Why do many Americans hate the French?

I always hear people talking about how much they hate french people but I’ve never understood why?? I know they didn’t join in on the Iraq like Bush’s poodle, Tony Blair, but so what?? And even if it is feeling like they owe us something for WWII, they helped us out a great deal in the Revolutionary War. I’ve heard the whole spiel about how they’re pretentious and rude but in my visit to France the douchebag ratio was about the same as it is here in the US.

So am I missing something or is it blind xenophobia?

Even if you don’t think that French people are assholes, play the devil’s advocate and say what arguments you’ve heard/seen

You can start with the Wiki article on anti-French sentiment in the US. Mostly a post-WWII phenomenon, apparently.

We’ve done this a few times. Start here:

Lots of my friends love France and I don’t think I know anyone who hates it. I also like crepes.

Americans don’t hate the French.
Some groups (notably, the far-right) were upset with some of France’s positions during the second Gulf War. Criticizing them (and poking fun at some of their peculiarities) made it easier to avoid talking about some of the very real concerns they voiced over what turned out to be a spectacular blunder.

Now, Parisians, on the other hand… well, it’s easy to understand why people might hate them.

Maybe it’s regional, but here in the NY area I haven’t noticed any disproportionate hatred of the French. Of course, there are always going to be some people who hate some specific country, religion, race, etc. But it’s no different for the French than anyone else.

That would make sense. I’ve lived in North Carolina most of my life, and met quite a few pretty far right conservatives.

You know, I was in Paris a couple of weeks ago, and I found virtually everyone there perfectly polite and eager to help. All I had to do is be profuse with my “bonjours” and “merci beaucoups,” smile and make a lame attempt to speak French, and people were tripping over themselves to chat with me in English. I suspect that Parisians aren’t actually rude - they just think everyone else is, and respond in kind.

Maybe it’s because the French don’t particularly care for douche tourists (some of whom are :eek: Americans) and when they show disdain towards the douche tourist the tourist decides they don’t want to like the host. And it perpetuates.

New York is sandwiched between New Jersey and Quebec… of course the French look relatively less bad

Well. . .maybe the waiters. :smiley:

I’ve mentioned here before that I’ve made a lot of visits to Paris and to France in general, both on business and vacation. I have never been treated poorly, except by the occasional waiter, but they treat everybody like a visiting plague. But then I behave myself, am polite, and the opposite of arrogant. I find that I get treated in the same manner as I act, no matter where it is, and I’ve been to nearly every European capital, east, west, north and south.

As far as I can tell it is an obnoxious, vocal minority who have animosity for the French. It’s always fun to take a poke at a stereotype (c’mon, “cheese-eating surrender monkeys” is just plain funny), but when it comes down to it I can’t say that I know anyone who has a real problem with The French in general, or even with France. My limited exposure to Parisians showed them to be a bit rude, but no moreso than the all-too-common “America speaks English” Americans. I didn’t know any French, they were understandably impatient.

I have been told that the French think Jerry Lewis is funny.

I do have to say, though, that the coffee in Paris sucks. What’s up with that, guys?

America was a grouping of British colonies. Most of the elite identified with England, its culture, its industry, its political system. The Revolution was a huge wrench and a huge internal conflict. People wanted to be English but the French won the Revolutionary War for us. Literally. We couldn’t have won without them.

The Federalists stayed British and anti-French. The Virginians sought closer ties to France. Then came the French Revolution and the Terror, which totally disillusioned the Francophiles. The Jeffersonians won the political battle; the New Englanders won the cultural battle. Britain, despite the War of 1812, stayed the mother country in Europe. They hated the French because of the hundreds of years of war and that hatred crept into American attitudes. It didn’t help that the French kept going back to monarchy and repression. They were aware of the estrangement, which is why you see gestures like the Statue of Liberty. Private groups made that happen, though, and they never won over the masses in either country.

Except maybe for New Orleans, there is no French culture in the U.S. It’s not a heritage ethnicity the way Italian or Polish or Irish is. There are a handful of French restaurants. Most people couldn’t identify anything particularly French. You need that to build up closeness and good will.

The feeling after WWI was that American boys went off to die in a useless war fought in France. Then it happened again in WWII, only worse, with the French actually surrendering. After the war DeGaulle sought to make France a third power and refused, unlike the British, to be a lapdog of the U.S. Add ignorance and resentment to a deep bed of cultural differences and a stereotype emerges that is seemingly unshakable. France has a bad brand and hasn’t tried seriously within living memory to improve it.

Just like everyone else I found the French to be friendly and receptive when I went to Paris, which is the greatest city I’ve ever visited. The French don’t really care that much about what the U.S. as a nation thinks of them, which is probably their deepest sin.

“Have you ever tasted such filthy coffee?”
“Never” said Joe, though he had lived in French hotels.

PG Wodehouse, no cite.
Whenever I get mad at something French, I remember they invented mayonnaise and all is forgiven.

Well, at least in recent times, anti-French sentiment in the US was largely driven by far-right annoyance that the French government refused to support the Bushite policy on Iraq.

That was bad enough. But as events developed they should that the doubts and concerns of the French government were wholly justified, and that the French policy on Iraq had been completely correct.

And that, of course, is unforgiveable.

That is an example of one reason why; they don’t suck up enough to us to make Americans happy. They don’t do what we say, they aren’t all that impressed by us; those are two things Americans refuse to accept.

As others have said, I’ve long heard that most of their reputation for being “pretentious and rude” comes from Paris, the inhabitants of which are considered pretentious and rude by other French people as well. Although I’m sure that most Americans consider France’s refusal to do what we say rude, and their refusal to admit our innate superiority pretentious.

Doesn’t douche mean shower?

Devil’s Advocate: People hate the French because they smell bad.

Sorry but you are wrong.