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Corsica

Corsica, (Corsican: Corsica, French: Corse), is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, located roughly west of Italy, south of France and north of Sardinia (Italy).

Its position has been considered significant as a platform for military operations, which were violent and ongoing between Italy and France for centuries. The possible unification with Sardinia has however always been seen as a dangerous eventuality, especially by the UK, because it would have granted to their ruler an overwhelming power over the Mediterranean Sea.

At present, it is a region of France with 250,000 inhabitants. The regional capital is Ajaccio (Corsican: Aiacciu). The region is divided in two départements: Corse-du-Sud and Haute-Corse. The former Corse département (#20) was divided into two départements in 1975.

Main towns: (Corsican names)

Ajaccio (Aiacciu)
Bastia (Bastia)
Corte (Corti)
Sartene (Sartè)

Other towns and villages:

Saint-Florent[?] (San Fiorenzu)
Calvi[?] (Calvi)
Porto-Vecchio[?] (Porti Vechju)
Bonifacio[?] (Bunifaziu)

Plenty of extraordinary tourist areas: Bonifacio, Porto-vecchio, Calvi...

The island has a precious natural park (north east) protecting thousands of rare animal and vegetal species.

Corsica was the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, whose parents were of the minor nobility. Corsica was under French control at the time, and Corsican nobles were offered the ability to gain French titles if they could prove their genealogy sufficiently. In the attempt to do that, his parents travelled to court in France, and like many other Corsican nobles, they sent young Napoleon to school there.

An other important figure is Pascal Paoli[?].

There is a movement on the island for Corsican independence. The French government is strongly opposed to the idea, fearing it would threaten the unity of France. Some supporters of Corsican independence have launched a campaign of bombings and assassinations to try to force the French government to grant it independence. In 2000, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin agreed to grant an increased degree of autonomy to Corsica, in exchange for a cessation of violence. This was opposed by the Gaullist opposition in the French National Assembly, on the grounds that it would lead to autonomy also for other regions (Brittany, Provence, Alsace, etc.), and that would in turn lead eventually to the breakup of France. In any case, autonomy for Corsica has created a precedent for devolution to other French regions also.

The proposed autonomy for Corsica would include greater protection for the Corsican language (corsu), the traditional language of the island. France traditionally has been discouraging of the use of regional or minority languages, viewing the supremacy of French as an assurance of the unity of the French state.


Corsica is also a place in the State of South Dakota: see Corsica, South Dakota.



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