The Settling of the Western Mediterranean, 1796–1797
This chapter argues that the struggle for the Western Mediterranean resolves in 1796–1797 with three crucial events. The first is the turn of the Spanish from a French alliance in 1796. This alliance had its roots in the mistakes of the British, but also in the traditional balance-of-power dynamic from the Old Regime. The second event was the further dismantling of the First Coalition through Napoleon’s Italian Campaign. Rather than focusing on the campaign itself, it focuses on the diplomatic underpinnings that had their roots in the previous six years of struggle, especially in Genoa and Tuscany. Finally, this chapter concludes with a brief examination of the British evacuation of Corsica and the subsequent French integration of the island into their state, resulting in a measure of stability returning to the region.