French people

citizens or residents of France
(Redirected from Frenchmen)

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.

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
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


  • 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
  • [W]hy should the Palatine Boors be suffered to swarm into our Settlements, and by herding together establish their Language and Manners to the Exclusion of ours? Why should Pennsylvania, founded by the English, become a Colony of Aliens, who will shortly be so numerous as to Germanize us instead of our Anglifying them, and will never adopt our Language or Customs, any more than they can acquire our Complexion. Which leads me to add one Remark: That the Number of purely white People in the World is proportionably very small. All Africa is black or tawny. Asia chiefly tawny. America (exclusive of the new Comers) wholly so. And in Europe, the Spaniards, Italians, French, Russians and Swedes, are generally of what we call a swarthy Complexion; as are the Germans also, the Saxons only excepted, who with the English, make the principal Body of White People on the Face of the Earth. I could wish their Numbers were increased. And while we are, as I may call it, Scouring our Planet, by clearing America of Woods, and so making this Side of our Globe reflect a brighter Light to the Eyes of Inhabitants in Mars or Venus, why should we in the Sight of Superior Beings, darken its People? why increase the Sons of Africa, by Planting them in America, where we have so fair an Opportunity, by excluding all Blacks and Tawneys, of increasing the lovely White and Red? But perhaps I am partial to the Complexion of my Country, for such Kind of Partiality is natural to Mankind.
  • 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
  • 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
  • I worked at a factory owned by Germans, at coal pits owned by Frenchmen, and at a chemical plant owned by Belgians. There I discovered something about capitalists. They are all alike, whatever the nationality. All they wanted from me was the most work for the least money that kept me alive. So I became a communist.
  • 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.
  • This kingdom,” said Mirabeau, “is in a deplorable state. There is neither national energy, nor the only substitute for it—money.”—“It can only be regenerated,” said La Riviere, “by a conquest, like that of China, or by some great internal convulsion; but woe to those who live to see that! The French people do not do things by halves.” These words made me tremble, and I hastened out of the room.