An émigré (French: [emigʁe]) is a person who has emigrated, often with a connotation of political or social self-exile. The word is the past participle of the French verb émigrer meaning "to emigrate".

French HuguenotsEdit

Many French Huguenots fled France following the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.

The American RevolutionEdit

Many Loyalists that made up large portions of Colonial United States, particularly in the South, fled the United States during and after the American revolution. Common destinations were other parts of the British Empire, such as Upper Canada, Nova Scotia, Great Britain, Jamaica, and the British West Indies. The new government often awarded the lands left by the fleeing Tories to Patriot soldiers by way of land grants.[1][2]

The French RevolutionEdit

Although the French Revolution began in 1789 as a bourgeois-led drive for increased political equality for the Third Estate, it soon turned into a violent popular rebellion. To escape political tensions and sometimes in fear for their lives, some emigrated from France, settling in neighboring countries, chiefly Great Britain, Spain, Germany, Austria, and Prussia. A few also migrated to North America.

The Russian RevolutionEdit

Russian "White" émigrés and other opponents of the regime fled the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and its aftermath.[3]

Marx and Engels, drafting their strategy for future revolutions in The Communist Manifesto, suggested confiscating the property of émigrés to finance the revolution—a recommendation the Bolsheviks followed 70 years later.

After the October Revolution, more than 20,000 Russians went to Finland and Yugoslavia, notably Pyotr Wrangel. Many however moved on to France. Paris was the favourite destination for Russian émigrés. Many others traveled east to China, especially to Shanghai.

Twentieth century émigrésEdit

Aristocrats of some European countries were forced to leave their native lands by political upheavals from the beginning of the 20th century to the end of World War II, as well as ordinary folk who didn't want to live under a totalitarian system, opting to emigrate elsewhere such as the Serbs and Romanians in 1945 and after, Hungarians in 1956 and the Czechs and Slovaks in 1967.

In 2016, 5,411 US citizens living in other countries relinquished their US citizenship.[4] This is often attributed to extraterritorial laws on US citizens, such as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of 2010.[5][need quotation to verify]. In comparison, there were only 235 expatriations in 2008.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ U.S. Department of State. Loyalists During the American Revolution.
  2. ^ Troxler, Carole Watterson (2006). Loyalists - Part 4: Loyalist Fate at War's End.
  3. ^ Kåre Johan Mjør (6 May 2011). Reformulating Russia: The Cultural and Intellectual Historiography of Russian First-Wave Émigré Writers. BRILL. pp. 30–. ISBN 978-90-04-19286-7.
  4. ^ Wooley, Suzanne (2017-11-06). "Americans renouncing US citizenship at record rate, Treasury Department figures reveal". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2022-05-07. Retrieved 2018-04-16.
  5. ^ Russell Newlove (February 9, 2016). "Why expat Americans are giving up their passports". BBC News. Retrieved November 11, 2016.

External linksEdit