Corsican Republic

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Corsican Republic

Italian: Repubblica Corsa
Corsican: Ripublica Corsa
1755–1769
Motto: Amici e non di ventura
(English: Friends, and not by mere accident)
Corsica 1757.jpg
Corsica in 1757
Status Unrecognized state
Capital Corte
Official languages Italian
Common languages Corsican
GovernmentConstitutional republic
President 
 1755–1769
Pasquale Paoli
Legislature Diet
Historical era Age of Enlightenment
 Established
November 1755
  Conquered
May 9 1769
Area
8,680 km2 (3,350 sq mi)
Currencysoldi
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag of Genoa.svg Republic of Genoa
Early modern France Royal Standard of the King of France.svg
Today part ofFlag of France.svg  France

In November 1755, Pasquale Paoli proclaimed Corsica a sovereign nation, the Corsican Republic (Italian : Repubblica Corsa), independent from the Republic of Genoa. He created the Corsican Constitution, which was the first constitution written in Italian under Enlightenment principles, including the first implementation of female suffrage, [1] later revoked by the French when they took over the island in 1769. The republic created an administration and justice system, and founded an army.

Pasquale Paoli Corsican politician

Filippo Antonio Pasquale di Paoli was a Corsican patriot, statesman and military leader who was at the forefront of resistance movements against the Genoese and later French rule in the island. He became the president of the Executive Council of the General Diet of the People of Corsica, and also designed and wrote the Constitution of the state.

Corsica Island in the Mediterranean, also a region and a department of France

Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 18 regions of France. It is located southeast of the French mainland and west of the Italian Peninsula, with the nearest land mass being the Italian island of Sardinia to the immediate south. A single chain of mountains makes up two-thirds of the island.

Sovereignty concept that a state or governing body has the right and power to govern itself without outside interference

Sovereignty is the full right and power of a governing body over itself, without any interference from outside sources or bodies. In political theory, sovereignty is a substantive term designating supreme authority over some polity.

Contents

Foundation

After a series of successful actions, Paoli drove the Genoese from the whole island except for a few coastal towns. He then set to work re-organizing the government, introducing many reforms. He founded a university at Corte and created a short-lived "Order of Saint-Devote" in 1757 in honour of the patron saint of the island, Saint Devota. [2]

Republic of Genoa former state on the Apennine Peninsula between 1005–1797

The Republic of Genoa was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, incorporating Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean.

University academic institution for further education

A university is an institution of higher education and research which awards academic degrees in various academic disciplines. Universities typically provide undergraduate education and postgraduate education.

Corte, Haute-Corse Subprefecture and commune in Corsica, France

Corte is a commune in the Haute-Corse department of France on the island of Corsica. It is the fourth-largest commune in Corsica after Ajaccio, Bastia, and Porto-Vecchio.

The Corsican Diet, was composed of delegates elected from each district for three-year terms. Suffrage was extended to all men over the age of 25. [3] Traditionally, women had always voted in village elections for podestà i.e. village elders, and other local officials, [4] and it has been claimed that they also voted in national elections under the Republic. [5]

In politics, a diet is a formal deliberative assembly. The term is mainly used historically for the Imperial Diet, the general assembly of the Imperial Estates of the Holy Roman Empire, and for the legislative bodies of certain countries. Modern usage mainly relates to the Kokkai of Japan, called "Diet" in English, or the German Bundestag, the Federal Diet.

Podestà high officials in many Italian cities beginning in the later Middle Ages

Podestà is the name given to certain high officials in many Italian cities beginning in the later Middle Ages. Mainly it meant the chief magistrate of a city state, the counterpart to similar positions in other cities that went by other names, e.g. rettori ("rectors"), but it could also mean the local administrator, who was the representative of the Holy Roman Emperor. Currently, Podestà is the title of mayors in Italian-speaking municipalities of Graubünden in Switzerland.

The term Elder, or its equivalent in another language, is used in several different countries and organizations to indicate a position of authority. This usage is usually derived from the notion that the oldest members of any given group are the wisest, and are thus the most qualified to rule, provide counsel or serve the said group in some other capacity.

The Republic minted its own coins at Murato in 1761, imprinted with the Moor's Head, the traditional symbol of Corsica.

Murato, Haute-Corse Commune in Corsica, France

Murato is a commune in the Haute-Corse department of France on the island of Corsica.

Paoli's ideas of independence, democracy and liberty gained support from such philosophers as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Voltaire, Raynal, and Mably. [6] The publication in 1768 of An Account of Corsica by James Boswell made Paoli famous throughout Europe. Diplomatic recognition was extended to Corsica by the Bey of Tunis. [7]

Jean-Jacques Rousseau Genevan philosopher, writer and composer

Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revolution and the development of modern political, economic and educational thought.

Voltaire French writer, historian, and philosopher

François-Marie Arouet, known by his nom de plumeVoltaire, was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit, his criticism of Christianity, especially the Roman Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and separation of church and state.

Raynal is a surname. Notable people with the surname include:

French invasion

In 1767, Corsica took the island of Capraia from the Genoese who, one year later, despairing of ever being able to subjugate Corsica again, sold their claim to the Kingdom of France with the Treaty of Versailles.

Capraia Comune in Tuscany, Italy

Capraia is an Italian island, the northwesternmost of the seven islands of the Tuscan Archipelago, and the third largest after Elba and Giglio; it is also a comune (municipality) belonging to the Province of Livorno. The island has a population of about 400.

Early modern France history of France during the early modern era

The Kingdom of France in the early modern period, from the Renaissance to the Revolution (1789–1804), was a monarchy ruled by the House of Bourbon. This corresponds to the so-called Ancien Régime. The territory of France during this period increased until it included essentially the extent of the modern country, and it also included the territories of the first French colonial empire overseas.

Treaty of Versailles (1768) 1768 treaty between the Republic of Genoa and France

The Treaty of Versailles was concluded on May 15, 1768 at Versailles between the Republic of Genoa and France. Genoa put Corsica in pledge to France.

The French invaded Corsica the same year, and for a whole year Paoli's forces fought desperately for their new republic against the invaders. However, in May 1769, at the Battle of Ponte Novu they were defeated by vastly superior forces commanded by the Comte de Vaux, and obliged to take refuge in the Kingdom of Great Britain. French control was consolidated over the island, and in 1770 it became a province of France.

Aftermath

A statue of Pasquale Paoli in L'Ile-Rousse Pascal Paoli01.jpg
A statue of Pasquale Paoli in L'Île-Rousse

The fall of Corsica to the French was poorly received by many in Great Britain, which was Corsica's main ally and sponsor. It was seen as a failure of the Grafton Ministry that Corsica had been "lost", as it was regarded as vital to the interests of Britain in that part of the Mediterranean. [8] The Corsican Crisis severely weakened the Grafton Ministry, contributing to its ultimate downfall. A number of exiled Corsicans fought for the British during the American Revolutionary War, serving with particular distinction during the Great Siege of Gibraltar in 1782.

Conversely, at the beginning of the same war, the New York militia later named Hearts of Oak - whose membership included Alexander Hamilton and other students at New York's King's College (now Columbia University) - originally called themselves "The Corsicans", evidently considering the Corsican Republic as a model to be emulated in America.

The aspiration for Corsican independence, along with many of the democratic principles of the Corsican Republic, were revived by Paoli in the Anglo-Corsican Kingdom of 1794-1796. On that occasion, British naval and land forces were deployed in defence of the island; however, their efforts failed and the French regained control.

To this day, some Corsican separatists such as the (now-disbanded) Armata Corsa, advocate the restoration of the island's republic.

See also

Related Research Articles

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Campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars

The French Revolutionary Wars continued from 1793 with few immediate changes in the diplomatic situation as France fought the First coalition.

Timeline of womens suffrage

Women's suffrage – the right of women to vote – has been achieved at various times in countries throughout the world. In many nations, women's suffrage was granted before universal suffrage, so women and men from certain classes or races were still unable to vote. Some countries granted suffrage to both sexes at the same time. This timeline lists years when women's suffrage was enacted. Some countries are listed more than once, as the right was extended to more women according to age, land ownership, etc. In many cases, the first voting took place in a subsequent year.

The first Corsican Constitution was drawn up in 1755 for the short-lived Corsican Republic independent from Genoa beginning in 1755 and remained in force until the annexation of Corsica by France in 1769. It was written in Tuscan Italian, the language of elite culture and people in Corsica at the time.

History of Corsica aspect of history

That the history of Corsica has been influenced by its strategic position at the heart of the western Mediterranean and its maritime routes, only 12 kilometres (7 mi) from Sardinia, 50 kilometres (30 mi) from the Isle of Elba, 80 kilometres (50 mi) from the coast of Tuscany and 200 kilometres (120 mi) from the French port of Nice, was first proposed by the 19th-century German theorist, Friedrich Ratzel. To him is often attributed the description "mountain in the sea". Regardless of whether he used that particular phrase the idea is expressed in his magnum opus, Anthropogeographie, which calls Corsica

Ein abgeschlossenes und eigenartiges Land, das Insel und Gebirg zugleich ....

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Italian irredentism in Corsica

Italian irredentism in Corsica was a cultural and historical movement promoted by Italians and by people from Corsica who identified themselves as part of Italy rather than France, and promoted the Italian annexation of the island.

The flag of Corsica was adopted by General of the Nation Pasquale Paoli in 1755 and was based on a traditional flag used previously. It portrays a Moor's head in black wearing a white bandana above his eyes on a white background. Previously, the bandana covered his eyes; Pasquale Paoli wanted the bandana moved to above the eyes to symbolise the liberation of the Corsican people from the Genoese.

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Corsican nationalism

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Jacques Pierre Abbatucci Corsican officer

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Siege of Bastia

The Siege of Bastia was a combined British and Corsican military operation during the early stages of the French Revolutionary Wars. The Corsican people had risen up against the French garrison of the island in 1793, and sought support from the British Royal Navy's Mediterranean Fleet under Lord Hood. After initial delays in the autumn, Hood had supplied a small expeditionary force which had successfully driven the French out of the port of San Fiorenzo in February 1794. Hood then turned his attention to the nearby town of Bastia, which was held by a large French garrison.

Siege of San Fiorenzo

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The French conquest of Corsica took place during 1768 and 1769 when the Corsican Republic was occupied by French forces under the command of the Comte de Vaux.

Invasion of Corsica (1794)

The invasion of Corsica was a campaign fought in the spring and summer of 1794 by combined British military and Corsican irregular forces against a French garrison, early in the French Revolutionary Wars. The campaign centred on sieges of three principal towns in Northern Corsica; San Fiorenzo, Bastia and Calvi, which were in turn surrounded, besieged and bombarded until by August 1794 French forces had been driven from the island entirely.

Expédition de Sardaigne

The Expédition de Sardaigne was a short military campaign fought in 1793 in the Mediterranean Sea in the first year of the War of the First Coalition, during the French Revolutionary Wars. The operation was the first offensive by the new French Republic in the Mediterranean during the conflict, and was directed at the island of Sardinia, part of the Kingdom of Sardinia. Sardinia was neutral at the time, but immediately joined the anti-French coalition. The operation was a total failure, with attacks directed at Cagliari in the south and La Maddalena in the north both ending in defeat.

References

  1. Lucien Felli, "La renaissance du Paolisme". M. Bartoli, Pasquale Paoli, père de la patrie corse, Albatros, 1974, p. 29. "Il est un point où le caractère précurseur des institutions paolines est particulièrement accusé, c'est celui du suffrage en ce qu'il était entendu de manière très large. Il prévoyait en effet le vote des femmes qui, à l'époque, ne votaient pas en France."
  2. http://www.gouv.mc/devwww/wwwnew.nsf/1909$/7f82f4dc1f0415d9c125706f00468819gb Archived 2009-02-21 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Gregory, Desmond (1985). The ungovernable rock: a history of the Anglo-Corsican Kingdom and its role in Britain's Mediterranean strategy during the Revolutionary War, 1793-1797. London: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. p. 31. ISBN   0-8386-3225-4.
  4. Gregory, Desmond (1985). The ungovernable rock: a history of the Anglo-Corsican Kingdom and its role in Britain's Mediterranean strategy during the Revolutionary War, 1793-1797. London: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press. p. 19. ISBN   0-8386-3225-4.
  5. Felli, Lucien (1974). "La renaissance du Paolisme". In Bartoli, M. Pasquale Paoli, père de la patrie corse. Paris: Albatros. p. 29. Il est un point où le caractère précurseur des institutions paolines est particulièrement accusé, c'est celui du suffrage en ce qu'il était entendu de manière très large. Il prévoyait en effet le vote des femmes qui, à l'époque, ne votaient pas en France.
  6. Scales, Len; Oliver Zimmer (2005). Power and the Nation in European History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 289. ISBN   0-521-84580-7.
  7. Thrasher, Peter Adam (1970). Pasquale Paoli: An Enlightened Hero 1725-1807. Hamden, CT: Archon Books. p. 117. ISBN   0-208-01031-9.
  8. Simms, Brendan (2008). Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire, 1714-1783. London: Penguin Books. p. 663. ISBN   978-0-14-028984-8.