The building of Greek State after the 1821 revolution
March 25, 1821, was the day of the Annunciation of the Theotokos of the Greek Orthodox.It was also the day of Greek rebellion and declaration of independence which was actually achieved in 1829.This paper examines the events, some issues, and prominent figures who contributed in building the Greek State which started in 1821.
The influences of the Great Powers (Great Britain, France and Russia) The Greeks were suppressed and controlled by Turks under Ottoman Empire resulting to the death of 25,000 Greeks on the island of Chios and 15,000 Greeks and 40,000 Turks in the Peloponessos.
The Greeks started to revolt in 1821. The Philiki Etairian leaders wanted to foster consciousness and resistance against the oppression of the Turks. Its leadership was first offered to Ioannis Kapodistrias of Corfu, who refused to accept due to misguided venture and a wrong timing, but it was accepted by Alexander Ipsiladis, a Phanariot, in 1820. Kapodistrias was assassinated after a few years. The Great Powers (France, Russia, and Great Britain) ruled Greece with the leadership of King Ludwig I of Bavaria who imposed monarchy but he was eventually voted out by the Greek Parliament.
George I of Denmark took over after Ludwig I. Before 1824 has ended, the Peloponnese, including 2000 Egyptian army lead by Papaflesas was invaded by Sultan Mahmoud II and Ibrahim with 6000 Turks. They attacked and killed around 600 Greeks in Maniaki on the 20th day of May 1825. The Great Powers, favored the Greeks, initiated direct military intervention in July 1827, and mediated the quarrel between the Turks and the Greeks. Russia maintained the significance of Orthodox Christianity while France showed strong sympathy towards the Greek volunteers.
The Orthodox Church was the basis of people’s cultural and economic life and it also hindered the stated from rapid change towards development since its ideas and teachings were opposed to those of the western nations. The Allied forces proposed an armistice in order to conclude the battle. Greece accepted it but Turkey refused to reconcile. As a result, the Allied fleet was set to sail off the west coast of the Peloponnese through Navarino on October 20, 1827 under Admiral Codrington to support Greece.
The Ottoman fleet fought against the Allied forces but it failed. In September 1829, Demetrios Ypsilanti, the brother of Alexander Ypsilanti, defeated the Turkish force in the border between Thebes and Livadia. This was the last engagement of the Turks and the time when Greek independence was achieved through the attainment of Peace of Adrianople between Russia and Turkey. People who contributed in the success of Greek revolution The attainment of freedom in Greece was realized due to the contribution of prominent figures that fought for freedom.
Five among them were: (1) Theodoros Kolokotronis (1770 – 1834), a local hero, who lead in defeating Mahmud Dramali’s army in 1822 of the Ottoman Empire as well the siege of Tripolis, which eventually surrendered and it marked the success of the Greek revolution for the first time; (2) Georgios Karaiskakis (1782 – 1827) was a military genius appointed as chief marshal of Eastern Greece and the first one to take part in the Greek revolution whose two victories at Arachova and Distomo made him famous; (3) Constantinos Kanaris (1793 – 1877) from Psara was successful in destroying Turkish fleets at Chios, Tenedos, Mytilene, Samos, and Alexandrian port to prevent Mehmet Ali’s war preparations, for example; (4) Gregorios Dikaios (1788 – 1825), also named Papaflesas, was born at Messinia and became a monk in his teens. He was forced by the Turks to leave Greece due to his revolutionary character so he reached Constantinople and joined “Filiki Etairia”.
Ypsilantis ordered him to return to Peloponnesos where he and started recruiting people for the revolution. He courageously fought against Ibrahim with 6000 Turks on 20 May 1825 until he died; and (5) Nikitaras, head of the pallikars band, had successfully fought Kiaya Bey at Kaki Scala in March and April 1822 at Ayia Marina under Odysseus rule and was given a nickname of Tourkophagos when he killed 3,000 Turks in the battle. The diaspora and the building of the new State The Ottoman Empire had paralyzed the Greeks who had not undergone Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment which resulted to slow progress and development of the lies of people in rural communities.
The proponents of modernization brought western culture and parliamentary government, bureaucracy, and educational institutions to keep the nation in tact but its counterparts wanted to maintain their relationship with the motherland, which hindered modernization. The number of Greek migrants has increased with their aspirations for economic freedom and improvement. Romanticism became apparent through Lord Byron who supported the Greek revolutionaries and died in 1824. In 1828, Greece embraced a republican constitution and the Turkish troops who occupied Acropolis left when the Allied Forces turned Greece into a monarchial democratic State in which the government’s political and judicial affairs are ruled of a Royal leader.
They were interested in sovereign, the head of the State with the will of the people through election as the only source of the head’s power. The Greeks, including the ethnic group were able to expand its boundaries and conquered European territories. Many of them succeed, became leaders, and gained support from other nations. This diaspora has led to the building of the modern Greek State in 1830. The new State: Identities, political issues, and other problems Greeks who were living outside their motherland hoped for an independent State similar to the European model with a centralized constitution, army and navy, and diplomatic representatives. It was only realized under the leadership of King Otho of Bavaria.
In 1831, the Allied Powers conducted a conference in London regarding the establishment of the new State and issued a protocol on February 23, 1832. One significant problem of the new State was that it is filled with Russian leaders. Otho was only seventeen years old when he was offered for the throne, but it was in 1833 when he arrived at Nauplia. However, it was not extremely disadvantageous they aimed to support the building the Greek State. Alexander Mavrokordatos was a National Assembly civilian leader who supporting the mission of Orlandos and Louriottis. He became a Secretary-General of the Executive Council (1823), Greece Prime Minister (1831, 1841, 1844, 1854-5), and a President of the legislative Senate. In 1835, King Otho ruled Athens.
He neglected the promised National Assembly as the basis of the Constitution despite the earnest advice of Lord Palmerston and Sir Robert Peel. As a consequence, German influence developed a feeling of discontent and led to another revolt in 1841. On 15th September 1843, the people dismissed Otho due to his failure in creating a constitutional regime. Finally, Greece attained freedom from foreign domination. Its liberation brought economic and intellectual progress. For instance, the University of Athens was established in 1837, which served as the center for propagation and preservation of Hellenic culture as well as in producing competitive professions.
While others were not open to transformation and new opportunities, many Greeks accepted modernization, created a Western-liberal identity, entered the commercial world, and explored the ideas of the Enlightenment and Reason. The triple alliance supported the revolution and the upbringing of the new state but it faced many challenges such as: Greek’s debt incurred during the war; the oppressive taxation that resulted to brigandage; the free press and rights to express opinion; and the disputes between the members of Council of Regency. In spite of the difficulties, the Allied Powers remained morally responsible in building the State. Synthesis Greece was under the control of the Turks during the Ottoman Empire.
Greece started the revolution in 1821 and its initiative to promote peace won the sympathy of the Allied Forces that helped won the battle in 1829. The building of the newly freed State in the early 1830s, however, was ruled mostly by Russian nationals. The Allied Forces encountered oppositions and obstacles in addition to public contempt of its oppressive and unfavorable political system. It was early in 1840s that Greece was totally liberated from foreign control. It was the diaspora, which started before the revolution and continued until 1830s that led to the transformation of the Greek state. It was the time when many Greek who crossed borders became successful in their life in the West.
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