UNIT II: GREEK HISTORY (cont.)
SECTION III: RECENT GREEK HISTORY
Recent Greek History
The history of Greece from the fall of Constantinople to the present day suggests a problem of profound historic interest. From the year 1453 till the end of the 18th century almost ail the occasions on which the Greek people appear on the page of the historian are occasions on which we read of them that they were butchered or sold into slavery. Records tell only of their annihilation or disper-sion. Yet in the commencement of the 19th century this apparently annihilated and dispersed people can summon energy enough to resist the Turks, and although in all pro-bability they would have failed to overcome their oppres-sors if they had been compelled to struggle unaided, yet the courage and self-devotion which they showed in the conflict were such as to gain for them the sympathies of Europe, and they came forth triumphant. But in reading even of their war for independence we are astonished that a remnant was left. Thousands upon thousands perished, and their victory seemed only less terrible than utter defeat. Yet the spirit of life remained. The kingdom of Greece was established, and within forty yeaw, notwithstanding deplorable mistakes in its management, the population is doubled, and the country becomes consolidated into a constitutional realm. To trace how these events were possible and how they actually came to pass is the task of the historian of Modern Greece.
The external events in this history are necessarily few. Greece was during the most of these centuries under the sway of foreigners, and the external history of Greece is formed merely by episodes in the history of these foreigners. When Mahomet II. became master of Constantinople, he did not thereby become master of the Greek empire. The Palaeologi had held only a small portion of the territory which had constituted the Greek empire. Most of the islands of the iEgean were under the rule of Italian princes who acted as independent rulers. Rhodes was governed by the knights of St John. But especially the Venetians owned large possessions in Greece and were also powerful by sea. The external history of Greece is occupied mainly with the efforts of Mahomet II. and his successors to spread their conquests. Mahomet himself conquered the kingdoms of Trebizond, Albania, Euboea, Greece proper, and part of the Peloponnesus. He was also successful in expeditious against several of the islands of the iEgean, but he failed in his attack'on Rhodes. It was not till the end of 1522 that the knights of St John capitulated to Suleiman I. after standing a siege in which they showed the greatest bravery, and in which the Ottomans, it is said, lost about 100,000 men. On the 1st of January the knights left the island, to go first to Crete and then to Malta. Cyprus and Crete remained still longer in the hands of the Westerns. In 1489 Catherine Cornara ceded the island of Cyprus to the Venetians, who retained possession of it till, in 1570, Piali and Lala Mustapha attacked it. Nikosia fell in September 1570, and Famagosta in August 1571, after a brave defence conducted by Marcantonio Bragadino. The Turks received a severe defeat at Lepanto from Don Juan d'Austria in command of the combined fleets of Spain and Italy, in which they lost 130 ships and 30,000 men. But the blow was merely temporary. The helpers of Venice were not united among themselves. Again the Turks became the rulers of the ^Egean Sea, and in 1573 Venice had to conclude a humiliating treaty in which she gave up Cyprus. In the case of Crete Venice had to pay for her own severity. That island remained for a long time undis-turbed in the possession of the queen of the seas, as far as the Ottomans were concerned. But internal commotions agitated it. The Sphakiots or mountaineers of the south-west of Cretea bold, brave, and independent race of men rebelled against the rule of the Westerns; and the Venetians had recourse to the most shameful cruelties and atrocities on all their Greek subjects in order to crush the rebellious spirit. The result was that the Greeks hated the Venetians with the bitterest hatred, and would have gladly welcomed a change to the rule of the Turks. The Venetians saw that they had gone too far, and sent a wise politician, Giacomo Foscarini, to bring matters to a better state. Many prudent reforms were inaugurated, the Sphakiots were reconciled, and all seemed to promise well. But Foscarini died before his reforms got firm hold of the people. The Sphakiots indeed from that day to this have never submitted to the Turkish yoke, but the rest of the people were far from willing subjects of the Venetians and favoured an invasion by the Turks. The Turks knew their opportunity, and began an effort to possess the island which, though the Venetians resisted with great perseverance and were backed by other Italians and by the French, ended in the treaty of 6th September 1669, in which they ceded Crete to the Turks. This last acquisition rendered the whole of Greece subject to the Turks with the exception of the Ionian and a few other small islands, which still remained in the hands of the Venetians. The Venetians, however, did not resign their hold on Greece without a final effort to recover possession of it. For this purpose they not only levied soldiers from their own and other Italian communities, but also hired generals and soldiers from Germany. The war began in 1689. The management of it was en-trusted to one of the greatest men whom Venice produced, Francesco Morosini, who was ably assisted by a Swedish general, Konigsmark. The contest was carried on with great vigour until at length the Turks were driven from the Peloponnesus. The Venetians wished also to regain possession of Euboea, but in this they were unsuccessful. The war was brought to an end by the peace of Carlowitz, which left Venice in possession of the Peloponnesus, and the islands of iEgina and Santa Maura. One incident in this war has especially attracted the attention of the civilized world. Morosini, finding his efforts successful in the Morea, resolved to advance towards Euboea. Athens lay in his way. It was garrisoned by the Turks, who, however, on his approach quitted the lower city and, occupying the Acropolis, prepared to defend it at all hazards. They planted one of their batteries in a breach of the temple of Nike Apteros, and they placed a portion of their powder and many of their valuables in the Parthenon. The Venetians showed no respect for the most beautiful of all buildings; and one of their bombs, falling on the powder in the Parthenon, blew many of the masterpieces of art into a thousand frag-ments, and utterly defaced the noble building which had remained up till that time very nearly in the condition in which the original architect and sculptor had left it. The Venetians tried to introduce reforms into the Peloponnesus, and had made considerable progress when in 1715 Ali Kumurgi, at the head of a very large Ottoman army, entered the Peloponnesus. The Venetians were unprepared, and they could not easily get assistance from others. The con-sequence was that in a very short time Kumurgi drove them out of the whole of the peninsula. The Turks got involved at this time in war with Austria; and when peace was finally concluded at Passarowitz, Venice had to give up the Morea as well as the island of iEgina, and practically she dis-appears from the history of Greece except as the possessor of Santa Maura. But a great change had now begun to ta.ke place in European politics. At an early period after the capture of Constantinople the Turks came into collision with their neighbours on the north, the empires of Austria and Russia, and we find these two powers united in resisting the inroads of the Ottomans. Even so late as 1683 the Turks were so bold as to advance as far as Vienna and lay
siege to it. But iu the 18th century the policy of Russia attracted the attention of the rest of Europe, and caused a considerable change of attitude. Early in that century Peter the Great had declared his resolution to force his way into Constantinople, and though he was completely baulked in his aim, and had to sign an inglorious peace (1711), the desire to have the city on the Bosphorus continued to animate the Russians. It is to Count Munnich, field-marshal and counsellor of the Russian empress Anna, that historians attribute the suggestion that Russia should systematically stir up the Greek Christians against their Turkish masters, and from his time (1736) onward we find Russia continually scheming to rouse the Greeks to insur-rection. Most famous amongst these efforts were those of the empress Catharine II. who, influenced partly by the Philhellenism of Voltaire, partly by a desire to withdraw the attention of her subjects from domestic affairs, but principally by a wish to gratify her favourite Orloff, formed the project of emancipating the Greeks from the yoke of the Turks (1769). But all the efforts made to effect this object were exceedingly inadequate. The Greeks were soon taught also that Russia, while willing to free them from the Ottoman yoke, was determined to assist none but those who would readily become Russian sub-jects. And the expedition to the Peloponnesus undertaken by Orloff was followed by most disastrous consequences to the Greeks. The Russians were more successful in their contests with the Turks in the north, and in 1774 compelled the sultan to accept a peace, called the peace of Kainardji, which contained several provisions bearing upon the Greeks, In some of these the sultan promised to protect the Christian religion and Christian churches, and though no special mention was made of Russia, her statesmen saw in this stipulation an opening for endless opportunities to interfere. And from this time forward Russia has claimed to be the champion of the Christians against the Turks. But the other states of Europe, especially France and England, became suspicious of the designs of Russia, and holding to the balance of power as an essential principle of European statesmanship, they determined to maintain the integrity of the Turkish empire. Austria had frequently joined with Russia in opposing the Turks and had again and again hoped to come in for a share of the spoil when Turkey should be partitioned. But towards the end of the 18th century the increasing power and influence of Russia began to alarm her, and when the Greeks rose to assert their independence, no power more tenaciously adhered to the doctrine that the integrity of the Turkish empire was demanded by the balance of power in Europe. Thus up to the time of the establishment of the Greek kingdom the affairs of the Greeks have been mixed up with those of foreigners,Ottomans, Venetians, Austrians, Russians, and the other European powers.
The notable fact in Greek history during these ages is the disappearance and the apparent destruction of the nation. Whoever might hold the supreme power in Greece, the Greeks were sure to be the sufferers. When the Turks spread their conquests from Constantinople on to the rest of the empire, every capture of a city was followed by the slaughter of the able-bodied men and the carrying off of the women and children to the harem or slave market. And the Western Christians were not a whit more tender than the Ottomans. The Venetians were wroth with the Greeks, because they did not acknowledge the pope, and in the island of Crete perpetrated the most abominable barbarities on the innocent population. The Turks punished the Greeks because they submitted to the Venetians, and the Venetians punished them because they submitted to the Turks. Moreover, in these times the iEgean was infested by pirates who, whether Turks or Italians or Greeks, had no mercy on the peaceful inhabitants of the mainland. Human life was disregarded, and men and women were of value only in so far as they were saleable articles in the slave market, If one were to enumerate all the instances in which historians tell us of the utter destruction or trans-ference of the Greek population, a vivid idea might be presented of how terribly hard were the sufferings of the Greek people. We have to add to this record of destruction that vast masses of the people removed to Italy or Sicily or some other place of refuge. Almost all the famous families that ruled the islands of the ^Egean escaped from them when they were attacked by the Turks. The knights of St John, for instance, left Rhodes to find a final settlement in Malta. Among the number who thus left their native land were nearly all the learned men, who sought in the West a refuge from Turkish rule, and opportunities for the pur-suit of learning.
Yet notwithstanding these destructive forces the Greek people survived. To understand this phenomenon we have to examine into the mode of civil administration adopted by the Ottomans. The Ottomans were pre-eminently a warlike people. Their profession was that of arms. Their two great objects in life were to conquer and enjoy their conquests. They were brave and always ready to fight, but after battle was over they wished to enjoy the luxury and repose which they had earned by arms. They were therefore utterly disinclined to meddle with civil matters. If they got their revenues, and could enjoy their harems and slaves, it was a matter of no consequence to them how the subject races procured the means of paying the taxes, or in what way they governed themselves. The same spirit showed itself in the sultans. To them all Turks as well as Greeks were practically slaves. The sultans saw in the Turks the right hand that could bring them suc-cess in war, and in the Greeks or other subject nations the means of ministering to their wealth and enjoyment. Provided they had a sufficiently numerous and brave army and ample supplies of money, they were comparatively indifferent how or by whom local affairs were managed. This freedom from bias and this singleness of purpose en-abled them to continue their power for a much longer time than they could possibly have done had they been swayed by national aims or particular ambitions. They had no hesi-tation in selecting for their purposes the best men they could get, and consequently many of the subject races rose to places of high eminence in the Turkish army and adminis-tration. A large proportion of the viziers of the Sublime Porte have been Greeks, Many of the generals that sub-dued Greece were Greeks. There was thus a constant accession to the ranks of the Turks from the subject nations. Those who thus entered the Turkish service could not do so without adopting Mahometanism. It was the essential condition. But many Greeks found no difficulty in changing their faith. They saw that it wa3 their one hope of rising to eminence. And these men reached such high positions as to arouse the jealousy of the Turks; for the sultans preferred the converts to the original Mahometans. They felt more confidence in them as instruments of their own domination. Indeed at one time there seemed a likeli-hood that large portions of Greece would become entirely Mahometan. They were urged to it by two opposite influencesby the high position which Mahometan converts from Greece could attain, and by the utterly wretched con-dition of those who remained attached to the Christian religion. We have a curious instance of the effect of the latter motive in the conduct of the Caramuratades who occupied about thirty-six villages in the valley of the Aous in Albania. The inhabitants of these villages had long been oppressed by the Mahometans, but had remained Christian until 1760. In that year matters came to a crisis.
The Caramuratades could stand their distress no longer. They argued that either Christianity was not true or it ought to put them in a better position. They resolved to give it one chance more, and to try to conciliate the Divine Being by the most rigid fasts. If He did not listen to them, then they would feel assured that He did not wish them to remain Christians. The chief priest protested against the impiety of this resolution, but the Caramuratades would not listen to him. They observed Lent with the most rigorous severity, and prayed much. No improvement followed in their lot; and accordingly, on Easter day, they told the priests to retire, accused the sacred images of being indifferent to their distress, and in one body went over to the faith of Islam. A very few indeed refused to join their brethren, but they had to retire with the priests. At an earlier period, from 1620 to 1650, the Christian population of a part of Albania fell from 350,000 to 50,000 ; and to the present day a portion of the Albanians have remained firmly attached to Islamism, and have been the readiest tools in the hands of the Turkish Government, while the other portion have stood by the Greeks in their struggles for independence, and have done great and valuable service to the cause. In fact, so great was the inclination of the Greeks to adopt Mahometanism through the combined motives already mentioned that the sultans were alarmed lest they should have no tribute-paying people at all, and accordingly they became kindlier in their treatment of the rayahs or subject Christians, and did much to reconcile them to their government.
Another mode in which the Greeks passed over to Islamism has been already noticed. Even before the taking of Constantinople Orkhan had ordained that the children of Christians should be taken from them, should be specially trained for military service, and should enjoy such privileges and immunities that they would feel them-selves specially bound to the sultan. The practice was continued and extended by Mahomet II. Every fifth Christian child had to be surrendered to the service of the sultan. All connexion with his parents was cut off, and he was set apart and trained for warfare. In this way was formed the corps of the Janissaries. The Janissaries were not at first permitted to marry. Their ranks were constantly recruited from the Christian children. History speaks in the highest terms of the discipline and courage of this body of troops while it flourished. The Janissaries forgot altogether, if they ever knew, their homes and their hearths, and they were equally savage to Turk and Christian in their devotion to the sultan. This hateful sacrifice imposed upon the Christians gradually came to be regarded as an honour. The parents knew that their children were to be removed from the degradation of Christian slavery, and were to occupy the best positions that were open to Mahometans, and the Turks themselves so much envied the honour for their children that they bargained with the Greeks to take their children and give them for Janissaries instead of their own. A change took place at length in the composition of the Janissaries. They were allowed to marry; by degrees a position in the body became heredi-tary; and thence is dated the falling off of the corps. The tribute children were no longer required, and in the reign of Mahomet IV. (1649-1687) the tribute ceased.
In all these instances the Greeks were practically lost to their own nation. They disappeared from the nation of Greeks and Christians and became Turks and Mahometans. At the same time we cannot help supposing that by this intermixture a new element of progress, or at any rate of restlessness, was thus introduced into the dominant race.
But the Greeks attained to positions of eminence in which they were not compelled to abandon their nationality. Between the Turks and the Greeks existed irreconcilable differences. Not only was their religion different, but they differed widely in their social customs. There was no hope of amalgamating the two races. The Turks could only convert or exterminate the Christians. They did not ven-ture to dream that they could convert all the Greeks by persuasion, and forcible conversion after the age of twelve was forbidden by the Koran. The only other alternative was extermination, and one of the sultans came to the resolution to destroy every Christian. But the Turks saw that such a policy was ruinous to themselves. Every Christian paid a poll-tax from which every Turk was exempt. The Christians cultivated the lands for the benefit of the Turks. The Christians were the drudges of the Turks. The next best thing to extermination then was to get as much out of the Christians as possible while coming as little as possible into personal contact with them. This was the plan adopted. Immediately on the conquest of Constantinople, Mahomet spread the Turkish system of administration over the whole of Greece. The Turkish warriors received lands during their life on condition of being ready to serve in war. These had captains who received the liferent of larger portions of land, and finally pashas acted as military and civil rulers of still larger portions. All these were ready to keep the Greeks in sub-jection, and crush every effort at rebellion, and they guaranteed the taxes to the sultan. Turkish courts of justice were also established. But Mahomet II. did not disturb the Greek modes of civil administration which he found in force. They merely became subject to his purposes, and appeal could always be made from a Greek to an Ottoman institution. Mahomet II. especially made use of the Greek clergy as his tools for keeping the Greek people quiet and submissive in paying taxes. The Greek emperor had perished in the sack of Constantinople, and the nobles had either fallen or fled or been butchered shortly after. But the Greek Church still remained. The Greek people were devoted to their church. Their quarrels with the pope had only strengthened their attachment to it. Here was an instrument that Mahomet thought might be of great use. Accordingly he made the patriarch of Con-stantinople the representative of the entire Greek people. He gave him privileges and honours, but he made him responsible for the conduct of the Greeks. The Greek clergy had long before taken an active part in the adminis-tration of justice. The bishops had the decision of all questions connected with marriages and wills. They were consulted by their people not merely in spiritual but in nearly all civil matters. The sultan had hold of this clerical influence through the patriarch. He practically appointed the patriarch, the patriarch appointed the bishops. All the great officials of the church thus held their positions under the sanction of the sultan, and could be removed by him. There is no doubt that patriarch and bishops and higher clergy, thus playing the humiliating part of keeping their fellow-countrymen in due subjection to the Porte, did not and could not display very high virtues. They soon contracted all the vices which defile men who have to play a double part; they were true neither to the sultan nor to the Greeks; and they were animated generally by a mean and selfish ambition. By degrees the patriarchate came to be bought from the sultan by higher and higher prices. The patriarch made up his losses by selling the bishoprics, and simony thus became universally prevalent. Notwith-standing all these drawbacks the maintenance of the Greek Church helped to keep the Greeks together, and when a better time came, the high positions which the clergy held enabled them to accomplish much for the spread of enlighten-ment and the awakening of true national feeling. Even in the darkest times patriarchs appeared who were capable of the greatest sacrifices for their church and nation,
the war of independence several of the clergy stood in the foremost rank. The inferior clergy throughout the whole time were true to their people; but as they were to a large extent uneducated, and had to maintain themselves by some handicraft, they differed in no respect from the great body of the people, to whose industry and real worth the permanence of the nation is mainly due.
Another circumstance favourable to the Greeks was that the Ottomans allowed them to retain the communal system which had existed in earlier times. By this system, which, however, did not prevail in all parts of Greece, and where it did exist was not carried out always to the same extent, all the males of full age in each district elected a man who was to take special charge of local affairs. These men went by various names, such as demogerontes, gerontes, archontes, proesti, and epitropi. The Ottomans found the system helpful. The proesti had to keep on good terms with the Turks, and were indeed frequently farmers of the taxes from the Turks. They were also often exceedingly ambitious and cruel. But they were often men of intelligence and influence; and when the war of independence broke out, some of them took a prominent part. There cannot be a doubt also that the local self-government which was thus allowed to exist helped to keep up the longing for liberty and to prepare the nation for a constitutional government.
The Greeks showed their aptitude for combination and self-government also in mercantile affairs. From an early period they had taken to mercantile pursuits, and their position was in many respects advantageous for trading. The Turks were not successsful in trade, and indeed did not care to pursue it. They therefore willingly left it in the hands of the Greeks, and various events and circum-stances had favoured them. The Turks imposed a heavier duty on goods exported or imported by Greeks than on those possessed by Turks. The result of this regulation was that the sultan saw it to be his interest to encourage Greek rather than Turkish traders, as his revenue from the former was much greater than from the latter. Various privileges were gained by the Russians for their own traders, and the Greeks were permitted to enjoy these under the Russian flag. Then, during the war which France waged against ail Europe, Turkey was for a long time neutral, and the subjects of Turkey could trade where no others could. Under these and similar conditions the Greek traders spread themselves over the whole of the Mediter-ranean, and many of them became very wealthy. In this prosperous state of matters various Greeks combined and formed large joint stock companies. Thus the association of Ampelakia, employed principally on cotton fabrics, embraced twenty-two villages. All the inhabitants of twenty-five years and upwards had a right to vote in the election of the five directors who managed the different departments of the company's activity. The profits were divided at the end of each year according to certain rules. Similar com-mercial communities existed in Philippopolis, Mademochoria, Calarryta, Soracos, Chios, and Cydonia. Most famous among such combinations were the unions among the sailors of Hydra, Spezzia, and Psara, by which those islands rose to great wealth and importance,.and formed most powerful auxiliaries in the struggle for independence.
There were other positions of still greater eminence to which the Greeks rose. The Ottomans for a considerable time after the fall of Constantinople were characterized by a strong literary spirit and a desire for culture, but this spirit declined, and the pursuit of learning was left to the Greeks. But a European Government requires men of cul-ture, if for no other purpose, at least that it may hold inter-course and enter into negotiations with the other European powers. The Ottomans felt this necessity, and accordingly in 1666 they appointed Panayiotes Nicouses dragoman or interpreter. He was succeeded in this tiffice by Alexander Mavrocordatus, who highly distinguished himself in various political transactions of great importance. The office of dra-goman became permanent; a Greek was always appointed; and thus Greeks came to have rare opportunities of influenc-ing the sultan. Not long after the establishment of this office another was instituted, that of dragoman or inter-preter to the capitan pasha or chief Turkish admiral, whose business it was to arrange all matters connected with the fleet. Still further, the Turks thought it advantageous that the northern provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia should be ruled by Greeks, and generally those who had acted as interpreters to the sultan or to the capitan pasha were appointed as waiwodes or hospodars of Wallachia. These men became practically kings of these provinces, and Greeks from all parts flocked to hold offices under them. The Greeks who received these high appointments lived, when their duties did not call them away, in the part of Constantinople called Phanarion in which the patriarchate was placed, and hence they were called "Phanariots." They increased greatly in number, and at length formed a large, powerful, and wealthy community in the city of the sultan. The character of these phanariots has not been painted in bright colours by historians, but their circumstances were strongly antagonistic to the development of a high moral tone. They had above all to gain the favour of the sultan, and to stand well with the influential Turks. They could accomplish this only through double-dealing and through extortion. They were also ambitious, and had no scruple as to the means employed in attaining the objects of their ambition. It is affirmed that the Wallachians and Moldavians detested their rule even worse than that of the Turks; but this can be accounted for satisfactorily by the consideration that nothing could be more humiliating than to be ruled by men who had the appearance of princes but were in reality slaves, without our supposing that their rule was more than ordinarily cruel and rapacious. And much has to be said in their favour. They had the strong Greek love of culture. They sent their sons to the best univer-sities in Europe, and in this way the phanariots became men of great refinement and intelligence. Many of them take a distinguished place in the history of their country's literature. They also established schools everywhere, and vigorously supported those they found existing. The schools or rather colleges of Bucharest and Jassy rivalled that of Jannina in the number of able men they trained to guide and animate their country in its seasons of perplexity.
It was through these and similar instruments that the Greeks were being prepared during the Turkish and Venetian rule to struggle for their independence. Some of the Greek tribes had never been perfectly subject to the Ottomans, especially the Mainotes of the Peloponnesus and the Sphakiots of Crete. Many Greeks had led an inde-pendent life as pirates or as klephts. Piracy was indeed put down by the European Governments; but the klephts or brigands remained living on plunder of Greek and Turk alike, proud of their liberty, in their hill fastnesses. There were also in Albania, Thessaly, and Greece proper bodies of Christian warriors, called armatoli, who acted as bands of armed police, but whose actions came often to be con-founded with those of the klephts. In regard to the other Greeks it must be affirmed that they were broken in spirit. Finlay asserts that they never once rose against their oppressors. Paparrhegopoulos tries to show that the very opposite was the case; but all he proves is that the Greeks were ever ready to take up arms against the Turks at the instigation of any foreign power. They rose up incited by France, by Spain, by the Venetians; and in later times they were continually rising through the secret instigations of Russia. But they never once rose of their own accord.
The reason was that they had no means of taking com-bined action. The great bond of sympathy which attached the various Greeks together during the 16th and 17th cen-turies was their religion. But a new inspiration came with the advance of culture in the end of the 18th and the begin-ning of the 19th century. They began to be animated by the feeling of nationality. The French Bevolution roused their minds into activity, and they were ashamed that a nation which had played, such a grand part in the early civilization of mankind should be the slaves of an illiterate and barbarous horde of aliens. Circumstances favoured the movement. Especially prominent amongst these was the conduct of Ali Pasha, the tyrant of Jannina. This daring and unscrupulous despot conceived the idea of cutting his connexion with the sultan and assuming the absolute govern-ment of Albania. His effort showed how weak the Turkish empire was, and how loosely it held together. Stimulating also was the conduct of the Suliotes, who performed pro-digies of valour in their resolution to defend their homes and their liberties. A secret society was formed to make ready for a rising of the people. The people were stimu-lated by patriotic songs, especially those of Bhigas of Velestino; and the agents of Russia were everywhere.
Accordingly in 1821 the war for independence broke out. It would be impossible in the limits of an article like this to give a proper account of the various conflicts between Greeks and Turks, of the quarrels among the Greeks them-selves, and the windings of European diplomacy in its interference in the contest. The principal events may be shortly noted. The insurrection was begun by Prince Alexander Hypsilantes, a phanariot in the service of Russia, who had been elected head of the chief secret society (the (jbiAi/oj iraipua). He crossed the Pruth March 6, 1821, with a few followers, and was soon joined by several men of great bravery at the head of considerable troops. But the expedition was badly managed, and in June Hypsilantes fled to Austria, having entirely failed in his object. And in all the efforts to overthrow the power of the Turks in the northern provinces the Greeks failed, though some men fought very bravely. In the Peloponnesus the insurrection broke out also in March in several places, and most promi-nent among the first movers was Germanos, archbishop of Patras. Everywhere the Greeks drove the Turks before them; they were so successful that in January 1822 the independence of Greece was proclaimed. But they soon began to quarrel among themselves. Several assemblies were held. Mavrocordatos, one of the phanariots, was appointed president. But the aspirants for honours and rewards were numberless, and they could not agree. Ac-cordingly a civil war raged in 1823 and 1824, inspired by Colocotronis, a chief of klephts who attained great in-fluence, and in 1824 another civil war of short duration, called the War of the Primates. During this period the Greek fleet was very active, and did good service. It was ably led by Miaoulis, a man of firm character and great skill, And he was well seconded by the intrepid Canaris, whose fire ships did immense damage to the Turkish fleet, and filled the Turkish sailors with indescribable terror. For the ravages of the Greek fleet the Turks wreaked fear-mi vengeance on the innocent inhabitants of the lovely island of Chios (April 1822), butchering in cold blood multitudes of its peaceful inhabitants, and carrying off others to the slave market. The savage atrocities then perpetrated caused a thrill of horror throughout the civilized world. Two years after they perpetrated similar outrages on the islands of Kasos and Psara. The sultan now invoked the aid of Mehemet Ali, pasha of Egypt, and his stepson Ibrahim landed on the Peloponnesus with a band of well-disciplined Arabs in 1824. Ibrahim carried everything before him, and the Greeks lost nearly every place that they had acquired. Some towns offered a strong resistance, and especially famous is the siege of Mesolonghi, which lasted from 27th April 1825 to 22d April 1826. Nothing could exceed the firmness and bravery displayed by Greek men and women during that siege; and their glorious deeds and sad fate attracted the attention of ah. Europe. The interest in the Greeks, which had been to some extent aroused by Lord Byron and other English Philhellenes in 1823, now became intense, and volunteers appeared from France and Germany as well as from England and America. Lord Cochrane was appointed admiral of the Greek fleet, and Sir Richard Church generalissimo of the land forces, but they did not prevent the capture of Athens by the Turks, 2d June 1827. Most of the European Governments had remained indifferent, or had actually discouraged the outbreak of the Greeks. Russia had disowned Hypsilantes. The monarchs of Europe were afraid that the rising of the Greeks was only another eruption of democratic feeling fostered by the French Revolution, and thought that it ought to be suppressed. But the vast masses of the people were now interested, and demanded from their Governments a more liberal treatment of Greece. Canning inaugurated in 1823, and now carried out this new policy in England. An accident came to the aid of the Greeks. The fleets of England, France, and Russia were cruising about the coasts of the Peloponnesus, to prevent the Turkish fleet ravaging the Greek islands or mainland. Winter coming on, the admirals thought it more prudent to anchor in the Bay of Navarino, where the Turkish fleet lay. The Turks regarded their approach as prompted by hostile feelings and commenced firing on them, whereupon a general engage-ment ensued, in which the Turkish fleet was annihilated, 20th October 1827. Shortly after (18th January 1828) Capodistrias, who had been in the service of Russia, was appointed president of Greece for seven years, the French cleared the Morea of hostile Turks, and Greece was practically independent. But several years had to elapse ere affairs reached a settled condition. Capodistrias was Russian in his ideas of government, and, ruling with a high hand, gave great offence to the masses of the people; and his rule came to an untimely end by his assassination on 9th October 1831. Anarchy followed, but at length Otho of Bavaria was made king, and the protecting powers siguen a convention by which the present limits were definitely assigned to the new kingdom (1832). Henceforth Greece has existed as a recognized independent kingdom. Through-out the whole of the war of independence in Greece, the people behaved with great bravery and self-sacrifice. They showed a steady adherence to the idea of liberty. They were sometimes savage in their conduct to the Turks, and barbarities occurred which stain their history. Yet on the whole the historian has much to praise and little to blame in the great mass, especially of the agricultural population. But no single man arose during the period capable of being in all respects a worthy leader. Nor can this be wondered at. All the men who took a prominent part in the move-ments had received their training in schools where consti-tutionalism was the last doctrine that was likely to be im-pressed on them. Several of them had been in the service of Russia, and had full faith only in arbitrary power. Many of them were phanariots, accustomed to double deal-ing, ambitious and avaricious. Some of them had been brought up at the court of Ali Pasha of Jannina, and had become familiar with savage acts of reckless despotism. Others had been and indeed remained during the continu-ance of the war chiefs of klephts, having but little respect for human life, and habituated to scenes of cruelty and plunder. Some of them also came from the Mainotes, who owed their independence to the habitual use of arms, and
who were not troubled by many scruples. It could not be expected that such men would act with great mercy or prudence in dealing with Turks who had butchered or enslaved their kinsmen and kinswomen for generations. Even amongst the foreigners who volunteered to aid the Greeks, few if any were found of supreme ability, and after the kingdom was established the Greeks were unfortunate in the strangers who came to direct them. Otho had been brought up in a despotic court, and knew no other method of ruling. He brought along with him Bavarians, to whom he entrusted the entire power, and the Greeks had the mortification of knowing that, though their kingdom was independent, no Greek had a chance of being elevated to any ministerial office of importance. Accordingly a revolu-tion broke out in 1843 ; the Bavarians were dismissed, and Otho agreed to rule through responsible ministers and a representative assembly. But he failed to fulfil his promise. Discontent reached its height in 1862, when another revolu-tion broke out and Otho had to leave Greece. The great mass of the people longed for a constitutional monarchy, and gave a striking proof of this by electing Prince Alfred king of Greece. This choice was determined by universal suffrage, and out of 241,202 Greek citizens who voted 230,016 recorded their votes in favour of the English prince. The vote meant simply that the Greek people were tired of unconstitutional princes, and hoped that they would end their troubles if they had a prince accustomed to see parliamentary government respected and enforced. The three protecting powers,England, France, and Bussia,had however bound themselves to allow no one related to their own ruling families to become king of Greece. When the Greek people received this news, they begged England to name a king, and after several refusals England found one in Prince William of Schleswig-Holstein, son of the king of Denmark. The Greek people accepted him, and in 1863 he became king with the name of George I. Britain added the Ionian islands to his kingdom. In 1875 the ministry gave great offence to the Greek people by its unconstitutional procedure, but the king persisted in stand-ing by it. The people, however, persevered in the use of legitimate means to oust the ministry; the king at last prudently yielded; and thus a revolution was prevented. The effort of the Greeks to extend their boundaries is the last phase of their history, and is still in progress. In 1853 when the Crimean war broke out, the Greeks sided with the Russians, and in 1854 they made inroads into Thessaly and Epirus, but English and French troops landed at the Piraeus, and forcibly put an end to the Russian alliance and to Greek ideas of acquiring additional territory. In 1866 to 1869 the Cretans struggled bravely but unsuccess-fully to throw off the Turkish yoke and become a part of the Greek kingdom. And recently when the Russians made war on the Turks the Greeks were eager to enter Thessaly and Epirus to aid their fellow-countrymen in asserting their freedom. But England interfered with the promise that Greece would gain more by maintaining a peaceful attitude. A clause in the Berlin Treaty affords a basis for the fulfilment of this promise; but the promise has still to be fulfilled. The Greeks themselves believe that with the extension of their boundaries there will be less occasion for intrigue, ministries will be more permanent, and the Greeks who now flock from all parts to the little kingdom of Greece for official employment will have a wider sphere and will be more contented.
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