7 min

1821 to 1830

Greek War of Independence

by Something Something

The Greek War of Independence, also known as the Greek Revolution, was a successful war of independence waged by Greek revolutionaries against the Ottoman Empire between 1821 and 1830.

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1814 Jan 1 -


The Fall of Constantinople on 29 May 1453 and the subsequent fall of the successor states of the Byzantine Empire marked the end of Byzantine sovereignty. After that, the Ottoman Empire ruled the Balkans and Anatolia (Asia Minor), with some exceptions. Greece came under Ottoman rule in the 15th century, in the decades before and after the fall of Constantinople.

The Oath of Initiation into the Society, painting by Dionysios Tsokos, 1849.


The Founding of Filiki Eteria

1814 Sep 14 -

Odessa, Ukraine

Filiki Eteria or Society of Friends was a secret organization founded in 1814 in Odessa, whose purpose was to overthrow the Ottoman rule of Greece and establish an independent Greek state.Society members were mainly young Phanariot Greeks from Constantinople and the Russian Empire, local political and military leaders from the Greek mainland and islands, as well as several Orthodox Christian leaders from other nations that were under Hellenic influence, such as Karađorđe from Serbia Tudor Vladimirescu from Romania, and Arvanite military commanders. One of its leaders was the prominent Phanariote Prince Alexander Ypsilantis. The Society initiated the Greek War of Independence in the spring of 1821.

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Alexander Ypsilantis crosses the Pruth, by Peter von Hess


Declaration of revolution by Alexandros Ypsilantis

1821 Feb 21 -

Danubian Principalities

Alexander Ypsilantis was elected as the head of the Filiki Eteria in April 1820 and took upon himself the task of planning the insurrection. His intention was to raise all the Christians of the Balkans in rebellion and perhaps force Russia to intervene on their behalf. Ypsilantis issued a proclamation calling all Greeks and Christians to rise up against the Ottomans.

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The Battle of Alamana, by Alexandros Isaias


Battle of Alamana

1821 Apr 22 -

Thermopylae, Greece

Even though the battle was ultimately a military defeat for the Greeks, Diakos's death provided the Greek national cause with a stirring myth of heroic martyrdom.

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Sacred band


Battle of Dragasani

1821 Jun 19 -

Drăgăşani, Wallachia

The Battle of Dragashani (or Battle of Drăgășani) was fought on 19 June 1821 in Drăgășani, Wallachia, between the Ottoman forces of Sultan Mahmud II and the Greek Filiki Etaireia insurgents. It was a prelude to the Greek War of Independence.

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"First National Assembly" by Ludwig Michael von Schwanthaler.


The Greek Constitution of 1822

1822 Jan 1 -

Nea Epidavros

The Greek Constitution of 1822 was a document adopted by the First National Assembly of Epidaurus on January 1, 1822. Formally it was the Provisional Regime of Greece (Προσωρινό Πολίτευμα της Ελλάδος), sometimes translated as Temporary Constitution of Greece. Considered to be the first constitution of Modern Greece, it was an attempt to achieve temporary governmental and military organisation until the future establishment of a national parliament.

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Le Massacre de Chios, held at the Louvre, Paris


The Massacre at Chios

1822 Apr 1 -

Chios, Greece

The Chios massacre was the killing of tens of thousands of Greeks on the island of Chios by Ottoman troops during the Greek War of Independence in 1822. Greeks from neighboring islands had arrived on Chios and encouraged the Chiotes to join their revolt. In response, Ottoman troops landed on the island and killed thousands. The massacre of Christians provoked international outrage and led to increasing support for the Greek cause worldwide.

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Nikitas Stamatelopoulos during the Battle of Dervenakia by Peter von Hess.


The destruction of the Turkish Army at Dervenakia

1822 Jul 28 -

Dervenakia, Greece

The Expedition of Dramali also known as Dramali's campaign, or Dramali's expedition, was an Ottoman military campaign led by Mahmud Dramali Pasha during the Greek War of Independence in the summer of 1822. The campaign was a large scale effort by the Ottomans to quell the ongoing Greek rebellion which had begun in 1821, the campaign ended in total failure, resulting in the disastrous defeat of the Ottoman army, which after the campaign ceased to exist as a fighting force.

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Georgios Kountouriotis


Greek civil wars of 1823–1825

1823 Jan 1 -


The Greek War of Independence was marked by two civil wars, which took place in 1823–1825. The conflict had both political and regional dimensions, as it pitted the Roumeliotes (the people of Continental Greece) and the Islanders (the shipowners, especially from Hydra island), against the Peloponnesians or Moreotes. It divided the young nation, and seriously weakened the military preparedness of the Greek forces in the face of the oncoming Egyptian intervention in the conflict.

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The sortie of Messologhi


The Fall of Missolonghi

1825 Apr 15 -

Missolonghi, Greece

The third siege of Messolonghi (Greek: Τρίτη Πολιορκία του Μεσσολογίου, often erroneously referred to as the second siege) was fought in the Greek War of Independence, between the Ottoman Empire and the Greek rebels, from 15 April 1825 to 10 April 1826. The Ottomans had already tried and failed to capture the city in 1822 and 1823, but returned in 1825 with a stronger force of infantry and a stronger navy supporting the infantry. The Greeks held out for almost a Year before they ran out of food and attempted a mass breakout, which however resulted in a disaster, with the larger part of the Greeks slain. This defeat was a key factor leading to intervention by the Great Powers who, hearing about the atrocities, felt sympathetic to the Greek cause.

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One of the Greek stamps, issued in 1971, on the 150th anniversary of the Greek Revolution of 1821 showing the Battle of Maniaki


Battle of Maniaki

1825 May 20 -

Maniaki, Messenia, Greece

The Battle of Maniaki was fought on May 20, 1825 in Maniaki, Greece (in the hills east of Gargalianoi) between Ottoman Egyptian forces led by Ibrahim Pasha and Greek forces led by Papaflessas. The battle ended in an Egyptian victory, during which both Greek commanders, Papaflessas and Pieros Voidis, were killed in action.

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Ottoman–Egyptian invasion of Mani

1826 Jun 21 -

Mani, Greece

The Ottoman–Egyptian invasion of Mani was a campaign during the Greek War of Independence that consisted of three battles. The Maniots fought against a combined Egyptian and Ottoman army under the command of Ibrahim Pasha of Egypt.

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The Battle of Arachova


Battle of Arachova

1826 Nov 18 -

Arachova, Greece

The Battle of Arachova (Greek: Μάχη της Αράχωβας), took place between 18 and 24 November 1826 (N.S.). It was fought between an Ottoman Empire force under the command of Mustafa Bey and Greek rebels under Georgios Karaiskakis. After receiving intelligence of the Ottoman army's maneuvers, Karaiskakis prepared a surprise attack in vicinity of the village of Arachova, in central Greece. On 18 November, Mustafa Bey's 2,000 Ottoman troops were blockaded in Arachova. An 800-man force that attempted to relieve the defenders three days later failed.

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Ioannis Kapodistrias arrives in Greece

1828 Jan 7 -

Nafplion, Greece

Count Ioannis Antonios Kapodistrias is considered the founder of the modern Greek state, and the architect of Greek independence After touring Europe to rally support for the Greek cause, Kapodistrias landed in Nafplion on 7 January 1828, and arrived in Aegina on 8 January 1828.[48] The British didn't allow him to pass from his native Corfu (a British protectorate since 1815 as part of the United States of the Ionian Islands) fearing a possible unrest of the population. It was the first time he had ever set foot on the Greek mainland, and he found a discouraging situation there. Even while fighting against the Ottomans continued, factional and dynastic conflicts had led to two civil wars, which ravaged the country. Greece was bankrupt, and the Greeks were unable to form a united national government. Wherever Kapodistrias went in Greece, he was greeted by large and enthusiastic welcomes from the crowds.

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Siege of Akhaltsikhe 1828, by January Suchodolski


Russia declares war on Turkey

1828 Apr 26 -


The Russo-Turkish War of 1828–1829 was sparked by the Greek War of Independence of 1821–1829. War broke out after the Ottoman Sultan Mahmud II closed the Dardanelles to Russian ships and revoked the 1826 Akkerman Convention in retaliation for Russian participation in October 1827 in the Battle of Navarino.

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The Entry of King Othon of Greece in Athens


Establishment of the Kingdom of Greece

1832 Jul 21 -

London, UK

The London Conference of 1832 was an international conference convened to establish a stable government in Greece. Negotiations between the three Great Powers (Britain, France and Russia) resulted in the establishment of the Kingdom of Greece under a Bavarian Prince. The decisions were ratified in the Treaty of Constantinople later that Year. The treaty followed the Akkerman Convention which had previously recognized another territorial change in the Balkans, the suzerainty of Principality of Serbia.

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1833 Jan 1 -


The consequences of the Greek revolution were somewhat ambiguous in the immediate aftermath. An independent Greek state had been established, but with Britain, Russia and France having significant influence in Greek politics, an imported Bavarian dynast as ruler, and a mercenary army. The country had been ravaged by ten years of fighting and was full of displaced refugees and empty Turkish estates, necessitating a series of land reforms over several decades.

As a people, the Greeks no longer provided the princes for the Danubian Principalities, and were regarded within the Ottoman Empire, especially by the Muslim population, as traitors. In Constantinople and the rest of the Ottoman Empire where Greek banking and merchant presence had been dominant, Armenians mostly replaced Greeks in banking, and Jewish merchants gained importance.

In the long-term historical perspective, this marked a seminal event in the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, despite the small size and the impoverishment of the new Greek state. For the first time, a Christian subject people had achieved independence from Ottoman rule and established a fully independent state, recognized by Europe.

The newly established Greek state would become a catalyst for further expansion and, over the course of a century, parts of Macedonia, Crete, Epirus, many Aegean Islands, the Ionian Islands and other Greek-speaking territories would unite with the new Greek state.


  • Brewer, David (2003). The Greek War of Independence: The Struggle for Freedom from Ottoman Oppression and the Birth of the Modern Greek Nation. Overlook Press. ISBN 1-58567-395-1.
  • Clogg, Richard (2002) [1992]. A Concise History of Greece (Second ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-00479-9.
  • Howarth, David (1976). The Greek Adventure. Atheneum. ISBN 0-689-10653-X.
  • Jelavich, Barbara (1983). History of the Balkans, 18th and 19th centuries. New York: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-27458-3.
  • Koliopoulos, John S. (1987). Brigands with a Cause: Brigandage and Irredentism in Modern Greece, 1821–1912. Clarendon. ISBN 0-19-888653-5.
  • Vacalopoulos, Apostolos E. (1973). History of Macedonia, 1354–1833 (translated by P. Megann). Zeno Publishers. ISBN 0-900834-89-7.

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