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Encyclopedia > French Americans

A French American or Franco-American is a citizen of the United States of America of French descent and heritage. About 13 million U.S. residents are of French descent, and about 1.6 million of them speak the French language at home. An additional 400,000 speak a French Creole language, according to the 2000 U.S. Census French (français, langue française) is one of the most important Romance languages, outnumbered in speakers only by Spanish and Portuguese. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


The first French Americans to arrive were Huguenots (French Protestants) fleeing religious persecution, who settled throughout the Thirteen Colonies. The majority of present day Franco-Americans are not descended from direct immigrants from France, but rather from those who settled French territories in the New World (primarily in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries) before moving to the United States or being incorporated into American territories later on. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the name of Huguenots came to apply to members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... In 1775, the British claimed authority over the red and pink areas on this map and Spain ruled the orange. ...


While Americans of French descent make up a substantial percentage of the American population, French-Americans arguably are less visible than other similarly sized ethnic groups. This is due in part to the high degree of assimilation among Huguenot Protestant settlers, as well as the tendency of French-American groups to identify more strongly with "New World" identities such as Quebecois, French Canadian, Acadian, Cajun, or Louisiana Creole. This has inhibited the development of a wider French-American identity in the United States. In Canadian English, a Québécois (IPA: ) is a native or resident of the province of Quebec, Canada, especially a French-speaking one. ... French Canadian is a term that has several different connotations. ... The Acadians (French: Acadiens) are the descendants of the 17th-century French colonists who settled in Acadia (located on the northern portion of North Americas east coast). ... This article is about an ethnic culture. ... For Louisiana Creole ethnicity, refer to the New Orleans and Louisiana Creole section of the Creole page. ...


This relative absence of French-American political and social unity helps to explain anti-French sentiment in the United States. French historian Justin Vaïsse has proposed that an important cause of overtly expressed public hostility toward France in the U.S. is the small number of Americans of direct French descent.[1] While he acknowledges that this is not the direct cause of anti-French sentiments, he argues that it explains why these sentiments can be expressed publicly, without being seen as a gross violation of political correctness. Vaïsse contends that by comparison, the public display of such sentiments towards other ethnic groups or nationalities would be met by strong disapproval. He proposes that as France has no powerful and organised lobby to defend it, it is socially and politically acceptable in the United States to express negative sentiments of the French.[2] For general Anti-French hostility, see Francophobia. ... Political correctness is the alteration of language to redress real or alleged injustices and discrimination or to avoid offense. ... A lobby can be: An entryway or waiting area, such as a foyer, from the Latin word lobium, or vestibule. ...

Contents

French-American Population

While found throughout the country, they are most numerous in New England, Louisiana (where more than 35% of the population of the Cajun Country reported in the last census that French was spoken at home) and Michigan. French Louisiana, when it was sold by Napoleon in 1803, covered all or part of than fifteen current U.S. states and contained French colonists dispersed across it, though they were most numerous in its southernmost portion. This article is about the region in the United States of America. ... Official language(s) de jure: none de facto: English & French Capital Baton Rouge Largest city Baton Rouge [1] Area  Ranked 31st  - Total 51,885 sq mi (134,382 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 16  - Latitude 29°N to 33°N  - Longitude 89°W... Cajun Country refers to a region, also known as Acadiana, in the U.S. state of Louisiana that has been heavily settled by French Acadians who had lived in the French-controlled province of Acadia in what is now eastern Canada. ... Official language(s) None (English, de-facto) Capital Lansing Largest city Detroit Area  Ranked 11th  - Total 97,990 sq mi (253,793 km²)  - Width 239 miles (385 km)  - Length 491 miles (790 km)  - % water 41. ... Louisiana sold in 1803 by Napoléon to USA, which was a portion of the historical extent of French Louisiana Louisiana (French language: La Louisiane) was the name of an administrative district of New France in the 17th and 18th centuries. ... For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation). ... 1803 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... A U.S. state is any one of the 50 states which have membership of the federation known as the United States of America (USA or U.S.). The separate state governments and the U.S. federal government share sovereignty. ...


Often, Franco-Americans are identified more specifically as being of French Canadian, Cajun, or Louisiana Creole descent. An important part of Franco-American history is the Quebec diaspora of the 1840s-1930s, in which one million French Canadians moved to the United States, principally to the New England states and Michigan. Historically, the French in Canada had very high birth rates, which is why their population was large even though immigration from France was relatively low. They also moved to different regions within Canada, namely Ontario and Manitoba. Many of the early male migrants worked in the lumber industry in both regions, and, to lesser degree, in the burgeoning mining industry in the upper Great Lakes. French Canadian is a term that has several different connotations. ... This article is about an ethnic culture. ... The term Louisiana Creole refers to people of any race or mixture thereof who are descended from settlers in colonial Louisiana before it became part of the USA in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase, or to the culture and Creole cuisine typical of these people. ... The Quebec diaspora consists of hundreds of thousands of people who left the Province of Quebec in Canada for the United States, Ontario and the Canadian prairies between 1840 and through the Great Depression of the 1930s. ... The Great Lakes from space The Great Lakes are a group of five large lakes in North America on or near the Canada-United States border. ...


Another significant source of immigrants was Saint Domingue, which gained its independence as the Republic of Haiti in 1804 following a bloody revolution; much of its white population (along with some mulattoes) fled during this time, often to Louisiana, where they largely assimilated into the Creole culture. Saint-Domingue was a French colony from 1697 to 1804 that is today the independent nation of Haiti. ... Representation of Mulattos during the Latin American colonial period Mulatto (also Mulato) is a term of Spanish and/or Portuguese origin describing first-generation offspring of African and European ancestry. ...


The Cajuns of Louisiana have a unique heritage. Their ancestors settled Acadia, in what is now the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. In 1755, after capturing Fort Beauséjour in the region, the British army forced the Acadians to either swear an oath of loyalty to the British crown or face expulsion. Thousands refused to take the oath, causing them to be sent, penniless, to the 13 colonies to the south in what has become known as the Great Upheaval. Over the next generation, some four thousand managed to make the long trek to Lousiana, where they began a new life. The name Cajun is a corruption of the word Acadian. Many still live in what is known as the Cajun Country, where much of their colonial culture survives. The national flag of Acadia, adopted in 1884. ... Motto: Spem reduxit (Hope restored) Capital Fredericton Largest city Saint John Official languages English, French (the only constitutionally bilingual province in the country) Government - Lieutenant-Governor Herménégilde Chiasson - Premier Shawn Graham (Liberal) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 10 - Senate seats 10 Confederation July 1, 1867 (1st... Motto: Munit Haec et Altera Vincit(Latin) One defends and the other conquers Capital Halifax Largest city Halifax Regional Municipality Official languages English Government - Lieutenant-Governor Mayann E. Francis - Premier Rodney MacDonald (PC) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 11 - Senate seats 10 Confederation July 1, 1867 (1st) Area... Motto: Parva Sub Ingenti (Latin: The Small Protected By The Great) BC AB SK MB ON QC NB PE NS NL YU NT NU Capital Charlottetown Largest city Charlottetown Official languages English Government - Lieutenant-Governor Barbara Oliver Hagerman - Premier Pat Binns (PC) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 4... Fort Beauséjour is a National Historic Site located in Aulac, New Brunswick, Canada. ... Betsy Ross purportedly sewed the first American flag with 13 stars and 13 stripes representing each of the 13 colonies. ... The Great Upheaval (le Grand Dérangement), also known as the Great Expulsion, The Deportation or the Acadian Expulsion, was the forced population transfer of the Acadian population from Nova Scotia between 1755 and 1763, ordered by British governor Charles Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Council. ... Cajun Country refers to a region, also known as Acadiana, in the U.S. state of Louisiana that has been heavily settled by French Acadians who had lived in the French-controlled province of Acadia in what is now eastern Canada. ...


Because the ancestors of most French Americans had for the most part left France before the French Revolution, they usually identify more with the Fleur-de-lis of monarchical France than with the modern French tricolor. The French Revolution (1789–1815) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on... Fleurs-de-lys on the flag of Quebec The fleur-de-lis (also spelled fleur-de-lys; plural fleurs-de-lis or -lys) is used in heraldry, where it is particularly associated with the France monarchy (see King of France). ... Flag Ratio: 2:3 The national flag of France (Vexillological symbol: , known in French as drapeau tricolore, drapeau bleu-blanc-rouge, drapeau français, rarely, le tricolore and, in military parlance, les couleurs) is a tricolour featuring three vertical bands coloured blue (hoist side), white, and red. ...


French American communities

Distribution of French Americans according to the 2000 census
Distribution of French Americans according to the 2000 census

According to the U.S. Census Bureau of 2000, French-Americans (of French and French-Canadian ancestry) made up close to, or more than, 10% of the population of: Image File history File links French1346. ... Image File history File links French1346. ... By county. ... 2000 US Census logo The Twenty-Second United States Census, known as Census 2000 and conducted by the Census Bureau, determined the resident population of the United States on April 1, 2000, to be 281,421,906, an increase of 13. ... The United States Census Bureau (officially Bureau of the Census) is a part of the United States Department of Commerce. ...

New Hampshire 25.2%
Vermont 23.3%
Maine 22.8%
Rhode Island 17.2%
Louisiana 16.2%
Massachusetts   12.9%
Connecticut 9.9%

In states that once made up part of New France (excluding Louisiana): Official language(s) English Capital Concord Largest city Manchester Area  Ranked 46th  - Total 9,359 sq mi (24,239 km²)  - Width 68 miles (110 km)  - Length 190 miles (305 km)  - % water 3. ... Official language(s) None Capital Montpelier Largest city Burlington Area  Ranked 45th  - Total 9,620 sq mi (24,923 km²)  - Width 80 miles (130 km)  - Length 160 miles (260 km)  - % water 3. ... Official language(s) None (English de facto; French is also an administrative language) Capital Augusta Largest city Portland Area  Ranked 39th  - Total 33,414 sq mi (86,542 km²)  - Width 210 miles (338 km)  - Length 320 miles (515 km)  - % water 13. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... Official language(s) de jure: none de facto: English & French Capital Baton Rouge Largest city Baton Rouge [1] Area  Ranked 31st  - Total 51,885 sq mi (134,382 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 16  - Latitude 29°N to 33°N  - Longitude 89°W... This article is about the U.S. State. ... It has been suggested that this article be split into multiple articles. ... Capital Quebec Language(s) French Religion Roman Catholicism Government Monarchy King See List of French monarchs Governor See list of Governors Legislature Sovereign Council of New France Historical era Ancien Régime in France  - Royal Control 1655  - Articles of Capitulation of Quebec 1759  - Articles of Capitulation of Montreal 1760  - Treaty...

Michigan 6.8%
Montana 5.3%
Minnesota 5.3%
Wisconsin 5.0%
North Dakota   4.7%
Wyoming 4.2%
Missouri 3.8%
Kansas 3.6%

French-Americans also made up more than 4% of the population in Official language(s) None (English, de-facto) Capital Lansing Largest city Detroit Area  Ranked 11th  - Total 97,990 sq mi (253,793 km²)  - Width 239 miles (385 km)  - Length 491 miles (790 km)  - % water 41. ... Official language(s) English Capital Helena Largest city Billings Area  Ranked 4th  - Total 147,165 sq mi (381,156 km²)  - Width 255 miles (410 km)  - Length 630 miles (1,015 km)  - % water 1  - Latitude 44°26N to 49°N  - Longitude 104°2W to 116°2W Population  Ranked... Capital Saint Paul Largest city Minneapolis Area  Ranked 12th  - Total 87,014 sq mi (225,365 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 400 miles (645 km)  - % water 8. ... Official language(s) None Capital Madison Largest city Milwaukee Area  Ranked 23rd  - Total 65,498 sq mi (169,790 km²)  - Width 260 miles (420 km)  - Length 310 miles (500 km)  - % water 17  - Latitude 42°30N to 47°3N  - Longitude 86°49W to 92°54W Population  Ranked... Official language(s) English Capital Bismarck Largest city Fargo Area  Ranked 19th  - Total 70,762 sq mi (183,272 km²)  - Width 210 miles (340 km)  - Length 340 miles (545 km)  - % water 2. ... Official language(s) English Capital Cheyenne Largest city Cheyenne Area  Ranked 10th  - Total 97,818 sq mi (253,348 km²)  - Width 280 miles (450 km)  - Length 360 miles (580 km)  - % water 0. ... Official language(s) English Capital Jefferson City Largest city Kansas City Largest metro area St. ... Official language(s) none Capital Topeka Largest city Wichita Area  Ranked 15th  - Total 82,277 sq mi (213,096 km²)  - Width 211 miles (340 km)  - Length 417 miles (645 km)  - % water 0. ...

Washington   4.6%
Oregon 4.6%
Alaska 4.2%

National percentage of Americans of French & French-Canadian ancestry: 5.3% Official language(s) None Capital Olympia Largest city Seattle Area  Ranked 18th  - Total 71,342 sq mi (184,827 km²)  - Width 240 miles (385 km)  - Length 360 miles (580 km)  - % water 6. ... Official language(s) None Capital Salem Largest city Portland Area  Ranked 9th  - Total 98,466 sq mi (255,026 km²)  - Width 260 miles (420 km)  - Length 360 miles (580 km)  - % water 2. ... Official language(s) English Capital Juneau Largest city Anchorage Area  Ranked 1st  - Total 663,267 sq mi (1,717,855 km²)  - Width 808 miles (1,300 km)  - Length 1,479 miles (2,380 km)  - % water 13. ...

States with the largest French communities include (according to the 2000 U.S. Census)

French and French-Canadian

1. California 927,453
2. Massachusetts   818,388
3. Michigan 680,939
4. Louisiana 680,208
5. New York 628,810

State capitals with French names include Baton Rouge (Lousiana); Boise (Idaho); Des Moines (Iowa); Juneau (Alaska); and Montpelier (Vermont). Official language(s) English Capital  Sacramento Largest city  Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... Official language(s) None (English, de-facto) Capital Lansing Largest city Detroit Area  Ranked 11th  - Total 97,990 sq mi (253,793 km²)  - Width 239 miles (385 km)  - Length 491 miles (790 km)  - % water 41. ... Official language(s) de jure: none de facto: English & French Capital Baton Rouge Largest city Baton Rouge [1] Area  Ranked 31st  - Total 51,885 sq mi (134,382 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 16  - Latitude 29°N to 33°N  - Longitude 89°W... NY redirects here. ... Nickname: Motto: Authentic Louisiana at every turn Coordinates: Country United States State Louisiana Parish East Baton Rouge Parish Founded 1699 Incorporated 16 January 1817 Government  - Mayor Melvin Kip Holden (D) Area  - City  79. ... Nickname: City of Trees Motto: Energy Peril Success Location of Boise in the State of Idaho Coordinates: Country United States State Idaho County Ada Founded 1863 Incorporated 1864 Government  - Mayor David H. Bieter Area  - City  64 sq mi (165. ... Nickname: Hartford of the West, City of Skywalks, Raccoon City, DSM Location in the State of Iowa, USA Coordinates: Country United States State Iowa County Polk County Incorporated September 22, 1851 Government  - Mayor Frank Cownie Area  - City  77. ... Location in Juneau City and Borough, Alaska Coordinates: Country United States State Alaska Borough Juneau City and Borough Founded 1881 Incorporated 1890  - Mayor Bruce Botelho Area    - City  3,255. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


Religion

French Americans are divided between those of Roman Catholic heritage (which includes most French Canadians and Cajuns) and those of Huguenot (Protestant) background, most of whom came during the colonial period. For most of its existence, New France was open only to Catholic settlement. In response, many Huguenots – who sought to emigrate as they faced religious discrimination in France – moved instead to other countries (mainly England, the Netherlands and Prussia) and their overseas territories, including the 13 colonies of Great Britain and the Dutch Cape Colony. Huguenots tended to assimilate more quickly into English-speaking society than their Catholic counterparts. One-third of all American Presidents have some proven Huguenot ancestry, along with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay. The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... In the 16th and 17th centuries, the name Huguenot was applied to a member of the Protestant Reformed Church of France, historically known as the French Calvinists. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... Capital Quebec Language(s) French Religion Roman Catholicism Government Monarchy King See List of French monarchs Governor See list of Governors Legislature Sovereign Council of New France Historical era Ancien Régime in France  - Royal Control 1655  - Articles of Capitulation of Quebec 1759  - Articles of Capitulation of Montreal 1760  - Treaty... Motto (French) God and my right Anthem God Save the King (Queen) England() – on the European continent() – in the United Kingdom() Capital (and largest city) London (de facto) Official languages English (de facto) Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Queen Queen Elizabeth II  -  Prime Minister Tony Blair MP Unification  -  by Athelstan 967  Area... Motto: Suum cuique Latin: To each his own Prussia at its peak, as leading state of the German Empire Capital Königsberg, later Berlin Political structure Duchy, Kingdom, Republic Duke1  - 1525–68 Albert I  - 1688–1701 Frederick III King1  - 1701–13 Frederick I  - 1888–1918 William II Prime Minister1,2... Betsy Ross purportedly sewed the first American flag with 13 stars and 13 stripes representing each of the 13 colonies. ... Anthem: God Save the Queen Cape Colony Capital Cape Town Language(s) English and Dutch1 Religion Dutch Reformed Church, Anglican Government Constitutional monarchy Last Monarch King George VI Last Prime Minister  - 1908 – 1910 John X. Merriman Last Governor  - 1901 - 1910 Walter Hely-Hutchinson Historical era 19th century  - Dutch East India... The presidential seal was first used in 1880 by President Rutherford B. Hayes and last modified in 1959 by adding the 50th star for Hawaii The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. ... Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757–July 12, 1804) was an Army officer, lawyer, Founding Father, American politician, leading statesman, financier and political theorist. ... John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American politician, statesman, revolutionary, diplomat, writer, and a jurist. ...


French language in the United States

For more details on this topic, see French in the United States.

According to the National Education Bureau, French is the second most commonly taught foreign language in U.S. high schools, colleges and universities behind Spanish. French was the most commonly taught foreign language until the 1980s, when the influx of Hispanic immigrants aided the growth of Spanish. According to the U.S. 2000 Census, French is the fourth most spoken language in the United States after English, Spanish and Chinese with over 1.6 million speakers. In addition to parts of Louisiana, the language is also commonly spoken in Miami, northern Maine, Vermont and New York City, home to large French-speaking communities from France, Canada, as well as the Caribbean. French language spread in the United States. ... The Hispanic world. ... Official language(s) de jure: none de facto: English & French Capital Baton Rouge Largest city Baton Rouge [1] Area  Ranked 31st  - Total 51,885 sq mi (134,382 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 16  - Latitude 29°N to 33°N  - Longitude 89°W... This article is about the city in Florida. ... Official language(s) None (English de facto; French is also an administrative language) Capital Augusta Largest city Portland Area  Ranked 39th  - Total 33,414 sq mi (86,542 km²)  - Width 210 miles (338 km)  - Length 320 miles (515 km)  - % water 13. ... Official language(s) None Capital Montpelier Largest city Burlington Area  Ranked 45th  - Total 9,620 sq mi (24,923 km²)  - Width 80 miles (130 km)  - Length 160 miles (260 km)  - % water 3. ... New York, NY redirects here. ...


As a result of French immigration to what is now the United States in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the French language was once widely spoken in much of the country, especially in the former Louisiana Territory, as well as in the Northeast. French-language newspapers existed in many American cities, especially New Orleans. Americans of French descent often lived in French-dominated neighborhoods, where they attended schools and churches that used their language. In New England, Upstate New York and the Midwest, French-Canadian neighborhoods were known as "Little Canadas". The United States in 1810, following the Louisiana Purchase. ... The Northeastern United States is a region of the United States defined by the U.S. Census Bureau. ...


1. http://www.politiqueinternationale.com/revue/article.php?id_revue=12&id=228&content=synopsis


2.Pierre Verdaguer, "A Turn-of-the-Century Honeymoon? The Washington Post's Coverage of France", French Politics, Culture & Society, vol. 21, no. 2, summer 2003.


See also

Acadian flag A French American or Franco-American is a citizen of the United States of America of French descent and heritage. ... The Huguenot Society of America was an hereditary patriotic society, organized in New York City on April 12, 1883, and incorporated on June 12, 1885. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
French American - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (314 words)
A French American or Franco-American is a citizen of the United States of America of French descent and heritage.
Often, Franco-Americans are identified more specifically as being of French Canadian (the French in Canada had very high birth rates, which is why their population was large even though immigration from France was relatively low), Cajun, or Creole descent.
An important part of Franco-American history is the Quebec diaspora of the 1840s-1930s, in which hundreds of tens of thousands of French Canadians moved to the United States, principally to the New England states and Michigan.
French-American Foundation (522 words)
The purpose of the French-American Foundation is to strengthen the French American relationship as a vital component of the trans-Atlantic partnership.
It seeks to strengthen the French American relationship.
The French internships provide students with valuable, hands-on work experience, to encourage them to pursue topics in strengthening France USA relations in their French academic programs and/or French leadership programs, and to deepen understanding of France USA societies among the younger generations by raising French American awareness of the French American issues affecting both countries.
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