Why does everyone hate the French?

Ok, I know it’s not “everyone”. But it seems like the French and France are the punchline to a lot of jokes, at least in America. Why?

Because they haven’t been to Quebec.

Even the French can’t stand the . . .

Simple answer:

The American jokes about France are just a continuation of England’s rivarly with the French. Since America was basically founded by the English, that rivarly was transplanted here.

Because on a world stage they act like just like the Americans, but without the power.

Out of all of the things I hate in this world, I actually like the French and France (Italy is a different story). I have been to France several times, I hang around some french people at home, my wife majored in French and used to live in France. My daughter will probably go into French immersion starting in Kindergarten. I have pondered the issue myself.

Here are the reasons:

  1. They considered themselves the 3rd world power when the U.S. and Soviet Union were duking it out. No one else realized it. They made associated foreign deals that the real powers didn’t like.

  2. They have a history of taking a dive whenever they are confronted with anything and others have to bail them out. WWII is the time that many people have in mind about this. They are referred to as Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys sometimes on this board.

  3. They are very protective of their language and lifestyle. They seem to think they can solve any problem by legislating it away. It comes off as anti-international and especially anti-English language.

  4. They are semi-socialist and love to strike, don’t seem to like work or capitalism in general much. The seem to have a sense of entitlement.

  5. They tend to be rude to visitors although I can honestly say this has never happened to me and have walked around Paris for days and can’t speak a word of the language. Many others say it does though.

  6. Their cars look wimpy and funny. Their engineering tends to suck.

  7. The badmouth the U.S. when others don’t just because they think they can.

  8. People don’t like beautiful women with hairy armpits that they believe French women have.

  9. Everything about France is complicated from the food to the language to the history and people find it hard to identify with.

Now that’s funyy. :slight_smile:

I have a problem with this. I know where your statement is coming from but it seems to be an issue that is taken totally out of context.

In WWI, one of every four French males were either injured or killed. Using some rough arithmetic, a similar casualy rate among Americans during WWII, that would translate to about 12 million casualties. In fact, the US casualties were about 300,000.

It would seem to me that the carnage of WWI would affect the will of the people to sacrifice more lives within 1 generation. Can you really blame the French for not wanting to throw more of a resistance at the Germans who had the most mechanized and sophisticated military in Europe and were intent on overrunning them?

It is possible for a populace to lose their appetite for war.

That certainly puts a new light on my opinion. I’ll have to read Tuchman again.
But did they not do something stupid about defending Paris instead of fighting a proper war? And they indeed lost the Second World War, and rounded up Jews for the Germans. THe Vichy were in turn punished by the loyal French who survived the war. Oh, and when the Americans liberated Paris, didn’t French units ride into town first?

A perception of general arrogance on the part of the French I suppose. The same reason that some people hate Americans, English, Australians, Germans…

I’d opened this thread to say exactly that.

I forgot, they virtually assured the Second War War with the reparations they insisted on for the first.

But, at the start of the conflict, France had more tanks, more men, more artillery and were fighting on their own soil. They were out-thought. They relied of static defenses and the mistaken notion that the Ardennes were impassable. When they were proven wrong, they rolled over.

carniverous - Yep. US units were ordered to hold in place so leClerc’s men could “liberate” Paris.

Add to the list:

  1. Their insistance on trying to maintain an empire after WW2, which assured the war in Southeast Asia and Algeria.

  2. Their insistance on living on Imperial Glory that died with Napoleon.

  3. de Gaulle. Most of the baby-boomers and their parents associate France with de Gaulle and his policies, attitudes and actions. The distaste lingers, just as the world’s distaste for America lately will linger.

Disclaimer: I am of French ancestry. My paternal grandparents spoke French in the home, and my father didn’t learn English until he went to school.

Didn’t the French provide the pivotal assistance to the Americans in the War of Independance and provided a huge number of troops (~8000) at Yorktown?

Didn’t they also give you a small statue or something?

They were right about Iraq though, and didn’t ever get a formal apology :rolleyes:

I believe that was a continuation of something called appropiately enough, “The Napoleonic Wars.” :slight_smile: It certainly wasn’t altruistic on their part.

The Battle of Yorktown was in 1781, Napoleon didn’t seize power until 1799. The British (and it’s coalition) didn’t go to war with the French republic until 1792.

I think you meant fatalities. The casualty rate was much, much higher.

That’s one of the other reasons why France has a bad reputation militarily. They built the Maginot Line and then got sucker punched the same way they did in 1918 and by the same country.

The strongest military in Europe (Germany included) was creamed in weeks because of what amounts to bad tactics, poor assumptions, and arrogance.

OK, let’s go with this page which uses the highest totals I have found. Other pages give lower figures.

WWII casualties

Still, 600,000 is a lot, lot less than 1/4 of the male population (which was about 50 million during WWII). Even so, the French casualties in WWII were much higher than the Americans after. suffering the carnage of WWI. Also, the Americans suffered virtually no civilian casualties.

So, I’ll go back to my original statement that sometimes a populace loses it’s appetite for war.

BTW, I am not French and have no French heritage.

I have been to France a number of times and have never experienced the rudeness that American like to attribute to the French. On the other hand, I try not to act like an asshole which is something that I have observed in some other Americans travelling in foreign countries.

That being said, in Quebec . . .

With the Republic proper, no, but they were constantly fighting each other for a substantial period of time before that.