Greece History: the Uprising of 1821 and the Balkan Wars

With the insurrection of 1821 the history of modern Greece begins: the Sacred Battalion, under the command of A. Ipsilanti, gave the signal of the revolt in Iassi, in Moldavia, in the wake of the European uprisings. According to globalsciencellc, the revolt immediately spread to Greece: Tripoli fell in September and in 1822 the I National Assembly met in Epidaurus, which issued the first Constitution. After the initial successes, however, discord began between the political leaders (mostly phanariotes) and the military leaders: the revival of the Turkish Empire, which was helped by the viceroy of Egypt Ibrāhīm, favored reconciliation, but at the same time attracted the interference of Great Britain, which in 1824 had lent 8 million pounds to the insurgents. 1825-26 saw a series of defeats by the Greeks (fall of Missolungi, siege of Athens); but after the fall of Athens (1827) the revolution flared up with renewed vigor and the battle of Navarino decided the fate of the struggle. GA Capodistria was appointed head of government, and with the London Protocol (1828) France was charged with clearing the Peloponnese of the Turks, while the capital was fixed at Nafplio. The independence of Greece was sanctioned by the Peace of Adrianople (1829) between Russia and Turkey: the border of the new state was fixed by Ambracian Gulf to the Gulf Pagasitic.. With the London Conference of 1832 Greece was imposed on the monarchy, along with the “protection” of independence. The authoritarianism of Koper and foreign interference led to the secession of Hydra, the revolt in Mani and finally the assassination of the governor himself, which was followed by a civil war. Finally, in January 1833, the designated king, Otto of Bavaria, landed in Nafplio with his court and a contingent of troops. A foreigner in the country he was to govern, the young king inaugurated an authoritarian policy, which eluded the real needs of the people, surrounding himself with phanariotes and repressing former combatants: even the choice of the “pure” language (katharéyusa) as the official language of the new state was a symptom of the anti-popular orientation of its politics.

The result of this was, in 1843, the rebellion of the Athens garrison, which forced the king to sign the Constitution. With the outbreak of the Crimean War (1854), the king’s irresponsible policy bore its first fruits: Thessaly rebelled, the British and the French occupied Piraeus to prevent Greece from intervening and the country had to witness a bloody repression helplessly. With a revolt (1862) Ottone was deposed and replaced by a provisional government which called a National Assembly. In 1863 the monarchy was reintroduced, with George of Gluecksburg, a Danish prince liked by Queen Victoria: thus the state of interference of Great Britain in Greek internal affairs was consolidated, destined to last until after the Second World War. In the following years Greece continued to be tormented by the problems of the unredeemed areas (1866: revolt of Crete; 1875: mobilization for Thessaly following the Russo-Turkish war) and by the scourge of banditry. With the Berlin Congress (1878) Greece obtained Thessaly and Epirus which it occupied only in part (1881) due to the opposition of Turkey (while Great Britain had Cyprus), but then had to suffer the humiliation of the blockade and disarmament, imposed by the great powers to prevent a war against Turkey (1885). As a consequence of such foreign interference and the failure of a state loan, the Greek government declared bankruptcy in 1893: at the fall of Ch. Trikupis, representative of the liberal bourgeoisie, in 1895 Th. Dilighianniscame to power. (expression of the “irredentists”), who sent a fleet to Crete risen against the Turks (1897). A war followed which Greece was unable to cope with and which ended disastrously, with border adjustments, compensation for Turkey and an obligation for Greece to accept economic control of the powers. The internal situation was severely affected and there was also a (failed) attack against the king. For Crete the powers decided to send the Greek prince George as governor. When Trikupis’ party returned to power, the government was again overthrown (1901) following the uprisings caused by the translation of the Gospel into the popular language. The first decade of the century. XX was a period of government instability, characterized by nationalistic and irredentistic ferments (infiltration of volunteer corps in Macedonia). In the meantime, in Crete Eleftherios Venizèlos led a revolution (1905) which led to the withdrawal of Prince George and the appointment of A. Zaìmis as governor. The alternating Greek political events saw popular uprisings and military pronouncements (revolt of Gudì, 1909), until E. Venizèlos was called to form the government (1910), who founded the Liberal Party and set up a series of reforms, starting with the Constitution (1911); he also carried out the reorganization of state and defense structures, introduced compulsory elementary education and established the immovability of officials. In foreign policy, profound changes in relations with the Balkan states led to a new war against Turkey (I Balkan War, 1912), which ended successfully with the annexation of Crete and the Aegean islands (except the Dodecanese, occupied by Italy in 1912), Epirus and northwestern Macedonia up to Thessaloniki. Turkey, Greece and Serbia then also defeated the former ally Bulgaria (II Balkan War): with the Treaty of Bucharest (1913) Greece also obtained Eastern Macedonia.

Greece History - the Uprising of 1821 and the Balkan Wars