Pasquale Paoli (1725-1807)

PaolicropBorn in the mountains of northern Corsica, Filippo Antonio Pasquale di Paoli would become intimately involved in the liberation of his island homeland. Following an early defeat at the hands of the Genoese, he accompanied his father into exile in Naples, but by 1755 had returned to proclaim the island’s independence and drive the enemy out of all but a few coastal strongholds and serve as inspiration for the Founding Fathers of the United States, among others. The Genoese responded by selling their rights to the island to the French, who invaded the island in force in 1768. After a period of exile in England, Paoli returned to the island and was elected President of the Department of Corsica, during which period he came into contact with General Bonaparte. Deeply suspicious of the latter’s motives, Paoli eventually forced the young Jacobin to pursue a career elsewhere, the results of which would not be inconsequential.


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