Modern Greek History

All About the First Hellenic Republic

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Old Flag of GreeceGreece had been under Ottoman rule for four hundred years and finally, on March 25, 1821, the Greek people had finally had enough. They declared their independence from the Ottomans and proceeded to fight a war where they ultimately emerged victorious. When Bishop Germanos of Patras raised the flag of the revolution over a monastery in the Peloponnese, the war had officially begun. Under the motto of “Freedom or Death”, the people fought until 1829 when the Treaty of Erdine solidified their independence.

However, now that the Ottoman Empire was no longer ruling Greece, who would run the country? From the moment that the Greeks finally rejected Ottoman rule, they needed a government of their own. The First Hellenic Republic was the name of the government that was set up during the War for Independence. Here’s more information:

Beginning Stages of the First Hellenic Republic

Actually, the people never really referred to this temporary government as the “First Hellenic Republic.” This is a term that was put into place later on so that historians could describe the time period. In general, this government was actually made up of a serious of smaller governments, many of which were elected at the local level. This is especially true in the beginning of the War for Independence. Regions began to hold elections so that they could elect a regional governing council while fighting against the Turks. In 1822, these regional governments were replaced by the First National Assembly of Epidaurus and they also adopted the Greek Constitution at this time.

How the Treaty of London Impacted the Republic

In 1827, the United Kingdom, France, and Russia signed a document called the Treaty of London, which basically called for Greece and the Ottoman Empire to stop fighting and to come to an agreement. Basically, these prominent European powers decided to take the side of the Greeks and encourage the Turks to cease fighting and give Greece their independence. The Ottoman Empire disagreed with the treaty and instead, launched a new wave of fighting. The Battle of Navarino was a direct result of the Turks rejected the treaty. This naval battle ended with the Greeks sinking the Ottoman fleet. However, the war would stretch on for a few more battles before Greece ultimately won their independence. During this time, Greece became the Hellenic State.

Establishing the Hellenic State

Also in 1827, the Third National Assembly at Troezen convened and established the Hellenic State. During this Assembly, Count Ionnis Kapodistrias became the first Governor of Greece. Some people refer to this time period within the Hellenic State as the Governorate. Kapodistrias tried to create a solid country and help the Hellenic State rebuild after the war, but he had a difficult time making any changes since he often clashed with local leaders. He was assassinated in 1831 and his brother, Augustinos, took his place for a time. He was forced to resign after six months and shortly after that, Prince Otto of Bavaria became the King of Greece.

The First Hellenic Republic was in place during the Greek War for Independence and lasted until Otto of Bavaria became the King of Greece.


Wikipedia – First Hellenic Republic

Brittanica – Greek Independence Day

Wikipedia – Treaty of London

Wikipedia – Battle of Navarino

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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