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History of French naturalization

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Title: History of French naturalization  
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Subject: History of nationality
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History of French naturalization

The history of French naturalization starts in the early 19th century. There are three key dates in the legal history of naturalization:

Year Event
1804 Civil Code, which allowed the possibility of naturalization.
1851 third generation immigrants (those with one parent born on French soil) were allowed to naturalize.
1889 second generation immigrants (those born on French soil) were allowed to naturalize once they reached the age of majority.

Third Republic

Creating Frenchmen

Military service and state education were two processes central to the creation of a common national culture. Military conscription (universal from 1872, in theory if not in practice) brought inhabitants of the state's regions together for the first time, creating bonds of friendship and encouraging the use of French rather than regional dialects. Universal education (the aim of the Jules Ferry Laws, 1879–1886) brought the whole of the population into contact with state-sanctioned accounts of French history and identity. State teachers, the "hussars of the republic," conveyed the national language to the people of the regions.


  • Citizenship and Nationhood in France and Germany, by Rogers Brubaker, Harvard University Press (1992) ISBN 0-674-13177-0
  • Peasants Into Frenchmen : The Modernization of Rural France, 1870-1914, by Eugen Weber, Chatto and Windus (1977) ISBN 0-7011-2210-2
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