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Engraving with the map of the Battle of the Maddalena (1793)
Engraving with the map of the Battle of the Maddalena (1793)

In an increasingly difficult social situation, in part due to the major economic crisis, the perception of which was accentuated by the clear disparities between the social classes, the States General are convened in France for the first time in 150 years, with the task of reforming the structure of the state. The operation does not succeed in placating the people, and on 14 July a group of insurgents take the Bastille, the Parisian prison considered the symbol of monarchical power. It is the French Revolution, which leads to the fall of the Monarchy in 1792.
Meanwhile, in Corsica, Pasquale Paoli returns and the independence movement takes on new vigour with civil war raging. The Bonaparte family takes sides with the French and are forced to flee to Toulon. The fortunes of Napoleon, by then a young army officer, are thus tied to the revolutionary party, until he is nominated commander of the Paris fortress with the aim of saving the National Convention from the monarchical threat.

The other European states watch the precipitation of events with worry and decide to side with the Monarchy: Ferdinand III, Grand Duke of Tuscany, does so as well, however grudgingly, but will later be the first to enter into relations with the newly–formed French republic in 1795.

1786. The Grand Duke of Tuscany Leopold II draws up the new penal code, which abolishes the death penalty.

1790. Joseph Fesch, Napoleon’s maternal uncle and a future cardinal, swears the Civil Constitution of the French Clergy, thus embracing the revolutionary cause. Shortly after he abandons the cloth, taking it back up again only in 1801.

1793. Between 23 and 24 February, the admiral from Carloforte, Vittorio Porcile, is the protagonist of the battle of the Maddalena, on the occasion of which the French fleet, trying to occupy Savoy Sardinia, is defeated. Napoleon also participates in the battle.

1795. Napoleon is nominated commander of the Paris fortress.
The first clashes between the Austro–Piedmontese troops and the French led by general Schérer begin in the area around Savona.