Historically the heritage of the French people is mostly of Celtic, Roman and Germanic origin, descending from the ancient and medieval populations of Gauls, Aquitani, Ligures, Latins, Iberians, Franks, Alamans and Norsemen. France has long been a patchwork of local customs and regional differences, and while most French people still speak the French language as their mother tongue, languages like Norman, Occitan, Catalan, Auvergnat, Corsican, Basque, French Flemish, Lorraine Franconian, Alsatian and Breton remain spoken in their respective regions. Arabic is also widely spoken, arguably the largest minority language in France as of the 21st century (a spot previously held by Breton and Occitan).
Modern French society is a melting pot. From the middle of the 19th century, it experienced a high rate of inward migration, mainly consisting of Arab-Berbers, Sub-Saharan Africans, Chinese and other peoples from Africa, the Middle East and 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 with 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 such as the French West Indies (French Caribbean), and in foreign countries with significant French-speaking population groups or not, such as Switzerland (French Swiss), the United States (French Americans), Canada (French Canadians), Argentina (French Argentines), Brazil (French Brazilians), Chile (French Chileans) and Uruguay (French Uruguayans).
|c. 93 million[a]|
(Full or partial French ancestry
and citizenship worldwide)
|Regions with significant populations|
(Including all the overseas departments)
|United States||10,329,465 (Includes ancestry)|
|Canada||8,790,250 (Includes ancestry)|
|Related ethnic groups|
To be French, according to the first article of the French Constitution, is to be a citizen of France, regardless of one's origin, race, or religion (sans distinction d'origine, de race ou de religion). According to its principles, France has devoted itself to the destiny of a proposition nation, a generic territory where people are bounded only by the French language and the assumed willingness to live together, as defined by Ernest Renan's "plébiscite de tous les jours" ('everyday plebiscite') on the willingness to live together, in Renan's 1882 essay "Qu'est-ce qu'une nation?").
A large number of foreigners have traditionally been permitted to live in France and succeeded in doing so. Indeed, the country has long valued its openness, tolerance and the quality of services available. Application for French citizenship is often interpreted as a renunciation of previous state allegiance unless a dual citizenship agreement exists between the two countries (for instance, this is the case with Switzerland: one can be both French and Swiss). The European treaties have formally permitted movement and European citizens enjoy formal rights to employment in the state sector (though not as trainees in reserved branches, e.g., as magistrates).
Seeing itself as an inclusive nation with universal values, 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 in some troubled and impoverished suburbs (les quartiers sensibles) were an example of such tensions. However they should not be interpreted as ethnic conflicts (as appeared before in other countries like the USA and the UK) but as social conflicts born out of socioeconomic problems endangering proper integration.
French people are the descendants of Gauls and Romans, western European Celtic and Italic peoples, as well as Bretons, Aquitanians, Ligurians, and Germanic people arriving at the beginning of the Frankish Empire such as the Franks, the Visigoths, the Suebi, the Saxons, the Allemanni and the Burgundians, and later Germanic groups such as the Vikings (known as Normans), who settled in Normandy and to a lesser extent in Brittany in the 9th century.
In the pre-Roman era, all of Gaul (an area of Western Europe that encompassed all of what is known today as France, Belgium, part of Germany and Switzerland, and Northern Italy) was inhabited by a variety of peoples who were known collectively as the Gaulish tribes. Their ancestors were Celts who came from Central Europe in the 7th century BCE (and even before, according to new research), and non-Celtic peoples including the Ligures, and Aquitanians (among them, the Basques) in Aquitaine. Some, particularly in the northern and eastern areas, may have had Germanic admixture (the Belgae); many of these peoples had already spoken Celtic (Gaulish) by the time of the Roman conquest.
Gaul was militarily conquered in 58–51 BCE by the Roman legions under the command of General Julius Caesar (except the south-east which had already been conquered about one century earlier). Over the next six centuries, the two cultures intermingled, creating a hybridized Gallo-Roman culture. In the late Roman era, in addition to colonists from elsewhere in the Empire and Gaulish natives, Gallia also became home to some in-migrating populations of Germanic and Scythian origin, such as Alans.
The Gaulish language 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 dialects that developed into French, with effects including loanwords and calques (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, although this is not the result of a survival of Gaulish language but of a 5th-century AD migration of Brythonic speaking Celts from 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 dialects which include French and its closest relatives.
With the decline of the Roman Empire in Western Europe, a federation of Germanic peoples entered the picture: the Franks, from which the word "French" derives. The Franks were Germanic pagans who began to settle in northern Gaul as laeti, already during the Roman era. They continued to filter across the Rhine River from present-day Netherlands and Germany between the third to the 7th century. At the beginning, they served in the Roman army and reached high commands. Their language is still spoken as a kind of Dutch (Flemish - Low Frankish) in northern France (Westhoek) and Frankish (Central Franconian) in German speaking Lorraine. Another Germanic people immigrated massively to Alsace: the Alamans, which explains the Alemannic German spoken there. They were competitors of the Franks; that's why, in Renaissance times, it became the French word for "German": Allemand.
By the early 6th century the Franks, led by the Merovingian king Clovis I and his sons, had consolidated their hold on much of modern-day France, the country to which they gave their name. The other major Germanic people to arrive in France (after the Burgundians and the Visigoths) were the Norsemen or Northmen, (which was shortened to Norman in France), Viking raiders from modern Denmark and Norway, who settled with Anglo-Scandinavians and Anglo-Saxons from the Danelaw definitely in the northern region known today as Normandy in the 9th and 10th century, and which was given in fiefdom of the kingdom of France by king Charles III. The Vikings eventually intermarried with the local people, converting to Christianity in the process. It was the Normans who, two centuries later, would go on to conquer England and Southern Italy.
Eventually, though, the largely autonomous duchy of Normandy was incorporated back into the royal domain (i. e. the territory under direct control of the French king) in the Middle Ages. In the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, founded in 1099, at most 120 000 Franks (predominantly French-speaking Western Christians) ruled over 350,000 Muslims, Jews, and native Eastern Christians.
Unlike elsewhere in Europe, France experienced relatively low levels of emigration to the Americas, with the exception of the Huguenots, due to a lower birthrate than in the rest of Europe. However, significant emigration of mainly Roman Catholic French populations led to the settlement of the Province of Acadia, Canada (New France) and Louisiana, all (at the time) French possessions, as well as colonies in the West Indies, Mascarene islands and Africa.
On 30 December 1687 a community of French Huguenots settled in South Africa. Most of these originally settled in the Cape Colony, but have since been quickly absorbed into the Afrikaner population. After Champlain's founding of Quebec City in 1608, it became the capital of New France. Encouraging settlement was difficult, and while some immigration did occur, by 1763 New France only had a population of some 65,000. From 1713 to 1787, 30,000 colonists immigrated from France to the Saint-Domingue. In 1805, when the French were forced out of Saint-Domingue (Haiti), 35,000 French settlers were given lands in Cuba.
By the beginning of the 17th century, some 20% of the total male population of Catalonia was made up of French immigrants. In the 18th century and early 19th century, a small migration of French emigrated by official invitation of the Habsburgs to the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now the nations of Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Serbia and Romania. Some of them, coming from French-speaking communes in Lorraine or being French Swiss Walsers from the Valais canton in Switzerland, maintained for some generations the French language and a specific ethnic identity, later labelled as Banat (French: Français du Banat). By 1788 there were 8 villages populated by French colonists.
Hobsbawm highlighted the role of conscription, invented by Napoleon, and of the 1880s public instruction laws, which allowed mixing of the various groups of France into a nationalist mold which created the French citizen and his consciousness of membership to a common nation, while the various regional languages of France were progressively eradicated.
The 1870 Franco-Prussian War, which led to the short-lived Paris Commune of 1871, was instrumental in bolstering patriotic feelings; until World War I (1914–1918), French politicians never completely lost sight of the disputed Alsace-Lorraine region which played a major role in the definition of the French nation and therefore of the French people.
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 pace of industrial growth attracted millions of European immigrants over the next century, with especially large numbers arriving from Poland, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, and Spain.
In the period from 1915 to 1950, many immigrants came from Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Russia, Scandinavia and Yugoslavia. Small but significant numbers of Frenchmen in the North and Northeast regions have relatives in Germany and Great Britain.
Between 1956 and 1967, about 235,000 North African 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 (colons in French), national French from former colonies of North and East Africa, India and Indochina to live in mainland France. It is estimated that 20,000 settlers were living in Saigon in 1945, and there were 68,430 European settlers living in Madagascar in 1958. 1.6 million European pieds noirs settlers migrated from Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco. In just a few months in 1962, 900,000 pied noir settlers left Algeria in the most massive relocation of population in Europe since the World War II. In the 1970s, over 30,000 French settlers left Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime as the Pol Pot government confiscated their farms and land properties.
In the 1960s, a second wave of immigration came to France, which was needed for reconstruction purposes and for cheaper labour after the devastation brought on by World War II. French entrepreneurs went to Maghreb countries looking for cheap labour, thus encouraging work-immigration to France. Their settlement was officialized with Jacques Chirac's family regrouping act of 1976 (regroupement familial). Since then, immigration has become more varied, although France stopped being a major immigration country compared to other European countries. The large impact of North African and Arab immigration is the greatest and has brought racial, socio-cultural and religious questions to a country seen as homogenously European, French and 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.
Most French people speak the French language as their mother tongue, but certain languages like Norman, Occitan, Auvergnat, Corsican, Euskara, French Flemish and Breton 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, Alsatian, West Flemish, Lorraine Franconian, Gallo, Picard or Ch'timi and Arpitan). Today, many immigrants speak another tongue at home.
According to historian Eric Hobsbawm, "the French language has been essential to the concept of 'France'," although in 1789, 50 percent of 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 outlying districts.
Abroad, the French language is spoken in many different countries – in particular the former French colonies. Nevertheless, speaking French is distinct from being a French citizen. Thus, francophonie, or the speaking of French, must not be confused with French citizenship or ethnicity. For example, French speakers in Switzerland are not "French citizens".
Native English-speaking Blacks on the island of 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.
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.
The modern ethnic French are the descendants of Romans, Celts, Iberians, Ligurians and Greeks in southern France, mixed with Germanic peoples arriving at the end of the Roman Empire such as the Franks and the Burgundians, and some Vikings who mixed with the Normans and settled mostly in Normandy in the 9th century.
According to Dominique Schnapper, "The classical conception of the nation is that of an entity which, opposed to the ethnic group, affirms itself as an open community, the will to live together expressing itself by the acceptation of the rules of a unified public domain which transcends all particularisms". This conception of the nation as being composed by a "will to live together," supported by the classic lecture of Ernest Renan in 1882, has been opposed by the French far-right, in particular the nationalist Front National ("National Front" - FN) party which claims that there is such a thing as a "French ethnic group". The discourse of ethno-nationalist groups such as the Front National (FN), however, advances the concept of Français de souche or "indigenous" French.
The conventional conception of French history starts with Ancient Gaul, and French national identity often views the Gauls as national precursors, either as biological ancestors (hence the refrain nos ancêtres les Gaulois), as emotional/spiritual ancestors, or both. Vercingetorix, the Gaulish chieftain who tried to unite the various Gallic tribes of the land against Roman encroachment but was ultimately vanquished by Julius Caesar, is often revered as a "first national hero". In the famously popular French comic Asterix, the main characters are patriotic Gauls 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 origin myth. Myriam Krepps of the University of Nebraska-Omaha argues that the view of "a unified territory (one land since the beginning of civilization) and a unified people" which de-emphasized "all disparities and the succession of waves of invaders" was first imprinted on the masses by the unified history curriculum of French textbooks in the late 1870s.
Since the beginning of the Third Republic (1871–1940), the state has not categorized people according to their alleged ethnic origins. Hence, in contrast to the United States Census, French people are not asked to define their ethnic appartenance, whichever it may be. The usage of ethnic and racial categorization is avoided to prevent any case of discrimination; the same regulations apply to religious membership data that cannot be compiled under the French Census. This classic French republican non-essentialist conception of nationality is officialized by the French Constitution, according to which "French" is a nationality, and not a specific ethnicity.
France has been influenced by the many different human migrations that wide-crossed Europe over time. Prehistoric and Neolithic population movements could have influenced the genetic diversity of this country. A study in 2009 analysed 555 French individuals from 7 different regions in mainland France and found the following Y-DNA Haplogroups. The five main haplogroups are R1 (63.41%), E (11.41%) (traced mostly in the Paris area), I (8.88%), J (7.97%) and G (5.16%). R1b (particularly R1b1b2) was found to be the most dominant Y chromosomal lineage in France, covering about 60% of the Y chromosomal lineages. The high frequency of this haplogroup is typical in all West European populations. Haplogroups I and G are also characteristic markers for many different West European populations. Haplogroups J and E1b1b (M35, M78, M81 and M34) consist of lineages with differential distribution within Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Central Asia, and Europe. Only adults with French surnames were analyzed by the study.
|7 Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur||45||2.22||0||2.22||8.89||2.22||0||6.67||8.89||0||6.67||0||0||4.44||0||55.55||2.22|
Provence, a province of southern France was colonized by Ancient Greeks who founded the cities of Marseilles and Nice. A study in 2011 found that 17% of the Y-chromosomes (exclusive to males) of Marseilles may be attributed to Greek colonization, predicting a maximum of a 10% Greek contribution into the local population as opposed to Celto-Ligurian autochthonous input, suggesting a Greek male elite-dominant input into the Iron Age Provence population. There was also some evidence for limited Greek influence in Corsica.
French nationality has not meant automatic citizenship. Some categories of French people have been excluded, throughout the years, from full citizenship:
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 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, 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.
In France, the conception of citizenship teeters between universalism and multiculturalism, especially in recent years. French citizenship has been defined for a long time by three factors: integration, individual adherence, and the primacy of the soil (jus soli). Political integration (which includes but is not limited to racial integration) is based on voluntary policies which aims at creating a common identity, and the interiorization by each individual of a common cultural and historic legacy. Since in France, the state preceded the nation, voluntary policies have taken an important place in the creation of this common cultural identity.
On the other hand, the interiorization of a common legacy is a slow process, which B. Villalba compares to acculturation. According to him, "integration is therefore the result of a double will: the nation's will to create a common culture for all members of the nation, and the communities' will living in the nation to recognize the legitimacy of this common culture". Villalba warns against confusing recent processes of integration (related to the so-called "second generation immigrants", who are subject to discrimination), with older processes which have made modern France. Villalba thus shows that any democratic nation characterize itself by its project of transcending all forms of particular memberships (whether biological - or seen as such, ethnic, historic, economic, social, religious or cultural). The citizen thus emancipates himself from the particularisms of identity which characterize himself to attain a more "universal" dimension. He is a citizen, before being a member of a community or of a social class
Therefore, according to Villalba, "a democratic nation is, by definition, multicultural as it gathers various populations, which differs by their regional origins (Auvergnats, Bretons, 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 described this republican conception in his famous 11 March 1882 conference at the Sorbonne, Qu'est-ce qu'une nation? ("What is a Nation?"). According to him, to belong to a nation is a subjective act which always has to be repeated, as it is not assured by objective criteria. A nation-state is not composed of a single homogeneous ethnic group (a community), but of a variety of individuals willing to live together.
Renan's non-essentialist definition, which forms the basis of the French Republic, is diametrically opposed to the German ethnic conception of a nation, first formulated by Fichte. The German conception is usually qualified in France as an "exclusive" view of nationality, as it includes only the members of the corresponding ethnic group, while the Republican conception thinks itself as universalist, following the Enlightenment's ideals officialized by the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. While Ernest Renan's arguments were also concerned by the debate about the disputed Alsace-Lorraine region, he said that not only one referendum had to be made in order to ask the opinions of the Alsatian people, but also a "daily referendum" should be made concerning all those citizens wanting to live in the French nation-state. This plébiscite de tous les jours ('everyday plebiscite') might be compared to a social contract or even to the classic definition of consciousness as an act which repeats itself endlessly.
Henceforth, contrary to the German definition of a nation based on objective criteria, such as race or ethnic group, which may be defined by the existence of a common language, among other criteria, the 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 common opinion, which holds that the concept of the French people identifies with one particular ethnic group. This contradiction explains the seeming paradox encountered when attempting to identify a "French ethnic group": the French conception of the nation is radically opposed to (and was thought in opposition to) the German conception of the Volk ("ethnic group").
This universalist conception of citizenship and of the nation has influenced the French model of colonization. While the British empire preferred an indirect rule system, which did not mix the colonized people with the colonists, the French Republic theoretically chose an integration system and considered parts of its colonial empire as France itself and its population as French people. The ruthless 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 Crémieux decrees at the end of the 19th century gave French citizenship to north African Jews, while Muslims were regulated by the 1881 Indigenous Code. Liberal author Tocqueville himself considered that the British model was better adapted than the French one and did not balk before the cruelties of General Bugeaud's conquest. He went as far as advocating racial segregation there.
This paradoxical tension between the universalist conception of the French nation and the racism inherent in colonization is most obvious 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."
During the Ancien Régime (before the 1789 French revolution), jus soli (or "right of territory") was predominant. Feudal law recognized personal allegeance to the sovereign, but the subjects of the sovereign were defined by their birthland. According to the 3 September 1791 Constitution, those who are born in France from a foreign father and have fixed their residency in France, or those who, after being born in foreign country from a French father, have come to France and have sworn their civil oath, become French citizens. Because of the war, distrust toward foreigners led to the obligation on the part of this last category to swear a civil oath in order to gain French nationality.
However, the Napoleonic Code would insist on jus sanguinis ("right of blood"). Paternity, against Napoléon Bonaparte's wish, became the principal criterion of nationality, and therefore broke for the first time with the ancient tradition of jus soli, by breaking any residency condition toward children born abroad from French parents. However, according to Patrick Weil, it was not "ethnically motivated" but "only meant that family links transmitted by the pater familias had become more important than subjecthood".
With the 7 February 1851 law, voted during the Second Republic (1848–1852), "double jus soli" was introduced in French legislation, combining birth origin with paternity. Thus, it gave French nationality to the child of a foreigner, if both are born in France, except if the year following his coming of age he reclaims a foreign nationality (thus prohibiting dual nationality). This 1851 law was in part passed because of conscription concerns. This system more or less remained the same until the 1993 reform of the Nationality Code, created by the 9 January 1973 law.
The 1993 reform, which defines the Nationality law, is deemed controversial by some. It commits young people born in 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 Pasqua laws. The first Pasqua law, in 1986, restricts residence conditions in France and facilitates expulsions. With this 1986 law, a child born in France from foreign parents can only acquire French nationality if he or she demonstrates his or her will to do so, at age 16, by proving that he or she has been schooled in France and has a sufficient command of the French language. This new policy is symbolized by the expulsion of 101 Malians by charter.
The second Pasqua law on "immigration control" makes regularisation of illegal aliens more difficult and, in general, residence conditions for foreigners much harder. Charles Pasqua, who said on 11 May 1987: "Some have reproached me of having used a plane, but, if necessary, I will use trains", declared to Le Monde on 2 June 1993: "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.
By definition, a "foreigner" is someone who does not have French nationality. Therefore, it is not a synonym of "immigrant", as a foreigner may be born in France. On the other hand, a Frenchman born abroad may be considered an immigrant (e.g. former prime minister Dominique de Villepin who lived the majority of his life abroad). In most of the cases, however, a foreigner is an immigrant, and vice versa. They either benefit from legal sojourn in France, which, after a residency of ten years, makes it possible to ask for naturalisation. If they do not, they are considered "illegal aliens". Some argue that this privation of nationality and citizenship does not square with their contribution to the national economic efforts, and thus to economic growth.
In any cases, rights of foreigners in France have improved over the last half-century:
Nevertheless, there are some sources dealing with just such distinctions:
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.
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.
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.
There are nearly seven million French speakers out of nine to ten million people of French and partial French ancestry in Canada. The Canadian province of Quebec (2006 census population of 7,546,131), where more than 95 percent of the people speak French as either their first, second or even third language, is the center of French life on the Western side of the Atlantic; however, French settlement began further east, in Acadia. Quebec is home to vibrant French-language arts, media, and learning. There are sizable French-Canadian communities scattered throughout the other provinces of Canada, particularly in Ontario, which has about 1 million people with French ancestry (400 000 who have French as their mother tongue), Manitoba, and New Brunswick, which is the only fully bilingual province and is 33 percent Acadian.
The United States is home to an estimated 13 to 16 million people of French descent, or 4 to 5 percent of the US population, particularly in Louisiana, New England and parts of the Midwest. The French community in Louisiana consists of the Creoles, the descendants of the French settlers who arrived when Louisiana was a French colony, and the Cajuns, the descendants of Acadian refugees from the Great Upheaval. Very few creoles remain in New Orleans in present times. In New England, the vast majority of French immigration in the 19th and early 20th centuries came not from France, but from over the border in Quebec, 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 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, 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.
French Argentines form the third largest ancestry group in 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.
French Uruguayans form the third largest ancestry group in Uruguay, after Italian and Spanish Uruguayans. During the first half of the 19th century, Uruguay received mostly French immigrants to South America. It constituted back then the second receptor of French immigrants in the New World after the United States. Thus, while the United States received 195,971 French immigrants between 1820 and 1855, 13,922 Frenchmen, most of them from the Basque Country and Béarn, left for Uruguay between 1833 and 1842.
French migration to the United Kingdom is a phenomenon that has occurred at various points in history. Many British people have French ancestry, and French remains the foreign language most learned by British people. Much of the UK's mediaeval aristocracy was descended from Franco-Norman migrants at the time of the Norman Conquest of England, and also during the Angevin Empire of the Plantagenet dynasty.
According to a study by Ancestry.co.uk, 3 million British people are of French descent. Among those are television presenters Davina McCall and Louis Theroux. There are currently an estimated 400,000 French people in the United Kingdom, most of them in London.
The first French emigration in Costa Rica was a very small number to Cartago in the mid-nineteenth century. Due to World War II, a group of exiled French (mostly soldiers and families orphaned) migrated to the country.
In Mexico, a sizeable population can trace its ancestry to France. After Spain, this makes France the second largest European ethnicity in the country. The bulk of French immigrants arrived in 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.
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, Carlota of Mexico, a Belgian princess, was a granddaughter of Louis-Philippe of France.
Many Mexicans of French descent live in cities or states such as Zacatecas, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Monterrey, Puebla, Guadalajara, and the capital, Mexico City, where French surnames such as Chairez/Chaires, Renaux, Pierres, Michel, Betancourt, Alaniz, Blanc, Ney, Jurado (Jure), Colo (Coleau), Dumas, or Moussier can be found.
The French came to Chile in the 18th century, arriving at Concepción as merchants, and in the mid-19th century to cultivate vines in the haciendas of the Central Valley, the homebase of world-famous Chilean 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 Latin culture, the French immigrants quickly assimilated into mainstream Chilean society.
From 1840 to 1940, around 25,000 Frenchmen immigrated to Chile. 80% of them were coming from Southwestern France, especially from Basses-Pyrénées (Basque country and Béarn), Gironde, Charente-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.
|French immigrants to Brazil from 1913 to 1924|
It is estimated that there are 1 million to 2 million or more Brazilians of French descent today. This gives Brazil the second largest French community in South America.
From 1819 to 1940, 40,383 Frenchmen immigrated to Brazil. Most of them settled in the country between 1884 and 1925 (8,008 from 1819 to 1883, 25,727 from 1884 to 1925, 6,648 from 1926 to 1940). Another source estimates that around 100,000 French people immigrated to Brazil between 1850 and 1965.
The French community in Brazil numbered 592 in 1888 and 5,000 in 1915. It was estimated that 14,000 Frenchmen were living in Brazil in 1912, 9% of the 149,400 Frenchmen living in Latin America, the second largest community after 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.
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 and Guatemala, and most of French immigrants went to Costa Rica, but these relationships were again return to the late of the nineteenth century.
Elsewhere in the Americas, French settlement took place in the 16th to 20th centuries. They can be found in Haiti, Cuba (refugees from the Haitian Revolution) and Uruguay. The Betancourt political families who influenced Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, Bolivia and Panama have some French ancestry.
Large numbers of Huguenots are known to have settled in the United Kingdom (ab 50 000), Ireland (10,000), in Protestant areas of Germany (especially the city of Berlin) (ab 40 000), in the Netherlands (ab 50 000), in South Africa and in North America. Many people in these countries still bear French names.
In Asia, a proportion of people with mixed French and Vietnamese descent can be found in Vietnam. Including the number of persons of pure French descent. Many are descendants of French settlers who intermarried with local Vietnamese people. Approximately 5,000 in Vietnam are of pure French descent, however, this number is disputed. A small proportion of people with mixed French and Khmer descent can be found in Cambodia. These people number approximately 16,000 in Cambodia, among this number, approximately 3,000 are of pure French descent. An unknown number with mixed French and Lao ancestry can be found throughout Laos. A few thousand French citizens of Indian, European or creole ethnic origins live in the former French possessions in India (mostly Pondicherry). In addition to these Countries, small minorities can be found elsewhere in Asia; the majority of these living as expatriates.
Apart from Québécois, Acadians, Cajuns, and Métis, other populations with some French ancestry outside metropolitan France include the Caldoches of New Caledonia, Louisiana Creole people of the United States, the so-called Zoreilles and Petits-blancs of various Indian Ocean islands, as well as populations of the former French colonial empire in Africa and the West Indies.
Au 31 décembre 2012, 1 611 054 de nos compatriotes étaient inscrits au registre mondial des Français établis hors de France.
Roman Catholic 83%-88%
The French are a basically Latin people of mixed Germanic, Mediterranean, and other European strains
Le déclin du Gaulois et sa disparition ne s'expliquent pas seulement par des pratiques culturelles spécifiques: Lorsque les Romains conduits par César envahirent la Gaule, au 1er siecle avant J.-C., celle-ci romanisa de manière progressive et profonde. Pendant près de 500 ans, la fameuse période gallo-romaine, le gaulois et le latin parlé coexistèrent; au VIe siècle encore; le temoignage de Grégoire de Tours atteste la survivance de la langue gauloise.
The process of Greek colonization of the central and western Mediterranean during the Archaic and Classical Eras has been understudied from the perspective of population genetics. To investigate the Y chromosomal demography of Greek colonization in the western Mediterranean, Y-chromosome data consisting of 29 YSNPs and 37 YSTRs were compared from 51 subjects from Provence, 58 subjects from Smyrna and 31 subjects whose paternal ancestry derives from Asia Minor Phokaia, the ancestral embarkation port to the 6th century BCE Greek colonies of Massalia (Marseilles) and Alalie (Aleria, Corsica). Results 19% of the Phokaian and 12% of the Smyrnian representatives were derived for haplogroup E-V13, characteristic of the Greek and Balkan mainland, while 4% of the Provencal, 4.6% of East Corsican and 1.6% of West Corsican samples were derived for E-V13. An admixture analysis estimated that 17% of the Y-chromosomes of Provence may be attributed to Greek colonization. Using the following putative Neolithic Anatolian lineages: J2a-DYS445 = 6, G2a-M406 and J2a1b1-M92, the data predict a 0% Neolithic contribution to Provence from Anatolia. Estimates of colonial Greek vs. indigenous Celto-Ligurian demography predict a maximum of a 10% Greek contribution, suggesting a Greek male elite-dominant input into the Iron Age Provence population.
In any event, between 1848 and 1939, one million people with French passports headed definitively abroad (page 296).
L'Uruguay capta seulement 13.922 [immigrants français] entre 1833 et 1842, la plupart d'entre eux originaires du Pays Basque et du Béarn.
The documents disclose that despite our rivalry with our continental counterparts, 3 million Britons - one in 20 – can trace their ancestry back to France.
The French consulate in London estimates between 300,000 and 400,000 French citizens live in the British capital
El 80% de los colonos que llegan a Chile provienen del País Vasco, del Bordelais, de Charentes y de las regiones situadas entre Gers y Périgord.
Los datos que poseía el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de Francia ya en 1863, cuando aúno se abría Agencia General de Colonización del Gobierno de Chile en Europa, con sede en París, daban cuenta de 1.650 ciudadanos franceses residentes. Esta cifra fue aumentando paulatinamente hasta llegar, tal como lo consignaba el Ministerio Plenipotenciario Francés en Chile, a un número cercano a los 30.000 franceses residentes a fines del siglo.
Le recensement de la population du Chili a constaté la présence de 23,220 étrangers. (...) Nous trouvons les étrangers établis au Chili répartis par nationalité de la manière suivante : Allemands (3,876), Anglais (2,818), Français (2,483), Espagnols (1,247), Italiens (1,037), Nord-Américains (831), Portugais (313) (page 281).
p. 29. The census of twenty-one years later put the total at around 25,000 - including 3,000 French.
p. 194. Chili : 10 000 (7%).
Ils ont été 100 000 à émigrer dans ce pays entre 1850 et 1965 et auraient entre 500 000 et 1 million de descendants.
The French colony in this country numbered 592 in 1888 and 5,000 in 1915 (page 226).
p. 194. Brésil : 14 000 (9%).
André René Roussimoff (May 19, 1946 – January 27, 1993), best known as André the Giant, was a French professional wrestler and actor.He famously feuded with Hulk Hogan, culminating at WrestleMania III in 1987. His best-remembered film role was that of Fezzik, the giant in The Princess Bride. His size was a result of gigantism caused by excess growth hormone, which later resulted in acromegaly. It also led to his being called "The Eighth Wonder of the World".In the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now known as WWE), Roussimoff was a one-time WWF World Heavyweight Champion and a one-time WWF Tag Team Champion. In 1993, he was the inaugural inductee into the newly created WWE Hall of Fame.Charlotte Gainsbourg
Charlotte Lucy Gainsbourg (born 21 July 1971) is a British-French actress and singer. She is the daughter of English actress Jane Birkin and French singer and songwriter Serge Gainsbourg. After making her musical debut with her father on the song "Lemon Incest" at the age of 12, she released an album with her father at the age of 15. More than 20 years passed before she released the first of four albums as an adult (5:55, IRM, Stage Whisper and Rest) to commercial and critical success. Gainsbourg has also appeared in many films, including several directed by Lars von Trier, and has received both a César Award and the Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award.DJ Snake
William Sami Étienne Grigahcine (French: [wiljam sami etjɛn ɡʁiɡasin]; born 13 June 1986), known professionally as DJ Snake, is a French DJ and record producer from Paris.DJ Snake debuted into the international scene with singles "Bird Machine" and "Turn Down for What" in 2013. "Bird Machine" is a collaboration with fellow French musician Alesia. The single was picked up by Mad Decent, a Los Angeles-based record label run by Diplo, and released in February 2013. In June 2013, DJ Snake was invited by Diplo to do a live mix on his radio show, "Diplo & Friends", which airs on BBC Radio 1.DJ Snake was announced to be working on a collaboration with Diplo, originally slated to debut in 2014; it eventually released in 2015 as the single "Lean On" in collaboration with MØ and Diplo's Major Lazer. On 30 April 2014, DJ Snake was labeled as an "Artist to Watch" by FoxWeekly. He and Dillon Francis were announced as alternating supporting artists for the summer Mothership Tour 2014 with Skrillex. In March 2018, Billboard named DJ Snake as number nine on their 2018 ranking of dance musicians titled Billboard Dance 100.David Guetta
Pierre David Guetta (French pronunciation: [pjɛʁ david ɡɛta]; ; born 7 November 1967) is a French DJ, music programmer, record producer and songwriter. He has sold over nine million albums and thirty million singles worldwide. In 2011, Guetta was voted as the number one DJ in the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs poll. In 2013, Billboard crowned "When Love Takes Over" as the number one dance-pop collaboration of all time.Born and raised in Paris, he released his first album, Just a Little More Love, in 2002. Later, he released Guetta Blaster (2004) and Pop Life (2007). Guetta achieved mainstream success with his 2009 album One Love which included the hit singles "When Love Takes Over", "Gettin' Over You", "Sexy Bitch" and "Memories", the first three of which reached number one in the United Kingdom. The 2011 follow-up album, Nothing but the Beat, continued this success, containing the hit singles "Where Them Girls At", "Little Bad Girl", "Without You", "Titanium" and "Turn Me On". He is among the first DJs to get into the electronic dance music (EDM) scene and is known as the "grandfather of EDM".Eva Green
Eva Gaëlle Green (Swedish: [ˈɡreːn]; born 6 July 1980) is a French actress and model.
The daughter of actress Marlène Jobert, she started her career in theatre before making her film debut in Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers (2003). She achieved international recognition for her portrayal of Sibylla, Queen of Jerusalem in Ridley Scott's historical epic Kingdom of Heaven (2005). The following year, she played Bond girl Vesper Lynd in the James Bond film Casino Royale (2006), a role for which she received the BAFTA Rising Star Award.
Green has since starred in numerous independent films, including Cracks (2009), Womb (2010), and Perfect Sense (2011). In 2014, she played Artemisia in the 300 sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, and Ava Lord in Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez's Sin City sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Green is also known for her collaborations with director Tim Burton, starring as Angelique Bouchard in the horror comedy film Dark Shadows (2012), Miss Alma Peregrine in the fantasy film Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016), and Colette Marchant in the fantasy film Dumbo (2019).
Green starred as Morgan Pendragon in the Starz historical fantasy series Camelot (2011). She also starred as Vanessa Ives in the Showtime horror drama series Penny Dreadful (2014–2016), earning a nomination for Best Actress in a Television Series – Drama at the 73rd Golden Globe Awards.French
French (French: Français(e)) may refer to:
Something of, from, or related to France:
French language, a Romance language which originated in France, and its various dialects
French people, a nation and ethnic group identified with France
French cuisine, cooking traditions and practicesHenry III of France
Henry III (19 September 1551 – 2 August 1589; born Alexandre Édouard de France, Polish: Henryk Walezy, Lithuanian: Henrikas Valua) was King of France from 1574 until his death and also King of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1573 to 1575. Henry was the thirteenth king from the House of Valois, the sixth from the Valois-Orléans branch, the fifth from the Valois-Orléans-Angoulême branch, and the last male of his dynasty.
As the fourth son of King Henry II of France, he was not expected to inherit the French throne and thus was a good candidate for the vacant throne of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, where he was elected King/Grand Duke in 1573. During his brief rule, he signed the Henrician Articles into law, recognizing the Polish nobility's right to freely elect their monarch. Aged 22, Henry abandoned Poland-Lithuania upon inheriting the French throne when his brother, Charles IX, died without issue.
France was at the time plagued by the Wars of Religion, and Henry's authority was undermined by violent political parties funded by foreign powers: the Catholic League (supported by Spain and the Pope), the Protestant Huguenots (supported by England and the Dutch) and the Malcontents, led by Henry's own brother, the Duke of Alençon, which was a party of Catholic and Protestant aristocrats who jointly opposed the absolutist ambitions of the king. Henry III was himself a politique, arguing that a strong and religiously tolerant monarchy would save France from collapse.
After the death of Henry's younger brother Francis, Duke of Anjou, and when it became apparent that Henry would not produce an heir, the Wars of Religion developed into a succession crisis, the War of the Three Henrys. Henry III's legitimate heir was his distant cousin, King Henry III of Navarre, a Protestant. The Catholic League, led by Henry I, Duke of Guise, sought to exclude Protestants from the succession and championed the Catholic Charles, Cardinal of Bourbon, as Henry III's heir.
In 1589, Jacques Clément, a Catholic fanatic, murdered Henry III. He was succeeded by the King of Navarre who, as Henry IV, assumed the throne of France after converting to Catholicism, as the first French king of the House of Bourbon.Henry IV of France
Henry IV (French: Henri IV, read as Henri-Quatre [ɑ̃ʁi katʁ]; 13 December 1553 – 14 May 1610), also known by the epithet Good King Henry or Henry the Great, was King of Navarre (as Henry III) from 1572 and King of France from 1589 to 1610. He was the first monarch of France from the House of Bourbon, a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty. He was assassinated in 1610 by François Ravaillac, a fanatical Catholic, and was succeeded by his son Louis XIII.The son of Antoine de Bourbon, Duke of Vendôme and Jeanne d'Albret, the Queen of Navarre, Henry was baptised as a Catholic but raised in the Protestant faith by his mother. He inherited the throne of Navarre in 1572 on his mother's death. As a Huguenot, Henry was involved in the French Wars of Religion, barely escaping assassination in the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. He later led Protestant forces against the royal army.Henry IV and his predecessor Henry III of France are both direct descendants of the Saint-King Louis IX. Henry III belonged to the House of Valois, descended from Philip III of France, elder son of Saint Louis; Henry IV belonged to the House of Bourbon, descended from Robert, Count of Clermont, younger son of Saint Louis. As Head of the House of Bourbon, Henry was "first prince of the blood." Upon the death of his brother-in-law and distant cousin Henry III in 1589, Henry was called to the French succession by the Salic law.
He initially kept the Protestant faith (the only French king to do so) and had to fight against the Catholic League, which denied that he could wear France's crown as a Protestant. To obtain mastery over his kingdom, after four years of stalemate, he found it prudent to abjure the Calvinist faith. As a pragmatic politician (in the parlance of the time, a politique), he displayed an unusual religious tolerance for the era. Notably, he promulgated the Edict of Nantes (1598), which guaranteed religious liberties to Protestants, thereby effectively ending the Wars of Religion.
Considered a usurper by some Catholics and a traitor by some Protestants, Henry became target of at least 12 assassination attempts. An unpopular king among his contemporaries, Henry gained more status after his death. He was admired for his repeated victories over his enemies and his conversion to Catholicism. The "Good King Henry" (le bon roi Henri) was remembered for his geniality and his great concern about the welfare of his subjects. An active ruler, he worked to regularise state finance, promote agriculture, eliminate corruption and encourage education. During his reign, the French colonization of the Americas truly began with the foundation of the colony of Acadia and its capital Port-Royal. He was celebrated in the popular song "Vive le roi Henri" (which later became an anthem for the French monarchy during the reigns of his successors) and in Voltaire's Henriade.Juliette Binoche
Juliette Binoche (French pronunciation: [ʒyljɛt binɔʃ]; born 9 March 1964) is a French actress, artist and dancer. She has appeared in more than 60 feature films, been the recipient of numerous international awards, and has appeared on stage and in movies across the world. Coming from an artistic background, she began taking acting lessons during adolescence. After performing in several stage productions, she began acting in films by auteur directors Jean-Luc Godard (Hail Mary, 1985), Jacques Doillon (Family Life, 1985) and André Téchiné, who made her a star in France with the leading role in his 1985 drama Rendez-vous. Her sensual performance in her English-language debut The Unbearable Lightness of Being (1988), directed by Philip Kaufman, launched her international career.
She sparked the interest of Steven Spielberg, who offered her several parts including a role in Jurassic Park which she declined, choosing instead to join Krzysztof Kieślowski in Three Colours: Blue (1993), a performance for which she won the Venice Film Festival Award for Best Actress and a César. Three years later Binoche gained further acclaim in Anthony Minghella's The English Patient (1996), for which she was awarded an Academy Award and a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress in addition to the Best Actress Award at the 1997 Berlin International Film Festival. For her performance in Lasse Hallström's romantic comedy Chocolat (2000), Binoche was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress.
During the 2000s she maintained a successful career, alternating between French and English language roles in both mainstream and art-house productions. In 2010, she won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role in Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy making her the first actress to win the European "Best Actress Triple Crown" (for winning best actress award at the Berlin, Cannes and Venice film festivals).
Throughout her career Binoche has intermittently appeared on stage, most notably in a 1998 London production of Luigi Pirandello's Naked and in a 2000 production of Harold Pinter's Betrayal on Broadway for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. In 2008 she began a world tour with a modern dance production in-i devised in collaboration with Akram Khan. Often referred to as "La Binoche" by the press, her other notable performances include: Mauvais Sang (1986), Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (1991), Damage (1992), The Horseman on the Roof (1995), Code Unknown (2000), Caché (2005), Breaking and Entering (2006), Flight of the Red Balloon (2007), Camille Claudel 1915 (2013), and Clouds of Sils Maria (2014).Louis XIII of France
Louis XIII (French pronunciation: [lwi tʁɛz]; 27 September 1601 – 14 May 1643) was a monarch of the House of Bourbon who was King of France from 1610 to 1643 and King of Navarre (as Louis II) from 1610 to 1620, when the crown of Navarre was merged with the French crown.
Shortly before his ninth birthday, Louis became king of France and Navarre after his father Henry IV was assassinated. His mother, Marie de' Medici, acted as regent during his minority. Mismanagement of the kingdom and ceaseless political intrigues by Marie and her Italian favourites led the young king to take power in 1617 by exiling his mother and executing her followers, including Concino Concini, the most influential Italian at the French court.
Louis XIII, taciturn and suspicious, relied heavily on his chief ministers, first Charles d'Albert, duc de Luynes and then Cardinal Richelieu, to govern the Kingdom of France. King and cardinal are remembered for establishing the Académie française, and ending the revolt of the French nobility. They systematically destroyed castles of defiant lords and denounced the use of private violence (dueling, carrying weapons, and maintaining private armies). By the end of 1620s, Richelieu established "the royal monopoly of force" as the ruling doctrine. The reign of Louis "the Just" was also marked by the struggles against the Huguenots and Habsburg Spain.Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette (; French: [maʁi ɑ̃twanɛt]; born Maria Antonia Josepha Johanna; 2 November 1755 – 16 October 1793) was the last Queen of France before the French Revolution. She was born an Archduchess of Austria and was the penultimate child and youngest daughter of Empress Maria Theresa and Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor. She became Dauphine of France in May 1770 at age 14 upon her marriage to Louis-Auguste, heir apparent to the French throne. On 10 May 1774, her husband ascended the throne as Louis XVI and she assumed the title Queen of France and Navarre, which she held until September 1791, when she became Queen of the French as the French Revolution proceeded, a title that she held until 21 September 1792.
After eight years of marriage, Marie Antoinette gave birth to Marie Thérèse, the first of her four children. A growing percentage of the population came to dislike her, accusing her of being profligate and promiscuous and of harboring sympathies for France's enemies, particularly her native Austria. The Affair of the Diamond Necklace damaged her reputation further. During the Revolution, she became known as Madame Déficit because the country's financial crisis was blamed on her lavish spending and her opposition to the social and financial reforms of Turgot and Necker.
Several events were linked to Marie Antoinette during the Revolution after the government had placed the royal family under house arrest in the Tuileries Palace in October 1789. The June 1791 attempted flight to Varennes and her role in the War of the First Coalition had disastrous effects on French popular opinion. On 10 August 1792, the attack on the Tuileries forced the royal family to take refuge at the Assembly, and they were imprisoned in the Temple Prison on 13 August. On 21 September 1792, the monarchy was abolished. Her trial began on 14 October 1793, and two days later Marie Antoinette was convicted by the Revolutionary Tribunal of high treason and executed by guillotine on the Place de la Révolution.Max von Sydow
Max von Sydow (; born Carl Adolf von Sydow, 10 April 1929) is a Swedish-born French actor. He has held French citizenship since 2002. He has appeared in many European and American films in several languages, including Swedish, English, Norwegian, Danish, German, French, Italian, and Spanish. He received the Royal Foundation of Sweden's Cultural Award in 1954, was made a Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres in 2005, and was named a Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur on 17 October 2012.
Von Sydow has appeared in well over a hundred films and TV shows. Some of his most memorable film roles include as Knight Antonius Block in Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal (1957), the first of his eleven films with Bergman and the film that includes the iconic scenes in which he plays chess with Death; Martin in Through a Glass Darkly (1961); Jesus in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965); Oktober in The Quiller Memorandum (1966); Karl Oskar Nilsson in The Emigrants (1971); Roy Lindberg in The Apple War (1971); Father Lankester Merrin in The Exorcist (1973); Joubert the assassin in Three Days of the Condor (1975); Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon (1980); the villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the James Bond film Never Say Never Again (1983); Liet-Kynes in Dune (1984); Frederick in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986); Lassefar in Pelle the Conqueror (1987), for which he received his first Academy Award nomination; Dr Peter Ingham in Awakenings (1990); Lamar Burgess in Minority Report (2002); Josiah Kane in Solomon Kane (2009); Sir Walter Loxley in Robin Hood (2010); The Renter in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2012), which earned him his second Academy Award nomination; and Lor San Tekka in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015). In 2016, Sydow joined the cast of HBO's hit series Game of Thrones, playing the role of the Three-eyed Raven for which he received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.Napoleon III
Napoleon III (born Charles-Louis Napoléon Bonaparte; 20 April 1808 – 9 January 1873), the nephew of Napoleon I, was the first elected President of France from 1848 to 1852. When he could not constitutionally be re-elected, he seized power in 1851 and became the Emperor of the French from 1852 to 1870. He founded the Second French Empire and was its only emperor until the defeat of the French army and his capture by Prussia and its allies in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. He worked to modernize the French economy, rebuilt the center of Paris, expanded the overseas empire, and engaged in the Crimean War and the war for Italian unification. After his defeat and downfall he went into exile and died in England in 1873.
Napoleon III commissioned the grand reconstruction of Paris, carried out by his prefect of the Seine, Baron Haussmann. He launched similar public works projects in Marseille, Lyon and other French cities. Napoleon III modernized the French banking system, greatly expanded and consolidated the French railway system and made the French merchant marine the second largest in the world. He promoted the building of the Suez Canal and established modern agriculture, which ended famines in France and made France an agricultural exporter. Napoleon III negotiated the 1860 Cobden–Chevalier free trade agreement with Britain and similar agreements with France's other European trading partners. Social reforms included giving French workers the right to strike and the right to organize. The first women students were admitted at the Sorbonne, and women's education greatly expanded as did the list of required subjects in public schools.
In foreign policy, Napoleon III aimed to reassert French influence in Europe and around the world. He was a supporter of popular sovereignty and of nationalism. In Europe, he allied with Britain and defeated Russia in the Crimean War (1853–56). His regime assisted Italian unification and in doing so annexed Savoy and the County of Nice to France—at the same time, his forces defended the Papal States against annexation by Italy. Napoleon III doubled the area of the French overseas empire in Asia, the Pacific and Africa, however his army's intervention in Mexico, which aimed to create a Second Mexican Empire under French protection, ended in total failure.
From 1866, Napoleon had to face the mounting power of Prussia as its Chancellor Otto von Bismarck sought German unification under Prussian leadership. In July 1870, Napoleon entered the Franco-Prussian War without allies and with inferior military forces. The French army was rapidly defeated and Napoleon III was captured at the Battle of Sedan. The Third Republic was proclaimed in Paris and Napoleon went into exile in England, where he died in 1873.Olga Kurylenko
Olga Konstiantinivna Kurylenko (Ukrainian: О́льга Констянти́нівна Куриле́нко; born 14 November 1979) is a French-Ukrainian actress and model.She was discovered as a model in Moscow at the age of 13. She moved to Paris to pursue a modelling career at the age of 16 and started her acting career in 2005. She found success as an actress for her role as Nika Boronina in the movie adaptation of the video game Hitman (2007), and then rose to fame by playing Bond girl Camille Montes in the 22nd James Bond film, Quantum of Solace (2008). More recently she starred in Stephen S. Campanelli's Momentum (2015), Terrence Malick's To the Wonder (2012), alongside Tom Cruise in Oblivion (2013), with Russell Crowe in The Water Diviner (2014) and alongside Rowan Atkinson in the spy comedy film Johnny English Strikes Again (2018).Ousmane Dembélé
Masour Ousmane Dembélé (born 15 May 1997) is a French professional footballer who plays as a forward for Spanish club Barcelona and the French national team.
Born in Vernon, Dembélé began his career at Rennes before joining Dortmund in 2016. He won the DFB-Pokal with die Borussen in the 2016–17 season, scoring a goal in the final. A year later, he transferred to Barcelona for an initial fee of €105 million, becoming at the time the joint-second most expensive footballer ever alongside compatriot Paul Pogba. Dembélé subsequently won the double of La Liga and Copa del Rey in an injury-riddled first season in Spain.
After winning 20 caps and scoring five goals at youth level, Dembélé made his senior international debut for France in 2016. He was chosen in France's squad for the 2018 World Cup which they won.RSVP
RSVP is an initialism derived from the French phrase Répondez s'il vous plaît, meaning "Please respond" to require confirmation of an invitation. The initialism "RSVP" is no longer used much in France, where it is considered formal and old-fashioned (if not totally unknown by most French people). In French, the complete sentence "Répondez s'il vous plaît" gives the impression the speaker is begging for an answer. In France, it is now more common to use "Réponse attendue avant le...", meaning "[Your] answer is expected before...". In addition, the French initialism "SVP" is frequently used to represent "s'il vous plaît" ("please").Riyad Mahrez
Riyad Karim Mahrez (Arabic: رياض كريم محرز; born 21 February 1991) is a professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Manchester City and the Algerian national team.
Mahrez began his career as a youth player for French club AAS Sarcelles. He turned professional in 2009 with Quimper, where he played for only one season before moving to Le Havre, spending a total of three years with them, initially playing for their reserve team and then becoming a first-team regular. In January 2014, Mahrez signed for English side Leicester City, helping them win the Championship and promotion to the Premier League at the end of his first season. In the 2015–16 season he was the Algerian Footballer of the Year, the PFA Players' Player of the Year, and was a member of the Premier League PFA Team of the Year as he helped Leicester City win the Premier League.
Born in France, Mahrez made his international debut for Algeria in 2014 and represented them at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and both the 2015 and 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. In 2016 he was named CAF's African Footballer of the Year.Timothée Chalamet
Timothée Hal Chalamet (born December 27, 1995) is a French and American actor. He began his acting career in short films, before appearing in the television drama series Homeland in 2012. Two years later, he made his feature film debut in the drama Men, Women & Children and subsequently appeared in Christopher Nolan's science-fiction film Interstellar.
In 2017, Chalamet gained wider recognition for his supporting roles in the coming-of-age film Lady Bird and the western Hostiles, and for his lead role in Luca Guadagnino's romantic drama Call Me by Your Name. The latter earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor, making him the third-youngest nominee in the category. The following year, he portrayed a drug-addicted teenager in the drama Beautiful Boy, for which he received a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
On stage, Chalamet has starred in John Patrick Shanley's autobiographical play Prodigal Son, for which he was nominated for a Drama League Award and won a Lucille Lortel Award.Édith Piaf
Édith Piaf (French: [edit pjaf] (listen); born Édith Giovanna Gassion; 19 December 1915 – 10 October 1963) was a French vocalist, songwriter, cabaret performer and film actress noted as France's national chanteuse and one of the country's most widely known international stars.Piaf's music was often autobiographical and she specialized in chanson and torch ballads about love, loss and sorrow. Her most widely known songs include “La Vie en rose" (1946), "Non, je ne regrette rien" (1960), "Hymne à l'amour" (1949), "Milord" (1959), "La Foule" (1957), "L'Accordéoniste" (1940), and "Padam, padam..." (1951).
Since her death in 1963, several biographies and films have studied her life, including 2007's Academy Award-winning La Vie en rose — and Piaf has become one of the most celebrated performers of the 20th century.