Ehhhh, I am a loyal and fervent supporter of His Grace King Theodore I. But I would still say he is "semi" recognized among the European nobility. Yes Britain, France, Austria, Savoy, the Netherlands, the Italian minors and even some German minors recognize Corsican independence, with Theodore as it's head of state. But in no means do I think that Theodore's position of king is by any means recognized with any iron authority either legally, culturally, or militarily by the European nobility. He's an upstart minor noble who's got himself a crown on a backward little island. It wouldn't take much for any one of the great powers to unilaterally invade and shut down Theodore's great act. The Corsican state, and its position as a proper kingdom needs a lot more protection and backing before we so quickly remove the "semi" from our minds.
I think Spain also overtly recognizes Corsica and Theodore's kingship over it. And certainly Tunisia does. Which is about enough. There is no relevant power with local clout that matters that refuses to recognize Royal Corsica, and if France, Austria, Britain, Spain, and the Italian states are now fine with it, there is no reason for Russia, Denmark and Sweden (the only other countries whose recognition is sort of close to relevant) not to follow suit. Tunisia's recognition tacitly implies the central Ottoman one (and the Porte's position is likely to favor recognition anyway) with which the case is closed. Establishing recognized diplomatic relations with anywhere else is a) utterly irrelevant to Corsican interests now b) utterly irrelevant to perceptions of international Western European diplomacy, which barely had the nearest Muslim powers on the radar for such purposes at the time.
"Recognition" was important within a "Christian" European context, especially for great powers, and the Ottoman Empire was marginally relevant to that context, but nobody thought that establishing permanent diplomatic relations with anything else that passed for a "sovereign" state under that framework was either worthwhile or significant.
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Diplomatic recognition aside, I suspect an 18th century Catholic monarchy is never truly legitimate until a Habsburg or Bourbon marries into the bloodline...

there is no reason for Russia, Denmark and Sweden (the only other countries whose recognition is sort of close to relevant) not to follow suit.

Denmark and Corsica don't have mutual diplomatic representation at the moment, but Theodore did have a temporary envoy to Denmark in the form of his friend Georg Ludwig, Count of Rantzau, and King Frederick V sent a considerable wedding gift to Theodore on the occasion of his marriage to Frederick's distant cousin Eleanora of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Wiesenburg. Even if they don't have permanent ambassadors in each others' courts, it's safe to say that this implies recognition of Theodore's legitimacy by the Danish crown.

Historically, Denmark's large merchant fleet became increasingly active in the Mediterranean from the 1740s, benefiting greatly from its status as a reliably neutral state. ITTL Frederick's government considers a neutral, friendly Corsica to be beneficial to the state's mercantile interests in this rapidly growing market. The TL hasn't gotten there yet, but the Danes will send a consul to Corsica shortly after the Four Years' War and we'll see some much closer Dano-Corsican relations in the coming decade.
The last update has been edited to reflect the modified treaty awards and the map I posted two pages ago. We'll be moving back to Corsica in the next update, wherein the postwar Corsican political factions share their favorite flowers, Gaffori tries to dig the state out of a financial hole, and Theodore contemplates his ~legacy~.
Off the top of my head, Theodore does still have his debts to his initial backers in the Netherlands. While private creditors are easier to string along than a major world power, those debts will still be inconvenient if unpaid.

Incidentally, it does seem like in this timeline Frederick II of Prussia will have a similar reputation to Carl XII of Sweden, a superb general and driven war leader who didn't know when to stop picking fights and died when he picked on too many enemies at the same time.
Speaking of the Dutch, have they built/finished their planned operations on Corsica yet?

Will we see a similar approach by the Danes too? Or are the Danes just gonna trade/be the happiest of buddies with the Corsicans?
Here's a prospective map with a few revisions. Poland has given up Courland and some eastern territories (similar to First Partition lines), Saxony has gained Cottbus and the Crossen corridor (but not Halle), Prussia keeps Gelders.


Gibraltar appears to be missing...
Gibraltar appears to be missing...

So is the Comtat Venaissin, and a bunch of other exclaves and enclaves which are probably larger than Gibraltar. This is not a finely detailed map. :p

Just to get all the prince-electors in there, however, I've added the Electoral Palatinate to the map in the update.
So which German state will unify the rest in the next century? Assuming that still happens. I also eagerly await the future of Anglo-American relations if the revolution is butterflied away.
So which German state will unify the rest in the next century? Assuming that still happens. I also eagerly await the future of Anglo-American relations if the revolution is butterflied away.
Not sure Germany will get unified. If the French Revolution doesn't Happen or goes differently, it most likely will not.
The Lily and the Asphodel
The Lily and the Asphodel


Emblem of the Constitutional Society. "Virtue Preserves Liberty."

The high visibility of the antics of the macchiari, particularly in the foreign press, tends to obscure the fact that dissent against the French occupation was not universal. Certainly there was widespread dissatisfaction with the country’s management under French supervision, but plenty of Corsicans grumbled about taxes and impositions without resorting to terrorism. The devoti were always a small clique of northeastern agitators who were not even representative of the local notabili, let alone all Corsicans. Anglophile Corsicans ("filoinglesi") attempted to portray Francophiles ("filofrancesi") as former filogenovesi or “criptorepublicani,” and this may have been true of the Calvesi, who had never really been reconciled to the rule of the naziunali and had welcomed the French with open arms. But the Calvesi did not speak for all Corsican filofrancesi, and there were numerous prominent Corsicans with impeccable nationalist credentials who were suspicious of British intentions and desired reconciliation with France.

The most prominent filofrancesi were found among the signori or sgio, the aristocratic landlords of the south. As great families with large landholdings worked by sharecroppers and field hands, they considered themselves to be the local equivalent of the great French landowning aristocracy, and as they had largely fallen within the “Austrian occupation zone” during the Revolution they had never suffered at France’s hand. The sgio were highly suspicious of urban-dwellers and their interests. French restrictions on the coral and shipping industries, which had incensed the Ajaccini to no end, made little difference to noble landlords. True, the great landowners not been entirely happy with the policy of the French under Bertin - particularly the imposition of the sovvenzione - but this was easily dismissed as overreaching by a meddlesome bureaucrat.

The situation in the north was altogether different. Northern Francophilia was chiefly an urban phenomenon, common among the residents of Calvi, Algajola, and Bastia (although Francophilia had ebbed in Bastia as a consequence of the recent French occupation). There was no landowning aristocratic class in the north equal to the sgio. The population of the northern interior - where most Corsicans lived - consisted of smallholding farmers, pastoralists, and middling notabili, whose image of France was still shaped by the Revolution. The generation which had fought and bled to defy the first French invasion yet lived, and a new generation of their children had been raised on stories of San Pellegrino and Ponte Novo.

Although southern aristocrats and northern urbanites did not make up a large proportion of the population, they possessed a potent weapon in religion. The English, after all, were notorious heretics; their very presence put Corsican souls in danger. Even among those who resented the French occupation, the actions of the macchiari - who shot at Catholic soldiers and joined forces with invading “Lutherans” - were not entirely seemly at a time when the rest of the Catholic world seemed to be rallying together against Protestant powers. Time and again, the filofrancesi appealed to Catholic solidarity and stoked fear of religious “pollution” to rally Corsicans to their side. Inevitably their invective came to include the Jews, who had eagerly welcomed the English into Ajaccio and posed the same threat to religious purity. Their religious emphasis may have inspired the popular nickname for the Francophile nobility - gigliati, "lilied ones" - which was either a reference to their piety, as the lily had a long association with the Resurrection and the Virgin Mary, or a less complimentary reference to the fleur-de-lis of France.

The filoinglesi were a somewhat broader group of prominent northern naziunali, urbanites and capocorsi involved in maritime industries, and foreign-educated notabili of an “enlightened” bent. Although these groups came to their pro-English position by different means, the popular appeal of the filoinglesi was essentially nationalistic. While the filofrancesi appealed to religious identity, the filoinglesi spoke in the language of patriotism and national grievance, waving the bloody shirt of the Revolution and associating France with Genoese tyranny. The devoti were fond of describing their uprising as “la grande vendetta,” well-deserved vengeance for the Corsican blood shed by King Louis and his minions since the 1730s. Better to do business with heretics, they declared, than to be vittoli - traitors to the nation.

It is possible to overestimate the importance of the English-French divide in Corsican politics. Anglophilia and Francophilia were frequently just proxies for other, more fundamental cleavages in Corsican society - landlords versus sharecroppers, Enlightenment reformists versus Catholic traditionalists, north versus south, urban versus rural, and so on. In a land with few roads and no means of mass communication, these cliques could not organize into popular movements or “political parties” as such. While some segment of “the people” might occasionally be mobilized for a certain purpose by appeals to religion or nation, the spat between filofrancesi and filoinglesi was mainly a quarrel between elites. Yet because these elites also constituted the ruling class of the kingdom, their divisions had consequences for the governance of the nation.

In the wake of the French occupation, the Corsican government was left with a dire financial crisis. French impositions and expropriations had left the government bankrupt, discredited, and largely nonfunctional. Many Corsicans had simply stopped paying taxes altogether, and most government ministries had effectively shuttered from a lack of funds. The royal household was solvent, but Queen Eleonora refused to bail out the national government from her coffers. The British £10,000 annual “rent” for Ajaccio was like manna from heaven to Count Gianpietro Gaffori’s destitute ministry, but it was only a temporary windfall and provoked the suspicion of filofrancesi who feared that the island was in the process of being turned into an English colony.

Gaffori’s attempts to deal with this crisis were frustrated by the dieta, which was substantially controlled by the sgio and other prosperous notabili who resisted any sort of progressive taxation. They suggested instead to raise the taglia (capitation), which was constitutionally limited to three lire but stood at only one lira at present, or to establish tariffs which would naturally fall more heavily on the cities than the rural aristocracy. But Gaffori was loathe to do the former, fearing that raising the taglia would provoke a revolt, and King Theodore refused to allow the latter given his commitment to free ports and open trade.

Gaffori's solution was clever, but it further alienated him from landowning interests. To avoid a real fight with the dieta, Gaffori sidestepped them by reviving the sovvenzione, the 5% tax on the gross product of land introduced by the French administration. This tax had fallen into abeyance along with most of Bertin’s abandoned “enlightened” reforms, but because the dieta had already approved it in 1753 Gaffori could argue that no further consent was necessary. This was an unpopular step which provoked opposition from both the sgio and more modest proprietari, and the implementation of the tax was dogged by the same problems that the French had encountered - the ambitious and expensive Catasto Reale (the island-wide land survey) remained unfinished, the farmers had scarcely any hard cash to pay the tax, and enforcement was lacking. Gaffori attempted to address these deficiencies in various ways, from allowing payment in kind to hiring foreign surveyors, but revenues remained far below optimal.

Gaffori’s trouble with the dieta stemmed in part from the peculiarities of Corsican “democracy.” Although in theory all property-owning households could vote, representation was not proportional, and thinly-populated rural pievi had disproportionate influence relative to their population. Because the procuratori were not elected by secret ballot, but in public assemblies, the process could easily be manipulated or controlled by powerful clans. Intimidation and bribery (often in the form of favors rather than hard cash) were serious problems, and violence was not unknown. Particularly in the south, where many farmers were dependent on sharecropping great estates, it was not feasible for ordinary people to oppose the local don for political office. In some places pieve offices had actually been hereditary before the revolution, and the effect of “Theodoran democracy” was merely to put an elective rubber stamp on what was still a de facto hereditary succession. Far from being accidental, such loose oversight was a purposeful attempt to avoid angering local elites. In this way the gigliati, despite being a small group of elite landowners, were able to throw considerable weight around in the consulta generale.

Yet not all power flowed from the consulta. The consulta generale could not legislate on its own without a supermajority the gigliati could never hope to achieve, and the dieta was capable of restraining the king only on matters of war and the imposition of taxes. The entire apparatus of state - not only cabinet ministers but judges, secretaries, military officers, and provincial luogotenenti - was appointed by royal prerogative, and the king increasingly favored the filoinglesi for these positions. Theodore’s favoritism, however, had little to do with foreign policy or any specific cultural affinity for the English. Political Anglophilia tended to coincide with support for commerce and free trade, policies which the king had long advocated. But above all Theodore wished to protect freedom of conscience, which he had come to see not only as beneficial to Corsica, but as his lasting gift to humanity.

By the end of 1760, Theodore’s position - both in Corsica and in history - seemed secure. The Treaty of Paris had recognized the kingdom’s sovereignty and neutrality. Corsica was free of foreign occupiers and unburdened of the coercive “Monaco debt.” Theodore’s desire for fame and respectability which had motivated him all his life seemed fulfilled; the “Laurel King” who had risen from a debtor’s cell to a royal palace was known across the continent. Certainly his kingdom had many problems, and he was not blind to them. The king never lost interest in the affairs of the kingdom and was continually crafting legislation and proposing new plans for Corsican prosperity. The security of his position, however, also allowed him to think beyond mere practical politics for the first time in many years and consider what kind of legacy he would leave to Corsica and the world.

Despite his reputation in some quarters as a slippery trickster, Theodore was a man of strong moral conviction. His views on religious liberty and abolitionism were radical for the time. Such views were still controversial among the Corsican public, but they won Theodore praise from “enlightened” intellectuals and philosophes who praised him as a visionary liberator. “Not content with merely lifting the fetters from [the Corsicans’] bodies,” wrote one admirer, “he has lifted the fetters from their minds.” Theodore, who was always a bit vulnerable to flattery, eagerly took up the proffered mantle of Europe’s foremost crusader for liberty. Prior to the Treaty of Paris, he asked the British to give him an island in the West Indies so that he might prove that a colony of “free negroes” would be even more productive than slaves. When the newly crowned Tsar Peter III declared religious freedom in his domains, Theodore was certain that Peter was following his lead and wrote the Tsar a fulsome letter of praise and congratulations.[1]


Peter III, Tsar of Russia

Yet Theodore could not be certain that his liberal vision would last beyond his death. The Corsicans remained a deeply conservative and religious people, and his heirs might not share the strength of his convictions. Fear of a conservative reaction against his reforms was responsible for finally convincing him to abandon any residual notion of leaving the succession to his nephew Charles Philippe, Comte du Trévou, whose candidacy was floated by some of the gigliati as a long-shot way of restoring French influence. The same fear motivated his attacks against the Church in the early 1760s, which would eventually lead to excommunication and the most serious political crisis of Theodore’s postwar reign. It also inspired him to cultivate native Corsican politicians who shared his views, in the hopes of creating a political class which would not merely accept freedom of conscience in deference to the king, but would cherish and defend it of their own volition.

Theodore’s vehicle to accomplish this was the Constitutional Society (Società Costituzionale), better known as the Society of the Asphodel (Società dell'Asfodelo). Its origins are somewhat obscure. There is some evidence that its earliest members were associated with a briefly-existing Masonic lodge in Ajaccio set up by British officers during the 1758-60 occupation, but the Society denied any association with Freemasonry despite considerable similarities. Members of the society had to profess a faith in God, but the order was not explicitly Christian and admitted Jews from the start. The Society was indifferent to nobility, and members were supposed to treat one another with equal collegiality - at least within the context of the society’s meetings. The notional head of the Society was Theodore himself as Grand Patron (gran patrono), but actual governance was provided by a commendatore (a title evocative of the knightly orders) who was elected by the members.

The Constitutional Society was ostensibly dedicated to preserving Corsican independence and the 1736 royal constitution, as well as promoting “classical virtue” and “true piety.” In practice, it was a social club for liberal nationalists. The society also served as a venue for the circulation and discussion of texts from modern Enlightenment thinkers, which were not always easily procured in Corsica. The society was not formally Anglophile, and indeed conducted most of its business in French, the language of the philosophes. Nevertheless, the Society’s support for freedom of conscience, its acceptance of non-Catholics, and its vaguely Masonic trappings tended to attract more filoinglesi than filofrancesi.

The Constitutional Society’s better-known name - the Society of the Asphodel - supposedly originated from a comment by Giuseppe Maria Masseria, an Ajaccian lawyer and member of the Society, who exclaimed “let [the gigliati] have the lily; I find there is no flower more beautiful than our asphodel.” For the Corsicans, this flower was laden with symbolism. A humble and hardy plant, the asphodel - known locally as the taravellu - grew abundantly in mountain meadows and upon rocky outcrops. Its bulbs were ground up and eaten by the poor in times of famine, and it had come to be identified during the Revolution with naziunale rebel bands in the mountains who subsisted on chestnuts and asphodel bulbs. Powerful curative properties were also ascribed to the plant in Corsican folk medicine. So closely identified was the flower with the island that it was commonly said that a Corsican who had gone abroad and forsaken his homeland had “forgotten the asphodel.” In the mid-1760s, as Theodore’s battle with the Church escalated, members of the Society started wearing asphodels in their hats or lapels to show that their allegiance to Corsica (and Theodore) came before their allegiance to foreign powers - including Rome.


A field of asphodels in Corsica

“Hidden” meanings of the asphodel provided - and still provide - fodder for conjecture and conspiracy theories. Not merely a national symbol, the asphodel also had a certain mystic reputation on the island. Corsican mazzeri, “dream hunters” with quasi-shamanic powers who were said to foretell deaths, carried asphodel stalks as their weapons when they “fought” the mazzeri of other villages in dream-battles.[A] The flower was also known in some parts of Corsica as the fiori di morti (“flower of the dead”), possibly an echo of its role in ancient Greece, where the asphodel was associated with the land of the dead and was often placed upon graves. In the Odyssey, Homer describes the afterlife as a “meadow of asphodel,” and in some depictions Hades is shown with a spring of asphodel in his hand, and his bride Persephone wearing a garland of asphodel flowers. The Constitutional Society was hardly a cabal of mystics, but it is the nature of any “secret society” to generate rumors. Its superficial resemblance to a Masonic lodge and its associations with Theodore - who really was a “mystic,” as well as a Rosicrucian, alchemist, and probable Freemason - gave such rumors plenty of fuel. Some have gone so far as to suggest that Theodore himself suggested the symbol of the asphodel, not Masseria, as some sort of coded reference to his own esoteric interests.

Theodore’s personal connection to the society was rather vague. In the official version of events, he was merely “offered” the honorary position of Grand Patron by the already-existing Society, and despite being the nominal head he never attended its meetings. The purpose and interests of the Society, however, were so complementary to his own that it is difficult to believe he was not involved somehow in its formation. Minimizing his own involvement may have been a political necessity, and the royal presence was probably not conducive to lively philosophical discussions. Yet despite maintaining a certain distance from the Society itself, Theodore showed great favor to its members and often tapped Asphodelians for government positions. “Wearing the asphodel” was certainly never required for high office, but in the last years of Theodore’s reign it became increasingly helpful - a trend that was deeply resented by the gigliati, who perceived themselves as Corsica’s natural leaders and defenders of its Catholic faith.

[1] Theodore also proposed in this letter to serve as a mediator between Russia and Denmark in their incipient dispute over Schleswig. Peter did not take him up on this offer, but the two rulers did strike up a regular correspondence which would eventually result in a Russo-Corsican treaty of trade and friendship.

Timeline Notes
[A] For more on the unusual Corsican mazzeri and their dream battles, I recommend Dorothy Carrington's The Dream-Hunters of Corsica. Carrington theorized that the tradition of the mazzeri was a remnant of ancient religious practice which survived the introduction of Christianity.
So which German state will unify the rest in the next century? Assuming that still happens. I also eagerly await the future of Anglo-American relations if the revolution is butterflied away.
Why not do the obvious for once and make it Austria? Prussia already needed countless lucky breaks to get where it got historically, forcing someone else to rise to the top would just feel silly by now. Add to that, that the whole 'million germanies' meme is an entirely ahistorical later invention. The empire had a unified postal system, in large parts unified judiciary, a permanent diet, and imperial army and many more such institutions. It took someone of the caliber of He Who Shall Not Be Named to break it. And the only people who were happy about that were the Territorialfürsten, for normal citizens of the empire it was an absolute catastrophe that robbed them of large parts of their personal rights and freedoms.

All you need to do is hand some more power to the diet, restrict the Privilegium de non appellando, and get some more cooperation between the imperial army and the territorial ones (even the German empire of 1871 had multiple armies!), all of which would be easier to get through than what happened with the Rheinbund or what Prussia did to Germany historically.

Honestly, why everybody is always obsessed about having the most absurd princes 'unify' Germany, while there is a perfectly good Germany some 80% of the way there already, just lying around, is beyond me.
two very good reasons but resolving the Hungarian problem (with it going away likely to a junior Habsburg prince) would push Austria to reconsider its involvement in Germany and likely end with an united Germany

So, if Austria does what it never wanted to do, it will do what it also never wanted to do?

Ahh. Simplicity itself.