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Treaty of Bastia (Borgo)

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The Treaty of Bastia was signed on the 12th August 1769 at the Palazzo Genovese, Bastia, Corsica, by representatives of the Kingdom of France, the Kingdom of Great Britain, and the Republic of Corsica. Its effect was to confirm the French recognition of Corsican independence, and a joint British-French guarantee of Corsican neutrality in international affairs.

France had previously claimed the island for its own, having been sold it by the Republic of Genoa from which Corsica had broken away some fourteen years earlier. In 1768 therefore French troops invaded the island in an attempt to assert its claim and subdue Corsica to the crown. The expedition however ended in disaster, the French being heavily defeated at the Battle of Borgo in October, and after Great Britain threatened to intervene France abandoned its plans and began peace negotiations.

The authorative version of the treaty was written in French. The English version is as follows.

Text

In the Name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity.

Be it known to all those whom it shall, or may, in any manner belong, that it having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts of the Most Serene and Most Potent Prince, His Christian Majesty Louis the Fifteenth, by the Grace of God King of France and Navarre, and His Serene Highness Pasquale, by the Grace of God and Constitution of the Republic President and High Representative of Corsica, to forgetting all past misunderstandings and differences that have unhappily divided them, and to establish mutual intercourse between their two countries such as may promote and secure perpetual peace and harmony, and having for this desirable end implored the Most Serene and Most Potent Prince, His Brittanick Majesty George the Third, by the Grace of God King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Duke of Brunswick and Lunebourg, Arch-Treasurer and Prince-Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, Defender of the Faith, to arbitrate and guarantee an agreeable Settlement and Treaty of Peace between them, His Most Christian Majesty and His Britannick Majesty have appointed as ministers plenipotentiary Emmanuel-Armand de Vignerot du Plessis de Richelieu, Duke of Aiguillon, Charles Gravier, Count of Vergennes, and Richard Howe, Viscount Howe, Admiral of His Britannick Majesty's Royal Navy, to confer with His Serene Highness and agree upon and confirm the following articles.

I: His Most Christian Majesty acknowledges the Republic of Corsica to be a free, independent and sovereign state, and relinquishes for himself, his heirs and successors all pretensions to the government, propriety and territorial rights of the same and every part thereof.

II: And that all disputes which might arise in future on the subject of the terriitorial claims of the said Republic of Corsica may be prevented, it is hereby agreed and declared that the following territories are and shall be its sovereign territory, viz: the Island of Corsica in its intirety, from coast to coast, and the Isle of Cavallo and all surrounding isles which lie closer to the foreshore of Corsica than to the foreshore of Sardinia, and the Islands of Capraia, and of Pianosa, and of Montecristo, and all lesser isles lying within a vicinity of twenty nautical miles of the foreshore of Corsica.

III: His Most Christian Majesty shall compensate the said Republic of Corsica for the damage caused by his soldiers during their late incursion onto the sovereign soil of Corsica to the sum of four hundred thousand livre, to be paid on the first day of each year in annual installments of forty thousand livre. And all prisoners made, on all sides, as well by land as by sea, and the hostages carried away or given during the late conflict, shall be restored, without ransom, within three weeks of the ratification of the present treaty.

IIII: There shall be a firm and perpetual peace between His Most Christian Majesty and the said Republic of Corsica, and between the subjects of the one and the subjects of the other, and a sincere and constant friendship shall be reestablished without exception of places or persons. And that there may henceforth be no disputes or misunderstandings between the said Republic and its neighbours, His Most Christian Majesty and His Brittanick Majesty do pledge for themselves, their heirs and successors to guarantee the said Republic's independence and neutrality.

V: His Most Christian Majesty's subjects shall be free to engage in trade without hindrance within the territory of the Republic of Corsica, to take fish within the waters surrounding Corsica, and to dwell in any town of Corsica. And His Serene Highness' subjects of the Republic of Corsica shall likewise be free to engage in trade without hindrance within His Most Christian Majesty's realms, to take fish within the waters surrounding France, and to dwell in any town under His Most Christian Majesty's protection.

VI: The solemn ratifications of the present treaty expedited in good and due form shall be exchanged between the contracting parties in the space of six months or sooner, if possible, to be computed from the date of the signatures of the present treaty. In witness whereof we, the undersigned, their ministers plenipotentiary, have in their name and in virtue of our full powers, signed with our hands the present definitive treaty and caused the seals of our arms to be affixed thereto.

Done at Bastia, this twelth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and sixty-nine.

Emmanuel duc d'Aiguillon
R. Howe
P. di Paoli
Carlo di Buonaparte
Vergennes

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