Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963879 | Print ISBN: 9781412926942 | Online ISBN: 9781412963879| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Keith Andrew Mann
French Americans include the 13 million U.S. citizens descended from French immigrants to North America from the 17th century to the present. This entry reviews the history of French immigration to the United States and the current status of French Americans. U.S. citizens of French descent are descended from several streams of immigration to North America and display varying degrees of ethnic identity. Some are the descendants of colonists who arrived during the 16th and 17th centuries in what are today eastern Canada and the upper Midwest. Another stream consisted of highly skilled and prosperous Protestants called Huguenots, who left France to flee religious persecution. This stream of immigrants went directly to the British colonies that later became the United States and rapidly assimilated into the English-speaking White Protestant majority. Approximately a third of all U.S. presidents have had some French Huguenot ancestry. During the 16th century, French explorers and ...