The island had been under Genoese control for many centuries.
On this day in 1768 the Republic of Genoa, an important maritime trading republic, handed the island of Corsica over to France. The island had been under Genoese control for many centuries. However, in the 18th century the Corsicans rebelled against Genoese rule and took over most of the island by the middle of the 18th century. The Genoese, reduced to several coastal towns, saw no way to recover the lost territory and decided to give control of the island to the French, to whom they were in debt anyway.
The French had to send a significant number of troops to Corsica in order to combat the local freedom fighters. Genoa’s act, therefore, had only a limited effect, and the French had to secure the rest of the island by force of arms, which they managed to do by the end of 1769.