The Corsican’s refer to him as U BABBU DI A PATRIA – the Father of the people. Who was this historical figure that is so important to the Corsican people and why is he so important today?
During the middle ages, Corsica was the prize in rivalries between the Papacy, Pisa nad Genoa. When the Genoese, finally took over Corsica in 1284, five centuries of occupation followed.
In 1755, PASQUALE PAOLI, the Corsican patriot, proclaimed independence from the Genoese. Paoli gave Corsica a democratic constitution, which later went on as a blueprint for the American Constitution. He also founded the island’s University. The Corsican’s refer to him U BABBU DI A PATRIA – the Father of the people. Despite the independence, the exhausted, and by then ruined Genoese who were still present in pockets on the island, handed CORSICA to FRANCE in 1768 with the Treaty of Versailles. After the French army arrived, Paoli wanted to protect Corsica’s independence and his army fought the French in 1769, at the Battle of PONTE NUEVO, the battle was won by the French army, Independence was over and Paoli fled to London. The French Revolution further aggravated the opposition between clans and in this turmoil, Paoli returned to Corsica. Paoli appealed to the English for help in his struggle, and the English occupied the island from 1794 until 1796 under the crown of George III, the English left and again FRANCE yet again took control of Corsica.