The Greek Revolution
By the end of March 1821 sporadic fighting between Greeks and Turks had taken the form of a full-fledged uprising -with the Peloponnese as its epicenter. On March 25 revolution against the Ottoman rule was declared at the St. Lavra Monastery near Kalavryta. The insurgents' guerrilla warefare and their nautical skills enabled them to seize the initiative under the leadership of brave, inspired and inspiring "oplarhigi" (leaders in arms) on land, such as Kolokotronis, Karaiskakis, Diakos, Botsaris, Androutsos, Makriyannis and others, and "kapetanii" (captains) in the Aegean, such as Kanaris, Miaoulis and others.
News of the revolt and the Greeks' battlefield successes raised enthusiasm among Western liberals. Fund-raising campaigns were organized in France and other countries and philhellene volunteers from as far as the United States enlisted in the cause of Greek freedom. The best known of them, English poet Byron, shared with Greeks the hardships and privations during their long heroic resistance against the Turks in the besieged town of Messolonghi, where he died in 1824. Philhellenic upsurge played a role in moving the governments of the Holy Alliance, where initial reaction to the revolt had been negative, to take a more favorable stand vis-a-vis the Greek war of independence.
In 1825, however, the military situation took a turn to the worse for the insurgents as a result of: (a) Factional intrigue and conflicts within their shaky central government formed in 1823 (b) Continuous feuds among local notables and oplarhighi which took at times civil-war dimensions (c) The Sultan's alliance with the ruler of Egypt, Mehmet Ali, who sent strong forces to Crete and the Peloponnese striking severe blows on the quarrelling Greeks. While war was on the balance the Great Powers decided to intervene. Their policy of "peaceful interference" culminated in the Battle of Navarino off the southern coast of the Peloponnese in October 1827. It was then and there that the combined British, French and Russian fleets under the command of Sir Edward Cordington destroyed the Turkish-Egyptian fleet, thus marking the beginning of the end of Ottoman rule in Greece and opening the way for the establishment of an independent Greek state.
More Greek Independence
Greece Under the Ottoman Yoke
Athens - Capital of Greece After the War of Independence
The fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 marked the end of the Byzantine Empire. For Greece it was the beginning of a long period under the Ottoman yoke, known as Turkocratia, i.e. Turkish rule.
Kapodistrias Greece's First Governor
Starting in the 18th Century ancient Athens regained in peoples' minds its historical glory and significance as a consequence of the great revival of interest in classical Greek antiquity in Europe as well as America.
All Greek Independence...
A first attempt to form a central government in Greece still an insurgent nation in war with Turkey, not yet an independent state was made in 1827.