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THE EVOLUTION OF FRENCH IDENTITY: A STUDY OF THE HUGUENOTS IN COLONIAL SOUTH CAROLINA, 1680-1740

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Date Issued:
2006
Abstract/Description:
This thesis examines the changes that occurred in the French identity of Huguenot immigrants to colonial Carolina. In their pursuit of prosperity and religious toleration, the Huguenots' identity evolved from one of French religious refugees to that of white South Carolinians. How and why this evolution occurred is the focus of this study. Upon arriving in the colony in the 1680s and 1690s, the Huguenots' identity was based on several common factors: their French language, their Calvinist religion, and their French heritage. As the immigrant group began to build their new lives in Carolina, these identifying factors began to disappear. The first generation's identity evolved from French immigrants to British subjects when they were challenged on the issues of their political and religious rights and, in response to these challenges, requested to become naturalized subjects. The second generation faced economic challenges that pitted planters against the wealthier merchants in a colony-wide debate over the printing of paper currency. This conflict created divisions within the Huguenot group as well and furthered their identity from British subjects to planters or merchants. Another shift in the Huguenots' identity took place within the third generation when they were faced with a slave uprising in 1739. The Huguenots' involvement in finding a legislative solution to the revolt completes this evolutionary process as the grandchildren of the immigrant generation become white South Carolinians. This thesis expands the historical data available on immigrant groups and their behaviors within colonial settlements.
Title: THE EVOLUTION OF FRENCH IDENTITY: A STUDY OF THE HUGUENOTS IN COLONIAL SOUTH CAROLINA, 1680-1740.
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Name(s): Maurer, Nancy, Author
Beiler, Rosalind, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2006
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This thesis examines the changes that occurred in the French identity of Huguenot immigrants to colonial Carolina. In their pursuit of prosperity and religious toleration, the Huguenots' identity evolved from one of French religious refugees to that of white South Carolinians. How and why this evolution occurred is the focus of this study. Upon arriving in the colony in the 1680s and 1690s, the Huguenots' identity was based on several common factors: their French language, their Calvinist religion, and their French heritage. As the immigrant group began to build their new lives in Carolina, these identifying factors began to disappear. The first generation's identity evolved from French immigrants to British subjects when they were challenged on the issues of their political and religious rights and, in response to these challenges, requested to become naturalized subjects. The second generation faced economic challenges that pitted planters against the wealthier merchants in a colony-wide debate over the printing of paper currency. This conflict created divisions within the Huguenot group as well and furthered their identity from British subjects to planters or merchants. Another shift in the Huguenots' identity took place within the third generation when they were faced with a slave uprising in 1739. The Huguenots' involvement in finding a legislative solution to the revolt completes this evolutionary process as the grandchildren of the immigrant generation become white South Carolinians. This thesis expands the historical data available on immigrant groups and their behaviors within colonial settlements.
Identifier: CFE0001225 (IID), ucf:46904 (fedora)
Note(s): 2006-08-01
M.A.
Arts and Humanities, Department of History
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Huguenots
immigrant identity
colonial South Carolina
trans-Atlantic immigration
French Calvinists
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0001225
Restrictions on Access: public
Host Institution: UCF

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