At the beginning of the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire extended from Iraq via North Africa to the Balkans and also Greece. Territorially, the Ottoman Empire was still a great power, but the Ottoman-Russian War had shown that neither the military was at a modern level, nor that the internal structure of the empire was modernized. For a long time, the empire had been in a state of constant decline, resulting in the formation of independence movements inside the borders, which wanted to secede from the Ottomans.
The first rebellions:
The first uprisings began as early as 1804 in the Balkans, where Karadjordje Petrovic in Serbia and a little later Ali Pasha with his supporters against the Ottoman rulers.
Acting Sultan Selim III. Because of the uprisings, he saw not only a way to show military strength but also to modernize his forces right away. His reforms, however, brought his elite unit, the Janissaries, against him, who also murdered him in 1807. His successor, Sultan Mahmud II, also devised reforms for his army, but these were to be carried out more slowly and cautiously. Despite this, he succeeded in 1813 first to suppress the Serb rebellion and 1822 the uprising of Ali Pasha.
The Greek rebellion:
Despite the centuries-long rule of the Ottomans, the Greeks remained faithful to their Greek Orthodox faith. When the revolution broke out in France and from there the belief in nationalism and its own identity also spread to Greece, in 1814 the secret society of the Philiki Eteria (Society of Friends) was founded, which asked in Russia for support in their independence aspirations. Russia saw itself in Europe as the protector of Orthodox Christians and had many Greeks in its service. So the country pledged its support and Alexander Ypsilantes, a general of the Russian army, was selected as the leader.
In February 1821 Ypsilantes began in Romania's territory with his rebellion against the Ottoman rulers. Contrary to the agreement, however, Russian support failed and revolutionists were brutally crushed by the Ottomans. Even in the other areas where uprisings arose, the Ottomans were equal.
Until 1822, the revolts and the simultaneous defeats continued, with the Ottoman soldiers proceeded with all severity against the insurgents and in many places massacre of the population.
After the publication of the massacres, many Europeans expressed their solidarity with the Greeks and voluntarily joined the rebellion. Including personalities such as the British poet Lord Byron, who was killed in April 1824, or British Admiral Thomas Cochrane, who joined the revolution after his deployment in South America and later became the commander of the Greek Navy.
The interference of Egypt:
Officially, Egypt was part of the Ottoman Empire, but unofficially it was led by Muhammad Ali as an autonomous state. Unlike the Ottoman Sultan, however, Ali had adapted his forces of the time and modernized in time. Now Sultan Mahmud II was forced to ask the Egyptian ruler for military support in order to fight the rebellions. Muhammad then put together a fleet, about 10,000 well-trained soldiers and subordinated them to the command of his son Ibrahim Pasha.
In February 1825, the intervention of the Egyptian force began in Greece, when the fleet landed in the south of the Peloponnese. The Greek insurgents were now from the north of the Ottoman army under Resit Pasha and shipped to the south of the Egyptian army. The Greeks then had to withdraw and the common army of the Ottomans and Egyptians was able to take 1826 Mesolongion and 1827 Athens after siege.
In the meantime, the Sultan Mahmud took advantage of the opportunity to crack down on his former elite soldiers in order to enforce the military reforms they were constantly blocking. The sultan officially disbanded the janissaries and subsequently killed thousands of soldiers to counteract revenge. With this step he was finally able to modernize his military and it seemed as if the Ottoman Empire would recover from its decline.
The European support of the Greeks:
The brutal action of the Egyptian soldiers against the civilian population aroused great horror among the European powers and finally it came that in July 1827 Great Britain, France and Russia merged and began to support the independence aspirations of the Greeks. In September, they sent a fleet to block the Egyptian and Ottoman fleet that had gathered in the bay of Pylos. The order was initially only to prevent the enemy fleet from leaving, but the commanders decided against a winter blockade and let their ships on 20 October 1827 enter the bay for battle where they inflicted heavy losses on the Egyptians and Ottomans.
Despite this defeat, the Sultan continued to defy the independence aspirations of the Greeks. Russia took advantage of the opportunity of further war and began from April 1828 2 campaigns on the territory of the Balkans and in eastern Anatolia. Already in September, the Russian troops were only 240 before Constantinople, the Ottoman capital.
So that Russia could not occupy the entire territory of the Ottoman Empire, began at the end of 1828, the peace negotiations between Great Britain, France, Egypt and the Ottoman Empire. Meanwhile, a French expeditionary force landed in Greece and oversaw the withdrawal of the Egyptian troops.
The peace of Edirne:
In 1829, the Ottoman Empire was forced to recognize the peace conditions of the major European powers, as it would no longer be in a military position to go to war. Thus, the autonomy of Greece, Serbia, Moldova and Wallachia was decided. The leader of the new Greek government was the former Russian Foreign Minister Ioannis Kapodistrias. 1830 was then the complete independence of Greece.
You can find the right literature here:
The Greek War of Independence: The Struggle for Freedom from Ottoman Oppression
A classical scholar reconstructs the Greek war for independence from the Ottoman empire, a conflict that captured the imagination of Romantic-era Europe and spurred thousands of non-Greek volunteers to join the struggle. 10,000 first printing.
The Greek War of Independence
In 1821, Greece rose up in bloody revolt against the oppressive might of the Ottoman empire. Determined to end four hundred years of slavery or die in the attempt, Greek patriots began their unyielding struggle for liberty and independence. In this beautifully illustrated book (over 50 pictures and maps) the author depicts the cruel centuries of Turkish occupation and oppression. He analyzes the causes of the War of Independence and gives a vivid and graphic description of the bitter struggle that gave birth to the modern Greek nation.
That Greece Might Yet Be Free: the Struggle for Greek Independence from the Ottoman Turks The War of Greek Independence 1821 to 1833
The fifteenth century brought about the destruction of the Roman Empire of the East when the Ottoman Turks, under the sickle moon banner and the fervour of Islam, finally broke through the walls of Constantinople in 1453. With the establishment of Istanbul as the centre of Ottoman power astride the Bosphorus, the Turks could confidently look back to Asia for all they had achieved, and westwards towards Europe for all that could be won. The tide of Ottoman invasion ultimately turned at the walls of Vienna in 1683, but before and after that reverse there were several Christian nations which were held in Turkish thrall for centuries. None felt the heel of oppression and occupation more keenly than Greece. No country, so different in culture and religion stood closer to Turkey. No people had born its shackles longer and or had fostered such a deep abiding enmity. By the early 19th century the Ottoman Empire was in decline and the movement for a reclaimed Greek nationalism saw its opportunity and rose in armed revolt. The ensuing conflict was a predictably bitter and bloody affair, which saw one of the most significant naval engagements of the age at Navarino. This special Leonaur edition contains a detailed history of the war which led to Greek victory, together with an essay specifically about the Battle of Navarino. Also included are images and maps which did not accompany original versions of the texts.
Leonaur editions are newly typeset and are not facsimiles; each title is available in softcover and hardback with dustjacket; our hardbacks are cloth bound and feature gold foil lettering on their spines and fabric head and tail bands.
Modern Greece: From the War of Independence to the Present
Modern Greece is an updated and enhanced edition of a classic survey of Greek history since the beginning of the 19th century. Giving equal weighting to social, political and diplomatic aspects, it offers detailed coverage of the formation of the Greek nation state, the global Greek diaspora, the country's relationships with Europe and the United States and a range of other topics, including women, rural areas, nationalism and the Civil War, woven together in a nuanced and highly readable narrative. Fresh material and new pedagogical features have been added throughout, most notably:
- new chapters on 19th-century nationalism and 'Boom to Bust in the Age of Globalization, 1989-2013';
- greater discussion of the late Ottoman context, Greeks outside of Greece and the international background to the Greek state formation;
- revisions to take account of recent scholarship, Greekscholarship ;
- new timelines, maps, illustrations, charts, figures and primary source boxes;
- an updated further reading section and bibliography.
Modern Greece is a crucial text for anyone looking to understand the complex history of this now troubled nation and its place in the Balkans, Europe and the modern globalized world.