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Corsica is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, located roughly west of Italy and south of France. Over the course of time, it has been held as a territory of both those countries. Its position has been considered significant as a platform for military operations, which were violent and ongoing between the two nations for centuries. At present, it is a department of France.

Corsica was the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, whose parents were of the minor nobility. Corsica was under French control at the time, and Corsican nobles were offered the ability to gain French titles if they could prove their genealogy sufficiently. In the attempt to do that, his parents travelled to court in France, and like many other Corsican nobles, they sent young Napoleon to school there.