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Thread: Exactly How German Are the French?

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    Exactly How German Are the French?

    I ask this because of the historical Frankish roots of modern-day French. We know that there was a large migration of Franks from areas of West Germany and the Netherlands to Gaul after the Western Roman Empire collapsed. The Franks then formed the foundation of what would become the Carolingian Empire, and then the modern notion of France. So are the French as Gallic as they like to think? Also, was the number of Franks that settled in Gaul on the same scale as the number of Angles, Saxons, and Jutes that settled the in the British Isles? Did these Franks have a significant impact on the Genetic make-up on the French people of today?

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    Germanic settlement in France

    Germanic contribution to the French make up is estimated between 5 and 10 per cents. The Salian Franks (West from the Rhine) were of course the most numerous of them and settled mostly north of the Seine River (in addition to preexisting belgian-germanic populations), especially in Picardie which is still today one of the lightest pigmented regions in France. Other regions were also colonised by the Alemanii (Alsace and Lorraine), the Burgundians (Franche Comté and Romanic Switzerland), the Wisigoths (Midi Pyrénées and Languedoc) as well as by Saxons and Vikings (Normandie). However, nowhere in France, except in Alsace, in the French Part of West Flandern and perhaps in certain districts of Normandie, were the Germanics in majority. Rather, they integrated the nobility, which during the ancient times accounted up to ten per cent of the population. This well known fact has been recalled during the French Revolution where, in 1792, a French deputy, the "Abbé" Séyès, invited the French nobility to go back home in the "Hercynian forests" of Germany. This was also confirmed later by some anthropologic studies showing that bearers of noble names were taller and blonder than the average French men. Future Genetic studies will probably tell us more about this Germanic contribution. However for instance, most of the estimation rely on physical observation and on placenames referring to Germanic settlements. If you are interested in this issue, I invite you to consult the book of Hubert Kohler "Présence Germanique en France, ed. Trident, Paris, 1992". If you don't read French you can have a look at the maps which are quite instructive.

    http://www.chapitre.com/CHAPITRE/fr/...e,6219626.aspx
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    Quote Originally Posted by catchmeifyoukhan View Post
    Germanic contribution to the French make up is estimated between 5 and 10 per cents...
    A 5-10% Germanic genetic contribution in the average French citizen sounds suspiciously low to me. Historical examples demonstrate that Germanic peoples have had greater influence on the development of France than any other group since the decline of Rome (save for the indigenous Celtic Gauls, of course). Frankish migration into modern-day France must have been significant, more comparable to the Anglo-Saxon settlement of England than the Norman conquest, in that the former decisively influenced both society and the genetic constitution of the population, whereas the latter was of little genetic significance. Added to the mix are Burgundians and Alemanii, and later Scandinavian settlers across Normandy. One should also consider that the reach of Flanders and the Low Countries once stretched to well within French territory.

    The French are a common topic in Skadi's "how Germanic are they?" discussions, and we have seen various posts providing various evidence as to how Germanic (or how un-Germanic) then French are, and it thus seems as if it will remain a point of debate for the forseeable future.

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    According the former German anthropologist Alfred Ploetz the content of Nordic race in the French is about 25%, the same level as in Bavaria.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loyalist View Post
    A 5-10% Germanic genetic contribution in the average French citizen sounds suspiciously low to me
    The question was "how Germanic ?" and not "how Nordic?" are the French. A 25 per cent Nordic (i.e. fair hair) contribution sounds indeed reasonable to me. Genetically Frenchmen are 80% of European Paleolithic descent, out of which you find 70% of R1b and 7% of I1 and 3% of R1a. The Nordic component is probably found among the two latter haplogroups + a sub cluster of R1b associated with Northern Europe (as the R1b bearers are in the British islands). However, within this Nordic component, the Germanic contribution is in the minority. Other Nordic contributors have left a more ancient trace, such as the Kelts (Gauls and Belgians) who ruled the country during the whole Halstadt and La Tène period (last millenum BC). Being more ancient, the Nordic influx is also much more disseminated. Actually, you can hardly find a pure central Nordic type in France, neither Scando nordic, nor Dalo-faelish or Borreby. The blonds here are almost all of mixed types : "Nordish" or "Norics" for the less romanicised. A Scando nordic or a Borreby, which are typical for historic Germanics, will be immediately identified as someone of foreign affiliation, as are Alsacians or West Flanders. This dilution of the Nordic type is all the more strong that a bunch of 20% of Mediterranean haplogroups (E, J, G) is present since the Neolithic. These are these 20% of Mediterraneans which make a radical difference with the Brits who for instance bear only 5% of Mediterranean haplogroups, or with the Germans where Mediterranean haplogroups hardly reach 10% (despite slightly blonder than the former because of the importance of I1 and R1a in the German make up).
    "Within a century, Europe might become a myth, like the Atlandid of Plato. Some historians will probably doubt that it ever existed" (Pseudo Schoppenhauer Complete SMS Collection, part I)

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    Quote Originally Posted by catchmeifyoukhan View Post
    The question was "how Germanic ?" and not "how nordic" are the French...
    I'm fairly certain that's the question I answered, language barrier notwithstanding.

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    Mathilde Frachon...

    Looks pretty 'Germanic' to me.



    But I've often wondered about the Frankish element and how prominent it was.

    Then again, there's the Norman element too.
    "Only through a re-integration of Humanity into the whole of Nature can our People be made stronger."

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