King Theodore's Corsica

(Also I did not know Corsican society could be this complicated)

It's easy to forget just how small this society is. The population of Corsica at this time ITTL is probably close to 150,000 (we're a bit ahead of OTL; Corsica's population in the census of 1786 was 148,172). If that was a city in today's Italy, it wouldn't even crack the top 20.

It's true that Corsican communities are still quite insular owing to geography and (the lack of) infrastructure, but if we're talking about the "ruling class" these people basically all know each other. A lot of them are related. There are only about thirty families in the "upper nobility" (that is, marquesses and counts), and only slightly more families in the "lower nobility" (hereditary knights), which is not dissimilar to OTL - after the conquest, France recognized 70 Corsican families as "noble." Politics are always personal to some degree, but they are intensely personal here given that you could fit basically every person in the kingdom deemed eligible for high office into a modestly sized ballroom. There are "interest groups" in a broad sense - rural notables, urban professionals, inland farmers, and migratory shepherds are identifiable groups with certain shared interests, and I've discussed some of those interests over the course of several updates. But because the political class is small and political organizations almost nonexistent ("parties" are not yet a thing), those interests are often buried by personal conflicts, petty grievances, and narrow self-interest. And as well all know, interpersonal conflicts can get very complicated indeed.
 
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It's easy to forget just how small this society is. The population of Corsica at this time ITTL is probably close to 150,000 (we're a bit ahead of OTL; Corsica's population in the census of 1786 was 148,172). If that were a city in today's Italy, it wouldn't even crack the top 20.

It's true that Corsican communities are still quite insular owing to geography and (the lack of) infrastructure, but if we're talking about the "ruling class" these people basically all know each other. A lot of them are related. There are only about thirty families in the "upper nobility" (that is, marquesses and counts), and only slightly more families in the "lower nobility" (hereditary knights), which is not dissimilar to OTL - after the conquest, France recognized 70 Corsican families as "noble." Politics are always personal to some degree, but they are intensely personal here given that you could fit basically every person in the kingdom deemed eligible for high office into a modestly sized ballroom. There are "interest groups" in a broad sense - rural notables, urban professionals, inland farmers, and migratory shepherds are identifiable groups with certain shared interests, and I've discussed some of those interests over the course of several updates. But because the political class is small and political organizations almost nonexistent ("parties" are not yet a thing), those interests are often buried by personal conflicts, petty grievances, and narrow self-interest. And as well all know, interpersonal conflicts can get very complicated indeed.

Yet another fact that makes the deep cultural ties between Corsica and Sardinia quite obvious - even as late as the 1970s in Sardinia, it was hard to determine where small town politics ended, and ancient blood feuds began.

No wonder the Italian dub of The Simpsons gave Groundskeeper Willie a Sardinian accent. :p
 
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Yesterday, I finished this thread. It's an absolutely fascinating story. I understand your reasons for not wanting to continue it into the 19th century, but I'd love to see where Corsica ends up.

To make it easier, you could invent a historic figure who would basically be Napoleon except from mainland France. After all, if the POD butterflies away Napoleon's birth, perhaps it also enables the birth of someone who never existed in our history. It would be a pretty obvious analogue, but it would allow you to keep the focus on Corsica, with General Quiconque only showing up when he tries to invade Corsica (possibly defeated thanks to a certain brilliant Corsican officer).
 
Revolutions seem analogous to "Great Men" of history, in that they tend to be overstated IMO. Like a dam bursting, it is important to contextualize the events of such cataclysms by working backwards.

Even without Napoleon, something like the French Revolution seems likely to occur eventually. The Ancien Regime was not financially stable.
 
Revolutions seem analogous to "Great Men" of history, in that they tend to be overstated IMO. Like a dam bursting, it is important to contextualize the events of such cataclysms by working backwards.

Even without Napoleon, something like the French Revolution seems likely to occur eventually. The Ancien Regime was not financially stable.
True. A French Revolution is a near-certainty in my opinion. However, without Napoleon, things could be very different.
 
Just now I remembered a fact I stumbled upon a while ago that is on it's own just a random bit of historical trivia but kind of illustrates the problems with long running timelines:

There is almost no black coal in the Austrian empire in it's borders of 1815. There's more than enough Lignite, but Lignite is kind of shitty. It seems like you can't really industrialize on Lignite alone, at least not in the 19th century. For various reasons Bohemia was the most industrialized and generally developed part of the Austrian empire, but the lack of decent coal always prevented it from becoming one of Europe's top industrial regions like the Rhineland or parts of England.

You know where there's lots of black coal? Silesia. It seems like during the entire 19th century Austrian industrialists had to pay through the nose to get half-decent coal imported from Prussia. Causing a giant trade deficit with it's biggest rival in Germany and probably dooming it's industrial development to be forever second rate. What happens when this issue is magically dissolved? Did you also know that one of Germany's most industrialized regions, the Ruhr, grew by an order of magnitude in population in the 19th century, overwhelmingly through migration through Germans from outside the region, with some Poles also thrown in. What might happen if you did something like that to Bohemia?

So it's possible that you turned Cisleithanian Austria into the most industrialized region of Europe while simultaneously solving the issue of Czech nationalism for the Habsburgs if they don't lose the place again in the next couple of decades. That's an idea big enough to write it's own timeline about. And there are probably similarly monumental developments in countless other regions of Europe. So there's a reason all long-running timelines either turn to narrativism, becoming more of an exploration of ideas than a fine-grained timeline, or simply start ignoring anything outside it's narrow focus of interest and let it run more or less similarly to OTL with some cosmetic changes.
 
I understand your reasons for not wanting to continue it into the 19th century, but I'd love to see where Corsica ends up.

As the timeline becomes more and more divergent from OTL, charting the international butterflies becomes harder and harder, which will eventually make writing this TL in the manner I have been writing it so far untenable. As @De von Of pointed out, I would have to adapt either by changing the style of the writing (more excerpts and narratives, less "history book") or by adopting a really narrow focus on Corsica in which the rest of the world is just sort of alluded to occasionally. Either way, I would still have to develop my own concept of an alternate 19th century (even if the details are unexplored), which I'm not really eager to do. I have other projects I'm interested in (a re-write of Sons of the Harlot Empress has been on the back burner for a while now), and I don't want to compromise one of the strengths (IMO) of this TL, which is the focused, detailed quality of it.

I have previously explained that the TL is scheduled to stop around the end of the century to avoid grappling with a non-Napoleonic Europe, and that is true, but it's not the only reason. Even without the French Revolution and Napoleon, I feel that period represents a sort of "natural end" for the timeline. The reason I did not just end this TL with Theodore's death is that, despite the thread title, it's not just Theodore's story - it's the story of revolutionary Corsica. The Revolution may be over, but the generation of "young revolutionaries" - those Corsicans who were born in the 1720s-1730s and grew up during the war - are only now reaching (or about to reach) the height of their political careers. Alerio Matra turns 55 in 1775; Pasquale Paoli will be 50. Thus, even though we're some 25 years past the Treaty of Monaco, the people who knew Theodore and were personally influenced by the events of his rule are still around and have only recently begun to take control of the country from older generations who remember being Genoese subjects. Some of this generation, of course, will live into the 19th century - Paoli died in 1807 - but continuing to the 1780s/90s allows me to tell most of their story and examine what they do with the country Theodore gave them.

While King Theodore's Corsica will not continue into the 19th century, it is always possible that I might continue the story in some other fashion. What form that might take is something I haven't given a lot of serious thought to. Even once I finish, I think it's likely I will take a break before attempting any follow-up project.
 
As the timeline becomes more and more divergent from OTL, charting the international butterflies becomes harder and harder, which will eventually make writing this TL in the manner I have been writing it so far untenable. As @De von Of pointed out, I would have to adapt either by changing the style of the writing (more excerpts and narratives, less "history book") or by adopting a really narrow focus on Corsica in which the rest of the world is just sort of alluded to occasionally. Either way, I would still have to develop my own concept of an alternate 19th century (even if the details are unexplored), which I'm not really eager to do. I have other projects I'm interested in (a re-write of Sons of the Harlot Empress has been on the back burner for a while now), and I don't want to compromise one of the strengths (IMO) of this TL, which is the focused, detailed quality of it.

I have previously explained that the TL is scheduled to stop around the end of the century to avoid grappling with a non-Napoleonic Europe, and that is true, but it's not the only reason. Even without the French Revolution and Napoleon, I feel that period represents a sort of "natural end" for the timeline. The reason I did not just end this TL with Theodore's death is that, despite the thread title, it's not just Theodore's story - it's the story of revolutionary Corsica. The Revolution may be over, but the generation of "young revolutionaries" - those Corsicans who were born in the 1720s-1730s and grew up during the war - are only now reaching (or about to reach) the height of their political careers. Alerio Matra turns 55 in 1775; Pasquale Paoli will be 50. Thus, even though we're some 25 years past the Treaty of Monaco, the people who knew Theodore and were personally influenced by the events of his rule are still around and have only recently begun to take control of the country from older generations who remember being Genoese subjects. Some of this generation, of course, will live into the 19th century - Paoli died in 1807 - but continuing to the 1780s/90s allows me to tell most of their story and examine what they do with the country Theodore gave them.

While King Theodore's Corsica will not continue into the 19th century, it is always possible that I might continue the story in some other fashion. What form that might take is something I haven't given a lot of serious thought to. Even once I finish, I think it's likely I will take a break before attempting any follow-up project.
That's understandable. An approach that I think would work well would be a "snapshot" in the form of a travelogue sometime in the 20th century, similar to The World of Fight and Be Right or The Road to Yakutia. Have someone traveling around the modern Kingdom of Corsica, filling in just enough of the history.
 
The Second Matra Ministry
The Second Matra Ministry


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Minister Pasquale Paoli in 1777​


Immediately after returning to Bastia, Prince Theo found his father contemplating some very drastic steps. Apparently the king had drafted orders sacking both Luogotenente Giuseppe Fabiani and First Minister Alerio Matra, and proposed to mobilize the foreign Trabanti to aid Lieutenant-Colonel Bonavita in forcibly restoring order to the Balagna. That these orders remained in his desk, unsigned, was only because he was convinced that making enemies of Fabiani, Matra, the Niolesi, and the Balagnesi all at once would be a mistake. Theo later claimed that he was the one who persuaded his father to stop at the precipice, but some suspicion of this claim is warranted. Theo, after all, was not yet 21 years old with no political experience whatsoever.

Faced with this sudden and serious crisis, Theo looked to others for advice - and in particular, to Don Pasquale Paoli. Driven from power after Federico’s accession, Paoli had vainly attempted to satisfy his ambition through elective politics, but he clearly yearned to be back in the cockpit of government. The prince, after his return from Turin, was an obvious vehicle for this triumphant comeback, and Paoli courted him assiduously. Paoli had introduced him to the leading men of the Constitutional Society, which had subsequently made Theo their new Gran Patrono, and was also a fellow Freemason. Although Paoli can certainly be accused of manipulating the young and still rather naive prince for his own ends, the prince did need political advice, and Paoli was well-qualified to give it.

Paoli’s advice in this case was to cut a deal with Marquis Alerio Matra. Notwithstanding the king’s belief in a larger conspiracy, Don Alerio clearly had little sympathy for the cause of the shepherds and his aims were mutually exclusive with those of Marquis Fabiani. Fabiani, after all, was trying to preserve his local autonomy against a national government which Matra (at least notionally) headed. What Matra wanted was fairly straightforward: Actual responsibilities in government and more control over the composition of the ministry, which he had never been consulted about.

It was not coincidental that this also suited Paoli’s interests. Don Pasquale had scant regard for most of the ministers in the “consiglio dei conti.”[1] Admittedly he was not particularly close to Matra either, but Matra had been gradually moving towards the asfodelati “reformers” as he grew more and more disillusioned with Federico’s style of rule and the Francophile sympathies of his fellow ministers. Matra and Paoli appear to have already been in communication by this time, and it is quite possible that the “negotiations” between Theo and Matra were largely theatrical, intended only to get the unwitting prince to support an agreement whose generalities had already been agreed to by the two politicians.

In any case, the resulting “deal” was not well-received by the king. Paoli’s counsel, in this case, was flawed, for he had allowed the prince to make the mistake of negotiating in secret. When Theo presented the proposal to his father, including a ministerial reshuffle and the allocation of more authority to Matra, Federico perceived it not as a friendly proposal but a hostile ultimatum. He had never authorized his son to negotiate with Matra, whom the king still suspected was conspiring against him, and was furious that Matra would presume any role in deciding who ought to be a minister in the king’s government. Matra, in turn, seems to have been under the mistaken impression that Theo had the full confidence of the king and that royal approval was a mere formality. With this assumption, he had already ordered Count Innocenzo di Mari, the Minister of War, to mobilize the Foot Regiment. Don Alerio may have thought he was merely being proactive and holding up his end of the bargain, but the king interpreted this as a further threat and a usurpation of his own power.

The traditional account maintains that a real breach was only averted by Queen Elisabetta, who hated to see her husband and son at odds and convinced Federico to accept his son’s proposal. Some (perhaps most) credit may also be due to the king’s bodyguard and trusted confidant, Sir David Murray, who opined that any concessions made to Matra now could always be “revisited” once Fabiani and the Niolesi had been put in their places. Either way, the king reluctantly accepted Theo’s terms, but he never forgave his son for “betraying” him. As Federico saw it, Theo had gone behind his back, sided with Matra against the interests of the crown, and then handed him an unfavorable agreement as a fait accompli while Matra seized control of the army without royal consent. It was a soft coup, but a coup nonetheless, and one which had been supported by his own son and heir.

With the political crisis momentarily resolved, the government could now bring its full attention to the Balagna. Marquis Matra proposed to lead an expedition himself, perhaps hoping to repeat his success in crushing the filogenovesi of Fiumorbo during the Revolution. The king, however, was not having it. It was bad enough that he had been forced to make concessions to Matra; he was not putting him in personal command of an army as well. The prince put it more diplomatically, explaining to the marquis that, as prime minister, military command was no longer in his job description. Instead, four companies of the Regiment of Foot were assembled and entrusted to Major-General Count Giovan Quilico Casabianca - perhaps not coincidentally, a friend of Paoli - who was ordered to take control of all government forces in the province.

Casabianca quickly brought Fabiani back into obedience. There were some inducements on the table, such as stopping Murati’s arms raids and offering to restore some of Fabiani’s clients to the presidiali, but the greater consideration was the presence of 800 or so government soldiers on Fabiani’s doorstep. It helped that Casabianca was more diplomatic than the quarrelsome Bonavita, and - as a count and a general - was someone Marquis Fabiani could obey without injury to his pride. Casabianca ratified Fabiani’s command of the militia, but this had more to do with establishing dominance than any actual utility of these local troops.

Surprising many, Casabianca treated the Niolesi rather gently. He made no attempt to attack them or their flocks, and insisted that his soldiers were not in the Balagna to shake down shepherds for unpaid grazing dues. His strategy was instead to interpose his men between the Niolesi and armed locals to keep the peace. This proved successful in ending the bloodshed without provoking further violence, but it was not the favored solution of the Balagnese notabili, whose fields and orchards were still occupied by “bandits.” Moreover, Casabianca’s occupying force had to sleep and eat somewhere, and in lieu of any actual military infrastructure this meant that many were quartered in convents, barns, and private homes. Despite dismissing most of the provinciali, this was still a considerable burden on the local population. Casabianca knew that the Niolesi would eventually have to return to their mountains in the Spring, but this forbearance earned him the considerable ire of the locals.

Meanwhile, Marquis Matra set about shaking up the government. The casualties of this reshuffle belonged disproportionately to the southern aristocracy. The first to get the axe was Foreign Minister Count Lilio Peretti della Rocca, who belonged to a venerable clan of cinarchesi blood and was a stalwart member of the gigliati.[2] Matra had come to despise him, describing him as arrogant, incompetent, and so “slavishly devoted” to France that he could only have been in the pay of Versailles (although no evidence was produced to this effect). The Minister of Justice, Count Antonio Francesco Peraldi, was another prominent casualty. Widely seen as biased towards his fellow landowners, he was personally hated by the Niolesi and had gradually been losing favor with the king owing to his failure to extirpate the vendetta. His survival to this point had much to do with the fact that he was also the cousin of Marquis Luca d’Ornano, but when the venerable Don Luca finally died in the spring of 1776 Peraldi was out the door almost before the body was cold.

Matra did not really possess a well-defined political agenda, and thus the new members of the “Second Matra Ministry” were mainly family clients and other men whom the first minister could personally rely on. Francesco Matteo Limperani of Casinca, who replaced Peretti, was a good example; he was not the most qualified choice, but he was a reasonably competent official whose family was an ally of the Matra clan.[3] Don Alerio, however, did not have an entirely free hand. The king personally vetoed his attempt to replace the generally well-regarded war minister Count Innocenzo di Mari with Mario Emanuele Matra, Don Alerio’s younger brother.[A]. He did, however, get his nephew Francesco Antonio Gaffori - the son of the famous Marquis Gianpietro Gaffori - appointed as president of the camera provinciale of Corti.

The Second Matra Ministry also marked Paoli’s return from political exile. That was the price of Paoli’s assistance, but it was also useful to Matra, as it removed a charismatic (and often troublesome) voice from the Dieta. Though seemingly suspicious of Paoli’s ambition, clearly Matra thought it better to have such a man working for him than against him. Paoli’s appointment was as Peraldi’s replacement in the Justice Ministry, which was a clear step down from his former authority as Secretary of State but was presumably less antagonistic towards the gigliati than giving this notorious Anglophile an office with influence over foreign affairs.

Although he had no legal training, Paoli would turn out to be an inspired choice for the post. Rather than resenting his station, Paoli threw himself (and his prodigious work ethic) into the job. He was determined to crush the vendetta, and despite his reputation as an “enlightened” liberal he had absolutely no compunctions about using quite draconian methods to accomplish this. The immediate destruction of any house belonging to a convicted murderer or bandit became so routine that he was nicknamed “the arsonist of Morosaglia.” Nevertheless, Paoli tried to project an image as “harsh but fair,” and backed it up by expanding the role of witnesses in the Marcia (whose summary proceedings had often been rather light on evidence) and launching a purge of judges he deemed to be partial or corrupt.


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Niolo villagers at the end of the 19th century

Before any of this, however, he had to address the recent Niolo revolt. Paoli offered a blanket pardon to numerous lesser offenses (including trespass), and “past due” payments of the erbatico were forgiven. His mercy, however, was not total. Those accused of banditry and murder were hunted ruthlessly by the Royal Dragoons, leading to a number of violence incidents; now headquartered in Corti, however, the Marcia was no longer vulnerable to the stirrings of popular outrage. In the fall, General Casabianca’s soldiers occupied the established herding routes into the Balagna and demanded the disarmament of anyone who passed. It was easy for a man to evade them, but sneaking by them with an entire flock of sheep posed more of a challenge. While not completely successful at disarming the shepherds, this measure combined with a robust military presence succeeded in preventing another “war” from breaking out in the winter of 1776-77.

There would be no “final battle” against the disgruntled shepherds. Although incidents would continue to arise for years to come, not excluding violence, the inexorable advancement of state power (even in such a relatively weak state as Corsica) could not be denied. The shepherds had no support within broader Corsican society to defend their ancient rights, and their coastal grazing lands would only continue to be reduced by agricultural settlement and the growing cash crop economy, whose proponents commanded more resources and marshalled more political influence than the shepherds ever could. The way of life which had been practiced in the Niolo since time immemorial - even before the days of the Romans - was finally succumbing to modernity.

The political contest, however, had not been set on a similarly inevitable course. Matra’s purge of the ministry infuriated the gigliati, who remained influential at court and had the king’s ear. A considerable number of southern notables, even those not part of the gigliati, looked with unease at a government that seemed to be increasingly dominated by northerners (and Castagniccians in particular). In the past, Luca d’Ornano had accepted northern preeminence on the national stage - they were, after all, two thirds of the population - in return for quasi-feudal autonomy in the Dila, but Federico’s dismantlement of the lieutenancy system threatened to eliminate what many southern sgio saw as the only line of defense against a “northern dictatorship” that would intervene in their affairs and would be hostile towards their interests.


Footnotes
[1] Il consiglio dei conti (“the cabinet of counts”) is the nickname traditionally given to the First Matra Ministry, as it was almost exclusively composed of members of the upper nobility (counts and marquesses).
[2] The Peretti family had been notoriously flexible in its loyalty during the Revolution. Giacomo Maria Peretti, the family’s most prominent member in this period, had initially opposed the rebellion. He had come onboard in 1736 and pledged his loyalty to Theodore, but switched sides after the French occupation and was commissioned by Genoa as captain of a filogenovese militia company. He defected back to the royalists in 1743 after Colonna’s landing at Porto Vecchio, but by early 1746 it was suspected that he was in Genoese pay again and Don Matteo avoided his pieve after hearing rumors that Peretti planned to seize him and hand him over to the Republic. Giacomo finally ended his tergiversation during the “War of La Rocca” in late 1746 as the Republic’s authority crumbled completely, and submitted to royal authority.
[3] Francesco Limperani was the nephew of Giovan Paoli Limperani, best known as the main author of the Ortiporio Declaration and thus one of the ringleaders of the “Sedizioni” who had briefly rebelled against the royalist government in 1745. He was pardoned after surrendering to the royalists in June of that year.

Timeline Notes
[A] Mario Emanuele Matra is best known IOTL as the archenemy of Pasquale Paoli. He and his family were allies of Gaffori, but after Gaffori’s assassination in 1753 there was a schism among the national leadership and the Matra clan refused to support Paoli’s election as general of the nation in 1755. Mario Matra was elected as “Capo Generale” in opposition to Paoli by a rival consulta at Alesani and appealed to Genoa for support, beginning a civil war within the national movement. Matra managed to corner Paoli and his men in a convent in Alando in 1757, but allies came to Paoli’s aid and Matra was killed in the ensuing battle. Although Paoli’s support among the Corsicans was never universal, Mario Matra’s death marked the end of any serious challenge to Paoli’s leadership, which Paoli maintained for the next twelve years until his defeat at the hands of the French in 1769. “He was a brave man,” Paoli said of his vanquished foe; “In the fullness of time he might, if he had lived, have done Corsica great service.”
 
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Its kinda funny when there is a "northern" and "southern" split and concerns of "northern tyranny" when the whole island is smaller than Connecticut.
 
Have no fear the gigliati and the pro-Spanish Bourbonists are on the case to correct this mistake and return Corsica to its proper non-functionality!

The southern gigliati perhaps; they just want to realize the centuries-old dream of being free feudal lords, which may be somewhat at odds with the development of a modern state. But while the gigliati are generally pro-Bourbon (thus the name), not all gigliati are southern lords. Consider Don Santo Antonmattei, the Secretary of Commerce and the Navy and the most pro-Spanish man on Corsica (he was literally ennobled by the King of Spain). He's definitely pro-Bourbon (or at least pro-Spanish Bourbon), but he's also a northerner who made his fortune in trade. He might disagree with Matra and Paoli on foreign affairs, but on domestic and economic issues he's closer to Paoli than he is to his fellow "Bourbonophiles" among the southern sgio - which is one reason why he made the jump to the Second Matra Ministry without being purged. (His considerable wealth and expertise may also have helped - there are very few other people in Corsica with his fortune, or his experience in global trade and naval affairs).

Innocenzo di Mari, the Minister of War, offers another example: He's a member of the upper aristocracy who tends to be pro-Spanish Bourbon in his sympathies and might thus be lumped in with the gigliati, but he's also a Castagniccian whose family rose to their current status through revolutionary service (Mari's father was a royalist colonel and a Knight of the Redemption, while Innocenzo fought at Borgo, San Pellegrino, and the Second Siege of Bastia). Despite the fact that they're both "Bourbonophile" counts, Innocenzo probably doesn't have much respect for a guy like Count Peretti, whose family of ancient lords flip-flopped opportunistically between Theodore and the Genoese while Innocenzo and his father were risking their lives for king and nation. Innocenzo may not be the brightest or most talented man in the cabinet, but he's a patriot who is reasonably competent at his job and unquestionably loyal to the crown, and he certainly can't be accused of trying to sabotage the government. Alerio Matra's attempt to fire him in favor of his brother was an obvious political misstep (to say nothing of the blatant nepotism involved).

Its kinda funny when there is a "northern" and "southern" split and concerns of "northern tyranny" when the whole island is smaller than Connecticut.

If only Corsica had Connecticut's terrain. As it stands, the Dila and Diqua are remote enough from one another that they actually have different dialects.
 
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Divisions between groups of people are unavoidable, pretty much. In larger more diverse places the divisions might be along clear lines visible to outsiders, but it's highly probable and even common that in a small town those from the 'bad part' are generally regarded as dirty crooks, while those from the 'good part' are regarded as uppity snobs, for instance. All the while, people from the slightly bigger town on the other side of some hills or woods might regard the entire populace of said small town as inbred bumpkins.

As for the chapter itself, It's interesting to see political developments in Corsica continue. King Federico's paranoia seems to have come out of nowhere and is getting worse. Young Theo meanwhile is apparently learning lessons in political horse-trading which will hopefully serve him well in due time.
 
Hello, I was doing some research on my genealogy when I fell into your work.

This is actually amazing, I haven't read it all yet but I will definitely have a closer look at it!

I am Corsican and grew up in the city of Corte. Actually, I am a descendant of the colonel Andergossen which appears in your work (do you remember? He died murdered in Corte in your story at page 36 !). His real name is not Federico but Gio Giorgio!
You seem really well informed about this time, perhaps you have information that could help me in my research? Do you have knowledge about the origin and family of Gio Giorgio Andergossen ?

Actually, his daughter Maria Francesca married Agostino Adriani from one of the most filogenovesi family of Corte. They both are my ancestors.
Here is the birth certificate of their first born Vincenzo Luiggi (1745) :

Andergossen.jpg


You will notice that the godmother of the child is Faustina, Gian Pietro Gaffori's wife!
That's odd, isn't it?
 
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I am Corsican and grew up in the city of Corte. Actually, I am a descendant of the colonel Andergossen which appears in your work (do you remember? He died murdered in Corte in your story in page 36 !). His real name is not Federico but Gio Giorgio!
You seem really well informed about this time, perhaps you have information that could help me in my research? Do you have knowledge about the origin and family of Gio Giorgio Andergossen ?

How interesting! Thank you for sharing, I had no idea that Andergossen had familial relationships in Corsica. And thank you for the name - he was the only one of the Genoese colonels whose first name I was never able to discover, as from what I can tell the official correspondence in the Genoese Secret Archive calls him only "il magnifico colonello Andergossen." Now that I know his real name, I will edit my posts!

I'm happy to help, but to be honest it sounds like you know more about the man than me. What I know about Andergossen mostly pertains to his service on Corsica during the 1740s. He is referred to as a German (tedesco) who led a German (oltremontane) battalion. In 1741, he was ordered to take control of the Corte garrison after the French evacuated it. That he would be on friendly terms with the Gaffori family is not very strange to me. Andergossen was sent to Corte as a military commander, but he also dealt with local civil disputes during his time there. Having a working relationship with a local notable like Gaffori would have been very useful to him. Indeed, Emiliano Beri (citing the Secret Archives) suggests that Andergossen was removed from his position at Corte by Commissioner Spinola for being too partial towards his "friends and acquaintances," which suggests that he made connections within the community. Maybe Gaffori was one of those "friends" that Andergossen favored. The fact that the certificate is from 1745 is interesting, as in that very year Gaffori was elected to serve on a new triumvirate to lead the national movement. Then again, personal and familial relationships often ran deeper than mere politics.

I don't recall exactly when he was removed from Corte, but by 1746 Andergossen was apparently a brigadier and commanded the Guardie del Real Palazzo (the German "palace guard" of the Genoese Republic). He commanded Genoese forces in eastern Liguria in the final years of the War of the Austrian Succession. One source claims he participated in the action against Sanremo in 1753, leading some German infantry who marched on the Capuchin gate but retreated when fired upon by artillery. There is one book available online, Settecento Genovese, which claims that in 1766 Brigadier Andergossen was still on active duty and "a brave officer of 85, half-blind and a little paralytic," which if true tells us that he must have already been about 60 at the time he took over the Corti garrison in 1741. As to his origins, however, I'm afraid I have no idea - in my research I was focused on the Genoese military occupation and never tried to find any information on Andergossen or any other Genoese officers before the 1740s.

I haven't thought much about Andergossen since he left my story, but now that I know he left Corsican descendants, perhaps I'll find a way to mention them in a future update. In any case, thank you for posting, and sorry about killing off your ancestor! :oops:

(And since I'm posting, Merry Christmas to all!)
 
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Thank you for your answer, all kind of information is already precious to me!

Don't worry about killing my ancestor, I have other ones :coldsweat:;)

More seriously, I also am the descendant of Gianpietro Gaffori's sister so he is kind of a great uncle to me. I believe some more ancestors of mine might appear in your story (as I said, I haven't read it all yet)

My compliments for your work. I will follow your thread with interest
 
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