King Theodore's Corsica

What you have to remember is that “Corsican” and “Genoese” were not necessarily distinct categories. Consider Pier Maria Giustiniani, commissioner-general of Corsica up to the fall of Bastia. He was born and raised in Bastia. But his family is absolutely Genoese - a Giustiniani had commanded the Genoese forces at the Fall of Constantinople, and his ancestors had administered the Genoese colony of Chios. Pier Maria himself served as Bishop of Ventimiglia (in Liguria) and his family rose to powerful positions in the government of the republic. Nobody would question that Giustiniani is Genoese. The Buonaparte family, in contrast, is recognizably Corsican; they were of Corsican origin and treated as Corsicans by the republic, which is why despite being big men in Ajaccio they attained no office in the Genoese administration.

But there was a grey area between the likes of the Giustiniani and the Buonaparte in which “Corsican” and “Genoese” identities were not always so clearly differentiated. Domenico Rivarola, for instance, came from a continental Genoese family but moved to Corsica and married a native Corsican. He served as a bureaucrat in the Genoese administration but ended up siding with the revolutionaries. Does he count as Corsican, or Genoese? If he had been a loyalist instead of a rebel, would that change your answer?

One effect of independence is to annihilate this ambiguity. It’s not longer possible to exist in that grey area of Corso-Genoese identity; you are either one or the other. And as long as the Corsican constitution specifically states that no Genoese shall reside in the kingdom, your choice of identity may also determine whether you’re able to remain in your home or be forced into exile. For some families, the decision will be easy: the Buonapartes are certain to stay, and the Giustiniani are certain to leave. But it won’t be that simple for many. It will be particularly difficult for the residents of Calvi and Bonifacio, cities which are still largely Genoese settler colonies. As far as the Calvesi are concerned, Calvi is Genoa, but the new Corsican government says otherwise. So do they remain in the city where their family has lived since the Middle Ages and try to reinvent themselves as Corsicans, or do they turn into Genoese pieds-noirs and flee to the continent? Every family will have to make its own decisions.
Smacks of Loyalists and Patriots after the American Revolution. Guess Genoa's getting a nice influx of newly beggared peasants.
 
Only, it doesn't have any new land to put them.

Yep, looks like that revolt it skipped is going to be coming slightly delayed.
Well, they are not going to be peasants needing land for the most part. Furthermore, it does not seem we are talking about huge numbers. Perhaps some hundred families?
Given the poor state of Liguria at this point, however, it may have some impact. The Genoese government has been making quite a poor showing at just about anything of late, and dissatisfaction likely runs high. Perspectives of rapid improvement under the current regime also seem pretty grim.
IOTL, in the end Genoa benefited from losing Corsica economically. At this point, however, that would be far from clear and the outlook from a contemporary POV would tend to the negative.
 
Well, they are not going to be peasants needing land for the most part. Furthermore, it does not seem we are talking about huge numbers. Perhaps some hundred families?
Given the poor state of Liguria at this point, however, it may have some impact. The Genoese government has been making quite a poor showing at just about anything of late, and dissatisfaction likely runs high. Perspectives of rapid improvement under the current regime also seem pretty grim.
IOTL, in the end Genoa benefited from losing Corsica economically. At this point, however, that would be far from clear and the outlook from a contemporary POV would tend to the negative.
No, they aren't going to be peasants needing land--they're going to be formerly prosperous individuals needing land which is far worse. And yes, it's probably not going to be that large a number, but remember, Genoa's population at this point is in the vicinity of 240,000--a few hundred more discontented souls is a fairly significant increase.
 
No, they aren't going to be peasants needing land--they're going to be formerly prosperous individuals needing land which is far worse. And yes, it's probably not going to be that large a number, but remember, Genoa's population at this point is in the vicinity of 240,000--a few hundred more discontented souls is a fairly significant increase.
Why would they necessarily need land? They may accomodate in urban professions. Not going to be easy anyway, of course.
 
Independence Day
Independence Day




France’s ambassador to Genoa, François Claude Bernard Louis de Chauvelin, was the first foreign emissary to seriously engage the Genoese and Corsicans on a resolution to the war. Chauvelin was a 33 year old career soldier who had served in the wars of Polish and Austrian Succession. He had been sent to Genoa in 1748 to observe the withdrawal of allied troops and the execution of the treaty provisions, and had remained on as France’s resident in the republic. Chauvelin had thus been on the scene from the start of hostilities, and was struck by the abject weakness and incapability of the Genoese. He quickly grasped that the republic stood no chance of regaining or holding Corsica by force. Peace, he wrote to foreign minister Louis Philogène Brûlart, vicomte de Puisieulx, could not be assured without either a permanent foreign occupation or “the total separation of the Corsicans from the dominion of the Republic.” It was the same conclusion that an earlier French ambassador to Genoa, Jacques Campredon, had reached back in 1735. Chauvelin concluded that there were ultimately only two plausible outcomes: Either Corsica would have to be ceded to another power, or it would have to become independent.

That his view resembled that of Campredon was not entirely by accident. Chauvelin’s father, Germain Louis, Marquis de Chauvelin - who in 1749 was very much alive - had served as France’s foreign minister from 1727 to 1737 and had been deeply involved with Campredon’s Corsican scheme. In April of 1735, after reading Campredon’s communiques, the elder Chauvelin had been quite convinced and responded that although France could not be seen to openly seek the annexation of the island, “the King considers that this acquisition [of Corsica] is very important for the trade of France to the East… [annexation is] the only system that His Majesty thinks achievable, and for which it is necessary that you work without wasting time so that we are not preceded by others who, as we know, think of the same thing.” He then outlined exactly the course which Campredon was to follow:

From today, in Corsica, we must begin to form a party with great discretion, and make sure that it is done with wisdom and secrecy. Commit yourself to inspire the thinking heads of the Republic of Genoa (without letting France be implicated) that the island of Corsica is a burden, and that they should think about ceding it to a power whose interest would be the protection of Genoa. We shall try to persuade all the inhabitants of Corsica to suddenly declare themselves under the protection of France, and then the King will promptly send you some troops and everything required by the population… At the same time, it should be said in Genoa that the only reason for the presence of these troops in Corsica is to maintain order and show that we are prepared to put the Corsicans under the obedience of the Republic as far as is possible.

This strategy had been ruined by the arrival of Theodore; the leaders of the “French party” abruptly became royalists, and fearing embarassment King Louis XV had withdrawn his support for what perhaps ought to be called the Campredon-Chauvelin plan. Although once thought a possible successor to Cardinal Fleury in the chief ministry, the elder Chauvelin lost favor in Versailles, and after his dismissal in 1737 he played no further part in politics. Yet his eldest son’s career remained of interest to him, and it is clear that the younger Chauvelin was proceeding from the same conclusions as his father.[A]

Chauvelin was no pro-Corsican romantic; he favored French annexation as a solution to the “Corsican question” and said as much in his reports to Puisieulx. Yet while there might come a time when France was prepared to renege on its agreement with Britain and snatch Corsica for itself, 1749 was not it. King Louis had no intention of risking a new war when the ink was hardly dry on last year’s treaty and France still reeled from economic depression and popular unrest. Since French annexation was not possible and annexation by any other power was contrary to French interests, argued Chauvelin, independence was the only way to safeguard French security. France’s strategy up to this point had been to support and cultivate influence with those who controlled Corsica’s strategic ports. Until the mid-1740s that was the Genoese, but this was no longer the case and probably never would be again. To continue with the same old policy of supporting Genoese claims on Corsica in light of that fact was to abandon sense for sentimentality. It served only to alienate the Corsicans, which created no opportunity to establish the pro-French party by which France could influence, and perhaps eventually annex, the island kingdom.

Puisieulx found it difficult to dispute Chauvelin’s logic, but overcoming strong prejudices against the Corsicans on the part of French policymakers was hardly easy. In 1735 the rebels had been an international non-entity, lacking contacts with either the British or the French. Since that time, under Theodore’s leadership, the Corsicans had fought bloody battles with the French in Corsica and Provence and allied themselves with the British. Versailles saw the hidden hand of England behind every stage of Theodore’s career, right up to present events and the Merlin affair. But Puisieulx also recalled Theodore’s offer to cede Corsica to Don Felipe, now Duke of Parma, and his sources informed him that Theodore had been raised at Versailles, was a veteran of the French army, and had served Spain in the pursuit of various Jacobite schemes. Needing more information, Puisieulx summoned Theodore’s nephew Charles Philippe de Bellefeulac, Comte du Trévou for an interview. Trévou admitted that he had been to Corsica in 1736 and that his uncle had recently resumed writing to him to enlist his assistance in gaining the support of France. The count explained that although he did not know his uncle well - they had not seen each other since 1736 - he did not believe him to have any animus towards France. Although still doubting that any accord with the rebels was possible, Puisieulx decided that Chauvelin’s argument was cogent enough to at least merit further exploration, and authorized the ambassador to begin covert talks with the Genoese and Corsicans regarding the island’s fate.

First it was necessary to stop the war, and the French did not approach a man like Theodore with hat in hand. When Chauvelin sailed to Corsica and gained an audience with the king - giving the Genoese the excuse that he was traveling to secure the release of French hostages - he began with a list of demands delivered in the name of the King of France. First, Theodore would immediately cease all privateering; Theodore agreed, with the proviso that since it was not possible to instantaneously inform his various ships of the change in status, a grace period of two weeks would be given. Secondly, he would immediately turn over all French goods or pay compensation for those which could not be returned; Theodore readily agreed. Thirdly, he would dismiss Fortunatus Wright from his service; Theodore agreed, in exchange for a promise that the French would not prosecute Wright for any actions committed in the span of that service.[1] Chauvelin made a further pointed enquiry as to his use of British ships and sailors. Theodore insisted that, as far as he knew, the NCC had purchased the Merlin entirely legally and without collusion, and as for the sailors he simply utilized those resources which fortune had made available to him. “If His Most Christian Majesty will furnish me with good Frenchmen to win my country’s freedom,” he declared, “I will put them to sea tomorrow!”

The only demand Theodore refused was to call off the Tunisians, but only for lack of ability. He explained he had no influence with Ali Pasha, notwithstanding rumors to the contrary, and was not responsible for the actions of the Barbary corsairs. This was not strictly true, but while Theodore may have provoked the bey to attack, Ali was pursuing his own interests and was hardly a dog that Theodore could command to chase or heel as he saw fit. How credible Chauvelin found this explanation is unclear, but it mattered little; Ali Pasha prudently backed off once the British and French frigates began arriving in the Ligurian Sea in force and the French consul at Tunis presented him with an official complaint. He had no intention of provoking a war against a power that could actually fight back.

With French demands satisfied, Chauvelin next sought to set up a secret congress between the Corsicans and the Genoese. As a “neutral” venue, he selected the French client state of Monaco, a tiny principality on the Ligurian coast nestled between Sardinian and Genoese territory. The Genoese were extremely reluctant to participate, and showed up only because Chauvelin made it clear that the alternative was a resolution engineered by the British which would undoubtedly favor the Corsicans, an insinuation he would deploy repeatedly. The Genoese were chiefly represented by the noble Giovanni Giacomo Grimaldi; Theodore, for his part, dispatched Secretary to the Chancellery Giovanni Vincente Garelli and Alerio Francesco Matra as his delegates.

To call the negotiations “acrimonious” would be an understatement. The talks were frequently derailed by petty objections over protocol. The Genoese continually objected to any use of the royal title as it related to Theodore, insisting that the Doge of Genoa was the only lawful king of Corsica. The Corsicans demanded to be seated first, on the basis that as emissaries of a kingdom they were entitled to more dignity than the representatives of a “bourgeois duchy.” When substantive issues were eventually broached, the gap between the two sides was vast. Grimaldi originally proceeded from an assumption that the talks had been summoned to effect a reconciliation between the nationals and the republic. Don Alerio quickly quashed this notion, at one point threatening to walk out: “This is a waste of time,” he interrupted, “for the independence of Corsica is factual and evident, and if the Genoese deny what is plainly before their eyes it is beyond our power to cure them of this delusion.” The Corsicans, thinking of themselves as the victors and the Genoese as a defeated enemy, offered no concessions and demanded full and immediate recognition of their independence.

In the meantime Britain pursued its own avenues of diplomacy. Because Britain possessed no formal representation in Genoa aside from its consulate,[2] the matter fell to the British minister to Sardinia William Nassau de Zuylestein, Earl of Rochford, who had recently replaced Theodore’s old ally Arthur Villettes. Rochford was intelligent, driven, and well-educated, but like Chauvelin he was a diplomatic neophyte, and his position was less advantageous as the Genoese assumed him to be a Corsican ally from the start.

His greatest handicap, however, was his instruction from Thomas Pelham-Holles, Duke of Newcastle. Newcastle assumed that what had been true in 1748 was still true in 1749, and that France would never permit Corsica to be divided from Genoa, particularly given that King Louis XV had already been forced to accept Genoa’s loss of Finale. To speak of independence would not only strain the recent peace with France but would lend credence to rumors fuelled by the Merlin affair that Britain was seeking to establish a Corsican puppet state or take the island for its own. Accordingly, he instructed Rochford to assume that Genoese sovereignty was a given and to pursue concessions that would lead to reconciliation between the Corsicans and the Genoese - precisely what Grimaldi had proposed at Monaco. The British, unlike the French, had not learned from painful experience that the two sides were completely irreconcilable. Consequently, in a strange twist of fate the French representative was now pursuing what appeared to be a more pro-Corsican policy than Theodore’s British allies.

Chauvelin carefully steered the Monaco talks towards the solution he already had in mind. To frighten the Genoese, he fed them stories of Anglo-Corsican clandestine diplomacy in which Britain was preparing to recognize Corsica unilaterally in exchange for the lease of its ports. No such talks existed, but this seemed very plausible and was exactly what the Genoese feared the British might be up to. Although they had been pleasantly surprised by Rochford’s proposals, Matra’s belligerence at Monaco suggested that Rochford’s concessions would end up being a dead letter as soon as they were published. In fact the unrealistic leniency of Rochford’s approach actually increased their suspicion, as it seemed hardly credible that the British would show less favor to their ally Theodore than the French. The Genoese government feared that Rochford was just leading them on while preparing a treaty with Theodore, exactly as Chauvelin alleged. Meanwhile, news of Rochford’s lenient terms dismayed the Corsicans, who began to fear that if the Congress of Monaco failed the British might sell them out and deny them independence entirely.

Although the privateers were suppressed, the war was not over. The siege of Bonifacio continued even as the “talks” went on at Monaco, and despite having withdrawn from the Ligurian Sea, Theodore declared his absolute right to defend Corsica’s own territorial waters. Corsican vessels continued to enforce a blockade of Bonifacio and attacked Genoese supply ships headed there, as well as any other Genoese vessels which approached Capraia or the Corsican coast. The citadel seemed ready to fall, and the Corsican delegates were confident that this development would force the Genoese at Monaco to accept the inevitable.

On September 8th, Chauvelin presented a preliminary accord to the delegates at Monaco which accepted the fact of Corsican independence. The concessions required from Corsica, however, were not small. They would cede Bonifacio and Capraia to Genoa, rescind that article of their constitution which prohibited any Genoese to remain in the kingdom, open their ports to Genoese ships, and offer compensation to those Genoese citizens whose properties had been seized during the Revolution. Garelli and Matra were appalled, and objected that the document treated them as a defeated party rather than the victors. But Grimaldi also objected; by this time the Genoese were ready to accept that they would not retain Corsica within their grasp, but they wanted payment for the island and desired to maintain a greater foothold on the island, particularly at Calvi and Capo Corso.

Chauvelin confided to the Corsicans that he was quite willing to help press the Genoese to procure a more favorable final treaty, but the Genoese demand for compensation had to be respected. He proposed that the Corsicans undertake to settle all property disputes and “buy” Genoa’s claims for a lump sum - say, 15 million livres - and use this leverage to get the Genoese to yield on other issues.[B] Of course the Corsicans did not have that kind of money, and Chauvelin knew it - but King Louis, he promised, would be happy to lend it to them. The proposed terms of this loan were actually quite lenient; Chauvelin knew that there was little wealth on the island to exploit. His intention was not to destroy Corsica, but to establish it as a client state of France, and the best way to keep Theodore’s regime on a tight leash was to saddle him with a literal debt to the French crown.

Theodore had foreseen that independence might require him to yield some territory, and authorized Matra and Garelli to consider the cession of Bonifacio - but not Capraia. He considered the former to be an acceptable loss; whatever its strategic value, it was populated by Genoese who would be hostile to his rule anyway. Capraia’s population of loyal Corsican fishermen was far more useful to his regime. On the matter of the French loan, however, he was much more reluctant. He feared exactly what Chauvelin hoped, that such a loan would make him a captive of French policy, and would furthermore prove impossible to pay off given his limited revenue. Yet the situation would hardly be better without recognition, and Theodore was deeply concerned by the lack of support from Britain. Reluctantly, he agreed to the outline of this plan, and in the weeks that followed a final treaty was hammered out under Chauvelin’s guidance.

Of course, Chauvelin still had to win over his own government. He sent the preliminaries to Puisieulx, who brought them before the king. As expected, Louis blanched at the idea of taking more territory from Genoa. Yet despite the fact that he had largely drawn up the terms on his own, Chauvelin somewhat disingenuously presented the preliminaries as an organic product of the discussions at Monaco. Rather than spoliating an ally, this made France into a mere mediator, and Louis into an arbiter among the nations. The king rather liked the idea of being hailed as a peacemaker, and Puisieulx assured him that France’s economic, political, and military dominance could ensure the establishment of Corsica as a French satellite - and, if it became convenient, could effect the annexation of the island in its entirety. Louis approved, and Puisieulx - after making some suggestions - gave Chauvelin the go-ahead. On September 25th, the Corsican and Genoese delegates put their signature upon the Treaty of Monaco, formally recognizing the independence of Corsica.

Summary of the Main Provisions of the Treaty of Monaco, 1749

  • The island of Corsica shall be recognized as an independent state under the sovereign authority of His Serene Majesty the King of Corsica, Théodore Henri Nizier Étienne, Baron de Neuhoff, and this state shall comprise the entirety of the island of Corsica and its outlying islands with the exception of Bonifacio and its environs, which shall remain under the sovereignty of the Republic of Genoa.
  • The Republic of Genoa and the Kingdom of Corsica (“the signatories”) shall immediately end all hostilities on land and sea and commit themselves to a state of mutual and perpetual peace.
  • All enemy nationals held prisoner by the signatories shall be set at their liberty and repatriated at their request.
  • The signatories shall not close their ports to the ships of the other signatory or their nationals which are engaged in lawful commerce so long as those ports are open to the ships of other nations, nor shall they levy discriminatory or unjust tariffs or excises upon them.
  • The Kingdom of Corsica shall tender a sum of fifteen million livres to the Republic of Genoa in exchange for the permanent renunciation of any claims by the republic upon the royal crown of Corsica or any lands which are herein ceded to the Kingdom of Corsica, and the forfeiture by the Republic of Genoa, on behalf of itself and its citizens, of all properties or possessions which have been seized by or abandoned to the Kingdom of Corsica or its officers, as well as any claims to compensation for said losses.
Separate from this agreement was the so-called “Secret Treaty of Monaco” between France and Corsica, which stipulated the terms of the loan as well as other guarantees to France. A whole text of this secret treaty is not extant, and we can only speculate as to its exact contents. It is clear that Theodore agreed to allow France to maintain a Corsican regiment (the Régiment Royal-Corse, which already existed) and to allow France to recruit men for this unit. He also agreed in principle to a French lease of Calvi as a naval base, a clause which did not take effect immediately because of a French desire not to provoke the British. There were economic clauses as well, which provided for a favorable tariff rate for French merchants with the aim of increasing Corsica’s integration with - and dependence upon - the French economy.

Although the Genoese Senate delayed ratification for a week as a sort of token protest against what they still believed to be an injustice against their sovereignty, the government had resigned themselves to the loss. Only with France’s assistance could they even have dreamed of preserving their hold on the island, and if France was supporting independence they had no recourse. It took somewhat longer for Corsican ratification, firstly because Theodore continued to press the British for a better offer, and secondly because he judged that it was necessary to call a consulta - the last of the Revolution - to ratify the treaty. But Rochford was taken completely off-guard by the French volte-face that had now been revealed and had no ready response, while Chauvelin insisted that any serious delay on the part of the signatories would result in France withdrawing its support for the treaty. On October 12th, a consulta gathered at Corti unanimously approved the treaty. The population of Corti, upon hearing the announcement, erupted in cheers and a cacophony of celebratory gunfire. It was almost exactly 20 years after the tax revolt of Bozio had first sparked the Corsican Revolution in October of 1729.

It appeared that Chauvelin had played his hand masterfully. He had stolen a march on the British and bent both the Genoese and Corsicans to his will, and while his hard negotiating damaged his position as France’s ambassador to Genoa it won him much credit in Versailles, where despite initial reluctance the Treaty of Monaco was before long perceived as a diplomatic coup which had brought peace to the western Mediterranean and prevented the island from falling into the hands of the British. The British certainly saw it that way, and there were questions and recriminations in Parliament as to how Corsica had been “lost.” Yet there was no willingness to confront France on the matter with any sort of real conviction, as the Treaty of Monaco had already won the approval of both the Corsicans and the Genoese.[C]

For Theodore, it was a crowning moment of success for the cause he had given the last 15 years of his life to achieve. He was not fully satisfied with the treaty, particularly the matter of the debt; certainly he had been in debt before, but never for such a great amount nor to so great a lender. But Theodore was by no means averse to being a French client. Indeed, he considered some concession to Versailles to be necessary for independence, for Britain could not offer him any permanent security. Britain was a fair-weather friend, whose interests were fickle and whose power existed only when its fleet at hand. France would always loom a short distance from Corsican shores, and whatever else happened, she would have to be appeased.


Footnotes
[1] Wright’s tenure in Corsican service lasted all of nine weeks, during which he nevertheless managed to take six prizes including a 6-gun hired brig which was pressed into Corsican service as the Mercurio. Wright was awarded a knighthood in the Order of Redemption, but although he made a tidy sum from his captures the promised pension appears to never have been paid. He was hardly the first man Theodore cheated.
[2] Britain had withdrawn its ambassador in 1722 as punishment for the Genoese Republic giving a lavish reception to the Pretender.

Endnotes
[A] IOTL, the younger Chauvelin was made the commander in chief of the French forces in the invasion of Corsica, but was defeated by Paoli at the Battle of Borgo in late 1768. He was replaced with the Comte de Vaux, who - with a great deal more reinforcements - finally subdued Paoli’s republic in 1769.
[B] By comparison, France paid 40 million livres for Corsica in the 1760s; the Genoese are getting screwed here, but then again unlike in OTL they hardly have any of Corsica left to sell. 15 million livres is equivalent to 1.5% of the approximately one billion livres which France spent on prosecuting the War of Austrian Succession. It's not a large amount by the standards of the great powers, but Corsica may have some difficulty paying it off.
[C] Would France have really supported Corsican independence under any circumstance? We can only speculate, of course. Recent scholarship suggests that rather than a multi-decade French "plan" to acquire Corsica, which has long been alleged, France's Corsican policy was more ad hoc, proceeding not from any sort of long term master plan but rather a consistent need to maintain French security interests in the Mediterranean. In the 1760s, as it became clear that the Genoese would never suppress the rebellion, Choiseul felt that this security could only be gained with annexation. ITTL, however, Genoese rule is demonstrated to be hopeless two decades earlier, at a time when France has only barely ended an expensive and difficult war and Britain is not yet diplomatically isolated as it was following the SYW. My assumption in this story is that under such circumstances, the "vassalization" of Corsica might appear as an acceptable alternative to an annexation which simply cannot be accomplished in 1749.
 
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@Carp A masterful conclusion to (what I hope will be) the first part of this TL.
I always knew that you would have to showcase some incredible display of diplomatic finesse (not brilliant Corsican diplomacy necessarily, just the stars aligning and a competent Theodore taking advantage of everyone else's mistrust) to allow Corsica to "slide" into independence without a decisive victory, and you have more than delivered on that.
 
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Wonderful! You’ve found a plausible way to have an Independent Corsica. Brilliant!

How will Corsica remove herself from this debt ? Invite Jews into Corsica for some small scale valu added artistry? Sell the services of Corsican soldiers as mercenaries abroad (excellent skirmished/light infantry) ?
Allow Muslim polities easy access to markets ? I have no idea, but am excited to find out.

Corsica could adopt a policy of strict neutrality going forward ? Other than maybe some opportunistic offensives of Bonafacio.
 
Independence Day


Let freedom ring!
Let the white dove sing!
Let the whole world (or at least the Doge of Genoa) know that today, is a day of reckoning!
Let the weak be strong!
Let the right be wrong!
Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay, it's Independence Day!!!
 
My "forecasting" post that will be instantly obviated by whatever Carp does next (especially if that something is nothing at all).
Corsica's immediate future seems to be as a French client, who knows how that may change though. Are the various succession factions to be approached by scheming foreign powers?
Theodore's state building schemes probably cannot now happen due to debt, what happens with the polity will probably depend on seemingly trivial informal precedents set in the next few years.
Bonifaco seems like a ready-built CB to be taken advantage of at a propitious moment, but, in hands less sagacious than Theodore's, could draw the kingdom into an unwinnable war.
One wonders how Theodore and his valiant people will adapt to peace.
 
You know, we are coming up to the period of time when Benjamin Franklin will be spending a substantial amount of time in Europe. Given their similar circles and interests, I could see him and Theodore becoming correspondents. It might have interesting knock-on effects.
 
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