Modern Greek History

Founding of the Kingdom of Greece

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The early history of the modern country of Greece is a fairly turbulent one. Historians consider “Modern Greece” to the the time period of Greece’s history that took place both during and after the Greek War for Independence. The War begin in 1821 and ended in 1832, which is when the Kingdom of Greece was first established.

The Kingdom of Greece was preceded by the First Hellenic Republic, which was a short lived body of government that ended shortly after the Governor was assassinated. After this occurred, France, England, and the Russian Empire were concerned about Greece’s government and then intervened. Here’s a look at the early history of this kingdom:

First Kingdom

From the mid-15th century through the early 19th century, what would eventually become the Kingdom of Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire. As a result of the Greek War of Independence, a war that ran from 1821 through 1829, the region was freed from Ottoman control and became the First Hellenic Republic. The Treaty of Constantinople gave the region international recognition and established the first Kingdom of Greece.

Otto was the first king to rule over the new Greek state. Unfortunately, his rule did not end well. As a result of allowing members of his government to impose a German form of governance on Greek citizens, King Otto and his wife were chased out of the country in 1862.

The ensuing years brought new rulers and war to the Kingdom. External skirmishes involving the remaining Ottomans combined with World War I to foster unhappiness at home. A rebellion ensued and the kingdom was abolished in 1924 in favor of the Second Hellenic Republic.

Second Kingdom

The second Kingdom of Greece was established in 1935 after a coup led by army general and prime minister Georgios Kondylis. A previously deposed King George II took the throne and replaced Kondylis as Prime Minister with Konstantinos Demertzis. The second Kingdom was barely established when fascism began to rise in Italy.

World War II broke out, making the kingdom a target for Italy’s Mussolini. Greece proved rather successful during the Greco-Italian war only to be invaded by Adolph Hitler’s Germany. Germany defeated the kingdom and established a puppet government for the next several years. A second Civil War from 1946 through 1949 brought the exiled government back to the kingdom and restored the monarchy. Despite one year of communist control from 1947 through 1948, the kingdom prospered for the next several decades.

Third Kingdom

The Kingdom of Greece remained relatively stable through the 1950s and 60s. Its economy strengthened within the European arena and, in 1962, the kingdom joined the European Economic Community (EEC). Unfortunately, the good days were not to last. Politics reared its head in early 1967 and continued through the early 1970s. Finally, a 1973 coup brought the third Kingdom to an end and established the Third Hellenic Republic. It is that third republic that still exists today.

As you can see, the Kingdom of Greece had a fairly turbulent history. One of the reasons for this is that its opponents were never happy with the idea that Greece ultimately didn’t have a say in the matter. Other countries determined that they would have a monarchy, and then they are the ones who selected the king, not the Greek people. Still, many people did support the royalty. This divide caused conflict, and is one of the reasons why it was so turbulent.


Wikipedia – Kingdom of Greece

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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