Greeks Fight for Independence (Chronology of European History)
Article abstract: In their fight for independence from the Ottoman Turks, the Greeks launch the first successful national revolution in the 1820’s, leading to the establishment of Greece as an independent state.
Summary of Event
The Greek war of independence from the Ottoman Empire was the culmination of a long historical process, which began after the Turks conquered Greece in the fifteenth century and was completed in 1829. For almost four centuries, the Turks ruled over Greece. Turkish rule was harsh and became corrupt and even brutal, particularly when the empire began to decline in the eighteenth century, but during the first centuries of its existence, the Turks allowed the Greeks to use their own language and to exercise their own Orthodox faith. The Greek patriarch of Constantinople (Istanbul) became the political and spiritual head of all Orthodox Christians in the Balkans. Likewise, a small segment of educated Greeks, known as the Phanariotes, acquired high positions in the Ottoman administration and government. The Greek merchants, too, gradually dominated much of the commerce and trade in the Ottoman Empire. Economic prosperity and intellectual and literary revival in the eighteenth century led to a resurgence of Greek national consciousness. The desire of the Greeks to free themselves from Turkish rule was further stimulated by the French Revolution and Napoleon and by the rebellion of Ali Pasha of...
(The entire section is 1494 words.)
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Greek War of Independence (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: At issue: Greek independence from Ottoman rule. Result: Greek (and allied) victory; formation of an independent Greek state.
The Greeks were under Ottoman rule from 1453 to 1832. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, there were acts of resistance to Ottoman rule, but these were unplanned, sporadic revolts unable to achieve any permanent success. The French Revolution of 1789 and the wars of liberation of Napoleon I inspired the Greek intelligentsia to prepare for an armed struggle against the Ottomans. Rigas Velestinlis was the first Greek prophet of armed revolution. In addition to the many articles he wrote on constitutional matters, he wrote a military manual detailing how Greeks should carry on an armed struggle. He was betrayed by a Greek merchant and sentenced to death.
In June, 1798, Napoleon launched his invasion of Egypt, thus threatening the integrity of the Ottoman Empire. By 1814, all the Ionian Islands had been captured by the British. In 1814, the Greeks founded the secret organization Philikí Etaireía, or Friendly Brotherhood, with the objective of liberating Greece through armed revolt. The Greeks were also encouraged by the successful revolt of the Serbs against Ottoman rule in 1815.
In 1821, supreme leadership of the Friendly Brotherhood was offered to Prince Alexander Ypsilantis, member of a well-known Phanariot...
(The entire section is 850 words.)