Greek Independence

The Greek war of Independence was the result of several factors. One of the most important events was the Orlov Rebellion of 1778-79. Inspired by the belief that Russia’s war with the Turks that countries were ready to liberate all the Christians in the Ottoman Empire, a short-lived uprising took place in the Peloponnesus, in the beginning of 1778. This venture however failed because of poor organisation, but it set a model for violent resistance to Ottoman rule. The Orlov Rebellion also urged brutal measures by the Sublime Porte (the Ottoman government) which increased anger against the empire.

The intellectual basis of nationalism came form the rich and prominent diaspore Greeks of the eighteenth century. Two leaders of that group were Adamantios Korais and Rigas Velestinlis. Korais argued the education of Greeks about their ancient heritage was the path towards freedom. Velestinlis wrote a blueprint for a new Greek state that would rise from the ashes of revolution against the Ottoman empire. Needless to say he was executed in 1798.

In 1821 Greece met threemajor requirements for a successful revolution: materials to stimulate a mass support for action; an ideological framework giving direction to the movement; and an organisational structure to coordinate the movement. Greek intellectuals had provided the language and ideas necessary for a nationalist struggle, and episodes such as the Orlov Rebellion provided memories of violent resistance which made action achievable. And so in the early 1820s the three converged.

The economy of the Ottoman Empire was seriously damaged by the general depression of commerce that followed the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815. The Greek movement also developed organtisational leadership during the 1810s. The Friendly Society, founded in Odessa in 1814, was the most important of many revolutionary groups that arose. Unlike others, it was able to attract a subsatntial membership while undetected by the Ottoman authorities. The organisation brought together men from many levels of society to provide an organisational base for revolutionary ideas and coordinated action. By the early 1820s, the revolution was a fact.

Word Count: 342

Related Essays on Ancient Greek