Many people have long history and a family tree and ever wonder where an individual?s bloodline begins and how an individual came to the United States. This is a good question and with some research I found that I have different ethnic groups in my family tree. French America is one group that sticks out more than the rest and is believed to be the main bloodline in my family. I conducted research and interviews with family members to find some valuable information of what ethnic group we belong in. I discovered that my family is a part of the French American group. French Americans are Americans from French descent.
In the early 1500s, French immigration to North America began because of the religious movement named the Reformation. During this time the Reformation caused problems throughout Europe and divided churches into Catholics and Protestants. This caused the French Americans to be targeted by the French Catholic. In 1594, King Henry IV temporality solved the issue by enacting the Edict of Nantes. This gave the French Protestants the right and freedom of religion. In 1685, King Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes causing thousands of French Protestants to leave France for North America. He also outlawed the Protestant religion and forced the Protestant to either convert to Catholicism or face death. . The king gave orders to kill the greatest part of the Protestants that can be overtaken, without sparing the women, to the end that this may intimidate them and prevent others from falling into a similar fault. Many Protestants decided to flee France, even though it was still illegal for Protestants to emigrate. Those who could emigrate had to pay bribes or use other sources to obtain passports. In 1763, another event in French history that caused the immigration to the United States was the end of the French and Indian War (also known as the Seven Years War) between France and England. France lost and was forced to give England the control of all the colonies through the Treaty of Paris. At this point , the French Americans believed that they had been abandoned by their homeland, so they became citizen of the United States.
In the United States, public opinion has had a positive outlook toward France after the American Revolution. It eventually started to become negative during the Reign of Terror. The United States claimed to be neutral during the French Revolution and denied to provide help causing a war in Europe. The relationship with France became intense among the leaders of the United States Congress and the American press. In 1797, negative attitudes toward France caused by the XYZ Affairs. This was caused by three French diplomats that demanded a bribe before they would speak with American officials about a new treaty. This was considered an insult to the United States, so they prepare for war with France. Once this event was occurred, French Americans were viewed by some American as potential terrorist. The U.S. government passed a law called the Alien and Sedition Acts in 1798, which was tended to limit the amount of power of immigrant group. The Acts caused serious outrage with immigrants because it was allowed to expire within two years. In 1803, the purchase of the Louisiana Territory helped calm the tension over immigration. This gave the immigrants the chance to start a new life in a new frontier for new immigrants. It also helped that during the World War 1, France and the United States worked on their relationship and fought together during the war.
As years went by, the history of French immigrants to the United States changes patterns. Many of the French decided to leave France to move to the United States. Most of the French immigrants came alone or with their families to obtain jobs and a change. The only thing is that the French were not known to come in groups and the number of immigrants was very small. French immigrants were known to be urban, middle-class, skilled, progressive and were able obtained jobs as merchants and artisans. History has also expressed that many of the earliest French immigrants settles in North America to open trading posts. A few people who came to the United States from France were mostly traders, explores, and missionaries. The missionaries came to the North America in hopes