MODERN TIMES

 

The new Greek state

 

 

a) Ioannis Kapodistrias

The Third National Assembly of Greeks (April 3, 1827), which had voted the "Political Constitution of Greece", elected at the same time Ioannis Kapodistrias as country's governor for seven years.

Kapodistrias arrived in Aegina (12 January 1828), the provisional headquarters of the Greek government, and on the 26th of January 1828, was sworn and assumed office. Once, he made superhuman efforts to set up a synchronized state among the ruins left by the long war against Turks.

In September the French general Maison, set free the Peloponnese, forcing Ibrahim to leave with the Turkish-Egyptian troops. In June-August 1829 the Forum National Assembly was convened at Argos, and on the 12 September 1829, Ypsilantis gave his last victorious battle in Petra of Viotia.

On January 22, 1830 signed the London Protocol, which recognized the full independence of Greece and determined its borders (the Achelous Sperchios-line, while adjudicated the islands of Euboea, the Sporades and the Cyclades.). On September 9, 1830 killed in Nafplio Kapodistrias and this violently way the first period of life of the independent state was interrupted.

 

b) The reign of Otto

After the assassination of Governor, an administrative committee was formed under the chairmanship of Augustine Kapodistrias. The next year was held in Nafplion the 5th National Assembly and elected for king,  the Bavarian Prince Otto who arrived in Nafplion on January 25, 1833. On September 18, 1834 Athens defined as the new capital of the Greek state. On September 3, 1843, a rebellion broke out, and Otto was forced to grant a constitution. But then, he was involved in politics and after a further revolution was forced to resign and leave Greece (12-10-1862), after 30 years of reign.

 

 

c) The reign of George

A year after the dethronement of Otto (18-10-1863), ascended the throne George I, son of King Christian of Denmark while England had already ceded the Ionian Islands in Greece. With the Berlin Treaty, Thessaly was annexed and a small part of Epirus (1881). In 1885 the Bulgarians took in a coup Eastern Rumelia.

In 1893 Har. Trikoupis was forced to declare the country into bankruptcy. In 1896 there were new revolutionary movements in Crete and Greece decided to help the rebels, thus eventually led to the declaration of the unfortunate war of 1897.

But next year, Crete was declared independent; in 1905 broke the revolution of Therisso under the leadership of El. Venizelos, and in 1908, the union of Crete with Greece was declared, (but took place in 1912 and was internationally recognized in 1913). At the same time the Macedonian Struggle was conducted (1902-8). Meanwhile Bulgaria turns its claims in Macedonia.

Under the pretext of the liberation fight against Turkey, Bulgarians propagandized the independence of Macedonia, found schools and presented as protectors of the Christians of the Ottoman Empire, regardless of ethnicity. Over the years armed rebel Bulgarian troops, the comitadjis, started violent conversions of peasants in Macedonia, without hesitating to go to persecution and terror against the Orthodox populations, while the weak Turkish government failed to take action against them.

From 1900, Ion Dragoumis and the Bishop of Kastoria Germanos Caravageli started organizing the Greeks of Macedonia, while Greek rebels crossed the border and with the secret support of the Greek government started the fight against Bulgarian propaganda and armed forces, trying to boost the national morale. These troops collided with the comitadjis, around the area of Valtos (Lake Giannitsà). The death of the officer Pavlos Melas (1904) caused great excitement in free Greece, while many of the Greek army officers passed in Macedonia to continue the war until 1908, when the Neoturks Revolution halted developments.

In 1909 the Military League, under the leadership of N. Zorba, attempts revolution in Goudi, which brought in Greek politics El. Venizelos. The victorious Balkan Wars (1912-1913), were followed, during which, King George was assassinated and ascended the throne, by Constantine I (March 1913). During the First Balkan War the revolting Balkan countries (Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro) declared war on Turkey, and achieved victory and led to the signing of the Treaty of London (May 17, 1913), which allocated the Balkan alliance all almost all European territories of the Ottoman Empire. In the Balkan alliance, were granted almost all, European territories of the Ottoman Empire.

During the discussions for the distribution of lands, the excess Bulgarian requirements led to the signing of the secret Pact between Greece and Serbia. The Second Balkan War (1913) ends with defeat of Bulgaria and the Treaty of Bucharest (July 28, 1913), which were allocated to Greece, East Macedonia until Nestos and the Western Thrace, to Bulgaria. In Greece even adjudicated the Aegean islands except Imvros and Tenedos, while Northern Epirus allocated to the newly created state of Albania (January 31, 1914).

 

d) The First World War (1914-1918)

When the First World War was proclaimed, had been manifested serious disagreement between the El. Venizelos, who supported the participation of Greece by the side of the Entente Cordiale (England, France, Russia), assuming the appropriate time for posting new territories from Turkey, and king Constantine, who had negative opinion.

This disagreement led to the National Schism, which culminated in the division of the country into two territories. King Constantine remained neutral, in Athens,  while the revolutionary government of Defence led by the triumvirate of El. Venizelos, P. Daglis and P. Kountouriotis in Thessaloniki, declared war (1916) against the Central Powers (Germany, Austro-Hungarian, Turkish, Bulgarian).

In 1917 Constantine was forced to resign and ascended the throne by his son Alexander. Thus, state unity reinstated and Venizelos returned to Athens. During this war, the Greek army crushed the Bulgarians in Skra and they were forced to sign an armistice (1918).

 

e) Minor Asia (1919-1922)

Under the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine (27 November 1919) and Sevres (August 10, 1920), Greece annexed Eastern Thrace and the islands of Imbros and Tenedos and the area of Izmir, while the Ambassador's Conference in Paris (November 1921) gave North Epirus. The Greek army took Thrace and holded landing in Izmir, which was accepted as a liberator.

In October 1920 King Alexander died, Venizelos was defeated in elections and November, Constantine returned to Greece, after a referendum. Now a new national disunity, was followed. At the same time the allies left Greece alone, during an operation that went beyond its strengths. So the country after the advance of the Greek army to the Sakarya River was led to the crushing defeat of 1922, and the military troops were forced to leave Asia Minor. The Asia Minor disaster had the effect of a military revolution of N. Plastiras and St. Gonatas (September 1922), which forced Constantine to resign. The final resolution of the Greece-Turkey border, defined by the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), on the river Evros. The islands of Imbros and Tenedos attributed to Turkey and also decided the exchange of the Christian populations of Turkey and Muslim Greece.

 

f) The interwar period (1922-1940)

In March 1924, the monarchy was proclaimed deposed and replaced by democracy. But political situation was very unstable. So in 1925, declared a dictatorship,  by General Pangalos, who was upset in the next year. The 1928 elections gave majority to Venizelos and four years later, to the People's party. New period of instability was followed, which resulted in the return of George II (1935) and the dictatorship of Ioannis Metaxas (1936).

 

 

g) The Second World War (1939-1944)

Despite the government's effort to keep out of the war, a number of Italian challenges, the most important blasting of the frigate "Elli" in the port of Tinos (August 15, 1940), exacerbated the situation.

At dawn of 28 October 1940, the Italian government, which had already captured Albania and aimed domination throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, declared war on Greece, the Greek army not only overcame the Italian attack, but within a few months, despite the harsh winter, forwarded to the Albanian front and set free Northern Epirus. Only after the attack of the Germans (1941) bent the Greek troops and Greece was enslaved. Bulgarians held in Thrace and German-Italian in the rest Greece, for four years. The Greek government resorts to Crete, which was still free, and then to Egypt, where the participation of many Greeks refuge in secretly from Greece begin up Greek military forces, which took part in the war with the Allies (El- Alamein, Rimini, North Africa).

 

h) From Liberation until our days

After the withdrawal of Germans from Greece, the National Unity government headed by Prime Minister C. Papandreou was settled in Athens. King George II returned to Greece after the referendum in 1946, but died soon (April 1, 1947) and was succeeded by his brother Paul A. Meanwhile it had been signed the peace treaty with Italy, according to which the Dodecanese united with Greece.

Between 1946-1949 the country was torn by civil war. In 1952 the country joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), the military arm of which withdrawn after the conquest of Cyprus by the Turkish Attila in 1974, but in order to be accepted again in 1979. In 1964 King Paul I died and throne was succeeded by his son Constantine II. On April 21, 1967 up to 1974 was established in the country a dictatorship, which King Constantine attempted to overthrow (12/13/1967), but failed and left for Rome.

In 1974 the dictatorship was overthrown and formed a National Unity government of Mr. Karamanlis, who after the elections in November 1974 formed his own government majority. On (8/12/74), the kingdom was abolished and president of the republic temporarily took over M. Stassinopoulos.

In 1979 the country joins the European Economic Union (EEC). In the elections of 1981, PASOK  became the first party, under the leadership of Mr. Andreas Papandreou, who by a majority of 48% formed government. After the defeat of PASOK in the elections of June 1989, N. Dimokratia won the elections without forming government. In November 1989, Mr. X. Zolotas formed a National Unity government. After the new elections of April 1990 N. Dimokratia, finally formed government with Prime Minister Mr. Constantine Mitsotakis.

In 1993 A. Papandreou was elected prime minister again. Konstantinos Simitis succeeded A. Papandreou as prime minister in January 1996 and in the leadership of the party in July 1996. In the elections of 22 September 1996, PASOK won again.

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