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By Joshua Meeks

This publication investigates the clash over keep watch over over the Western Mediterranean within the overdue eighteenth-century. The Western Mediterranean throughout the 1790s featured a relentless fight for regulate over the area. whereas such a lot histories aspect to army occasions resembling the Italian crusade as descriptive of this fight among the 2 competing ideological forces of innovative France and the Counter-Revolutionary First Coalition led by means of Britain, this publication takes a distinct procedure. instead of the fight among ideologies, this ebook seems to be on the fight inside of these ideologies, arguing that the Western Mediterranean states weren't easily the battlefields or the prizes of the fight, yet have been lively members with ambitions of autonomy or neutrality. the focal point stretches past clash among France and Britain, into the difference of ideology for various makes use of in Tuscany, Toulon, Algiers, Spain, and particularly Corsica.

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Extra info for France, Britain, and the Struggle for the Revolutionary Western Mediterranean

Sample text

Significantly, the main complaints of this document were directed toward the local government, not France itself. This was not a document of rebellion against the French, but rather a plea for unity and integration, espousing hope and excitement for the future. The Corsicans further evinced this enthusiasm and optimism by sending deputies to Paris prior to the Assembly granting them seats. This was done with typical Corsican divisiveness. Two sets of deputies were sent, one contesting the elections of the other.

Reacting to this radicalization forced the British to orient themselves not simply as a participant in the arena of international politics via commerce, but as arbiter and defender, especially of the minor powers. In this role, they struggled and ultimately failed to find a middle ground between protecting the old order and promoting a new vision for international politics. On the other side, however, the French representatives in the Mediterranean also largely failed to convince or pressure with their radical agenda, necessitating an adaptation of rhetoric from Paris to practice in the periphery.

54 55 THE WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN IN THE AGE OF REVOLUTIONS 37 neutrality. La Flotte continued to press for a definite answer, however, and on February 22 he received one. The government noted that the question was rhetorical and expressed disbelief that France would ever make such a demand in light of Tuscany’s strict adherence to neutrality. ”58 This recognition of the military situation in the Mediterranean explains the deference of the Grand Duke to the French. Although ideally Tuscany would avoid involvement in any such dispute, realistically Manfredini, the Grand Duke, and especially La Flotte recognized the fact that the British and even Austrians were unable to provide assistance at the time.

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