Secession of Menton and Roquebrune
At the end of 1847, Pope Pius IX then King Charles-Albert of Piedmont-Sardinia initiated various reforms which laid the foundations for a customs union with Tuscany. The demands of the inhabitants of Menton, which were inspired by these reforms, became greater. The army was sent for and joined forces with the people on 25 November, to a cheering crowd, who also acclaimed the protection of the Sardinians.
Despite the negotiations and concessions made by Prince Florestan, the tensions did not ease. French and Italian momentum also swept up Menton.The crown Prince Charles, duke of Valentinois, was appointed administrator general of the Principality by his father. Independence was announced on 21 March, the day after the attempted discussions with Charles Trenca, the main leader of the Sardinian side. After adoption of the fundamental statute of the free towns of Menton and Roquebrune, a government was elected on 1 May by their common parliament, with Trenca at the head. The Prince and his descendants were banished on 29 May. On 30 June, the Grand Council of the Free Towns voted, after a pseudo-consultation with the people, for the unification of the municipalities to the “kingdom of Northern Italy”. The Sardinian Government decided, on 18 September, to occupy Menton and Roquebrune.
Following the treaty of 24 March 1860 in which king Victor-Emmanuel yielded the county of Nice to Napoleon III, under the condition that the people would ratify the decision, the inhabitants of Menton and Roquebrune were called to speak out, even though they were not part of the Sardinian states. The surrender was confirmed by the treaty of 2 February 1861, in which Prince Charles III of Monaco waives all rights to Menton and Roquebrune, on condition of obtaining a compensation of four million francs and the promise of opening up what remains of the Principality by road and rail.
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