Modern Greek History

Get to Know the Greek Senate

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There were a lot of forms of government that Greece has undergone since the War for Independence. After the country achieved independence from the Ottoman Turks, it took them a while to establish the best government for the people. The Greek Senate, which was established in 1829, was part of these efforts. It is considered to be the upper chamber of the parliament in Greece. Here’s what you should know about the Greek Senate:

History of the Greek Senate

The Greek senate was established in 1829 as a single-house legislative system that had advisory functions. This type of system is common in smaller countries that have long-established democracies. The Senate was established by the Fourth National Assembly at Argos to replace the Panellinion. The Panellinion had been established just the year before in 1828.

he Senate has 27 members that were chosen by Ioannis Kapodistrias, the governor at the time. Kapodistrias was murdered in 1831 and the Senate appointed a series of governing councils to lead the state. An attempt was made to abolish the Senate by the Fifth National Assembly at Nafpion in 1832, but this was not recognized. The Greek Senate would survive until King Otto’s arrival in 1833.

King Otto and the Greek State

In 1832, Prince Otto of Bavaria was appointed king of the newly founded independent Greek state. When he was elected king, his title became “King of Greece,” and he arrived in the country with 3,500 Bavarian troops as well as 3 Bavarian advisors. When he arrived in Greece, King Otto immediately adopted the national costume of his new home. He even Hellenized his name to “Othon.”

King Otto’s reign is divided into three different periods: the years of Regency Council (1832 – 1835), the years of Absolute Monarchy (1835 – 1843), and the years of Consitutional Monarchy (1843 – 1862).

Senate During the 1900’s

The Senate, which was dependent upon the King, was abolished by the Greek Constitution of 1864. In January of 1924, the Fourth National Assembly established the Second Hellenic Republic. This republican governance would be in power from 1924 – 1935. At the same time they were working toward completing a new Constitution, General Theodoros Pangalos and his attempt to remove the existing government was taking place. In 1926, after the fall of Pangalos’ dictatorship, the Parliament of the First Term was elected. This move voted through the Constitution of 1927.

Legislative power would now be executed by the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. While the Chamber was made up of 200 – 300 elected members that were elected for a four-year term, the Senate was made up of 120 members who were elected for a nine-year term. About 9/12 senators were elected by the people. The others elected were done so based on their professionals as to have evenly distributed representation.

The Second Hellenic Republic remained until 1935. A coup that was led by Georgios Kondylis was successful in October and this resulted in the Constitution of 1927 being abolished and the Constitution of 1911 being reinstated. Via a referendum, King George II took the throne again.

The Greek Senate has a long and interesting history. It also had an influence on how the United States government was constructed.

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This post was written by Greek Boston

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