|French Conquest of Corsica|
|Commanders and leaders|
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.
In November 1755, Pasquale Paoli proclaimed Corsica a sovereign nation, the Corsican Republic, 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, 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.
France received de jure control of the island of Corsica as a pledge from the Genoese Republic via the Treaty of Versailles in 1768. Genoa still claimed ownership of the island, although since 1755, Corsicans had achieved virtual independence and had written a Corsican Constitution (in Italian). After abandoning any hope of recovering Corsica by force, the Genoese chose to sell their rights over the island to France who were keen to gain new territory to replace territory lost during the Seven Years' War.
In law and government, de jure describes practices that are legally recognised, regardless whether the practice exists in reality. In contrast, de facto describes situations that exist in reality, even if not legally recognised. The terms are often used to contrast different scenarios: for a colloquial example, "I know that, de jure, this is supposed to be a parking lot, but now that the flood has left four feet of water here, it's a de facto swimming pool". To further explain, even if the signs around the flooded parking lot say "Parking Lot" it is "in fact" a swimming pool.
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.
Independence is a condition of a person, nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over the territory. The opposite of independence is the status of a dependent territory.
France's initial offensive failed after a significant defeat was suffered at the Battle of Borgo in October 1768. France dispatched large numbers of reinforcements, swelling the size of their army there to 24,000. The Corsican army suffered a major setback at the Battle of Ponte Novu and the French forces soon overran the island although Corsican forces were not completely subdued until the following year and sporadic outbreaks of rebellion continued.
The Battle of Borgo was a battle between Corsican and French forces over control of the town of Borgo on 8 October 1768.
The Battle of Ponte Novu took place on May 8 and 9 1769 between royal French forces under the Comte de Vaux, a seasoned professional soldier with an expert on mountain warfare on his staff, and the native Corsicans under Carlo Salicetti. It was the battle that effectively ended the fourteen-year-old Corsican Republic and opened the way to annexation by France the following year.
The French invasion triggered the Corsican Crisis in British politics. Although they sent secret aid to the Corsicans, the British government chose not to act to prevent the island's occupation. The leader of the Corsican Republic, Pasquale Paoli, went into exile in Britain where he remained until the French Revolution allowed him to return to Corsica. British troops subsequently intervened in Corsica between 1794–1796, where they created the Anglo-Corsican Kingdom, and in 1814 when they agreed the Treaty of Bastia. Following the Congress of Vienna control of the islands were returned to the restored French monarchs.
The Corsican Crisis was an event in British politics during 1768–69. It was precipitated by the invasion of the island of Corsica by France. The British government under the Duke of Grafton failed to intervene, for which it was widely criticised and was one of many factors that contributed to its downfall in early 1770.
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.
The French Revolution was a period of far-reaching social and political upheaval in France and its colonies beginning in 1789. The Revolution overthrew the monarchy, established a republic, catalyzed violent periods of political turmoil, and finally culminated in a dictatorship under Napoleon who brought many of its principles to areas he conquered in Western Europe and beyond. Inspired by liberal and radical ideas, the Revolution profoundly altered the course of modern history, triggering the global decline of absolute monarchies while replacing them with republics and liberal democracies. Through the Revolutionary Wars, it unleashed a wave of global conflicts that extended from the Caribbean to the Middle East. Historians widely regard the Revolution as one of the most important events in human history.
The invasion and occupation had even more profound consequences for France itself. When Napoleon Bonaparte was born on Corsica in 1769, he automatically became a natural-born French citizen. Both his parents Carlo Maria Buonaparte and Maria Letizia Ramolino joined the local resistance and fought to maintain independence, even when Maria was pregnant with him. Although raised as a Corsican nationalist, Napoleon gradually turned his loyalties towards the whole of France, serving in the French Army. He went on to become ruler of mainland France, adopted the ideals of the French Revolution as his own, and triggered the Napoleonic Wars that devastated much of Europe and changed it permanently.
The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major conflicts pitting the French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of European powers formed into various coalitions, financed and usually led by the United Kingdom. The wars stemmed from the unresolved disputes associated with the French Revolution and its resultant conflict. The wars are often categorised into five conflicts, each termed after the coalition that fought Napoleon: the Third Coalition (1805), the Fourth (1806–07), the Fifth (1809), the Sixth (1813), and the Seventh (1815).
To this day, some Corsican nationalists advocate the restoration of the island's republic. There are several groups and two nationalist parties (the autonomist Femu a Corsica and the separatist Corsica Libera ) active on the island calling for some degree of Corsican autonomy from France or even full independence. Some groups that claim to support Corsican independence, such as the National Liberation Front of Corsica, have carried out a violent campaign since the 1970s that includes bombings and assassinations, usually targeting buildings and officials representing the French government.
Corsica Libera is a left-wing separatist political party active in Corsica. It was founded in Corte in February 2009 by members of three nationalist parties, Corsica Nazione, Rinnovu and the Corsican Nationalist Alliance
The National Liberation Front of Corsica is a militant group that advocates an independent state on the island of Corsica, separate from France. The organisation is primarily present in Corsica and less so on the French mainland. A Conculta Naziunalista is often considered to be the political wing of the organisation.
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Ajaccio is a French commune, prefecture of the department of Corse-du-Sud, and head office of the Collectivité territoriale de Corse. It is also the largest settlement on the island. Ajaccio is located on the west coast of the island of Corsica, 210 nautical miles (390 km) southeast of Marseille.
The French Revolutionary Wars were a series of sweeping military conflicts lasting from 1792 until 1802 and resulting from the French Revolution. They pitted France against Great Britain, Austria and several other monarchies. They are divided in two periods: the War of the First Coalition (1792–97) and the War of the Second Coalition (1798–1802). Initially confined to Europe, the fighting gradually assumed a global dimension. After a decade of constant warfare and aggressive diplomacy, France had conquered a wide array of territories, from the Italian Peninsula and the Low Countries in Europe to the Louisiana Territory in North America. French success in these conflicts ensured the spread of revolutionary principles over much of Europe.
Nob. Carlo Maria Buonaparte or Carlo Maria di Buonaparte was an Genoese lawyer and diplomat who is best known as the father of Napoleon Bonaparte.
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 ....
An isolated and singular land, both island and mountain ....
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.
The Genoese towers in Corsica are a series of coastal defences constructed by the Republic of Genoa between 1530 and 1620 to stem the attacks by Barbary pirates.
The Invasion of Corsica of 1553 occurred when French, Ottoman and Corsican exile forces combined to capture the island of Corsica from the Genoese.
Corsican nationalism is a nationalist movement in Corsica, France, active since the 1960s, that advocates more autonomy for the island, if not outright independence.
Jacques Pierre Abbatucci was a Corsican who became an officer in the army of Genoese Corsica, ancien regime France and the First French Republic.
François Antoine Gaffori was a Corsican politician and soldier. He was the son of Jean-Pierre Gaffori, leader of the Corsican resistance to Genoese rule.
The Treaty of Bastia was an agreement signed in 1814 between Corsican nationalists and Lord William Bentinck, commander of British forces in Italy. It gave sovereignty over the island to the British Crown, while allowing local self-government.
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.
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.