The Beginning of France
While the Western Roman Empire collapsed, tribes began moving into its territory from across the Rhine. Many Germanic tribes now lived in the province of Gaul. One of these tribes, were the Franks.
Under their King Clovis, the Franks united the peoples living in Gaul. They conquered an area roughly matching modern-day France, and they did so over 1500 years ago. That was the start of France, making it the oldest state in Europe.
Clovis initially converted from Germanic paganism to Arian Christianity. The Arians, named after the priest Arius, differed from the Catholics in their idea of the nature of Christ. Although today this appears to be a rather minor detail, it triggered a major schism in the Church back then. Most Goths and Germanics converted to Arian Christianity, for example the Visigoths that ruled Spain. However, Clovis converted to the Catholic faith, embracing the papacy. Moreover, Clovis based the laws for this newly founded state on the Roman law. In effect, Clovis confirmed his legitimacy by embracing the legacy of Rome. And so, France’s Catholic faith and foundation of its state are closely linked together.
The Colonies Strike Back – The Origin of French Immigration
France was, since its foundation, one of the greatest powers on the European continent. Germany and Italy did not become states until the 19th century, and only in 1871 did Germany show it was the new primary power. Although Napoleon showed that France could be stopped by grand coalition, that did not stop French thirst for expansion. So, like others had done before them, France started to carve up its part of the world. It conquered most of North-Western Africa, which speaks French to this day as a result.
France had colonies outside of Africa as well. However, its settlements in America had been sold to the United States in the Louisiana purchase. Beyond that, France had a small presence in Asia, ending with the Vietnamese revolting. By far, France’s colonial presence was centered on Africa.
And by far, that is where France’s migrants would be coming from. Fueled by relaxed immigration rules for those coming from previous colonial territory, and the ease of already speaking the language, masses of Africans would move towards France in the search for a more comfortable life.
The Demographics of France
There are about 67 million inhabitants of France. Using the percentages below, that means there are less than sixty million French born citizens, versus another eight million foreigners and foreign-born. If we include the descendants of immigrant-parents, we have another 6.5 million more. That would bring us to 20% of the citizens of France being immigrants, or born from immigrant parents. This would leave around 53 million of the total 67 million being born to parents that were also born in France.
Population of France, 2014Considering France has an unemployment rate of 9.9%, a number that has not dropped below 9% since the crash of 2008, it is hard to argue all those eight million are there to fill the empty vacancies. This becomes even more visible when we realize that 17% of the foreign-born population is unemployed.
France’s population is expected to grow to over 72 million by 2050. This makes it one of a few European countries that is expected to grow at all. Since all of Europe has fertility rates below the replacement rate of 2.1, any growth is purely due to immigration. France, interestingly, has a fertility rate of 1.96. That is the highest score in all of Europe, but still not high enough to explain any population growth. In fact, without immigration, it would mean France’s population would shrink very slowly.
Every year there are close to 800.000 babies born in France. That number includes babies born in France by parents that were born outside of France. Population growth is ensured by the annual arrival of another 200.000 immigrants entering the country.
Where do France’s Immigrants Come From?
As with every EU member-state, many immigrants come from other European countries. Portuguese, Italians, Germans and British, all have settled in France. Especially since the crisis of 2008, after which Europeans started moving around looking for jobs. Portugal is the biggest supplier of immigrants, with an estimated 600.000 residing in France. However, these are not all of the immigrants. Out of the nearly six million immigrants in France, only two million are from Europe. That leaves four million that were born outside of not only the EU, but outside of Europe as a whole.
The French law forbids taking an official census based on race or religion, yet independent research organizations are allowed to take surveys and make estimates.
- 85% French or European
- 10% North-African / Maghrebi
- 3% Sub-Saharan African
- 1.5% Asian
Estimates from 2009 placed the amount of Maghrebi a bit lower, at just over 5% of the total population. The North-Africans are primarily Algerians and Moroccans, who make up the largest immigrant groups from non-European origins.
Islam in France
Pew Research estimates the current amount of Muslims in the country to be 8.8%, the highest level within the European Union. That is nearly six million Muslims in France today. They expect Muslims to make up between 12.7% to 18% by 2050, varying between scenarios going from zero migration to high migration. The 18% that we would have if migration patterns of the last years continue, would mean there are 13 million Muslims living in France by that time. That is more than the population of entire Belgium.
In 732 the French defeated the invading armies of the Islamic Caliphate in the battle of Poitiers. The French King Charles Martel defeated the Muslims and halted the Islamic invasion of Europe. Realistically, if it was not for that victory of the French, there was no force in Europe that could have stopped a further invasion of the Muslims. All of Europe might have well been taken by the Caliphate if Charles Martel had lost the battle that day.
It is ironic, to say the least, that France now hosts such a massive population of Muslims within its borders. Modern-day France is facing new challenges, such as Muslims blockading the streets for prayer. At the same time, French priests are having their throats slit on the altar of their church. Trucks have turned into weapons of mass destruction in Nice. Free speech ended with the attack on Charlie Hebdo, after which self-censorship became the unspoken rule. And concerts are turned into bloodbaths, where the joyous flowing of beer is replaced by the tragic flowing of blood.
The random stabbings, of both police and random citizens, are too many to list individually. Burning cars in French cities are hardly newsworthy anymore. Big cities such as Paris and Marseille have neighborhoods where you simply should not want to go, because the police does not want to go there either.
Churches Are Replaced By Mosques
France has a long history. That history is interwoven with its Catholic faith. That interwoven history has resulted in many churches all over France. Now, thousands of churches are waiting for their destruction. The government has done the math, and it is cheaper to demolish century old building than to renovate them. Thus, in come the wrecking ball.
Currently there are around 2500 mosques in France, but the construction of new mosques can hardly keep up with the demand. Supported by foreign funds from Morocco, Saudi-Arabia and Algeria new mosques are constantly being built. As Christianity and the churches whither away, Islam and the mosques march on. The future of France could not be any clearer, or any more visible, than by watching the cities change shape. In the France of the future, it will not be the church bells that wake people in the morning, it will be the calls of prayer coming from the mosque. The Notre Dame is replaced in importance and relevance by the Grand Mosque.
The Future Growth
France has a relatively high fertility rate, and there are four babies born to every immigrant entering the country. This makes France look relatively healthy at first, but we have to take into consideration that 20% of France already consists of immigrants and their children. Moreover, since France’s immigration has been taking place at a high pace since the end of World War 2 and the era of de-colonialism, there are third-generation immigrants that do not show up in those statistics.
In other words, many of the 800.000 babies born will be non-French. How many exactly is near impossible to say. What we do know is that the Muslim fertility rate in France is 2.9, versus a non-Muslim rate of 1.9. This means that over the long run, the French population will slowly shrink. The size of the Muslim group in France, will grow rapidly, even without immigration. Further immigration will contribute to the population growth, and that immigration will mostly come from Islamic areas of Africa.
Even with zero migration, in three decades France is expected to have Muslims making up over 12% of its population. If migration continues, this is 18%. That means it will be 1 in 8, to nearly 1 in 5. Will it ever be possible to end migration, or the influence of Islam in the country, with a voting bloc of that size?
Since the French democratic system is a ‘winner-takes-all’, the right-wing will be near powerless. The Front National can never win an election once almost 20% of the country is Islamic, Muslims would never vote for that party. On top of that, there are many French that are strongly opposed to the Islamization of their country, but that feel that Front National is too extreme.
At what point will the French realize drastic measures are needed? By the time they realize, it may be very difficult to stop it. Nevertheless, history shows us that at some point the French may feel they have had enough. At some point, they may grab their pitchforks and storm the Bastille. They may send their government packing and take drastic actions. The French are no frog in boiling water, that dies without realizing the temperature had been increasing. France is a timebomb, and pressure is growing day by day.
The French are one of the few groups in Europe that still have pride in their national identity. This may well be what will save France in the end. Their xenomania, or insane fondness of everything foreign, might easily suddenly end.
Already, 47% of France agrees with the statement ”There are so many foreigners living here that it doesn’t feel like home anymore”. A stunning 75% say that France and Islam are not compatible, and 70% say there are too many foreigners in France already.