Pasquale Paoli

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Pasquale (Pascal) Paoli, proclaimed Father of the Nation and General of the Nation strongly marked the history of Corsica. He is the initiator of the Corsican constitution and contributed to the development of one of America United States; many American cities bear its name: Paoli City in Colorado, Indiana, Pennsylvania …

April 6, 1725: Pasquale (Pascal) Paoli was born in Stretta near Merusaglia (Morosaglia), in Castagniccia. Corsica is still occupied by Genoese troops.

He has four years when the uprising broke out in October 1729.

January 30, 1735 Corsica is declared independent by Cunsulta Orezza, who vote first constitution Corsica. The legislative power is vested in an assembly composed of members elected by the people and the executive power is entrusted to a junta of six members elected by the assembly. Pasquale’s father, Ghjacintu (Hyacinthe) Paoli (former general of the Nation, head of the second of the four insurrections which have marked the Corsican Revolution), was elected and serves on the junta.

But in 1739 Corsica is again defeated by Genoa: Paoli are condemned to exile.

Refugees in Naples, Pasquale (Pascal) Paoli took classes at the University of this city, where he was a brilliant student. Where he will receive a solid education and a powerful intellectual training, based on the classic culture, but also the theories, in particular, the French philosophers. This gentleman culture will allow him to speak and read almost fluent English and French, to be interested very early foreign doctrines. It also manifests a penchant for politics in general, that is to say in his most perceptive and disinterested appearance.

In 1741, he joined as a cadet in his father’s regiment. Four years later, after a stay in Puglia, he returned to Naples., To attend classes of the Royal Academy. In 1749 he returned to Sicily. Twice he tried to join the French army, but without success. In 1754, he lived in Elba. But he did not stop being very attentive to the affairs of his island.

So when his brother Clemente and many notable islanders ask him, in the death of General Gaffori (this one named Supreme Head of the Corsicans, is assassinated while his revolutionary government controls much of the island) to return to Corsica, to be a candidate for the highest office, he does not hesitate. The April 29, 1755 Pasquale (Pascal) Paoli landed in Aleria.

Paoli therefore thirty when he finds his homeland. It does not take long for him to be elected on July 15, to the detriment of general Marius Matra, commanding general, by the Consulta of St. Anthony of Casabianca. This immediately loads the mission of a decisive war against Genoa .; July 14, the Cunsulta Orezza proclaimed General of the Corsican Nation.

Paoli will govern Corsica for 14 years.

When taking the power the disorder and anarchy reign in Corsica and the heavy spot awaits. Moreover, his election was not unanimous. Also, and also by ideal, it will seek to achieve the moral unity and national policy.

He will have to overcome insurrection fomented by Matra (his unfortunate rival), and, here and there, resistors, due to the Genoese and French influences or simply due to hostility to a man from outside. But strong supporter of democracy, Paoli will finally succeed to actually take the lead in their country.

By November 1755, he will make the island a state with a constitution, an administration of justice and an army.

Economically, it encourages the development of agriculture, did drain the marshes and stimulates trade but the blockade of maritime cities which he could hunt Genoese prevents fulfillment. He founded the Ile Rousse, to create new exchanges and counterbalance the power of Calvi, Genoese stronghold.

Eager to help the Corsican nation to assert itself, it organizes primary school and founded an University in Corte.

Sale of Corsica to France. secret clauses of the Treaty of May 15, 1768. BN. DR.In 1764, Genoa, unable to deal with Pasquale (Pascal) Paoli, asked France to lend him a helping hand. France’s wish, for strategic reasons, to settle in the Mediterranean, there is the political opportunity to seize Corsica. It will first try to negotiate with the Babbu (father) of the young nation, but it reaffirms its commitment to independence. At worst, aware of the need of a foreign policy, it will accept a protectorate. Negotiations between the Republic of Genoa and France eventually end, May 15, 1768 the Treaty of Versailles which provides, France ready two million books in Genoa, giving as security Corsica … she obviously has . not Having learned of the Treaty of Versailles, Pasquale (Pascal) Paoli meets Cunsulta May 22 at Corti and commented: ” Never nation has suffered a bloody outrage more … it is not clear who the the more of it we must hate us that sells or whoever buys … we confound them in our hatred as they treat us with equal contempt ” determined to defend their independence, Corsicans won several victories over the French troops , including Borgu, October 5, 1768, when French armies must retreat before the fighting regiments of the Corsicans. But greater in number (Louis XV did not haggled ways: 22.000 men, under the command of Count de Vaux) and armed French troops won a decisive victory May 8, 1769 in Ponte Nuovo. One hundred vanquished can escape disaster and escape. Among them, a certain Charles-Marie Bonaparte and his wife Laetitia Ramolino, which carries in her womb the future “avenger of Corsica!” The Corsicans troops routed, Pasquale (Pascal) Paoli forced into exile. He embarks June 13, 1769, in Porto-Vecchio, on an English ship. He landed at Livorno and to go to London, where invited by the king, he made a real triumphal journey through northern Italy, Austria, Germany and the Netherlands . Finally, England greets with all the honors due to a real statesman matching the makings of a hero.

But at the same time, Corsica lost its independence.

Paoli will stay in England more than twenty years. The dignitaries of the realm receive in turn. King George III granted him an annual pension, which he will use much to help his fellow refugees in Tuscany. It will bind to all that Britain counts as writers and artists.

The revolution of the Corsicans rise to that time, the sympathy of public opinion and European intellectuals: the birth of a myth paolien. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, James Boswell, Voltaire contribute to its fame, boosted in Europe by books, newspapers, private correspondence, essays which abound in praises; diplomats, businessmen or historians testify their admiration and esteem. Frederick, Frederick the Great himself is in their enthusiasm, calling Paoli: generous protector and defender of his country, this great man whose public esteem and veneration have already made the immortal name.

July 14, 1789, it is the taking of the Bastille in Paris.

When the States General of France become National Assembly, he is convinced that the principles proclaimed by the constituents must lead the return to Corsica of a national government that would enjoy, under almost symbolic guardianship of the King of France of liberty promised to all citizens. It comes in contact with the Corsican deputies, he met delegates from France.

November 30, 1789, the National Assembly decreed that Corsica is now an integral part “of the French empire,” and that its people must be governed by the same laws as other French. Paoli accept this “home” and even thank the National Assembly for decree.

Soon after, and at the request of Saliceti, Mirabeau did decide to amnesty expatriate Corsican. Paoli can go to Corsica, 21 years after leaving the island. It passes through Paris in April 1790 where he was received by Louis XVI, hosted by the Constituent Assembly, honored by Lafayette, Mirabeau, praised by Robespierre and acclaimed by the people. Finally, he landed, July 14, 1790, in Corsica (now French department), who knows like other provinces the increasing fermentation of the partisans of the Revolution and its opponents. Upon his arrival, he raises outburst of popular enthusiasm. On July 17 in Bastia, it is enthusiasm. Among those who acclaim, a young officer named Napoleon Bonaparte.

On 9 September he was elected president of the county executive and commander in chief of all the national guards (this is an illegal appointment).

Paoli and Bonaparte last meeting. Anonymous. DRNapoleon and Joseph Bonaparte (the latter was elected “voter” first degree) seek and obtain an interview with Paoli. Disappointment. Napoleon hoped Paoli take it as second. But it did not “digested” the rallying Charles Bonaparte to France after the defeat of Ponte Nuovo, and, perhaps instinctively, he is wary of the son. Joseph was elected president of the district of Ajaccio and Napoleon leave the Management Board at the beginning of 1791, his native Corsica. They meet again.

However, relations between Pasquale (Pascal) Paoli and France deteriorated. Moreover, exile was too long: out of island realities, in an era of change, it is not really master of the island.

In 1792, in order to preserve the Corsicans atrocities of the French Revolution, Pasquale (Pascal) Paoli distanced himself from revolutionary. Accentuating the divisions, with the support of Count Pozzo di Borgo, he believes wise to save Corsica and enable a government to hand, to separate it from France in order to ensure him from another state – preferably a large maritime powerful institutions more liberal than those of France (meaning England) – a protectorate system.

In 1792, it is translated by Lucien Bonaparte as against revolutionary before the Convention and deprived of his command.

Proclaimed Generalissimo by his supporters in 1793, he then managed to take control of most of the island and wrote an indictment against the Convention. Declared a traitor to the Republic on 2 April 1793, the Convention decreed his arrest. What a consult in Corte in Paoli awards the title of Father of the Nation and decreed the severance of political and social links between Corsica and France.

April 17, Paoli is for the Corsicans ” beloved people! Stand on your guard! You’re armed, you know your rights, support them! “.

General Paoli. Cardo, Napoleonic Museum in Rome. DRWhile French troops and paolists troops clash, the Father of the Corsican Nation seeking the support of England who, with the squadron of Nelson, breaks resistance Bastia, Saint-Florent and Calvi. The French were forced to leave the island. June 15, 1794 Cunsulta proclaims independence and adopts a constitution which is created by an Anglo-Corsican kingdom. The constitution specifies that Corsica is not annexed by England but qu’unie to it, it forms an independent kingdom whose legislative power is exercised by members elected by universal suffrage.

As we see, the system thus established corresponds almost exactly to the path diagram Paoli from 1776, the protection Corsica needed him being brought by a major maritime power its liberal traditions seemed particularly recommend.

But this is not, as he hoped, Pasquale (Pascal) Paoli who is at the head of this kingdom, but a British viceroy … Sir Gilbert Elliot.

Elliot Gilbert, Sir and first Duke of Minto (1751-1814), Mirabeau classmate at the military school of Fontainebleau. He opposes Fox in 1793. Civil Commissioner in Toulon that year. Vice constitutional king of Corsica from 1794 to 1796. Minister Plenipotentiary in Vienna in 1799. He was appointed governor of the Indies in 1807, a position he held until 1813.

The agreement lasts only two years. The Viceroy is not long be troubled about the influence of Paoli. He holds him responsible for various tumultuous incidents actually attributable to the English blunders. It ends in October 1795 by getting ministers of London it is called in Britain. This is again the exile. Paoli again the same trip some 25 years ago, this time in the most complete indifference.

In October 1796, the island was again occupied by French troops.

After living 47 years in exile, Pasquale (Pascal) Paoli died in London February 6, 1807, aged 82. His ashes rest, since September 3, 1889, in the chapel on the ground floor of his birthplace in Morosaglia.

A statue of Pasquale (Pascal) Paoli, the Servian sculptor, was erected at the entrance of the village in 1953.

You can see the cenotaph of the Father of Corsica, in Westminster Abbey, in the lower south side of the choir, in the “Poets’ Corner” ….

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