French people

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French people are a Western European ethnic group and nation that shares a common French culture, ancestry, French language and is identified with the country of France.


  • 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
  • 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, 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
  • 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.
    • Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Here is France, 1969, p. 40
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Honour to the French!—They have taken good care of the two greatest needs of human society — of good eating and citizenly equality; they have made the greatest advances in cookery and in freedom..."
  • I loathe the French. There's not one French person I can think of except—maybe two very simple people. Maybe Boudin, who's so un-French. You know, they're really not very nice. They're all for themselves.
    • Jacqueline Kennedy, quoted in Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy (2011).
  • 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
  • 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 are a cross-bred people; there is no such thing as a French race or a French type.
  • The reason why all of us naturally began to live in France is because France has scientific methods, machines and electricity, but does not really believe that these things have anything to do with the real business of living.
  • Propaganda is not French, it is not civilized to want other people to believe what you believe because the essence of being civilised is to possess yourself as you are, and if you possess yourself as you are you of course cannot possess any one else, it is not your business.
  • 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
  • A Frenchman is self-assured because he regards himself personally, both in mind and body, as irresistibly attractive to men and women.

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