Why Did French (Mostly) Disappear in Louisiana, But Not Quebec

Jul 2019
10
United States Of America
The French didn't disappear from Louisiana or the Louisiana territory in any way shape or form they were just a lot more heavily outnumbered and faded out by other groups and the French in the Louisiana territory didn't retain their heritage as well. In Quebec where the French people retain their heritage a lot better and they even have laws protecting it such as the French Languages laws.

Firstly demographics Louisiana was barely populated it only had around 60,000 people and most of those people were not even of French ancestry with around half of those people were African slaves and along with that another 10,000 of those people being the indigenous peoples. The population of Quebec was a little higher at around 70,000 people and almost all of those people were of French ancestry unlike the Louisiana territory which had a lot less people of French ancestry.

Secondly geography for Quebec was also a little smaller in size compared to the Louisiana territory unlike the Louisiana territory which almost all of it was inhabitable while most of Quebec especially the northern parts of Quebec are uninhabitable due to the Arctic/Ice Cap climates which would make settlement extremely difficult if not impossible for Europeans. The large amount of uninhabitable land caused Quebec to have a lot higher population density than the Louisiana territory where the population was more spread out.

FInally culturally a lot of Americans especially Anglo Americans on the East Coast of the United States wanted to expand, move, and live westward and along with that homesteading was enacted and it became extremely popular especially in the states that were once apart of the Louisiana territory and with that it attracted a lot of immigrants from foreign countries along with a lot of Americans that already settled in the United States before the United States bought the Louisiana territory from the French and most of the people that settled in the Louisiana territory were not French as well as the most of the immigrants that came to homestead land were not French or from France to causing the French population in the Louisiana territory to be severely outnumbered.
 
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royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,966
San Antonio, Tx
Savoy is on the border of the German speaking cantons of Switzerland. I would expect some crossovers when the French were offering free land! Savoy was also once Piedmontese.

There is a problem in spelling family names in Louisiana. The local Parish Priest would enter the names of Births, Baptisms and Deaths in a Register. The French and Irish Parish Priests would have had fits with German last names. The Kunz family came from Texas where it is spelled Kunz. In Louisiana it is spelled Koonce. I went to school with a Ray Koonce that told me his family name was French (?). Later German settlers could read and write and gave a better spelling of their names.

There is a Germanfest in Robert's Cove that I have attended. They make a Potato Stew just like my Mother in Law did!

Pruitt
As you probably know already, there is a large German population in my part of Texas (San Antonio)that had been here since both before and after the Civil War. A lot of these Germans were Catholic and settled around San Antonio is\n such places as Fredericksburg (birthplace of Admiral Nimitz), New Braunfels, Castroville and so on. There were also much smaller Polish settlements around Pannamaria.

Of course, the majority population here is of Mexican origin, many of whom were already here when Texas declared its independence from Mexico. According to the Institute of Texan Cultures, in the 1890s, San Antonio was basically run by Germans, something that slowly changed over time. When Henry Cisneros was elected mayor of San Antonio, it marked a significant departure from is previously Anglo-dominated city council. City Council seats were at one time all “at large” positions - that is, they didn’t belong to any one district. Today that’s changed and the city changed its governance from Anglo-dominated to a more equitable single-district form of government.

San Antonio was the first real city in Texas, pre-dating all other urban agglomerations by more than a century. It lost headway against Houston, Dallas and Ft Worth Worth after the turn of the century. The German settlements outside of the big city have kept and capitalized on their unique characters and history. There was an influx of Belgians here earlier in the 20th century; this population is still here but merged almost completely with the local culture.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,966
San Antonio, Tx
Here’s a link to a “Cajun” music site: cajunmusicradio.com. The Cajun parishes in Louisiana are holding on to their culture, but I’m sure it’s a losing battle. The numbers were never great enough, unfortunately.
 
Sep 2012
1,218
Tarkington, Texas
I remember seeing a map of Texas in National Geographic Magazine that broke down the populations. I remember seeing a county that was founded by Czech settlers and one founded by Polish settlers. I had a large Texas Lady at my table at the Casino that told me she was from the Polish capital of Texas. She was heavy, but red headed and I found her attractive. She worked for Exxon (I think?) and had worked on Sakhalin Island. She shared a bunk house with over 50 Russian males!

Many of the "Hispanic" people in South Texas are descended from local Indians that blended in with Mexicans that came North. Coahuiltecans, Lipan Apaches and Jumanos settled around the missions and became "Mexican" peons. I went to school with a family whose Mother was Lipan from Ebarb, Louisiana.

Pruitt
 
Sep 2012
1,218
Tarkington, Texas
Royal, I married into a Cajun Family. Out of four children shared by my Mother in Law and Father in Law, only the boy speaks French. My ex spoke French until she went to school. Her teachers made her speak only English. Out of the four children in the family, only my Brother in Law speaks French today. My oldest daughter took French language classes until High School, which only offered Spanish.

Culturally, the French Language zone was from Mobile, Alabama west to Beaumont, Texas. Beaumont once had a High School named French High. The zone went North to Alexandria, La and followed the Mississippi down to the Gulf. Baton Rouge and New Orleans have a different culture.

Pruitt
 
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royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,966
San Antonio, Tx
Well, I think it was a deliberate policy to unite a very diverse country into a single culture under English... nor French nor Spanish arrived to North America with inmigration.. both languages were in North America sooner than English (Not opinion.. only fact). French was used in School during the French, Spanish and early US period... however after 1865.. everything was in English as it is written by GersoVB and Betgo.

I think it was a political issue to join the population under one culture...Canada was too much liberal to make the same politic....USA implemented a kind of "English Only" politic in Lousiana in 19th Century as today in 21st Century....in California or Arizona..
English is the “language of common usage” in the US, but there is NO official language in the US. I often run across badly informed people who ‘think’ that English is the official language here and that other people should stop talking in other languages.. It isn’t and anyone can speak in any language here.

In my city, Spanish is very widely spoken and is commonly taught as an elective (but not mandatory) and the history of San Antonio is also heavily German.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,966
San Antonio, Tx
Royal, I married into a Cajun Family. Out of four children shared by my Mother in Law and Father in Law, only the boy speaks French. My ex spoke French until she went to school. Her teachers made her speak only English. Out of the four children in the family, only my Brother in Law speaks French today. My oldest daughter took French language classes until High School, which only offered Spanish.

Culturally, the French Language zone was from Mobile, Alabama west to Beaumont, Texas. Beaumont once had a High School named French High. The zone went North to Alexandria, La and followed the Mississippi down to the Gulf. Baton Rouge and New Orleans have a different culture.

Pruitt
Very interesting. I learned Spanish and German in Junior and Senior High School but learned French for the Peace Corps in the late sixties and continue to speak it today...complicated but beautiful.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,966
San Antonio, Tx
Not sure if this is correct. What “Constitution” are you referring to? I’m not aware of any language restriction in our constitution which dates from 1787, not 1921. You might want to review your assertion. And, you can study any language you like here and there are hundreds of languages spoken here, including Native American languages. The one language that everyone understands here is English.
My dear royal,

Quebec is not an unique case.... Spanish in Texas is as French in Quebec with the difference Texas belonged to the Crown more centuries than Quebec belonged to the French Monarchy. I think English was imposed in school and administration because US goverment wanted a culturally unified country. It is not bad or good.. only a fact.

The Louisiana Constitution of 1921 was adopted in convention June 18, 1921. Not in 1787! Because in1787 as in 1800 Louisiana was a Spanish Seaborne Dominion!...

Only English movement is not equivalent in Canada or in Spain never in history.. A COMPLETE SENSE.... after 400 years.. Spanish was not spoken by population in Philipines or in Paraguay, High Peru etc etc.. and in New Spain the main official language was the Nahuatl, not the Spanish...so we just compare the yankees settlers and the Conquistadores... settlers wanted culturally unified area... Conquistadores didn´t care languages!
[/QUOTE]

There is no official language in the US. I don’t know what Louisiana’s language policies are, unfortunately, but nothing an individual state declares regarding language usage takes precedence over federal policy. People can speak anything they want but the language of common usage is of course English.
 
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Sep 2012
1,218
Tarkington, Texas
English is the official language in Louisiana. The old ones that spoke only French are pretty well all gone now. I have a sister in law that lives in a small town, Mamou, that can pretty well use French all day except at work.

Pruitt