Are aliens real? We live in a galaxy populated by hundreds of billions of suns. The terrestrial-type planets would be billions there ... So why in this space so vast, have we not (yet) had contact with extraterrestrial civilizations? Here are 11 possibilities to try to explain it.Is there life elsewhere than on Earth or are we absolutely alone in the universe? This question torments humanity. Rather, one would tend to think that there are other inhabited worlds, especially considering that there are hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy - and hundreds of billions of galaxies in it. universe - and that most of them are surrounded by planets ... In addition, 13 billion years have passed since the formation of the Milky Way, which, we are entitled to think, leaves a fair amount of time for life to emerge on a multitude of planets. So, as the famous Fermi paradox states, if there is life elsewhere and extraterrestrial civilizations (Carl Sagan predicted more than 10,000), why haven't these beings come to find us yet? "But where are they? Cried Enrico Fermi. Here are 11 possibilities that could explain this silence. 1. There are no aliensOne possibility would be that we are absolutely (and desperately) alone in the whole universe. There would be no life other than on Earth. All other worlds would be sterile, in short. Or else, life could have started and then be annihilated by a cosmic event. It is quite possible but it remains difficult to believe when we know, according to statistics, that there would be at least 40 billion habitable exoterres, in our galaxy alone. We would rather think, on the contrary, that life is swarming ... 2. There is no intelligent extraterrestrial lifeFirst, how do you define intelligent extraterrestrial life? Are we one of them? After all, there may well be life elsewhere but of a primitive nature ... microbial, for example, like that which has developed on Earth for several billion years. Or even plants and animals which would not (yet) have the faculties to communicate beyond their planet (for Earth, this was the case until very recently ... at the geological scale).3. Aliens don't use technologyExtraterrestrial civilizations may very well lack the technology to allow them to communicate with other worlds. Their development may have been very different from ours, so they might very well not be interested. Or, not want to use it ... 5. Extraterrestrial civilizations self-destructWhen we see the challenges facing humanity, particularly since the mid-twentieth century, it is possible to think that elsewhere, on other planets, so-called "intelligent" civilizations may have caused their own disappearance. As far as we are concerned, the threats of collapse and / or extinction are multiple: nuclear fire at the end of a world conflict, severe global warming (famines, droughts, diseases, wars, the collapse of democracies, etc. ) combined with the sixth mass extinction, epidemics, etc. Nevertheless, we can hope that Man will be able to avoid such issues ... 6. The universe is a very dangerous environmentAs we saw above, a sixth mass extinction has started on Earth. While the latter is caused by our species, the previous ones all had a natural origin: natural climatic changes and also ... asteroids, as was the case with the previous biological crisis, 65 million years ago. Today, Homo sapiens knows that asteroids still risk one day endangering life on Earth and he also knows that there are still other cosmic events that could destroy it, such as surpernovae, quasars and also, near us, violent solar flares. It is therefore possible that elsewhere, and frequently, life has not had time to develop. Consider, for example, that the red dwarfs around which rocky planets are often found (see Trappist-1 and its 7 planets) are obviously stars with a devastating mood. Their repetitive anger indeed greatly reduces the chances that these planets are really habitable ... 7. The Milky Way is very bigTo explain that contact with an advanced alien civilization has not yet taken place, another possibility is that our galaxy - and more importantly, the universe - is so large that it has not yet been able to happen. . With a diameter of 100,000 light years, we can imagine that signals emitted at the other end of the Milky Way take several millennia to arrive. It all depends on the distance and also when it was done. And then, let's not forget that there are hundreds of billions of stars ... we just might not have been spotted (yet). We may not even be on their lists ... The choice is immeasurable. For example, if they emitted a signal 100 years ago and they are 10,000 light years away, then we will still have to wait 9,900 years. Same problem for us, who are (also) looking for interlocutors. 8. We have been searching for aliens for too short a timeHumanity has not been able to pick up signals from an extraterrestrial civilization via radio telescopes for a century yet. It's been 80 years, and the active search for signals really began barely 60 years ago. It is therefore an extremely short period of time compared to the age of the Milky Way. Besides, there are so many possible directions that we don't necessarily listen to the right place. As Andrew Fain illustrates in a UniverseToday article, it's a bit like we're looking for a friend's frequency on a CB that has some 250 billion channels ... 9. Aliens emit little or no signalsIt is still possible that extraterrestrial civilizations listen without sending out strong signals, like what we do. On our side, we send some in the direction of a few stars. In reality, we have not yet made ourselves known. 10. Aliens avoid usWe don't know their ways of thinking of course. But, we can imagine that in fact we do not interest them at all, nor our planet for that matter. The conditions there may be too hostile for them. Unless, too, we seem too dangerous and infrequent to them. Who knows ? Maybe we scare them!It is also possible that they have a galactic-scale policy of non-interference with worlds like ours, populated by primitive beings ... (as in Star Trek). Perhaps they then judge that a contact would be too premature and have deliberately chosen, at least for the moment, to leave us alone, in our business, being careful not to interfere. 11. The aliens are already hereLast but not least (“last but not least”): maybe the Visitors are already there and we haven't even noticed them. So maybe they are watching us discreetly. On the other hand, from there to convince oneself that extraterrestrials have made agreements with the governments of several countries, as the conspirators carry out all the time and at the top of their lungs (not without ridiculing and not without knocking us out). Web, that sounds more laughable than likely. So, are we alone in the universe or not? In any case, believe several astronomers and exobiologists, we should soon know if there is life elsewhere. Researchers are confident that such discoveries will be made in the next few years. On the one hand, within our Solar System, via probes and landers on Mars, Europe and / or Enceladus. And, on the other hand, beyond that, by studying the atmosphere of rocky exoplanets that we uncover with ever more acuteness ... Are aliens among us? Are there aliens on Earth or elsewhere in space? This is the question. Extraterrestrials are among us. From the Renaissance onwards, the myth fed the collective imagination. It became popular with the conquest of space in the 1960s, and the proliferation of science fiction stories. They would have already visited Earth, established a secret colony to spy on us, and would give us time to grow in peace. However, it is difficult to meet them and find our way in a universe as vast and old as ours. While the planet is 4.5 billion years old, we have only been able to receive and send signals for a hundred years. Have we ever managed to establish contact with them? Considering the number of exoplanets and galaxies, could there at least be other intelligent and more evolved forms of life? We asked these questions to Jean Duprat, astrophysicist, director of research at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and head of the solid-state astrophysics team at the Center for Nuclear and Material Sciences (CSNSM). Are aliens among us? Jean Duprat: "A priori the extraterrestrials are not among us. I am sorry for the people who are extremely keen on this, it is quite clear, if they were ever among us, if we ever had signs, we would talk about it between scientists, we would observe this, it would not be a secret. Yet we have for the moment absolutely no sign not only of an extraterrestrial life on Earth which would be among us, but even of an extraterrestrial life elsewhere. doesn't mean it doesn't exist, it means we don't have any sign yet. " Is extraterrestrial life elsewhere than on Earth plausible? Jean Duprat: "It's quite a scientific question, given the number of stars that there are, if we restrict ourselves to our galaxy, the Milky Way contains between 100 and a few hundred, 200 to 400 billion d 'stars, and we know that most of these stars are surrounded by planets, so that's on the order of a hundred billion planets, so out of all these planets, there must be some that are likely to have conditions for life to develop. Now the question is: does life really develop, and that for the moment, we do not know, insofar as the only life we know it is on Earth, but there is no reason that life only developed on Earth. It is quite a scientific question, given how many stars there are, if we restrict ourselves to our galaxy, the Milky Way contains between 100 and a few hundred, 200 to 400 billion stars, and we know that most of These stars are surrounded by planets, so it's on the order of a hundred billion planets, so out of all of these planets there must be some that are likely to have conditions for life to develop. Now the question is: does life really develop, and that for the moment, we do not know, since the only life we know is on Earth, but it There is no reason that life only developed on Earth. " Are there any clues that would suggest that this extraterrestrial life exists? Jean Duprat: "The elementary bricks of life, we can see them in space, so we are life, based on the chemistry of carbon, small carbon molecules, they are the smallest molecules, the most simple, which we see in space, therefore these molecules seed the planets and therefore the elementary bricks to make the living must exist on other planets. " Why were we not found by the aliens? Jean Duprat: "The planet is 4.5 billion years old, our species appeared around 100,000 years ago, if we reduce the history of our planet to 24 hours when we would be born at zero hour and today hui it would be midnight, our species only appears on the planet a second before midnight and it is even less time that our species is able to look at space, to understand it and possibly even to send signals and to 'detecting them. That's barely a hundred years ago. During all this time when the Earth was populated mainly by bacteria, unicellular beings, small algae in the ocean, life on our planet was watching not space and we were hardly sending signals. " Are we more likely to find a technologically advanced life? Jean Duprat: "We have absolutely no indication that a technological life can appear elsewhere. The other very important point with that, compared to the extraterrestrial life, is how long this technological life can hold, and there there is a real question that is put to us now, which is the fact that if ever this technological life does not last very long, if we destroy ourselves, if we ever destroy our technological life in an extremely strong way, or if we are pumping the resources of our planet so well that we can only hold this level of technology for a few hundred years, then there may be technological life in the universe but it will be extremely short flashes. No matter how many planets there are, if life on these planets can only reach a technological stage for a few hundred years, we have no chance of seeing them and they have no chance of seeing them. see us. If ever it lasts a very short time, not only should this life be close to us in a spatial sense but in addition, it would have to take place at about the same time as us and there the statistics become extremely low. . "
What is UFO? An approach to the "theory of UFOs" 1. IntroductionProbably all time, humans have looked at the sky and seen strange things there. Many of these have gradually been accepted as part of the natural order and then explained in coherent terms; but some still seem difficult to understand to us or even are declared "impossible" by various people, or are considered by others as necessarily linked to a cause radically foreign to nature and the Earth. For the contemporary period, it is the observation of a private pilot, Kenneth Arnold, on June 24, 1947 in the region of Mount Rainier (State of Washington, USA), which triggers among the authorities, in the media and in the general public, awareness of what will later be called the "UFO phenomenon". At the start of the Cold War, the American military and intelligence services wondered first of all whether the Soviets were not involved; but they quickly convince themselves to the contrary. From then on, the official committees half-fall asleep or wake up depending on the pressure from the public and political leaders, itself linked to the number of observations revealed by the media and to the activity of private study groups. UFOs, the first of which were born in the early 1950s. The whole history of the phenomenon is a complex interplay of interactions between the various actors, the UFOs themselves (whatever they are), the witnesses, the general public, the media, the political and military authorities, the scientists, and ufologists (specialists, most often self-proclaimed, of UFOs). There is no question of developing here this history, very tangled; nor to study the characteristics of UFOs (or, more exactly, the characteristics attributed to them), which are very diverse; nor to present their possible causes (what UFO jargon often calls the different hypotheses often convictions on the origin of UFOs), very numerous. Visitors to this Site will probably already have some knowledge of these questions. If this was not the case, he can refer to the few valid general works indicated in note, most of them quite old (recent titles often relate to more restricted aspects or are hardly recommendable). Here we will try to show, not that UFOs do not exist, nor even that they probably do not exist, but that everything we know about the phenomenon can be perfectly explained by assuming that UFOs do not exist. . Or, in other words, that what is often called in France the "socio-psychological hypothesis" of UFOs seems to be able to account for all the data. In order not to overload this text too much, we will only give a limited number of references or details on the various cases mentioned, referring for more details to the few works mentioned. 2. Some vocabulary details2.1 The term "UFO", now considered as a common name by dictionaries, is in fact the acronym of Unidentified Flying Object, a direct translation of the English Unidentified Flying Object (UFO), which gave us the UFO derivatives. (study of UFOs), ufologist, ufologist. Our Quebecois friends prefer to speak of UFO (or UFO), which does not seem to have had much success on this side of the Atlantic.The terms “object”, “flying”, “unidentified” deserve, in all rigor, a serious analysis, we will however avoid them here. On the other hand, it is advisable to differentiate the different concepts covered by the word “UFO”. If the context requires it, we will therefore use the following more precise expressions. - pre-UFO: any stimulus (object or phenomenon), objective or not, that the witness or any other person labels as “UFO” in the vulgar sense. It can therefore be an authentic extraterrestrial flying saucer, a hallucination, a sincere misinterpretation, a case invented by the "witness" or by a ufologist, etc. Although it is difficult to give definitive figures, different estimates of the number of pre-UFOs recorded since 1947 give values exceeding one million, sometimes tens of millions according to some authors. - quasi-UFO: the stimulus at the base of any observation which remains unexplained by "competent experts" who would have been able to explain it if it had been "banal". - true-UFO: the stimulus at the base of any fundamentally inexplicable observation in the current scientific framework, and which would therefore require a radical upheaval of science or our vision of the world. It could be, for example, an extraterrestrial device or a parapsychological phenomenon. Nothing makes it possible to affirm in a "universally convincing" way that such true UFOs exist, or conversely do not exist, but the possibility of this existence must remain open a priori (if not, it is because one estimates the problem solved). - false-UFO (or ovi: identified flying object): pre-UFO identified (or probably identified) in conventional terms (misinterpretation of a known object, psychological cause, mystification). 2.2 In addition, many observations associate the presence of beings with that of UFOs. Various terms are used to designate them, like entity, humanoid (in reference to their usual form), extraterrestrial, alien (admittedly of English origin but less restrictive than the previous one). Without prohibiting us from their use, the word “official” retained here will be ufonaute. 2.3 Although there is no really satisfactory classification of the different kinds of observations, we will occasionally use for its simplicity and convenience a typology based on that of J. Allen Hynek, a skeptical astronomer who had been the consultant to the official US Air Force study of UFOs before gradually becoming a (reasonably serious) supporter of UFOs:Night Light (LN): remote night observation (over 150 m);Diurnal Disc (DD): observation of an object, during the day and from a distance;Optical Radar (RO): radar and visual observation simultaneously;Close Encounter of the 1st Type (RR1): close observation (less than 150 m), simple;Close Encounter of the 2nd Type (RR2): idem, with physical effect on the environment or the witness;Close Encounter of the 3rd Type (RR3): like RR1, but with the presence of an ufonaut;Close Encounter of the 4th Type (RR4): abduction on board the UFO;Contact: direct meeting with ufonauts or remote communication, with message sent to the contactee, mainly concerning the future of humanity or of the Earth;Crash: discovery of a crushed flying saucer, sometimes with the corpse of an ufonaut. (The last two categories were not admitted by Hynek, and the previous one was integrated into the RR3). 2.4 Ufologists of all tendencies too frequently use terms with pejorative connotations to designate “colleagues” who do not share their own views, such as ufophobic, “debunker”, “socio-psycho” among UFO supporters to designate those who do not believe to the existence of real UFOs, or ufomaniac, believing in the opposite situation. Once again without imposing a systematic use on ourselves, we will speak of a partisan for the supporters of the existence of UFOs and of an opponent for those who lean for their non-existence (this in translation of the English terms proponent / opponent, which do not a priori convey meaning of value). 2.5 Although proponents may have very different ideas about the origin of UFOs, the majority defend the extraterrestrial hypothesis (often abbreviated as HET): this is the one we will use if we are to pit a theory of UFOs against the socio-psychological hypothesis. The latter expression, however, seems to imply that all alleged UFO cases are exclusively psychological or sociological processes in a strong sense. As this is not always necessary, I prefer for my part, while waiting for something better, to speak of composite reductionist hypothesis or even of composite reductionist theory (CRT): because it is a coherent theory claiming to reduce the set. from pre-UFO cases to a composite set of conventional causes. 2.6 The TRC is a priori legitimate (which does not necessarily mean fair, it is in fact what should be established), because its alleged “demolitions” are caricatured or at best very partial. In particular, some believed to demonstrate successively that the quasi-UFOs cannot be secret devices, natural phenomena, experiences of hallucinatory type. Separately, all of this is true: not all near UFOs are secret craft, etc. The TRC considers all these possible causes together, which is quite different from considering them one after the other. In addition, CRT has the advantage of being economical since it should not require modifications in the body of current knowledge, or in any case only minimal changes perfectly integrable in this body. 3. The different causes of UFO reportsBasically, the TRC states that all cases of pre-UFOs are potentially explainable in conventional terms and all fall under one of the following causes. It should be noted that in some cases the real nature of the stimulus may never be discovered; this concerns for example old observations which were not well investigated at the time of the facts or clever mystifications whose author could have disappeared without ever revealing the deception. 3.1 Mystifications. They are relatively few in number, probably in the order of 1% or at worst a few percent. In addition to "bistro" jokes that have only been known locally or serious exaggerations by journalists, some have had a considerable impact in the media and even among many ufologists. Let us recall for the record the case of the American contactee George Adamski (20.11.1952 etc.); the alleged kidnapping of Cergy-Pontoise on 11.26.1979; the Roswell crash at the beginning of July 1947, perhaps not for the existence of an (American) machine which would have crashed at the time, but probably for the UFO interpretation of the affair, and in any case for its recent developments (alleged autopsy film; Colonel Corso's book; false documents relating to MJ-12, a top-secret group that is said to dictate US government policy); or the many adventures of Ed Walters in Gulf Breeze (Florida) since 1987. 3.2 Simple mistakes. The witness's account is objective, but he simply labeled something “UFO” that is not. Alternatively, the witness himself does not speak of a UFO, it is later a friend, a journalist or a ufologist who introduces this notion. The origin of the misinterpretation can be:- an object or phenomenon "banal" but not immediately recognized. We know that the most frequent causes of misunderstanding are the stars and planets (including the Moon); airplanes, helicopters, and other aircraft, whether it is a distant ordinary plane, an airplane or airship carrying a luminous advertising message, or a simulation of night air combat; re-entry of meteors, satellites or space launchers.- an object or phenomenon of the same nature, but observed under special conditions which may make its identification more difficult, for example from a moving vehicle, by a light fog, or if the observer himself is indisposed.- a “conventional” object or phenomenon but unknown to the witness, most often because it is less frequent. It can be a lenticular cloud, a tetrahedral weather balloon, a missile launch, an artificial cloud of sodium or barium released into the upper atmosphere in order to study it, etc. 3.3 Errors involving more complex psychological processes (the term “psychological” should be taken in a fairly broad sense, including among others certain processes of physiological origin). a) simple optical illusions, such as the vision of a satellite appearing to move in a zigzag way in the starry sky as a result of the autokinetic effect (due to the jerks of the eye), or the banal illusion of the moon at the horizon (where our satellite is perceived as larger than at the zenith), for which we still have no definitive explanation despite recent advances. b) “transposition” process, with two stages (this is taken from a text by Paolo Toselli which is well worth reading). In the “projective transformation”, the witness attributes to the observed object qualities or behaviors that he draws from his “conscious or unconscious knowledge of the UFO phenomenon”. One might be surprised at such unconscious knowledge, but even people not interested in UFOs may have read an article on the issue in the waiting room of their doctor or occasionally seen a television documentary or even a "realistic" TV movie. At a higher level, it is "projective elaboration", with a "considerable increase in subjective elements", where the observer confers on the unrecognized stimulus "in addition to the 'constants' of UFOs, the 'capacities' of interference. physical with the environment ”. Toselli thus cites the pursuit of motorists over 10 km in the Amiens region on 03.10.1954 by a scarlet ball flying in low-cut 150 m from the vehicle and stabbing at it at one point, stopping when the witnesses stop , spiraling and changing shape before moving away at high speed across the sky: it was actually the Moon. c) experiences in altered states of consciousness, that is, outside the normal waking state. We can thus mention the quite numerous "hallucinations" of motorists tired by a long journey, especially at night; or even hypnagogic or hypnopompic visions (during phases of falling asleep or awakening). The latter in particular seem to be able to explain a large number of "simple" kidnappings: subject asleep in his room, sensation of light and presence, vision of entities, paralysis of the subject, inability to wake the spouse, impression of levitating or 'out-of-body experience, d) psychopathological experiences. Such cases undoubtedly exist, if only for simple statistical considerations, but they probably do not exceed 1% of UFO incidents. This is for example the kidnapping of H. Turner in the U.S.A. on 08/28/1979, or in France the so-called “legionnaire” case (“confuso-dreamlike and anxious experience akin to the dreamy-state”).It should be noted that contrary to what many proponents think, interpreting a number of UFO manifestations in psychological or even psychiatric terms is in no way stigmatizing people who have had such experiences. Because not only is error human, but it is perfectly banal: all of us make mistakes every day in perception, memory, logic, judgment. Likewise, we all experience altered states of consciousness, usually without realizing it. And it is likely that a significant portion of us has had (or will have) at least once in our life a psychopathological experience without this in any way indicating that we are "crazy". As for the more serious mental pathologies, they are after all illnesses like the others, which should in no way lead to a devaluation of the patients. 3.4 Rare geophysical phenomena more or less recognized, such as ball lightning, seismic lights, or even abnormal solar or lunar halos or crowns. There are many examples of these geophysical anomalies, relatively frequent (but not fully explained) or on the contrary extremely rare, in the compilations of William R. Corliss. The case of leprechauns, elves and other blue jets is particularly interesting, since it concerns luminous manifestations (of an electrical nature) in the upper atmosphere observed for decades by pilots but whose existence has not been admitted by scientists. that since the 1990s, it is the demonstration that we are far from knowing everything about our good old Earth, including as regards the very existence of phenomena that are ultimately rather banal. 3.5 Very human secret devices or weapons, or operations (for example space) that we want to keep secret, for which UFOs are an excellent cover. The United States could thus find their account that flights of U2 spy planes or missile launches off the Canary Islands (06.22.1976, 03.05.1979, and other dates) were mistaken for UFOs. The former Soviet Union was not to be outdone, with its space launches in the 1960s or the “luminous jellyfish” of Petrozavodsk on September 20, 1976 (launch of a spy satellite from the secret base of Plesetsk). As for the famous “Belgian triangle”, several types of devices could have been involved, once the ordinary mistakes have been eliminated. And in France, it is not impossible that the witness of the famous RR3 of Valensole on 07/01/1965 saw a helicopter of the American 6th Fleet on a spy mission (I have this hypothesis from the renowned physicist Yves Rocard ); the authorities would then have preferred to let speak of UFOs rather than having to recognize such an incursion on our territory. This seems all the more plausible that a U.S. spy plane was intercepted two weeks later above the Pierrelatte atomic plant (this was one of the reasons which decided General De Gaulle to leave NATO). Such cases seem to be able to help explain the admittedly very ambiguous attitude of the political and military authorities. 4. The problem of the "residue" of solid cases4.1 Existence of numerous unexplained cases. There is no doubt that there is a not inconsiderable number of apparently reliable cases, reasonably well investigated, and at least apparently irreducible to conventional causes, especially among cases with lasting physical or physiological effects. Although the number of these quasi-UFOs is probably lower than certain values advanced by the partisans, it could be of the order of a few thousand (tens of thousands if one is lax, hundreds if one is severe). But because of the following elements, it is not forbidden to think that even these "solid" cases could in reality be explained by the different causes considered in 3 (which of course does not prove that they are necessarily all explainable in this way. ). 4.2 The value of surveys. Due to the problem of the reliability of the ufology environment, one can wonder about the value of many surveys (including by several of the big names in ufology), and therefore think that a number of allegedly inexplicable cases are in fact of trivial causes without necessarily being able to discover which (or which when several come into play simultaneously, which of course complicates things). 4.3 The inexplicable classics yet explained. There are a significant number of cases, including among the "classics" that have helped to build the image of the UFO phenomenon, which were long considered inexplicable, but which were then explained in a conventional manner (often by supporters). For this, for example, a new investigation, possibly by a ufologist less emotionally involved in the case than his predecessors, of the discovery of a capital detail, or of the more or less providential intervention of "the" specialist needed. Among the many possible illustrations, let us mention only the following few cases. - Fargo, ND, USA, 10/01/1948: in his encyclopedia (2), Jerome Clark accepts the explanation of the probe balloon advanced by the US Air Force and considers that "the Gorman sighting could be after the Mantell incident [a fighter pilot who crashed while chasing a sounding balloon of a then secret type] the most overrated UFO report in the early history of the phenomenon ”. - Villacoublay, Yvelines, 08.29.1952: military meteorologists observe with the naked eye and theodolite bright lights in the sky and write an official report; according to the astronomer and ufologist Pierre Guérin, it was in fact Jupiter and Véga (11 p. 227). - Draguignan region, Var, 06.10.1952 (various witnesses, including two pilots in flight): according to Aimé Michel in 1954, this “object which flew over Provence  is perhaps the one whose passage, from a scientific point of view, is the closest to providing definitive and irrefutable proof of the real existence of flying saucers ”(12 p. 169). Unfortunately, Guérin tells us that it was a racing car (11 p. 227-228, 332). - Ubatuba, Brazil, early 09.1957: this UFO having exploded and from which debris made up of very high purity magnesium was recovered was only a military rocket according to Michel Bourron, a specialist in ballistics and pyrotechnics. - Trancas, Argentina, 10/21/1963: extraordinary encounter of the 3rd type with various physical effects, explained for Roberto Banchs by military maneuvers. - Willamette Pass, OR, USA, 11/22/1966: photograph of a UFO learnedly analyzed by physicists (one of them announces that the particular effects of the image are due to the fact that the machine oscillated between our space-time and another); it was simply a road sign. This case shows that a hoaxer can have no apparent motivation and go unpunished for a quarter of a century: it is therefore much less obvious to detect a fraud (here, the opportunistic recovery of a somewhat curious photo) than it is. the supporters claim. - Marliens, Côte d'Or, 03.05.1967: remarkable traces, then explained by lightning. We can also note that no UFO had been observed, contrary to what some recent authors write with a fertile imagination. - Belgian observations of the night of March 30-31, 1990: these were exceptional atmospheric refractions of stars for the lights observed from the ground by the gendarmes and possible (probable?) anomalies in the radar propagation of F-16 planes. This is the explanation finally adopted by Professor Auguste Meessen (13), who had however first decreed that this affair was almost absolute proof of the presence among us of real extraterrestrial UFOs.It is then permissible to wonder if these numerous “inexplicable and yet explained” UFOs are not a challenge to the existence of a hard core of totally reliable and truly inexplicable cases. 4.4 The indistinguishability between quasi-UFOs and ovis. At least at first glance, the witnesses of the two types of cases seem to be the same and the accounts they also tell, whether for the general plot or for the details reported: conditions of observation, descriptions of the object or the ufonaut, temporary or lasting effects, etc. It should be noted, however, that this argument alone does not prove the identity of nature of near-UFOs and UFOs; because it could be that aliens "disguise" their devices in order to deceive us. 5. Other evidence for the existence of true UFOsBeyond the existence of apparently inexplicable cases, very real but which could not in itself demonstrate the presence of real UFOs, the partisans put forward various proofs, direct or indirect, of this existence. They are also questionable to varying degrees. 5.1 The existence of material elements, such as UFO debris, animal mutilation, photographs or video films, sound recordings, is of course attested in a fairly large number of cases. But it is often difficult to know if they are really connected to the observation (was not the "trace left by the UFO" present before it manifests itself?) And what is their real nature of observation. non-explainability in conventional terms; and, as for the supposed UFO fragments that have been analyzed, none of them require an extraterrestrial origin. These observations also apply of course to all the alleged effects of UFOs (engine or television failures, abnormal light beams, temporary physiological effects, etc.). In particular, scientists gathered in 1997 at the Pocantico Center in Tarrytown, New York, to whom a few carefully selected ufologists were supposed to present their best cases, complained about such effects for the lack of compelling data (10). 5.2 The mutual authentication of cases by the analogies they present is an argument which is invalidated by the UFO-UFO indistinguishability. Because when various authors have wanted to give examples of this, they have often compared cases that are more or less reliable with others which are clearly less so, or which have been explained later by trivial causes, or even which were already so in the past. 'time. Moreover, the analogies between these cases are often not very convincing except for one or two particular traits, and the identical descriptions of machines or ufonauts are extremely rare (Hynek had once qualified as pandemonium the extreme variety of UFOs). 5.3 The statistical consistency which seems to emerge from various analyzes is also undermined by the indistinguishability, but especially by the fact that the files are generally saturated with cases having nothing to do with possible true UFOs or even only with near UFOs. And it has been shown on occasion that certain known statistical works could be very questionable in various respects. 5.4 The existence of quasi-exhaustive and coherent explanatory models, both at the level of global hypotheses and that of more specific points, could be a solid argument if so many of them were not in competition and especially if they were were not also based on so many doubtful cases. Thus, within the framework of the extraterrestrial hypothesis, the model of magnetohydrodynamic propulsion (MHD) of UFOs by Jean-Pierre Petit had been able for a time to pass for one of the most promising; but what is its real reliability insofar as we know, according to the author himself (see several of his books), that he was based essentially on Ummite documents? Because the UMMO affair is generally considered today as a sophisticated hoax, including by many partisans (it was about thousands of letters with “philosophical” or “scientific” content received by dozens of ufologists). 5.5 Sociological proof by the behavior of the authorities has little value either since this behavior seems to be able to be explained by causes having nothing to do with the UFOs themselves. Let's start by eliminating all the false official documents like those relating to MJ-12 or the real doctored documents: they could well have been concocted by more or less marginal supporters interested in making the saucer business work. UFO cases used as cover (see 3.5), bureaucratic habits, refusal to admit that one does not know what the phenomenon is or that one is unable to clearly explain why it does not exist , all this would already be enough to account for a good part of the ambiguous behavior of the authorities. But the essential factor could well have been the Cold War and the paranoia it provoked in the years 1950-1960, largely forgotten today but very real at the time and which was fueled by risks which had nothing imaginary (the world has really come close to nuclear war!). Such a context in particular perfectly accounts for the Robertson Commission convened by the C.I.A. in 1953, alarmed to see the military risk being monopolized by an imaginary threat in the face of that posed by the Soviets.Conversely, it can be argued that the partisans, despite the overwhelming force of the evidence they claim to provide, have proved incapable in some 50 years of globally changing the attitude of the two communities which really matter in this matter, that of scientists and political and military authorities. For the latter, we must of course stick to what could be only an appearance. Such a position is in any case largely confirmed by what we know about the situation in Spain and Great Britain. But also in France, with the statements of General (retired) Guy Dotte-Charvy, an insider for whom the attitude of the French Army can be summed up in the formula: "'don't care' (and I weigh my words) this is the 'Big Secret'! ". Because that seems to me to be completely incompatible both with the fact that the French soldiers would be aware of the presence among us of possible true UFOs, and with the very existence of the latter. 5.6 Observations from the past have also been used as proof of the existence of current UFOs, on the pretext that our ancestors certainly did not have planes or satellites to confuse them with UFOs, and would not have been able to invent such stories. Even! Many old descriptions are too sketchy or too imprecise to be able to comment. Sometimes, we can also suspect this or that natural phenomenon: thus when Roger de Wendover tells us that in England in 555 “we saw spears in the north-western quarter of the sky”, it is possible to think of an aurora borealis . But above all, it is essential to place the stories in their historical context, which often offers a completely different light than that provided by our knowledge of the technological and spatial era, especially in the many texts having an apologetic function. 6. The ufological environment6.1 An overall lack of reliability. We will rule out from the outset the most questionable elements of ufology: contactees reporting their cosmic adventures or / and preaching the good word of extraterrestrials, cultists adepts of the precedents, paranoid more or less delusional (for one of them, the cold war was just a decoy set up by the Americans and the Soviets to deceive the alien invaders!), or even a few flying saucer professionals not believing a word of what they write. Yet they are often the ones who have taken center stage in the media. So, grassroots ufologists are perfectly honest and normally intelligent people, and they have done a colossal amount of work for over 50 years. Unfortunately, too many of them lack critical thinking and knowledge in the methods and results of natural or human sciences. In particular, they too easily accept testimonials at face value without ever having questioned the psychology of perception or memory. Let us give by way of illustration a single example of a "symptom" of these insufficiencies, what we can call the "postulate of independence of UFOs and ovis": the partisan admittedly admits the existence of explicable cases, but he immediately removed from the field of his reflection by claiming that they have nothing to do with the remaining inexplicable cases; this is begging the question, because that is precisely what should be demonstrated. Taken as a whole, therefore, the UFO environment is sorely lacking in reliability, which moreover several serious supporters have recognized (this was for example the case of Jacques Scornaux, whose main part of the chapter on the question in the period dated where he was a strong supporter of ETH). Unfortunately, the situation hardly seems different on the side of major ufologists, those whose writings have built ufological thought, including for many scientists interested in the UFO problem. A good part of these major ufologists or of these scientists turn out to be in fact pure believers (some even wait for the extraterrestrials to finally come to save us from ourselves), even sometimes genuine delusional. However, it should also be said that there are remarkable exceptions to this overall weakness of the environment; these few dozen people are unfortunately no match for the thousands of others. 6.2 The role of the extraterrestrial postulate. The essential factor explaining this regrettable situation could well be the fact that many ufologists are prisoners of a belief system that they themselves have constructed in collaboration with the media, the "extraterrestrial postulate" (the dissident supporters of alternative hypotheses also likely have their own, different but equally effective belief system). This "postulate" explains by visitors from elsewhere not only the observations of UFOs but also a whole set of data which are more or less directly correlated to them, such as animal mutilations, mysterious disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle, archaeological anomalies, cultural circles in England and elsewhere, and much more. While admitting that possible extraterrestrials come to visit us (this is not in itself absurd), is it necessary for that to attribute to them, and the least unexplained light in the sky, and all that exceeds our comprehension (in any case that of the authors on these questions)? The evolution of ufology over the past twenty years seems to me to be quite significant in this regard. After the period until the 1980s or so, when proponents accepted (for the most part) ETH but had a fundamentally rational view, many American ufologists and others after them came to accept various more questionable themes. This is the case with very large numbers of kidnappings (probably with a view to genetic manipulation), the crushing of saucers, the existence of artificial structures on the Moon or Mars (the famous Face, among others), the conspiracy of the authorities wanting to hide from us the presence of aliens while inciting Hollywood to sensitize us discreetly, or even for some of the Grand Conspiracy combining our leaders with very evil aliens. Certainly not all supporters have succumbed to such a vision of things, but the evolution of the main American journals seems to me to be in line with such a process (an exception can be made for the International UFO Reporter published by CUFOS). And if the X-Files series (remarkable as a fiction) is now in decline, several letters from readers published at the time of its splendor in the specialized press showed that quite a number of young people proclaimed like people to who we do not do that we should not trust anyone: is not that a little worrying? 6.3 A literature that diverges from reality. A consequence of the unreliability of ufology and of the UFO-UFO indistinguishability is that almost all of the ufology literature has nothing to do with possible true UFOs, thereby gradually dismissing ufologists. of reality and therefore reinforcing the myth by a positive feedback effect, by building in us an increasingly erroneous image of the UFO phenomenon. What a paradox: if real UFOs exist despite everything, it is the ufologists who are largely responsible for what the authorities, scientists, and the public do not accept their reality. 7. The anthropocentrist component of the phenomenonWhatever it may be, the UFO phenomenon has a fundamental psycho-socio-cultural component, the importance of which is largely underestimated by ufologists. However, this “anthropocentrist” part is amply demonstrated by various factors. 7.1 The convergences between the UFO phenomenon (taken as a whole) and various productions of the human mind. Such convergences are numerous, let us only mention the parallels discovered by Bertrand Méheust with obscure science fiction stories from the years 1900-1940; descriptions similar to those obtained in altered states of consciousness; similarities to 19th century observations of alleged Martian canals or the so-called satellite of Venus; or again the clear analogies with certain Marian apparitions which do not seem to have any solid foundation, as in Belgium in 1933-1934 or recently in Medjugorje. 7.2 The specific case of kidnappings. In particular, the vogue for alien abduction has much of the same characteristics as the great European witchcraft of the Renaissance and classical times. Overall, this was the creation of the Inquisitors. And these are the result of incompetent ufologists and psychotherapists or, more simply, convinced of the reality of these kidnappings. In fact, when a therapist is persuaded of the reality of alien abductions, reincarnation, possession by spirits, or the existence of satanic ceremonies with human sacrifices, he (or she) systematically discovers experiences. "Experienced" in some of his patients. However, these are probably only manifestations of the "false memory syndrome", which is created thanks to more or less subtle influences on the subjects: we have evidence in some alleged cases of sexual abuse or abuse. satanic demonstrations of which parents had been falsely accused by their own grown children. Such abuses should challenge the supporters who have made their accomplices, if only by their silence. 7.3 Cases with “elements dependent on the witness”. In many UFO experiences, the content of the narrative has much more to do with the observer (or humans in general), their past, their concerns, the functioning of their brain, etc., than with hypothetical aliens. . These are, for example, observations presenting what were once called manifestations of "psychological mimicry", with a retired jeweler or sacristan seeing a pendant or clocks in the air respectively, a prospector who observes ufonauts digging a hole in front of them. her house, or parents waiting for their late daughter and watching little beings circling around in a "moon" in the sky. In other cases, certain details reported have obvious symbolic or religious value, often linked to the beliefs of the witness as in the many experiences of Betty Andreasson-Luca in the United States or the kidnapping of José Antonio da Silva in Brazil. These are still cases where the original account of the witnesses has been gradually modified due to external influences, discussions with relatives or inquiries somewhat directed by journalists or ufologists who are too convinced. It is of course not impossible that such "dependent elements of the witness" (expression due to Luis Schönherr) could be linked to objective UFOs, it is nevertheless much simpler to attribute to them a purely human origin. 7.4 Function of the UFO. Various authors like Michel Carrouges, Hilary Evans, Carl Gustav Jung, Alain Schmitt and others have tried to understand what could be the possible function of the UFO considered from a socio-psychological perspective. Taken as a whole, the UFO phenomenon could thus be a manifestation of the collective anguish of humanity in the face of the divorce of its material and spiritual parts and in the face of a future that we no longer seem to control. It would then translate our need for the marvelous in terms that are more or less acceptable in our hyper-rational and hyper-technical world, with saviors from Heaven as in the past, but now in sophisticated devices. At the individual level, this would correspond to experiences having a gratifying, even cathartic value (despite sometimes appearances: neighbors or the media making fun of witnesses, hardships undergone during certain kidnappings). More generally, moreover, authors critical of the existence of paranormal phenomena are now wondering if such manifestations, although in fact falling under "conventional" explanations, would not have a beneficial role for those who experience them. . 8. ConclusionWe therefore have with the TRC the bases of an economic hypothesis which seems to be able to account for all the data of the UFO problem, insofar as the "facts" admitted by the partisans are not necessarily as solid as they are. appear and they do not proclaim it. Before turning to more fantastic hypotheses if necessary, it is therefore advisable to seriously dig into the CRT to see what it really has "in the stomach".For this, we can base ourselves on most of the texts collected in the collective work edited by Thierry Pinvidic and on various contributions, in particular those by Martin Kottmeyer, from the second edition of the Ronald Story encyclopedia. Several other references mentioned below will also be very helpful, most notably the devastating review of kidnappings by Kevin Randle et al. And even various positions of the partisans offer interesting ammunition to the opponents. As for the ufological journals, the most useful for the study of the TRC are certainly UFO-Presence and its avatar Anomalies, unfortunately disappeared, and the British Magonia.
Why does every US state have its own laws and random rules? The American Revolution was an armed conflict that lasted eight long years. It also constituted a civil war between British and American subjects, as well as a rebellion against the colonial authorities and an insurrection against the King of England (George III) and the monarchical regime. Finally, it was a war of "national liberation", the first in modern history. If the American Revolution had considerable consequences on the North American continent, we have been able to clearly determine its causes. With regard to the linguistic question, it does not seem to have been a major concern, because American politicians associated linguistic interventionism with a monarchist practice that was current in Europe. However, all practices reminiscent of the monarchy and its excesses were banned. It is therefore the linguistic non-intervention that characterizes this period of American history. 1 The strengthening of British power (1763-1776) With the Treaty of Paris of 1763 which officially ended the Seven Years' War (1756-1763) between France and Great Britain, all of New France, with the exception of Louisiana ceded to Spain, officially became a British possession. Of its immense empire in North America, France retained only the tiny islands of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon south of Newfoundland. Meanwhile, the war in British North America had brought glory to English generals, death to ordinary soldiers, fortune to merchants, unemployment to the poor, and the economic collapse of Native American peoples. However, in order to defeat the French in Canada and Acadia, Great Britain had to borrow huge sums of money in order to pay for its costly military operations. Interest on the debt alone cost the British treasury more than four million pounds a year. The British government then had the idea of having part of these heavy expenses reimbursed by the Thirteen Colonies (the only ones who could pay), thanks to direct taxes on products such as tea, wine, sugar, molasses. , newspapers, etc. It seemed normal for the British government to have the settlers of New England defray part of the expenses incurred for their benefits. On the other hand, the representatives of the Thirteen Colonies no longer saw the point of maintaining this expensive British military device because of the fall of New France. Moreover, the settlers of New England had waited only for the English victory to finally continue their expansion westward. However, King George III had just started his reign in 1760 and he fully intended to strengthen the royal prerogatives over his American colonies. He considered these settlers to be "British subjects" whose primary duty was to comply with his decisions. Two problems would arise and considerably reduce royal authority. On the one hand, the colonial assemblies held important powers, similar to those available to the English Parliament, for example that of voting taxes and expenditure, without forgetting that of ensuring the initiative of laws. On the other hand, the geographical distance and the obstacle which constituted a vast ocean made more uncertain any attempt at domination over the Thirteen Colonies. 1.1 The "intolerable laws" ("Coercive Acts") in the Thirteen Colonies The settlers of the Thirteen Colonies experienced their first disappointment when Great Britain, by the Royal Proclamation of 1763, decided to reserve the “Indian Territory” in western New England for the natives and even prohibited settlers from s 'install there. Here are two excerpts from this Proclamation (in French translation): Royal Proclamation of 1763 Fourthly [...] We do hereby strictly forbid, on Pain of Our Displeasure, all Our loving Subjects from making any Purchases or Settlements whatever, or taking Possession of any of the Lands above reserved, without Our especial Leave and License for that Purpose first obtained. And We do further strictly enjoin and require all Persons whatever, who have either wilfully or inadvertently seated themselves upon any Lands within the Countries above described, or upon any other Lands, which, not having been ceded to, or purchased by Us, are still reserved to the said Indians as aforesaid, forthwith to remove themselves from such Settlements. [...] Royal Proclamation of 1763Article 4 [...] We also strictly hereby defend to all Our subjects, on pain of attracting Our displeasure, to buy or own any land above reserved, or to form any establishment there, without having previously obtained Our special permission and license for it. And We enjoin and strictly order all those who, knowingly or inadvertently, have established themselves on lands situated within the limits of the regions described above or on any other lands which have not been ceded or purchased by We also find ourselves reserved for the said Indians to immediately leave their establishments. [...] By the Royal Proclamation, Great Britain thus manifested its opposition to the desire of its colonists to expand towards the west of the continent. The second disappointment concerned the Quartering Act of March 24, 1765, which ordered the colonial authorities to provide housing for British Crown soldiers. However, the maintenance of the English army in peacetime, that is to say nearly 10,000 men, on the colonial territories provoked many recriminations, especially since the Cantonment Act made it possible to requisition houses to house soldiers. Then the London Parliament passed the Money Act, the Stamp Act, the Sugar Act, etc., all intended to pay off the enormous debt accumulated during the Seven Years' War. As if that was not enough, the British government sent its own customs officers, protected by its army, with special powers such as permission to enter any private or public place to check the goods and seize all those. that would be deemed illegal. Finally, the Currency Act of September 1, 1763 formally prohibited the issuance of paper money in the colonies and deprived them of liquidity. As can be seen, the “intolerable laws” had no relation to the linguistic situation in the Thirteen Colonies. English was the common language and the language of use in these colonies, as in the mother country. 1.2 The Quebec Act of 1774Faced with the difficulties and the deteriorating climate in the colonies of New England, the British government had to take measures to counter the autonomy tendencies of its colonies in North America. On May 20, 1774, the government had the British Parliament passed the Quebec Act (the traditional translation of the Quebec Act), a constitutional law intended to modify the status of the “province of Quebec”. Great Britain gave back to the "province of Quebec" a territory (see the map on the left) which recalled that of New France (without Louisiana) and restored French civil laws while officially recognizing the Catholic religion. It was huge!The Quebec Act literally set fire to the powder in the Thirteen Colonies. The English colonists did not accept that London could grant territorial rights to their ex-enemies of New France against whom they had fought fifteen years earlier, not to mention the recognition "on British soil" of the "papists. Canadian ”. Merchants in New York and Albany were outraged that their westward expansion and the Great Lakes fur trade were limited to Montreal's benefit, as before the conquest of 1760. It seemed inadmissible to the English colonists that the Quebec Act seemed not only to set aside any project of assimilation of French Canadians, but legally affirmed the existence of a French civilization in America. They immediately denounced the “Anglo-Canadian collusion” which was ganging up against the settlers of New England. A Boston lawyer then wrote: “What! Did we Americans spend so much blood and wealth in the service of Britain in the conquest of Canada, so that the British and Canadians could now subjugate us? " This is why the Quebec Act, like the other laws called "Intolerable Acts", "Coercive Acts" or "Punitive Acts", was considered as totally unacceptable to the Thirteen Colonies, who saw it as a maneuver directed expressly against them.In reality, finally rid of the French rival "who did not leave a moment of rest" (in the words of Benjamin Franklin), the colonists of New England refused the intervention of the Metropolis, which prevented them from protecting their own interests. trade and to fully enjoy the freedoms they believed to be finally acquired. In other words, another colony, British this one, still blocked the expansion of New England towards the west and served as a military base for a mother country that had become "the enemy to be destroyed". This threat therefore had to be eliminated as soon as possible! 2 The American Revolution (1775-1783)All these events aroused great anger in the colonies of New England. Twelve out of thirteen colonies (only Georgia was missing) met in the “Stamp Act Congress”, while Benjamin Franklin defended the cause of the colonists in London. In the eyes of the latter, these laws violated the right of British subjects not to be taxed without the consent of their representatives under the principle of No taxation without representation, because the colonies were not represented in the British Parliament. These laws thus diminished the independence of their colonial assemblies and constituted the first step in a "plot" to deprive them of their freedoms. Secret societies of patriots (called the "Sons of Liberty") were formed. The colonial protest movement culminated in October 1765 during the Congress against the Stamp Act. As for Benjamin Franklin, he did not believe that the imposition of these taxes was sufficient to start the revolution: The colonies would have gladly supported the insignificant tax on tea and other articles, but for the poverty caused by the bad influence of English bankers on Parliament, which created hatred of England in the colonies and caused the war of Revolution.The colonists wanted to be English, but to the extent that England left them alone. In fact, they agreed to enrich themselves "behind the ramparts of the Empire", without "paying the price for security". In hindsight, it now looks like the British colonists wanted butter and butter money! The unity of the Thirteen American Colonies was achieved in their common opposition to the policy of the British government: in September 1774, on the initiative of Benjamin Franklin, they met in Philadelphia during a first Continental Congress (September 5-October 26 1774). Two colonies stood at the head of the revolutionary movement: Massachusetts and Virginia. The contribution of these two colonies, rich and populated, will constitute a decisive advantage for the future. Just before independence, Virginia had 21% of American settlers, Massachusetts 11%, as did Pennsylvania. It was almost half the population of the colonies. 2.1 The War of Independence (1775-1783) The American War of Independence began on June 17, 1775 (during the Battle of Bunker Hill) between the British and the Thirteen Insurgent Colonies: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. All of New England was home to a population of approximately 2.5 million. The British could count on an army of 30,000 professional soldiers (disciplined, experienced, well-armed and well-paid) and the best generals in Europe, not to mention 700 warships, 2,000 merchant ships for the transport of troops and troops. ammunition, as well as 150,000 sailors. A formidable force! But American independence was only going to be acquired at the cost of a long war of seven years, involving the stalling of the British. As for the American insurgents, they had only 18,000 to 20,000 inexperienced men - and their number was sometimes even reduced to 3,000 men able to fight -, did not have a navy and had only few well-trained generals. The insurgents also benefited from an army of ill-equipped volunteer militiamen, half soldiers and half farmers. In several colonies, military service will eventually be imposed on all white men between the ages of 16 and 60. However, members of the administration, pastors, students and professors of Yale, blacks, Indians and Mulattoes generally remained exempt from conscription. It was a lot of people! It was also possible to escape this obligation by paying the sum of five pounds. Moreover, the settlers of New England were far from being united and anti-royalist. They were divided between those who advocated independence - the Patriots or Republicans - and those who wanted to remain British - the Loyalists (or Royalists). Several terms were used to designate the antagonists in the American colonies: Roundhead or Puritans (for their strict religious beliefs) associated with the Whigs, against Monarchists associated with the Tories. Today, monarchists are referred to as Loyalists in the United States, but in Canada the term United Empire Loyalists has long been used. As we know, the “loyalists” loyal to the Metropolis sided with the British before fleeing to Canada, but many remained neutral.It was around this time that the word Yankee appeared. According to a probable etymology (Oxford English Dictionary), it would be a nickname used by British soldiers to designate their adversaries. Yankee would come from the Dutch word Yanke meaning “little Jan”. This diminutive would have appeared among the British troops as a xenophobic joke intended to send the insurgents to a foreign origin and to discredit the true nature of their rebellion. The inhabitants of the colonies would have taken this pejorative term to their account according to a process of semantic bravado. After independence, the British will continue to use the term Yankee to refer to the Americans. We spoke of the inhabitants of New England by saying "the New England or yankee country". For their part, the French had a completely different interpretation of the word Yankee. According to them, it would be a deformation of the Indians of Massachusetts of the word English in Yenghis, Yanghis and Yankies. The Littré Dictionary wrote in 1877: Yankee. N.m. Sobriquet by which the English designate colloquially, and with a sort of disparagement, the inhabitants of the United States of North America. It is the word English, English, disfigured by the pronunciation of the Redskins.Littré does not cite any source to support his description, but his definition certainly contradicts the Anglo-Saxon tradition. On July 4, 1776, the American colonies adopted in English the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, a very cultured and Francophile lawyer then aged 33, then, on November 15, 1777, the Articles of Confederation. By the time the Americans proclaimed their independence, they had a population of 2.5 million, including 1,950,000 whites, 520,000 blacks and about 100,000 Indians. Benjamin Franklin noted that the population doubled every twenty years. It was during the summer of 1782 that Franklin drafted the main lines of the treaty calling for total independence, access to the fishing grounds of the new territories, the evacuation by English forces of the occupied areas and the establishment of 'a western border on the banks of the Mississippi.At the same time, Thomas Paine (1737-1809), an intellectual pamphleteer and revolutionary of English origin, published in Philadelphia, in January 1776, a pamphlet entitled in English Common Sense (Le sens commun en français), a work considered today like the first American bestseller. It was a strong plea in favor of a break with Great Britain and the establishment of a republic in North America. Paine argued that the colonial assemblies were better able to govern the colonies than the distant Parliament of Westminster. He believed that the American Revolution should result in "the birth of a new world"; he found ridiculous and against the natural law "that an island reigns on a continent". For him, America was no longer "a British nation": it consisted of influences from all the countries of Europe. He drew the conclusion that the independence of the colonies had become inevitable and necessary. Paine's book is said to have inspired figures such as George Washington, Benjamin Rush and John Adams. The pamphlet was published in more than 150,000 copies in the British colonies (for a population of 1.5 million inhabitants), and it was distributed in Europe. No other pamphlet of this period aroused so much enthusiasm among the patriots, but also great opposition from the loyalists. Thomas Paine's writings, including the Rights of Man of 1791, had a great influence on the French Revolution. Speaking well French, Paine was even elected a deputy to the French National Assembly in 1792, but was imprisoned by Robespierre in 1793, then released after ten months and readmitted as a deputy to the Convention in 1795.At the invitation of President Thomas Jefferson, Paine left France in 1802 for the United States, calling Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul, "the most perfect charlatan that ever existed." After the sale of Louisiana in 1803, Thomas Paine recommended that new Americans in Louisiana learn the English language, but also “adapt” their Catholic religious practices. Equality of American citizens being the first foundation of the Republic, the inhabitants of Louisiana were to enjoy the same civil rights as the inhabitants of the United States, but they were not to constitute a specific portion of the American population, which would be endowed rights that are themselves specific. This is why Thomas Paine spoke in favor of the deletion of the very name of "Louisiana" like the deletion of the names of the French provinces. Likewise, he considered that the continuation of the black slave trade in Louisiana would not only be an ignominy, but also an obstacle to free immigration and therefore to Republican integration. 2.2 France's “revenge” The American insurrection was particularly well received in France, especially among the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie. The news was read and commented on, and in general the rebellion was seen as the fight of the "spirit of the Enlightenment" against "British tyranny". It was then that France, eager to take its revenge on Great Britain which had inflicted on it the defeat of 1763, decided, after long procrastination and under the impetus of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the account of Vergennes (1774 -1781), to help the insurgents. France began in 1776 by smuggling arms, but the decisive aid materialized by sending soldiers, warships and large sums of money, not to mention naval reinforcements (123 vessels of the Royal Navy in total) and some 35,000 men (in total), which will tip the balance in favor of the insurgents. In fact, if Louis XV had spent as much money as Louis XVI put in revenge, France would have retained New France. At the same time, from Paris, on May 25, 1777, Benjamin Franklin announced to Congress the arrival of the Marquis Gilbert de La Fayette in these terms: The Marquis de Lafayette, a young nobleman of great family connections here and great wealth, is gone to America in a ship of his own, accompanied by some officers of distinction, in order to serve in our armies. He is exceedingly beloved, and everybody's good wishes attend him. We cannot but hope he may meet with such a reception as will make the country and his expedition agreeable to him. [The Marquis de La Fayette, a French gentleman of great family circles and of great fortune, left for America on a ship of his own, to serve in our armies. He is extremely loved, and everyone's best wishes go with him; we can only hope that he can receive a welcome that makes his country and his business enjoyable for him.]But the Americans had nothing to do with a marquis, moreover a Republican and declared outlawed by the court of France, and he simply became "Lafayette". He learned English, although he never succeeded in mastering it perfectly. Thanks to the unwavering support of George Washington, the young French aristocrat, then aged 19, will obtain the rank of "major-general in the army of the United States" and he will cover himself with glory. In the wake of the American Revolution, Versailles declared war on London and dragged Spain into this enterprise. In January 1778, Major-General Lafayette and Marshal de Rochambeau took command of a French expeditionary force sent to America to provide military support to the American revolutionaries. This was a strange alliance, because a young republic was allied with a monarchy of divine right, Protestants had become friends of a Catholic king and former British colonists extended their hand to the French whom they had fought for a long time. During the winter of 1778, some American officers worked out an expedition plan to Canada in order to rid the country of the English who had possessed it since the end of the Seven Years' War. They wanted to have Congress propose the command-in-chief to Lafayette. The latter wrote to his wife (February 3, 1778): I won't go into long details about the mark of trust that America honors me with. It will suffice for you to know that Canada is oppressed by the English; all this immense country is in possession of the enemies; there is a fleet, troops and forts. I am going to go there with the title of General of the Army of the North and at the head of 3000 men, to see if we can do any harm to the English in these regions. The idea of making all of New France free and freeing it from a heavy yoke is too brilliant to dwell on. I undertake a terrible work, especially with little means. But the general of the Army of the North had to give up his project to conquer Canada, precisely for lack of means. In any case, General Washington, who did not appreciate seeing a former colonial power north of the border, had organized himself so that La Fayette could not pursue his military objectives. Instead of the 3000 men promised, La Fayette did not even have a thousand; he did not have the necessary clothing, nor food, nor snowshoes, and even less the sleds that the War Office had to provide to ensure the success of the expedition. Washington hastened to excuse La Fayette (then aged twenty years) by writing to him these words: I am convinced that everyone will approve of the prudence which made you renounce an enterprise the pursuit of which would have engaged you in a futile struggle against physical impossibilities.That being said, the King of Prussia, Frederick the Great (1712-1786), seems to have got it right on France's intentions, as evidenced by this excerpt from a letter to its ambassador in Paris: We are very mistaken in admitting that it is the policy of France not to interfere in the war of the colonies. Its primary interest always calls for weakening British power wherever it can, and nothing can help it more quickly than to make it lose its colonies in America. Perhaps it would even be the moment to reconquer Canada? The opportunity is so favorable that it has not been and perhaps will be in three centuries. The Battle of Yorktown (October 6-19, 1781) was decisive for American independence. Lord Cornwallis' 6,000 British and 2,000 Germans had to face the 11,000 French and 6,000 men from Washington (including Poles, Germans, French Canadians and Cherokee Indians). At the same time, the French fleet of 28 vessels of Admiral de Grasse ensured the blockade of the port of Yorktown, thus preventing any supply or any flight of the British by sea. Moreover, the naval superiority acquired by the squadron of the French admiral seems to have been the key to the Franco-American victory. It was the first major combined operation (infantry, cavalry, artillery and navy) in history, bringing together three major soldiers: Washington, Rochambeau and de Grasse. The English general Charles Cornwallis had to capitulate.In the aftermath of the Yorktown victory, Thomas Jefferson paid homage to the French by declaring that "every man has two homelands: his country and France". This Franco-American victory earned France the nickname "Nurse of Hercules". This is why SAR Magazine could declare: Without the aid of France, on land and sea, the rebellion of the thirteen colonies against Great Britain would have failed. There would be no United States of America. [Without the help of France, on land and at sea, the Thirteen Colonies rebellion against Great Britain would have failed. There would be no United States of America.]However, the excessive cost of the Franco-American war plunged France into a delicate financial situation and accelerated the crisis of the monarchy which would thus pay dearly for its revenge on the “Perfidious Albion”. The war will have cost a billion pounds tournaments, or the equivalent of eight billion euros today (or ten billion US dollars), further widening the financial abyss of France. The hope of becoming the first trading partner of the new United States quickly vanished, as did any possible restitution of New France. George Washington was determined to throw out of America all the European colonial powers, whether Great Britain or France! Louis XVI had to convene the States General to reform the taxes, which would lead to the French Revolution (1789) and later his beheading and the abolition of the monarchy (1793). Eventually, relations between France and the United States deteriorated rapidly, especially after the death of Louis XVI and the excesses of the French Revolution under the Terror. Then the Americans, it should be remembered, made little effort to reimburse the enormous expenses incurred by France to ensure their independence while resuming their privileged commercial ties with Great Britain. In short, if the British had lost the war, then they were able to win the peace. France was no further ahead with the only reward "eternal recognition" of the United States of America. 2.3 American independence This independence was officially recognized by Great Britain following the Treaty of Paris and the Treaty of Versailles (September 3, 1783). John Adams, John Jay and Benjamin Franklin (over 70) signed the peace treaty for the United States to guarantee independence. Under the terms of the treaty, the United States obtained: - independence under the name of "United States of America"; - the expansion of their territory westward to the Mississippi and the absorption of the “Indian Territories”; - the fixing of the borders with Canada and the division of the Great Lakes in two, except Lake Michigan, which belonged entirely to the Americans; - obtaining fishing rights on the banks of Newfoundland and off Nova Scotia. For its part, Great Britain obtained: - recognition of debts incurred before, during and after the conflict (repayable in pounds sterling);- the amnesty for the loyalists and the freedom for them to settle in the other British colonies (Quebec, Nova Scotia, Bermuda, British West Indies, etc.). From a territorial point of view, the Treaty of Versailles drew new borders between the British colonies to the north and the United States to the south (1783). The United States saw its territory doubled, while that of the "province of Quebec" (then Canada) was reduced by a third.In fact, Canada saw its southwest border now pass through the middle of the Great Lakes, except for Lake Michigan which went entirely to the United States. Further south, Great Britain lost Florida, which became Spanish. The new borders that governed the province of Quebec meant that the Canadians who lived in the region south of the Great Lakes became American citizens overnight. However, almost all of the inhabitants were Amerindians, French-speaking Métis or Francophones. They will become English speakers over the following decades. That being said, Canada remained a British possession which had powerful, well-equipped armies and could still, by order of London, invade the North American states. In short, America was living in a critical phase and nothing was definitively acquired. British traditions, being what they were, if the Americans had lost the war for independence, all revolutionaries, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, etc., would have been hanged or shot. in the public square, their goods confiscated, their families massacred or thrown into misery. 3 The American Constitution of 1787 and the language questionThe new American nation quickly found itself in a difficult political and economic situation. The federal government held little authority at the time. The need to establish a central government soon took hold. A Constitutional Convention meets under the presidency of George Washington. 3.1 A federal republic A new constitution of the United States, inspired by Colonel James Madison (future 4th President of the United States), Alexander Hamilton, another soldier, and James Wilson, a specialist in law, was adopted on September 17, 1787 (see text complete), i.e. four years after the effective independence of the country and more than ten years after the unilateral proclamation of independence. The ratification of the Constitution by the elected representatives of the 13 Member States of the Confederation was spread over two and a half years, from December 1787 to June 1790. Sparing the concern for the independence of the Thirteen States, the Constitution established a federal power competent in the fields of foreign trade, defense and foreign policy, as well as in the field of relations between the federated states. So that the large states did not dominate the small, it was decided to have equal representation in the Senate (two seats per state) and proportional in the House of Representatives. The separation of executive, legislative and judicial powers was instituted.In a 1787 letter to Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, one of the "fathers of the Constitution," wrote: "Divide and rule, this corrupt rule peculiar to tyranny is, under certain conditions, the only policy which will allow a republic to be administered by just principles. " The new Constitution was, in 1788, signed by eleven states. North Carolina did not ratify it until November 1789 and Rhode Island in May 1790. On March 4, 1789, the first Congress of the United States met in New York. On April 30, George Washington became the first President of the United States (1789-1797). In 1791 the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States were adopted. Moreover, it was in 1782 that Congress adopted the bald eagle as the national emblem of the United States, much to the displeasure of Benjamin Franklin, who preferred the wild turkey to him, which did not prevent the bald eagle from 'be exterminated in most states except Florida and Alaska on the pretext that it was harming salmon breeding grounds (which turned out to be completely false). 3.2 The colonial elite and the people Preamble to the Constitution We, the People of the United States, with a view to forming a more perfect Union, to establish justice, to bring about internal peace, to provide for the common defense, to develop the general welfare and to secure the benefits from freedom to ourselves and to our posterity, we decree and establish this constitution for the United States of America. It should be remembered that the famous "people of the United States" ("We, the People of the United States") referred to in the American Constitution of 1787 did not include Indians, blacks or women, nor even the white indentured servants. In 1787, this constitution appeared as a "work of genius", thought out by wise men full of humanism, who would have built a high legal framework in homage to Democracy and Equality. In fact, the new Constitution was drafted by a small colonial elite, 55 of the richest men in New England. For example, George Washington was the wealthiest man in America (among the richest 400 Americans); John Hancock, a successful Boston merchant; Benjamin Franklin, a wealthy printer; Thomas Jefferson, a wealthy landowner with nearly 200 slaves; Alexander Hamilton, a wealthy banker; James Madison, a wealthy slave planter, John Adams, a lawyer who made his fortune in Boston, etc. Most of the “Fathers of the Constitution” were legal professionals and all spoke English, but some of them spoke French well (Franklin, Adams, Day, Jefferson, Livingston, etc.) or German, even German. Latin and / or Greek. Jefferson spoke English, French, Italian, Latin and Greek. The most polyglot was certainly Benjamin Franklin who had learned French, German, Spanish, Italian, a little Welsh, not to mention Latin and Greek. These prosperous landowners owned slaves, factories, shipping companies and invested money earning high interest. According to the records of the Treasury Department, 40 of the 55 Constituents (or 72.7%) had government titles. Let us not forget that at the time nobody could reach an official position without having a considerable fortune. For most of them, slavery appeared to be a necessary evil in a colony which lacked manpower and whose traditions were those of a colonial world. Obviously, these privileged few made sure to protect their interests by legalizing in the Constitution the inferior social condition of blacks, the exclusion of Indians and women, the domination of the rich over the poor, in short everything that existed in the colonies. British before independence. The difference was that the wealthy American elite had to make some concessions in favor of small landowners, artisans, and low-income farmers in order to gain wider political support. These moderately prosperous people formed an effective bulwark against the Indians, blacks and poor whites. With regard to slaves, a compromise was found at the time to establish the distribution of representatives among the states. It was accepted by all states that a black was equivalent to three-fifths of a white, which meant that the slave was ipso facto recognized by the Constitution. The slave states had to agree to pay a contribution that took into account their servile population. Moreover, John Adams will have difficulty becoming President of the United States (1797-1801), because he was not particularly appreciated by his fellow citizens because of his ideas on "the rich, the high-born and the capable ”(“ the rich, the well-born, and the able ”), who were to play a special role in the local legislative assemblies (A Defense of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America, 1787): The rich, the well-born, and the able, acquire an influence among the people that will soon be too much for simple honesty and plain sense, in a house of representatives. The most illustrious of them must, therefore, be separated from the mass, and placed by themselves in a senate; this is, to all honest and useful intents, an ostracism. A member of a senate, of immense wealth, the most respected birth, and transcendent abilities, has no influence in the nation, in comparison of what he would have in a single representative assembly. When a senate exists, the most powerful man in the state may be safely admitted into the house of representatives, because the people have it in their power to remove him into the senate as soon as his influence becomes dangerous. The senate becomes the great object of ambition; and the richest and the most sagacious wish to merit an advancement to it by services to the public in the house. When he has obtained the object of his wishes, you may still hope for the benefits of his exertions, without dreading his passions; for the executive power being in other hands, he has lost much of his influence with the people, and can govern very few votes more than his own among the senators. The rich, the well-born, and the able are gaining influence among the people, which will soon be too great for their simple honesty and common sense ordinary in a House of Representatives. The most illustrious among them must therefore be separated from the mass and placed by it in a senate; it is, of all honest and useful intentions, an ostracism. A member of a senate, immensely wealthy, of the most respected birth and superior ability, has no influence in the nation, compared to what he would do in a simple representative assembly. When a Senate exists, the most powerful man in the state can be safely admitted to the House of Representatives, because the people have the power to remove him from the Senate as soon as his influence becomes dangerous. The Senate becomes the great object of ambition; and the wealthiest and wisest desire to earn advancement through public service in the House. When he has obtained the object of his desires, you can always expect benefits from his efforts without dreading his passions; when the executive power is in other hands, it has lost much of its influence with the people and can obtain very few votes other than its own among the senators. The Constitution of 1787 did not provide for universal suffrage: senators were appointed by the state legislatures, while the president was chosen by a select college of electors (the “grand electors”). Finally, everything was planned to prevent one power from taking precedence over others and the federal state from stifling the rights of states. The Constitution was to rally at least nine states out of the thirteen. Most of the constituents (signatories) were convinced that the monarchy remained the best form of government and dreamed of establishing "a monarchy without a monarch" while being wary of "the people". Eventually, a sort of "monocracy" emerged in which the executive power is theoretically represented by one person: the President of the United States. Everyone is no doubt familiar with the strictly authentic word Abraham Lincoln. In the middle of the Civil War, the president had concluded a working meeting (on the emancipation of slaves), all of whose members had expressed a position contrary to his, by throwing: "Gentlemen, eight no, one yes. The yes wins. " This is also why the conduct of public affairs should fall to those who had wealth, education and who enjoyed a family tradition - it was then a "land democracy" that lasted until 1824. Those who voted were those who owned property, that is, those who had something to defend and were directly concerned with the management of public affairs. This explains why the president had to be elected by selected delegates, not directly by the people of whom it was necessary to be wary. Subsequently, the use of suffrage evolved into a multiplication of democratic procedures. Finally, the citizen will exercise his right to vote in the twentieth century for judges, senators, sheriffs, even school teachers. Let's not believe that American democracy has radically changed. It still remains a plutocracy, which still serves and above all those who have the money to elect candidates, who will influence public decisions. The American democratic system has been funded since its inception in 1787 by the rich. Nothing has changed in this area. This is why no president of the United States, even the most progressive of the United States, can fight a money-lubricated system for so long for a very simple reason: to secure his election or re-election, a presidential candidate ( as well as a senator or representative) must find millions from private donors, interest groups and businesses. It is no accident that billions of dollars in tax cuts were given to wealthy Americans under the administration of George W. Bush (2001-2009). 3.3 The language question The first legal document, the Articles of Confederation of 1777, had been published in English, French and German, which could signify a form of recognition of multilingualism. In fact, for a while there was tension between English, German, French and Spanish. The last three languages resisted anglicization for a long time, but the communities that used these languages never claimed a special status for them. It is true that, in the early years of the Union, the American Congress published several documents in French and German with the aim of disseminating them better in certain regions of the country. In fact, the United States has applied, since the beginning of its history, a Jacobin language policy, that is, a policy of language imposition with results that would be the envy of many countries. The American population came from different countries and spoke many languages. The new State was thus confronted with a problem of plurilingualism very similar to that which many countries face today. For American leaders, however, it seemed obvious that English was going to be imposed without constitutional constraint. The new American rulers never thought it necessary to include in the Constitution any provision on the official language. Moreover, there was no discussion on this subject, because it was not in the customs of the time acquired to liberalism. The Americans found that Great Britain and France functioned very well without a proclaimed official language, as indeed in most countries. However, there is a certain “legend” on the language question in the United States. It is said that Congress was to decide on the choice between English and German on January 13, 1795; English would have been chosen by a single majority vote. However, no historian has been able to find any trace of a similar vote. Rather, it is believed that no vote was taken and that no decision was necessary. This is one of the best-known legends in the history of language planning in the United States: it is the so-called "Muhlenberg" legend. Rather, historians believe that a request was made by a group of Germans in Virginia to have certain laws published in both German and English. The proposal was reportedly defeated by a majority vote, apparently brought in by a German-speaking Lutheran clergyman by the name of Frederick Muhlenberg (1750-1801). It is also said that the very Francophile Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) proposed to choose French as the official language of the Union in order to better mark the break with the old metropolis. Again, no historian has been able to confirm it with texts! It must be said that most of the discussions on the subject have been kept secret, and we must fall back on the informal notes of James Madison (president from 1809 to 1817). In fact, the future president John Adams (1797-1801) seems to be one of the rare American “Fathers of the Constitution” to have taken a great interest in the language question. He was convinced that a common language was important for the new state and, despite the conflict with Britain, that language had to be English. Adams even proposed to create an American Academy for refining, improving, and ascertaining the English Language. Adams really wanted to "purify, develop and dictate. The use of English "(" to purify, develop, and dictate the usage of English "). There was no shortage of argument, as these words, written on September 5, 1780, in a letter to the president suggest. of Congress: English is destined to be in the next and succeeding centuries more generally the language of the world than Latin was in the last or French is in the present age. The reason of this is obvious, because the increasing population in America, and their universal connection and correspondence with all nations will, aided by the influence of England in the world, whether great or small, force their language into general use, in spite of all the obstacles that may be thrown in their way, if any such there should be. [English is destined, over the next and subsequent centuries, to be the language of the world more generally than Latin last or French in the present day. The reason for this is obvious, because the growing population in America and its universal relations and writings with all nations will have the effect, in this facilitated by the influence of England in the world, whether great or small, to impose its language as generalized use, in spite of all the obstacles which can be thrown in its way, if there must be any.] You can read the “Letter to the President of Congress” that John Adams, then Minister Plenipotentiary to Negotiate a Treaty of Peace and Trade with Great Britain, sent from Amsterdam, by clicking HERE, please. However, the proposal of John Adams was immediately rejected by Congress, which deemed such an intrusion to be undemocratic on the part of the Union government because it would have threatened the individual rights of citizens. The consensus was established that a so-called democratic government did not have to tell people how to speak and that the choice of language should be left to each citizen. In addition, the Americans considered the language academies to be royalist institutions. By the time Johan Adams was making his proposal to promote an "American language" in 1780, an obscure Connecticut professor would soon become the spearhead of the "American language": Noah Webster (1758-1843). In his Dissertations on the English Language published in 1789, Webster would declare language war on "the King's English": As an independent nation, our honor requires us to have a system of our own, in language as well as government. Great Britain, whose children we are, and whose language we speak, should no longer be our standard; for the taste of her writers is already corrupted, and her language on the decline. But if it were not so, she is at too great a distance to be our model, and to instruct us in the principles of our own tongue. [As an independent nation, our honor demands that we have our own system, in language as well as in government. Britain, whose language we are the children we speak, must no longer be our norm; the taste of its authors is already corrupted and its language in decline. But if it were not so, this language appears too far away to be our model and to teach us according to the principles of our own language.]Here is the argument another excerpt from the text of Webster in "An Essay on the Necessity, Advantages, and Practicality of Reforming the Mode of Spelling and of Rendering the Orthography of Words Correspondent to Pronunciation" ("An essay on the necessity, the advantages and the practical aspects of reforming the method of spelling and making the spelling correspond to the pronunciation of words "): question now occurs; ought the Americans to retain these faults which produce innumerable inconveniences in the acquisition and use of the language, or ought they at once to reform these abuses, and introduce order and regularity into the orthography of the AMERICAN TONGUE? Let us consider this subject with some attention.Several attempts were formerly made in England to rectify the orthography of the language. But I apprehend their schemes failed to success, rather on account of their intrinsic difficulties, than on account of any necessary impracticability of a reform. It was proposed, in most of these schemes, not merely to throw out superfluous and silent letters, but to introduce a number of new characters. Any attempt on such a plan must undoubtedly prove unsuccessful. It is not to be expected that an orthography, perfectly regular and simple, such as would be formed by a "Synod of Grammarians on principles of science," will ever be substituted for that confused mode of spelling which is now established. But it is apprehended that great improvements may be made, and an orthography almost regular, or such as shall obviate most of the present difficulties which occur in learning our language, may be introduced and established with little trouble and opposition. [The question that arises now; Should Americans retain these faults which produce innumerable inconveniences in the acquisition and use of the language or should they immediately reform these abuses and present an order and regularity in the spelling of the AMERICAN LANGUAGE? Let us consider this question with some consideration.Several attempts were made in England in the past to correct the spelling of the language. But I realize that these projects have failed more because of their intrinsic difficulties than because of any impracticality necessary for reform. It was proposed in most of these projects not to simply reject superfluous and silent letters, but to introduce some new characters. Any attempt at such a plan must undoubtedly prove fruitless. It should not be expected that an orthography, perfectly regular and simple, which would be formed by a "synod of grammarians according to scientific principles", is sometimes replaced by this confused mode of orthography now established. But we can believe that important improvements can be made with an almost regular spelling, so that we must avoid most of the present difficulties which occur in the learning of our language and which can be introduced and implemented with little of difficulty and opposition.] Noah Webster, called the “Father of American Scholarship and Education”, argued for the existence of a specifically American spelling of English, as if to better understand distinguish from British customs. A new country, a new language! It is to Webster that Americans owe color instead of color, as well as honor, humor, theater, center, etc.At that time, many American citizens insisted on adopting a type of English that would be uniquely American. However, lexicographer Noah Webster led this movement and proposed several new rules for American spelling, seven of which still remain in effect. Although not all of Webster's innovations were successful, they were indicative of a tendency to spell words more phonetically. It was only in 1813 that former President Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) called on Noah Webster, as he believed the young nation would need a lot of new words: Certainly so great growing a population, spread over such an extent of country, with such a variety of climates, of productions, of arts, must enlarge their language, to make it answer its purpose of expressing all ideas ... The new circumstances under which we are placed call for new words, new phrases, and for the transfer of old words to new objects. An American dialect will therefore be formed. [Undoubtedly, such a great growth of the population, a diffusion over such a large expanse of countries, with so many varieties of climates, productions and works of art, must give an extension to the language, in order to answer to its goal of expressing all ideas ... The new circumstances in which we are placed require new words, new expressions and transfers of old words to new realities. An American dialect will therefore be shaped.] But the lexicographer that was to become Noah Webster was still unknown to the “Fathers of the Constitution” and had no influence over them. Webster even believed that the "Anglo-American language" would become as different from the English of the King of England as Dutch, Danish, Swedish and German were between them. Obviously, his predictions did not come true, because American English and English English, despite their respective particularisms, remained the same language. The name of Webster has nevertheless become synonymous with "dictionary", like Pierre Larousse, Émile Littré or Paul Robert in French. In any case, it was indeed in standard English that the American Constitution of 1787 was drafted, a symbolic gesture which, in principle, seemed very sufficient to symbolize the place of this language in the new state. It was certainly not an “oversight” on the part of the legislators, but a deliberate desire not to intervene politically in this area. In fact, most American politicians, except pro-interventionist John Adams, associated linguistic interventionism with a monarchist practice that was prevalent in Europe. For them, the academies on the language, as it existed in France and in Spain or in Italy, were perceived as too royalist. In addition, no country was known, with the exception of the only Swiss Confederation which, at the time, had legislated on the status of languages. The first official American census dates from 1790. It reveals that 60.9% of Americans were of English origin, 8.3% of Scottish origin, 9.7% of Irish origin and 8.7% of origin. German. There were at least 55,000 Americans with French origins, mostly Huguenots; as the French were very scattered on the territory, they never formed a homogeneous community: they were assimilated and integrated by affinity into the Anglican Church. Thus, the vast majority of American citizens come from the British Isles, which explains why the English language was necessarily predominant. Only 15% of New England families had less than three children, and a family of ten or fifteen children was no exception. Under these conditions, the English language was destined to spread rapidly. 3.4 The federal government and the Union The reason the United States imposed the use of the term federal government in their country is historical. States and the "Fathers of the Constitution" could not accept this term which gave the impression that the real government of the United States was at the center and that the states were subject to it. In practice, this is what happened in many areas, but it was more the result of history, than the legal rigor, which imposed the term federal government rather than central government. Moreover, the Constitution was a compromise between the slave interests of the South and those of the businessmen of the North. The South had accepted some trade regulations in exchange for the promise that the slave trade would be allowed to continue for "another twenty years" before considering banning it. Constituents believed that slavery would end in time. Their optimism was to be thwarted, for on the contrary it prospered in the following decades. Thus, because it had enveloped slavery in legal guarantees almost impossible to undo, the Constitution would also favor the Civil War of 1861-1865. Two political parties developed during George Washington's presidency: the Federalists and the Republicans. Federalists, represented by George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, were in favor of strengthening federal power. Supported by industrialists and the business community of the North, they remained in power until 1801, with John Adams (1797-1801), Washington's successor. The Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, hostile to any excessive interference by central power, favored a strict limitation of federal powers. The Republicans were then called "Democrats" by their federalist opponents, which meant with a certain contempt "friend of the populace". The Republicans received the support of small landowners in the South and West. The Republican Party came to power with Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809) and remained there under the presidencies of James Madison (1809-1817) and James Monroe (1817-1825). The latter, by affirming his opposition to any European intervention in the affairs of the American continent ("Monroe doctrine" in 1823), defined the principles of the foreign policy of the United States until the twentieth century. In fact, the political evolution of the United States has taken place simultaneously in the direction of a considerable increase in the powers of the federal state and an accentuated democratization of political life. As for the English language, it imposed itself from the start of the creation of the new country.
Why is English not the official language of the United States? It may come as a surprise to many, but English (and no other language) is the official language of the United States. Why ? This is the silly question of the week. It is 1780. The future President John Adams, then a member of the Continental Congress, proposes to make English the official language to build the nation. His proposal was far from unanimous, because at that time, the Americans spoke a multitude of different languages (the languages of the settlers such as French, Spanish, German, Dutch or even Norwegian, but also indigenous languages). “In 1664, when the colony of New Amsterdam was acquired by the British, eighteen languages were spoken on the island of Manhattan, not counting the languages of the Native Americans which numbered more than 500 in North America at the time. , says James Crawford, author of several books on languages. From their writings, leaders like Thomas Jefferson are known to be proud of their ability to read in multiple languages and urged their educated compatriots to learn them as well. But bilingualism and even trilingualism seem to have been common on the other end of the social scale, among slaves and servants, white and black. Advertisements in mid-18th century newspapers referred to fluency in several languages such as German, French, Spanish, Irish, and Dutch. ” Imposing a language was seen as undemocratic and an insult to individual freedoms. According to linguist Shirley Brice Heath, the government viewed language as an individual choice. This is why, again according to the linguist, the Founding Fathers made “the deliberate political choice not to have a policy on this subject. ” In 2016, there is no doubt that English became dominant in the United States, but it is still difficult to make it official today, for the same reasons as in 1780. The American Civil Liberties Union, which fights for respect for individual freedoms, argues that this would be contrary to the First Amendment on freedom of expression. Even if English was not the official language at the federal level, it does not prevent it from being adopted as such in 31 states out of 50. Some have more than one, the state of Hawaii has chosen Hawaiian. As a second official language, Alaska recognizes certain languages, and several American territories have adopted a second official language: Spanish in Puerto Rico, Chamorro in Guam and Samoan in American Samoa. Regarding French, it is not the official language of any state. Debates around English as an official language come up regularly, especially given the growing Spanish-speaking population. The Census Bureau estimates that Spanish is the mother tongue of 13% of the American population. English-only speaking movements are popping up all over the United States and all claiming the same thing: to make English the only official language. But these debates are above all political tools, because although 18% of the population has a mother tongue other than English, 96% of Americans speak it fluently.
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