THE HISTORY: The Revolution of 1821
After many trials and errors, the Revolution of 1821 broke out. It was a revolution of liberation like so many others in Europe at the time. The West was moved by the struggle of the Greek people. After the founding of the Friendly Society in 1814 by Greek patriots, a Philhellenic movement was launched in Europe, prompted by a romantic admiration for ancient Greece by European intellectuals. The great powers of the time finally became interested in solving the "Greek", and by extension, what was known as "the Eastern question". In 1827 the "protecting" powers clashed with the Turkish-Egyptian fleet In Navarino Bay and hastened the conclusion of the bloody struggle of the Greeks.
In 1828 a small, independent Greek state was formed with 800,000 inhabitants. It was a penniless state of extremely size, consisting of the Peloponnese, Central Greece and the Cyclades. It would take another century of struggle before all the Greeks were freed.
The first man to govern the country was a Greek former minister of the Tsar, Ioannis Kapodistrias. His first task was to organize the state - its Internal administration, the army, the questions of the national territories and independence and the border question. However, his clash with the local aristocracy provoked intense reactions which led to his assassination in 1831.
In 1832, with the Treaty of London, Greece became an independent state with a hereditary king, Otho, son of the King of Bavaria. The 19th century was a long and trying time for the Greeks. It was a period during which Greek society, through a myriad difficulties, was trying to define its national image and bring about its national fulfillment. The liberality and democracy of the first Creek Constitutions were replaced by an absolute monarchy guided by foreigners. In 1843 Otho, under popular pressure, granted a conservative Constitution (1844) which, however, was often ignored. Otho was finally driven out of the country in 1862.
With the Constitution of 1864 the regime of a Constitutional Monarchy was established. The new king was George I, a scion of the Danish dynasty of the Glucksburgs. In the same year, the Ionian Islands were united with Greece, introducing progressive political customs and organized social frameworks for Greece's political and social life. There was relative calm during the period that ensued, up to the end of the century. The political battles were often relegated to the Chamber of Deputies while public opinion was more occupied by national and Balkan affairs. These were the Cretan Revolution of 1866-69; the establishment of a Bulgarian Church that was independent of the Patriarchate (Bulgarian Hexarchy of 1870) and which, in turn, created a Macedonian problem when the limits of its authority had to be defined; the Russian-Turkish War (1877-88) and the rise of panslavism; the establishment of a large Bulgarian state which stretched Into Creek Macedonia (Treaty of San Stefano 1878); the invasion of Thessaly by the Greek army and its annexation (1881); new uprisings in Epirus and Crete, etc.
The Great Idea
The new ideology which took root in the decade of the 1840s and which dictated Greece's foreign policy for a long time was the concept of the "Great Idea". It aimed at freeing all the Greeks who were still under the Ottoman yoke and in creating a greater Greece. It started as an ideology of the urban middle and lower-middle classes, passed through various phases and several ups and downs before ending up, at the beginning of the following century as the ideology of the urban upper class, acting as an inspiration for the liberation of enslaved Greeks and ending, finally, in national disasters and most acute internal conflicts. In the years that followed 1864, the man who prevailed on the political scene was Harilaos Trikoupis. The first socialist ideas and organizations made their appearance at this time. The continuous failures of national policy made it obvious that a general rearrangement of the country's political structure was needed together with its dissociation from the royal court.
In May, 1909 a Military league was formed. It demanded
the reorganization of the army and the navy, the dismissal of the princes from
any military command and the cleaning up of political life. The military coup
of 1909, which was to leave Its mark on the nation's development, broke out
at Goudi and was marked by total success. It exiled the political parties and
in August 1910 handed over power to a new politician from Crete, Eleftherios
Venizelos. From 1910 to 1935, the Greek political scene was dominated by the
personality of Eleftherios Venizelos.
of the Euphrates and the Nile Valley. In the 12th century B.C. the Mycenaean civilization was obliterated by Internal conflict and in 1100 B.C. by the invasion of the Dorians. The inhabitants of the cities and villages fled and settled on Aegean Islands and Cyprus and in Tarsus and Cilicia.