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Pasquale Paoli

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Pasquale Paoli was born in 1725 to Giacinto Paoli, a Corsican who had led opposition to Genoa, the current rulers of Corsica. While accompanying his father into exile in 1739 Paoli went to a military school in Naples, with one eye firmly on returning to Corsica and renewing the rebellion. He did so in 1755, and managed to secure a new constitution and a position as the head of government. Over the next nine years his rule worked to reform Corsica, particularly law, education and the military. Nevertheless the war continued, and in 1768 France bought Corsica. They invaded the next year, ejected the Corsican government, and Paoli escaped to England. In 1790, with the French Revolution in full effect, Paoli returned home and assumed a military role, but renewed the war for independence in 1793, ejecting the French in 1794. Paoli offered England’s George III the throne, but when the king accepted Paoli wasn’t given the key roles he wanted and he returned to England on a British pension. He died in 1807.

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