• Daniele Caramani
Part of the The Societies of Europe book series (SOEU)


Greece’s struggle for independence from the Ottoman Empire began in 1821, and formal independence was achieved on 22 January 1830 with the establishment of the Greek monarchy. The intervention of the English, French, and Russian fleets proved decisive in the defeat of the Sultan (Peace of Adrianople, 1829). Great Britain had already been present since 1814 in the Venetian Ionian Islands where Greek was used as the official language (the first administration to use this language officially since the end of the Byzantine Empire). In 1831 Otto of Bavaria was declared king of the newly-independent monarchy. The 1832 Convention of London granted Greece the protection of the three powers that made independence possible. Great Britain maintained control over the Ionian Islands until 1864. Several other territories of present-day Greece were acquired in later periods although the idea of a Greater Greece with Constantinople as capital (megáli idea) was never realized. The former Turkish territories of Thessaly and Arta became Greek in 1881. Claims to Crete were initiated in 1862 by King George I who succeeded Otto of Bavaria. Turkey granted Crete more autonomy and the island was transferred to Greece in 1913, together with the other gains from the two Balkan wars: the Cyclades and Sporades, Epirus, Macedonia, Western Thrace, and the Aegean Islands.


Territorial Unit Liberal Party Electoral District Military Dictatorship Plurality System 
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© Daniele Caramani 2000

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  • Daniele Caramani

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