Modern Greek History

What Happened to Greece After the War for Independence?

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Every year, Greek people who have settled throughout the world celebrate Greek Independence day on March 25. What’s interesting is that this day doesn’t signify the end of their struggle for Independence, but rather the beginning of it. Greece had been occupied by the Ottoman Empire for around four hundred years. On March 25, 1821, the Greek people had officially had enough. What followed was a long, bloody struggle that eventually liberated the Greek people from Turkish control.

Liberation, however, was only the beginning. What followed was a long period of economic hardship and political uncertainty. However, at least they were free from the hardships that being under Turkish control caused. Here’s some more information about what Greece went through in the years after the Greek War for Independence.

King Otto of Bavaria Rules in Greece After Ottomans

After the Greek War for Independence concluded, Greece became a monarchy. King Otto of Bavaria rules fro 1833 to 1863. King Otto was Ludwig I son and Kink Ludwig II of Bavaria’s brother. History buffs know King Ludwig II as the builder of several fantastical castles throughout Bavaria, including the castle that inspired Disney’s Cinderella.

King Otto’s rule was difficult from the beginning. Greece was in a bad place economically. Ottoman rule and the war itself depleted the Greek economy and people turned to their leadership for aid. The monarchy did what they could. However, the people were still largely discontent.

Besides this, King Otto had several other problems. First, King Otto and Queen Amelia were devoted to their Catholic heritage, which was due to their Bavarian roots. They refused to convert to Orthodoxy, which lead to the disapproval of the Greek people.

As if this wasn’t difficult enough, King Otto ruled with a stricter, heavier hand than what the Greek people were used to. The Bavarian culture is much different than the Greek culture, and the clash in cultures caused a divide between him and the people. He was also never able to produce an heir.

King George Takes Over After King Otto

King George became king after Otto of Bavaria and his rule lasted from 1864 to 1913. Even though the Greek economy was still in shambles and the people were still struggling, there were a few positive things that did happen while he was in power. As a result of this, King George actually had several loyal followers.

While in power, massive changes to the government were made. Under his reign, Greece adopted a constitution and set up a parliamentary system. Though democracy was officially developed in Ancient Greece, it had been some time since it was practiced. The constitution and parliament marked the beginnings of democracy in modern Greece.

Also, even though much of Greece was liberated before King Otto came into power, there were still parts of Greece that were under Ottoman control. During King George’s reign, the last of these regions were liberated.

Though Greece managed to cut ties with the Ottoman Empire, this led to a period of uncertainty for Greece and they spent much of the 19th Century trying to establish their national identity, repair their economy, and set up their government.

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