|Born||14 March 1757|
Casteddu Sardu, Sardinia, France
|Died||16 November 1817|
Genoa, Republic of Genoa
|Citizenship||France (1757-1815) |
|Education||Lycée Louis-le-Grand |
College of Sorbonne
|Years active||1773 - 1815|
|Era||Era of Revolutions|
|Title||Director of the French Republic|
|Term||1795 - 1815|
Austinu Spiga (Italian: Agustino Spica, French: Auguste Épiga, 1757-1817), anglicized as Augustine Spiga or Auguste Spiga, was a French statesman and politician of Sard origin. He was the leader of France during the eponymous Augustine Wars.
Origins in Sardinia
Spiga was born in the town of Casteddu Sardu during the Sardinian Independence War on the 14th of March, 1757. His father, Cyricus Spiga, was a statesman of Corsican ancestry who worked for the French Viceroy of Sardinia Charles Boyer and moved the family to France after Spiga was born. Elisa Perseu, Spiga's mother, was a noblewoman from Carloforte born into a Genoese merchant family. Despite his parents' immigrant origins, Spiga grew up speaking Sard and French and primarily identified with French culture since he was young.
He would grow up in Paris, often visiting Montpellier. In the summer of 1768, he had been admitted into the prestigious Lycée Louis-le-Grand, and continued to study law at the Sorbonne, and there he had become enamored with the ideas of liberalism and republicanism. He became a well known orator within the academy, but was notorious for his anti-royalist sentiments.
Spiga founded the Society of the Friends of Liberty (French: Société des Amateurs de la Liberté) in 1773, a political association which advocated for the complete abolition of the monarchy and the ruling class. The Society disregarded the divine right of kings and believed in French expansionism.
Rise to power
He had been elected into the National Assembly in 1790. Spiga soon rose to prominence and became the President of the Assembly in 1794.
Director of the French Republic
Spiga declared himself Director of the French Republic in 1795. France, under the directorate of Spiga, would commit to spreading revolutionary ideals to their neighbours. They would eventually get entangled in numerous wars against Britain, Austria, and the Ottoman Empire.
Rossignol and his ascent to power
Once in power, Spiga appointed Jacques Rossignol as Marshal. Rossignol was a drill instructor turned military general, who Spiga had known during his time at the Society of the Friends of Liberty. Rossignol was a key figure in the French government, as Spiga had often sought advice from him and delegated a lot of critical missions to him. Rossignol was Spiga's most trusted man, and his influence over Spiga had led to the increasing militarization of the Republic. Although becoming increasingly autocratic, Spiga was still wildly popular in France, and had the legitimacy as he was popularly elected as the President of the National Assembly.