Treaty of Versailles (1768)

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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.

Palace of Versailles French palace on the outskirts of Paris

The Palace of Versailles was the principal royal residence of France from 1682, under Louis XIV, until the start of the French Revolution in 1789, under Louis XVI. It is located in the department of Yvelines, in the region of Île-de-France, about 20 kilometres southwest of the centre of Paris.

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.

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.

Genoa and Corsica unified, until the Treaty of Versailles Genoa and Corsica.jpg
Genoa and Corsica unified, until the Treaty of Versailles

Corsica had been ruled by Genoa since 1284. In the 18th century Corsicans started to seek their independence. [1] A German adventurer, Theodore von Neuhof, briefly became King of Corsica in 1736, supported by the Dutch Republic and Great Britain, which already possessed Menorca and Gibraltar in the Mediterranean Sea. In 1755 a full-fledged Corsican Republic was founded under Pasquale Paoli, and in 1764 Genoa asked France to send troops. [1] France occupied the Corsican harbours and fortresses in order to control the rebellious population, but also to prevent the island falling into British hands.

Dutch Republic Republican predecessor state of the Netherlands from 1581 to 1795

The Dutch Republic, or the United Provinces, was a confederal republic that existed from the formal creation of a confederacy in 1581 by several Dutch provinces—seceded from Spanish rule—until the Batavian Revolution in 1795. It was a predecessor state of the Netherlands and the first Dutch nation state.

Menorca one of the Balearic Islands

Menorca or Minorca is one of the Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Spain. Its name derives from its size, contrasting it with nearby Majorca.

Gibraltar British Overseas Territory

Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It has an area of 6.7 km2 (2.6 sq mi) and is bordered to the north by Spain. The landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of which is a densely populated town area, home to over 30,000 people, primarily Gibraltarians. It shares a maritime border with Morocco.

In the Treaty of Versailles Genoa had no option but to put Corsica in pledge to France, to repay her debts. [1] There was no chance that Genoa, which was in decline, could ever repay her debts otherwise, [2] nor was Genoa capable of suppressing the Corsican struggle for independence.

In September 1768 France began its conquest of Corsica. France gained full military control of the island following the Battle of Ponte Novu in 1769, [3] and until the French Revolution, the island was considered the personal possession of the King.

Battle of Ponte Novu

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.

French Revolution social and political revolution in France and its colonies occurring from 1789 to 1798

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.

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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.

Carlo Buonaparte Father of Napoleon Bonaparte

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.

Corsica Nazione is a Corsican nationalist party which aims to gain control over Corsica from France, regain national rights, and promote the Corsican national identity. The Corsican Nation have been struggling for a national identity since the Treaty of Versailles (1768) when they were annexed to France and claim to be repressed culturally, economically, and socially.

The Treaty of Versailles, if the date is unspecified, usually refers to the 1919 peace treaty that followed the Paris Peace Conference and officially ended World War I.

Medieval Corsica

The history of Corsica in the medieval period begins with the collapse of the Western Roman Empire and the invasions of various Germanic peoples in the fifth century AD, and ends with the complete subjection of the island to the authority of the Bank of San Giorgio in 1511.

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 ....

An isolated and singular land, both island and mountain ....

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.

Corsican Republic unrecognized European state (1755–1769)

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.

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.

Genoese towers in Corsica

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.

Kingdom of Corsica (1736)

The Kingdom of Corsica was a short-lived kingdom on the island of Corsica. It was formed after the islanders crowned the German adventurer Theodor Stephan Freiherr von Neuhoff King of Corsica.

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.

Invasion of Corsica (1553)

The Invasion of Corsica of 1553 occurred when French, Ottoman and Corsican exile forces combined to capture the island of Corsica from the Genoese.

Jacques Pierre Abbatucci Corsican officer

Jacques Pierre Abbatucci was a Corsican who became an officer in the army of Genoese Corsica, ancien regime France and the First French Republic.

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.

Arrigo della Rocca Genoese doge

Arrigo Della Rocca was a nobleman who dominated the political life of Corsica during the second half of the 14th century. Partisan of an aristocratic regime, he was supported by the kingdom of Aragon and opposed by the plebeians and the Republic of Genoa.

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.

The 2015 Corsican protests were a series of marches by several hundred Corsican nationalists that began on 25 December, in Ajaccio, capital of Corsica. During the initial demonstrations, a Muslim prayer hall was burned down and Qur'ans were set alight. Further protests were organised after the initial march despite a government ban on protests until 4 January 2016. The protesters claimed to be acting in revenge for an incident that occurred the day prior when firefighters and police were assaulted in the neighbourhood of Jardins de l'Empereur; however, outside observers labeled the ensuing riots as anti-Arab and anti-Muslim. The Corsican nationalist politicians have claimed their view does not legitimise xenophobia, blaming the protest on French nationalism instead. Scholarly opinions on this claim are divided.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Ethnic Groups of Europe Cole, J. 2011. pp76-79. ABC-CLIO
  2. Alberti Russell, Janice. The Italian community in Tunisia, 1861–1961: a viable minority. pag. 142.
  3. 1001 Battles that Changed the Course of History Grant, R, G. 2011. Quintessence Editions. p446