|Republic of Genoa
|Repúbrica de Zêna
Genoa (Genoese: Zêna) is a country located in the northwestern region of Italy. Genoa was one of the premier maritime powers and Europe, having established several port colonies in the Black Sea, North Africa, Central America, and the Pacific. Historically, Genoa was one of the three main stakeholders of the jointly-controlled Panama Canal (along with Mexico and Colombia), and controlled several islands in the Pacific before it was taken by Colombia in the 1950s. Genoa has a population of over 1.7 million people.
The Republic of Genoa started as a medieval maritime republic in the 11th century. It became a significant commercial power in the Mediterranean by the late middle ages and became one of the major financial centers in Europe by the 17th century.
Throughout its history, the republic established numerous colonies worldwide. The first colonies were established in Europe during the 15th to 16th centuries, specifically on the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Some of them had been founded directly under the patronage of the republican government to support the economy of the local merchants. In contrast, others were feudal possessions of Genoese nobles or had been founded by powerful private institutions. In 1542, Tabarka was awarded to Genoa by the Ottoman Bey of Tunis as a concession to the Genoese Lomellini family after helping capture a Turkish pirate. Since the 16th century, Genoa had continued good relations with the Ottoman Empire, eventually gaining full trading rights in Tunisia.
Genoa in the Americas and the Pacific
The 18th century saw Genoa's influence and territory extend outside of the Mediterranean. In 1757, they formally gained Panama from Spain. The settlement of Panamá was initially established by the Spanish in 1519 on the Pacific Coast. Although administered by the Spanish, Genoese merchants were able to dominate the trade in the city due to generous concessions made by the Spaniards (who had the Genoese Republic as an ally and their main banking base).
Continued favorable relations between Spain and Genoa allowed the Genoese to be multiple granted trade charters in the city throughout the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1757, the city was officially transferred to Genoa through the Treaty of Genova, as a Spanish gesture of goodwill for Genoa's banking support to Spain during the Great Silesian War. Although this treaty had confirmed the Genoese ownership of the city, Genoese merchants already had de facto control over trade and governance in Panama decades before.
It was also in 1757 that Austria granted Genoa the island of Sainte-Lucie (which they renamed to Saint George Island), which was taken from France after the Great Silesian War. A portion of Saint George's economic success from its sugarcane plantations went to the development, expansion, and further fortification of the City of Panama.
The Panama Canal
Since the mid-19th century, the governments of Colombia, Mexico, and Genoa had plans of a joint-effort canal project in the Isthmus of Panamá. Enthusiasm for the planned canal came from the need to escape the trade embargoes imposed upon the Latin American countries by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and New Netherland, as well as the need for a shorter route from the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean. The project had used Genoa (through Panama) as the banking base for its financial aspects, and had a several engineers from Genoa involved. At the same time, the Dutch nations were building a separate canal in Boschland, Central America. However, the Panama Canal was completed a few months before the Dutch canal was.
With the Panama Canal established, Genoa was able to project its power and influence in the South Pacific. Within the first decade of the 20th century, Genoa was able to establish a presence in the South Pacific islands of Sànta Crôxe, Brâxa, Izoa Françésco, Izoa De Pàscua, Izoa Motiro, and the Galapagos Islands. Genoa was also able to establish protectorates over Niue and Tonga.
20th century history
During the Great War (1935-1939), a faction within the Genoese grand council (dubbed the Tripartists) advocated for Genoa to form an alliance with France and the Ottoman Empire, declare war on their rival Venice, and annex Venetian territory in order to claim dominance in the Italian region. The rest of the council, on the other hand, did not approve any resolutions calling for war. As a result, on August 3, 1937, the Tripartist faction, led by military leader Nicolo Chiossone, staged a military coup. However, Chiossone was unable to carry out his plans to declare war on Venice after being confronted with the realities of Genoese military's poor state.
Following the Great War, Genoa was politically and diplomatically isolated from the rest of Europe. When the Cavendish Affair was revealed in 1945 (a conspiracy to restore the monarchy in France, where Genoese banks were implicated), anti-Genoese sentiment rose across Europe, and the demand for Genoese banking services and products plummeted. Genoa had incurred a huge trade deficit, importing most of its goods. Between 1946 and 1945, the value of the Genoese currency took a steep decline, resulting in hyperinflation and widespread panic among the populace. Between 1950 and 1955, food prices had increased twentyfold. The poor state of the Genoese economy resulted in massive capital flight, bank runs, and further deterioration of the economy.
Loss of territory
Corsica's 1951 declaration of independence from Genoa made this situation worse. Chiossone's government made numerous attempts to recover Corsica; however, Venice had guaranteed Corsican independence a few months later, which made Chiossone reluctant to launch an invasion to retake the island. Corsican independence was also eventually recognized by the two most dominant world powers, Great Britain and Russia.
Colombian Takeover of Panama and the Genoese Pacific
The Genoese Pacific colonies were also affected by the Genoese economic turmoil. After Genoa was unable to supply them with basic goods and services, a humanitarian crisis erupted in the Pacific. The Colombian government used this as justification to occupy the islands in order to save them from collapse. The Colombian occupation was condemned by Chiossone's government. Furthermore, the economy was made worse by the Colombian government's acquisition of Genoese investors' shares in the Panama Canal. By 1958, the city-state of Panama has become a de facto puppet state of Colombia, with Genoa unable to effectively control the city.
In order to improve the financial situation, Genoa sold Mahe, their last foothold in India, to the Carnatic in 1955. In 1959, Niue and Tonga declared their independence from Genoa, and Genoa was too weak militarily to put up a response. Niue and Tonga's independence was then recognized and backed by Great Britain the following year.Throughout 1955-1960, massive populist strikes in Genoa devolved into riots, effectively forcing Chiossone to resign in September 1960. Genoa's democracy was restored, and a new constitution was established.