So wrote Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his famous tract, The Social Contract, of 1762 . His ‘presentiment’ could hardly have been fulfilled with greater irony. From Corsica during the next few decades there was indeed to come a lawmaker, a man of valour, and in his own way a man of fidelity too. But whether he was destined to recover freedom for his native shore, or to bring it to the mainland of Europe, raises a question of definition on which Rousseau, who died in 1778, would surely have had a lot more to say.
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