French people

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French people can refer to:

  • The legal residents and citizens of France, regardless of ancestry.
  • People whose ancestors lived in France or the area that later became France.


  • The French are a cross-bred people; there is no such thing as a French race or a French type.
  • Alas, there is no French race, but a French people, a French nation, that is to say, a politically formed collectivity.
    • Maurice Barrès, Scènes et doctrines du nationalisme, Volume 1, Plon-Nourrit, 1925, p. 85
  • The French people — there is no French race — is an amalgamation of practically all the tribes that have surged across Europe. It is a comparatively modern people formed by the fusion of numerous and diverse ethnic elements.
    • Charles Kay Ogden, Psyche: An Annual General and Linguistic Psychology 1920-1952, Routledge, 1995, p. 88
  • The French people were born of a Christian mother and an unknown father... I say unknown father because France is a nation of immigrants and always has been.
    • Andre Frossard , quoted by Patrick Marnham in Crime and the Académie Française: dispatches from Paris, Viking, 1993, p. 28
  • There is no such thing as an "ethnic" French person. No matter how far back you trace the country's evolution, it's impossible to establish a shared ethnicity across France, and the nearer you get to the present, the more mixed it becomes. France is a hotch poth...The people you meet in France are really descendants of all the tribes and races that ever invaded France, and all the immigrants that ever flocked there from other countries. In present day France, one-third of the population has grandparents that were born outside of France...It is not a race, or a myth of common origin, that binds the French. The French are French because of the culture they share.
    • Jean-Benoît Nadeau and Julie Barlow Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't be Wrong: What makes the French so French, Robson Books Ltd, 2004, p. 8
  • While race has played a fundamental role in the development of the American nation, it is possible to argue that the French nation has been denned, at least in part, against racial thinking. Instead, culture, understood as a shared worldview and common customs, has come to dominate not only French self-definitions, but also French views of the rest of the world. While race has not been entirely absent from French thinking about difference, competing notions of what constitutes French culture and about who can participate in the community denned by that culture have played far more significant roles than ideas about race in debates about French identity.
    • Herrick Chapman and Laura Levine Frader, Race in France: interdisciplinary perspectives on the politics of difference, Berghahn Books, 2004, p. 119
  • There is no French race. There is a French people made up mostly of invaders and immigrants who have become one through several thousand years of living together, fighting together, and creating together a culture, a way of life, a civilization on the same land.
    • Here is France, Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1969, p. 40
  • Since there is no French race, the French race cannot die. France will have the population she can feed; the French spirit will have the heirs it can win. The French population is not a matter of biology, but of economics and ideology.
    • Albert Guerard, France - A Short History (1946), Read Books, 2007, p. 44
  • There is no French race, for the inhabitants of France have derived their genes from three somewhat distinct sources.
    • Aaron Franklin Shull, Heredity (1938), McGraw-Hill book company, inc., 1938, p. 337
  • There is no French race, no French type; there is a common cultural, historical heritage that is uniquely French— but France is hybrid, whose seeds come from Asia, Africa, Europe.
    • Baldoon Dhingra, Search for roots: lectures and talks, Publication Bureau, Panjab University, 1977, p. 40

Genetic studies[edit]

  • The southern French people are more or less isolated from the other western European populations. They are in an intermediate position between the North Africans (Algerians from Algiers and Oran; Tunisians) and the western Europeans populations (France, Spain, and Portugal) (...) These results cannot be attributed to recent events because of the knowledge of the grandparents’ origin in our sample (...) This study reveals that the southern French population from Marseilles is related genetically to the southwestern Europeans and North Africans, who are geographically close. A substantial gene flow has thus probably been present among the populations of these neighboring areas.

External links[edit]

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