in 1958. 1.6 million European '' pieds noirs'' settlers migrated from
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , religion = , official_languages = , languages_type = Oth ...

Algeria
,
Tunisia ) , image_map = Tunisia location (orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = Location of Tunisia in northern Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous , after in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11. ...

Tunisia
and
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a United Nations lis ...

Morocco
. In just a few months in 1962, 900,000
pied noir The ''Pieds-Noirs'' (, 'Black Feet'), singular ''Pied-Noir'', are the people of French people, French and other White Africans of European ancestry, European origin who were born in Algeria during the French Algeria, period of French rule from ...

pied noir
settlers left
Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , religion = , official_languages = , languages_type = Oth ...

Algeria
in the most massive relocation of population in Europe since the
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. In the 1970s, over 30,000 French settlers left
Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is in area, bordered by Thailand to Cambodia–T ...

Cambodia
during the
Khmer Rouge The Khmer Rouge (; ; km, ខ្មែរក្រហម, ; "Red Red is the color at the long wavelength end of the visible spectrum of light, next to orange and opposite violet. It has a dominant wavelength Image:dominant wavelength ...
regime as the
Pol Pot Pol Pot; (born Saloth Sâr;; 19 May 1925 – 15 April 1998) was a Cambodian revolutionary and politician who governed Cambodia Cambodia (; also Kampuchea ; km, កម្ពុជា, ), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a ...

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 World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
. French entrepreneurs went to
Maghreb The Maghreb (; ar, المغرب, al-Maghrib, lit=the west), also known as Northwest Africa, is the western part of North Africa and the Arab world. The region includes Algeria, Libya, Mauritania (also considered part of West Africa), Morocco and ...

Maghreb
countries looking for cheap labour, thus encouraging work-immigration to France. Their settlement was officialized with
Jacques Chirac Jacques René Chirac ( , , ; 29 November 193226 September 2019) was a Politics of France, French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. Chirac was previously Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to ...

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 North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania ) , image_map = Mauri ...
and
Arab The Arabs (singular Arab ; singular ar, عَرَبِيٌّ, : , Arabic pronunciation: , plural ar, عَرَبٌ, : , Arabic pronunciation: ) are an mainly inhabiting the . In modern usage the term refers to those who originate from an Arab co ...

Arab
immigration is the greatest and has brought
racial A race is a grouping of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories generally viewed as distinct by society. The term was first used to refer to speakers of a common language and then to denote national affiliations. By ...
, socio-cultural and
religious Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology ...
questions to a country seen as
homogenous Homogeneity and heterogeneity are concepts often used in the Science, sciences and statistics relating to the Uniformity (chemistry), uniformity of a Chemical substance, substance or organism. A material or image that is homogeneous is uniform in ...
ly European, French and
Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), Christ'' and ''Christian'' derive from the Koi ...

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 America (
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
,
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively small portion in the . It can also be described as the southern ...

Chile
and
Uruguay Uruguay (; ; pt, Uruguai), officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay ( es, República Oriental del Uruguay), is a country in South America. It shares borders with Argentina to its west and southwest and Brazil to its north and northeast; whi ...

Uruguay
) in the 1970s.


Languages


In France

Most French people speak the
French language French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a range of inf ...

French language
as their
mother tongue A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1) is a language or dialect that a person has been exposed to from birth or within the critical period hypothesis, critical pe ...
, but certain languages like
Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of Normandy, descended from ...
, Occitan languages,
CorsicanCorsican may refer to: *Someone or something from Corsica *Corsicans, inhabitants of Corsica *Corsican language, a Romance language spoken on Corsica and northern Sardinia *Corsican Republic, a former country in Europe *"The Corsicans", the original ...
, Basque language, Euskara,
French Flemish French Flemish (French Flemish: , Dutch language, Standard Dutch: , french: flamand français) is a West Flemish dialect spoken in the north of contemporary France. Place names attest to Flemish having been spoken since the 8th century in the p ...
and
Breton Breton most often refers to: *anything associated with Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo language, Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula and cultural region in the west of France, covering the western part ...
remain spoken in certain regions (see 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 Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
, Alsatian, West Flemish,
Lorraine Franconian Lorraine Franconian (Lorraine Franconian: ''Plàtt'' or ''lottrìnger Plàtt''; french: francique lorrain or ''platt lorrain''; german: Lothringisch) is an ambiguous designation for dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient ...
, Gallo language, 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 the 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 faubourgs, outlying districts.


Abroad

Abroad, the
French language French ( or ) is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin Vulgar Latin, also known as Popular or Colloquial Latin is a range of inf ...

French language
is spoken in many different countries – in particular the French colonial empires, 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 , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial system, directorial republic , leader_title1 = Fe ...

Switzerland
are not "French citizens". Native English-speaking Blacks on the island of Saint Martin (island), Saint-Martin hold 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 South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

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

Generations of settlers have migrated over the centuries to France, creating a variegated grouping of peoples. Thus the historian John F. Drinkwater states, "The French are, paradoxically, strongly conscious of belonging to a single nation, but they hardly constitute a unified ethnic group by any scientific gauge." The modern French are the descendants of mixtures including
Romans Roman or Romans usually refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, ...
,
Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: Celtic a collection of Indo-European peoples The Indo-European languages ar ...

Celts
, Iberians, Ligures, Ligurians and Greeks in southern France,Éric Gailledrat, ''Les Ibères de l'Èbre à l'Hérault (VIe-IVe s. avant J.-C.)'', Lattes, Sociétés de la Protohistoire et de l'Antiquité en France Méditerranéenne, Monographies d'Archéologie Méditerranéenne – 1, 1997Dominique 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. 38–40
Germanic peoples The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

Germanic peoples
arriving at the end of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
such as the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within the ...

Franks
and the
Burgundians The Burgundians ( la, Burgundiōnes, Burgundī; on, Burgundar; ang, Burgendas; grc-gre, Βούργουνδοι) were an early Germanic Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples, an ethno-linguistic group identified by their use of the Germa ...
,"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 ", :fr:Jean-Louis Brunaux, Jean-Louis Brunaux, ''Nos ancêtres les Gaulois'', éd. Seuil, 2008, p. 261"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 and some Vikings who mixed with the
Normans The Normans (Norman Norman or Normans may refer to: Ethnic and cultural identity * The Normans The Normans (Norman language, Norman: ''Normaunds''; french: Normands; la, Nortmanni/Normanni) were inhabitants of the early medieval Duchy of N ...

Normans
and settled mostly in
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie; from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, ...

Normandy
in the 9th century.The normans
Jersey heritage trust
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".Dominique Schnapper, "La conception de la nation", "Citoyenneté et société", ''Cahiers Francais'', n° 281, mai-juin 1997 This conception of the nation as being composed by a "will to live together," supported by What is a Nation?, the classic lecture of
Ernest Renan Joseph Ernest Renan (; 27 February 18232 October 1892) was a French Orientalist Orientalist may refer to: *A scholar of Oriental studies *A person or thing relating to the Western intellectual or artistic paradigm known as Orientalism (as in 'a ...

Ernest Renan
in 1882, has been opposed by the French far-right, in particular the nationalism, nationalist ''National Front (France), Front National'' ("National Front" – FN / now ''National Rally (France), Rassemblement National'' - "National Rally" - RN) party which claims that there is such a thing as a "French ethnic group". The discourse of ethno-nationalist groups such as the National Front (France), Front National (FN), however, advances the concept of ''Français de souche'' or "indigenous" French. 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 Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...

Julius Caesar
, is often revered as a "first national hero". In the famously popular French comic ''Asterix'', the main characters are patriotic Gauls who 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 France with 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 with Gaul instead as a unifying force to bridge divisions within French society with a common National myth, 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 French Third Republic, 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-Essentialism, essentialist conception of nationality is officialized by the French Constitution, according to which "French" is a French nationality law, nationality, and not a specific ethnicity.


Genetics

France sits at the edge of the European peninsula and has seen waves of migration of groups that often settled owing to the presence of physical barriers preventing onward migration. This has led to language and regional cultural variegation, but the extent to which this pattern of migrations showed up in population genetics studies was unclear until the publication of a study in 2019 that used genome wide data. The study identified six different genetic clusters that could be distinguished across populations. The study concluded that the population genetic clusters correlate with linguistic and historical divisions in France and with the presence of geographic barriers such as mountains and major rivers. A population bottleneck was also identified in the fourteenth century, consistent with the timing for the Black Death in Europe.


Nationality and citizenship

French nationality has not meant automatic citizenship. Some categories of French people have been excluded, throughout the years, from full citizenship: * Women's suffrage, Women: until the Liberation, they were deprived of the right to vote. The provisional government of the French Republic, provisional government of General Charles de Gaulle, de Gaulle accorded them this right by 21 April 1944 prescription. However, women are still under-represented in the political class. The 6 June 2000 law on parity attempted to address this question by imposing a de facto quota system for women in French politics. * French Army, 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 French Third Republic, Third Republic (1871–1940), the Army was in its majority republicanism, anti-republican (and thus counterrevolutionary). The Dreyfus Affair and the Seize Mai, 16 May 1877 crisis, which almost led to a monarchist ''coup d'état'' by Patrice MacMahon, duc de Magenta, 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. * Naturalization, 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. * French colonial empires, 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 I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
and
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
were not citizens. * The special case of European Union citizen, foreign citizens of an EU member state who, even if not French, are allowed to vote in French local elections if living in France, and may turn to any French consular or diplomatic mission if there is no such representations of their own country. France was one of the first countries to implement denaturalization laws. Philosopher 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 Nazi 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 union, supranational citizenship" or "world citizenship" (membership to international nongovernmental organizations such as Amnesty International or Greenpeace). This would indicate a path toward a "postnational citizenship". Beside this, modern citizenship is linked to civic participation (also called positive freedom), which implies voting, Demonstration (people), 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 citizenship.


Multiculturalism versus universalism

In France, the conception of citizenship teeters between Moral universalism, universalism and multiculturalism. French citizenship has been defined for a long time by three factors: integration, individualism, 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, Corsicans or Lorrains...), their national origins (immigrant, son or grandson of an immigrant), or religious origins (Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Agnostics or Atheists...)."


Ernest Renan's ''What is a Nation?'' (1882)

Ernest Renan Joseph Ernest Renan (; 27 February 18232 October 1892) was a French Orientalist Orientalist may refer to: *A scholar of Oriental studies *A person or thing relating to the Western intellectual or artistic paradigm known as Orientalism (as in 'a ...

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 A nation is a community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as Norm (social), norms, religion, values, Convention (norm), customs, or Identity (social science), identity. Communities may share a sense ...

nation
is a subjectivity, subjective act which always has to be repeated, as it is not assured by objectivity (philosophy), 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 people, 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 Age of Enlightenment, 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 The Imperial Territory of Alsace-Lorraine (german: Reichsland Elsaß-Lothringen or ; gsw-als, 's Rìchslànd Elsàss-Lothrìnga; Moselle Franconian __NOTOC__ Moselle Franconian (German ''Moselfränkisch'') is a West Central German language ...

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 (classification of human beings), race or
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousn ...
, which may be defined by the existence of a common language, among other criteria, the people of 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 doxa, common opinion, which holds that the concept of the French people identifies with one particular
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousn ...
. This contradiction explains the seeming paradox encountered when attempting to identify a "French
ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousn ...
": the French conception of the nation is radically opposed to (and was thought in opposition to) the German conception of the ''Volk'' ("ethnic group"). This universalist conception of citizenship and of the nation has influenced the French model of colonialism, 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 French colonial empires, colonial empire as France itself and its population as French people. The ruthless French rule in Algeria, conquest of 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 textbooks in 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 Adolphe Crémieux, 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 Alexis de Tocqueville, Tocqueville himself considered that the British model was better adapted than the French one and did not balk before the cruelties of Thomas Robert Bugeaud de la Piconnerie, 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 racist attitudes intermingled into colonization is most obvious in 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''

During the ''Ancien Régime'' (before the 1789 French revolution), ''jus soli'' (or "right of territory") was predominant. Feudal law recognized personal allegiance to the Monarch, 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 a 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. However, the Napoleonic Code would insist on ''jus sanguinis'' ("right of blood"). Paternity (law), 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 French Second Republic, 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 Conscription, sometimes called the draft in the United States, is the mandatory enlistment of people in a national service National service is a system of either compulsory or voluntary government service, usually military service Mili ...

conscription
concerns. This system more or less remained the same until the 1993 reform of the Nationality Code, created by 9 January 1973 law. The 1993 reform, which defines the French Nationality law, Nationality law, is deemed controversial by some. It commits young people born in France to 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 Charles Pasqua, Pasqua laws. The first Pasqua law, in 1986, restricts residence conditions in France and facilitates Deportation, 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 airlines, 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: "France has 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''")". Therefore, modern 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.


European citizenship

The 1992 Maastricht Treaty introduced the concept of Citizenship of the European Union, European citizenship, which comes in addition to national citizenships.


Citizenship of foreigners

By definition, a "alien (law), foreigner" is someone who does not have French nationality. Therefore, it is ''not'' a synonym of "immigration, 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 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 "alien (law), 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 last half-century: * 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 various conditions * 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 as 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 Parliament election, 1994 European elections, and at municipal elections (first exercised during the 2001 municipal elections).


Statistics

The INSEE does not collect data about language, religion, or ethnicity – on the principle of the secular and unitary nature of the French Republic. Nevertheless, there are some sources dealing with just such distinctions: *The 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 demographic data. *The U.S. Department of State goes into further detail: "Since prehistoric times, France has been a crossroads of trade, travel, and invasion. Three basic Ethnic groups in Europe, 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, largely of North African descent, living in France. France is home to both the largest Muslim and Jewish populations in Europe."Background Notes: France
– U.S. Department of State
*The 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 Basques ( or ; eu, euskaldunak ; es, vascos ; french: basques ) are a Southern European ethnic group, characterised by the Basque language, a Basque culture, common culture and shared genetic ancestry to the ancient Vascones and Aquitania ...
, the
Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS location: Greater Europe time period: Second millennium B.C.E. to present ancestry: Celtic a collection of Indo-European peoples The Indo-European languages ar ...

Celts
(called
Gauls The Gauls ( la, Galli; grc, Γαλάται, ''Galátai'') were a group of Celtic The words Celt and Celtic (also Keltic) may refer to: Ethno-linguistics *Celts The Celts (, see pronunciation of ''Celt'' for different usages) are. "CELTS ...
by Romans), and the Germanic peoples, Germanic (Teutonic) peoples (including the
Norsemen The Norsemen (or Norse people) were a North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are ...
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 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 discourse.


Immigration

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 million of North African origin.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, October 2011


Populations with French ancestry

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, Canada and Argentina while sizeable groups are also found in Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Australia.


Canada

There are nearly seven million French speakers out of nine to ten million people of French and partial French ancestry in
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

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 Acadia (french: link=no, Acadie) was a colony of New France New France (french: Nouvelle-France) was the area colonized by France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanni ...

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.


United States

The United States is home to an estimated 13 to 16 million people of French American, French descent, or 4 to 5 percent of the US population, particularly in
Louisiana Louisiana (Standard French Standard French (in French: ''le français standard'', ''le français normé'', ''le français neutre'' eutral Frenchor ''le français international'' nternational French is an unofficial term for a standard ...

Louisiana
, New England and parts of the Midwest. The French community in Louisiana consists of the Louisiana Creole people, Creoles, the descendants of the French settlers who arrived when Louisiana was a French colony, and the Cajuns, the descendants of
Acadia Acadia (french: link=no, Acadie) was a colony of New France New France (french: Nouvelle-France) was the area colonized by France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanni ...

Acadia
n 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, the 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 population of New Hampshire is of French ancestry, the highest of any state. English and Dutch colonies of pre-Revolutionary America attracted large numbers of French
Huguenots The Huguenots ( , also , ) were a religious group of French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République fran ...
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 phonetic respelling). 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 is named after La Rochelle, France, one of the sources of Huguenot emigration to the Dutch colony; and New Paltz (village), New York, New Paltz, New York, is one of the few non-urban settlements of 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.


Argentina

French Argentines form the third largest ancestry group in
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
, after Italian and Spanish Argentines. Most of French immigrants came to 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, physiologist and 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 society.


Uruguay

French Uruguayans form the third largest ancestry group in
Uruguay Uruguay (; ; pt, Uruguai), officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay ( es, República Oriental del Uruguay), is a country in South America. It shares borders with Argentina to its west and southwest and Brazil to its north and northeast; whi ...

Uruguay
, after Italian and Spanish Uruguayans. During the first half of the 19th century,
Uruguay Uruguay (; ; pt, Uruguai), officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay ( es, República Oriental del Uruguay), is a country in South America. It shares borders with Argentina to its west and southwest and Brazil to its north and northeast; whi ...

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 The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
. Thus, while the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
received 195,971 French immigrants between 1820 and 1855, 13,922 Frenchmen, most of them from the Northern Basque Country, Basque Country and Béarn, left for Uruguay between 1833 and 1842. The majority of immigrants were coming from the Northern Basque Country, Basque Country, Béarn and Bigorre. Today, there are an estimated at 300,000 French descendants in Uruguay.


United Kingdom

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 France, Franco-Normans, Norman migrants at the time of the Norman Conquest of England, and also during the Angevin Empire of the Plantagenet dynasty. According to a study by Ancestry.com, 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.


Costa Rica

The first French emigration in Costa Rica was a very small number to Cartago, Costa Rica, Cartago in the mid-nineteenth century. Due to
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, a group of exiled French (mostly soldiers and families orphaned) migrated to the country.Los franco-ticos la genealogía y la paz
October 2008, .


Mexico

In
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

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 Mexico during 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. Today the descendants of the Barcelonettes account for 80,000 descendants distributed around Mexico. In the 1860s, during the 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, Charlotte of Belgium, Carlota of Mexico, a Belgian princess, was a granddaughter of Louis-Philippe I, King of the French, Louis-Philippe of France. Many Mexicans of French descent live in cities or states such as Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Monterrey, Puebla, Puebla, Puebla, Guadalajara, Jalisco, 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. Today, Mexico has more than 3 million people of full and partial French descent. mainly living in the capital, Puebla, Guadalajara, Veracruz and Querétaro.


Chile

The French came to Chile in the 18th century, arriving at Concepción, Chile, Concepción as merchants, and in the mid-19th century to cultivate vines in the haciendas of the Central Valley of Chile, Central Valley, the homebase of world-famous Chilean wine. The 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 Romance-speaking Europe, 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 Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Basses-Pyrénées (Northern Basque Country, Basque country and Béarn), Gironde, Charente-Maritime, Charente-Inférieure and Charente and regions situated between Gers and Dordogne. 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 Latin America. Today it is estimated that 500,000 Chileans are of French descent. Former president of Chile, Michelle Bachelet is of French origin, as was Augusto Pinochet. A large percentage of politicians, businessmen, professionals and entertainers in the country are of French ancestry.


Brazil

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 Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

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 Argentina (100,000). The 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.


Guatemala

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 relations between
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses ...

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.


Latin America

Elsewhere in the Americas, French settlement took place in the 16th to 20th centuries. They can be found in
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; french: Haïti ), officially the Republic of Haiti (; ), and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, to the east of Cuba and J ...

Haiti
,
Cuba Cuba ( , ), officially the Republic of Cuba ( es, República de Cuba, links=no ), is a country comprising the island of Cuba, as well as Isla de la Juventud Isla de la Juventud (; en, Isle of Youth) is the second-largest Cuban islan ...

Cuba
(refugees from the Haitian Revolution) and
Uruguay Uruguay (; ; pt, Uruguai), officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay ( es, República Oriental del Uruguay), is a country in South America. It shares borders with Argentina to its west and southwest and Brazil to its north and northeast; whi ...

Uruguay
. The Betancourt political families who influenced Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Bolivia and Panama have some French ancestry.


Huguenots

Large numbers of Huguenots are known to have settled in the United Kingdom (ab 50 000), Ireland (10,000), in Protestant areas of
Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inh ...

Germany
(especially the city of Berlin) (ab 40 000), in the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
(ab 50 000), in Huguenots in South Africa, South Africa and in North America. Many people in these countries still bear French names.


Asia

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.Naissances selon le pays de naissance des parents 2010
Insee, septembre 2011
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 people in India, 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.


Scandinavia

During the great power era, about 100 French families came to Sweden. They had mainly emigrated to Sweden as a result of religious oppression. These include the Bedoire, De Laval and De Flon families. Several of whom worked as merchants and craftsmen. In Stockholm, the French Lutheran congregation was formed in 1687, later dissolved in 1791, which was not really an actual congregation but rather a series of private gatherings of religious practice.


Elsewhere

Apart from French-Canadians, Québécois, Acadians, Cajuns, and Métis people, 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 List of islands in the Indian Ocean, Indian Ocean islands, as well as populations of the former French colonial empire in Africa and the West Indies.


See also

* Demographics of France * Armenians in France * Cagot * Ethnic groups in Europe * Franco-Mauritian * French Americans * French Australian * French Canadians * French Peruvian * 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 of immigrant origin * Pied-Noir – French citizens in French Algeria


References

* * Wieviorka, M ''L'espace du racisme'' 1991 Éditions du Seuil


External links

{{DEFAULTSORT:French People French people, Romance peoples Ethnic groups in France, * Demographics of France French society, People