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|Kingdom of Greece|
Βασίλειον τῆς Ἑλλάδος (Greek)Timeline: Triple Entente vs. Central Powers (Map Game)
OTL equivalent: Kingdom of Greece
"Ἐλευθερία ἤ θάνατος"
"Freedom or Death"
"Ýmnos is tin Eleftherían"
"Hymn to Liberty"
Location of Greece, including Libyan Poleis.
(and largest city)
|Official languages||Katharevousa Greek|
|Regional Languages||Demotic Greek
|Government||Unicameral Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy|
|-||Prime Minister||Eleftherios Venizelos|
|Legislature||Vouli ton Ellinon|
(First Hellenic Republic)
|January 1, 1822|
|-||Recognition of Autonomy||March 22, 1829|
|-||Recognition of Independence||February 3, 1830|
|-||Treaty of Constantinople
(Kingdom of Greece: Absolute Monarchy)
|May 7, 1832|
|-||Constitution of Greece (Kingdom of Greece: Constitutional Monarchy)||September 3, 1843|
|-||Total|| 171,966 km2
66,396 sq mi
|Currency||Greek Drachma (₯)|
The Kingdom of Greece (Greek: Βασίλειον τῆς Ἑλλάδος, Vasílion tis Elládos) was a state established in 1832 at the Convention of London by the Great Powers (the United Kingdom, France and the Russian Empire). It was internationally recognized by the Treaty of Constantinople, where it also secured full independence from the Ottoman Empire. This event also marked the birth of the first, fully independent, Greek state since the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the Ottomans in the mid-15th century.
Reign of King Otto (1833-1863)
Otto's reign would prove troubled, but managed to last for 30 years before he and his wife, Queen Amalia, left the way they came, aboard a British warship. During the early years of his reign a group of Bavarian Regents ruled in his name, and made themselves very unpopular by trying to impose German ideas of rigid hierarchical government on the Greeks, while keeping most significant state offices away from them. Nevertheless they laid the foundations of a Greek administration, army, justice system and education system. Otto was sincere in his desire to give Greece good government, but he suffered from two great handicaps, his Roman Catholic faith, and the fact that his marriage to Queen Amalia remained childless. In addition, the new Kingdom tried to eliminate the traditional banditry, something that in many cases meant conflict with some old revolutionary fighters (klephtes) who continued to exercise this practise.
The Bavarian Regents ruled until 1837, when at the insistence of Britain and France, they were recalled and Otto thereafter appointed Greek ministers, although Bavarian officials still ran most of the administration and the army. But Greece still had no legislature and no constitution. Greek discontent grew until a revolt broke out in Athens in September 1843. Otto agreed to grant a constitution, and convened a National Assembly which met in November. The new constitution created a bicameral parliament, consisting of an Assembly (Vouli) and a Senate (Gerousia). Power then passed into the hands of a group of politicians, most of whom had been commanders in the War of Independence against the Ottomans.
Greek politics in the 19th century was dominated by the national question. Greeks dreamed of liberating them all and reconstituting a state embracing all the Greek lands, with Constantinople as its capital. This was called the Great Idea (Megali Idea), and it was sustained by almost continuous rebellions against Ottoman rule in Greek-speaking territories, particularly Crete, Thessaly and Macedonia. During the Crimean War the British occupied Piraeus to prevent Greece declaring war on the Ottomans as a Russian ally.
A new generation of Greek politicians was growing increasingly intolerant of King Otto's continuing interference in government. In 1862, the King dismissed his Prime Minister, the former admiral Constantine Kanaris, the most prominent politician of the period. This provoked a military rebellion, forcing Otto to accept the inevitable and leave the country. The Greeks then asked Britain to send Queen Victoria's son Prince Alfred as their new king, but this was vetoed by the other Powers. Instead a young Danish prince became King George I. George was a very popular choice as a constitutional monarch, and he agreed that his sons would be raised in the Greek Orthodox faith. As a reward to the Greeks for adopting a pro-British King, Britain ceded the Ionian Islands to Greece.
Reign of King George (1864-1913)At the urging of Britain and King George, Greece adopted a much more democratic constitution in 1864. The powers of the King were reduced and the Senate was abolished, and the franchise was extended to all adult males. Nevertheless Greek politics remained heavily dynastic, as it has always been. Family names such as Zaimis, Rallis and Trikoupis occurred repeatedly as Prime Ministers. Although parties were centered around the individual leaders, often bearing their names, two broad political tendencies existed: the liberals, led first by Charilaos Trikoupis and later by Eleftherios Venizelos, and the conservatives, led initially by Theodoros Deligiannis and later by Thrasivoulos Zaimis.
Trikoupis and Deligiannis dominated Greek politics in the later 19th century, alternating in office. Trikoupis favoured co-operation with Great Britain in foreign affairs, the creation of infrastructure and an indigenous industry, raising protective tariffs and progressive social legislation, while the more populist Deligiannis depended on the promotion of Greek nationalism and the Megali Idea.Greece remained a very poor country throughout the 19th century. The country lacked raw materials, infrastructure and capital. Agriculture was mostly at the subsistence level, and the only important export commodities were currants, raisins and tobacco. Some Greeks grew rich as merchants and shipowners, and Piraeus became a major port, but little of this wealth found its way to the Greek peasantry. Greece remained hopelessly in debt to London finance houses. By the 1890s Greece was virtually bankrupt, and public insolvency was declared in 1893. Poverty was rife in the rural areas and the islands, and was eased only by large-scale emigration to the United States. There was little education in the rural areas. Nevertheless there was progress in building communications and infrastructure, and fine public buildings were erected in Athens. Despite the bad financial situation, Athens staged the revival of the Olympic Games in 1896, which proved a great success. The parliamentary process developed greatly in Greece during the reign of George I. Initially, the royal prerogative in choosing his prime minister remained and contributed to governmental instability, until the introduction of the dedilomeni principle of parliamentary confidence in 1875 by the reformist Charilaos Trikoupis. Clientelism and frequent electoral upheavals however remained the norm in Greek politics, and frustrated the country's development. Corruption and Trikoupis' increased spending to create necessary infrastructure like the Corinth Canal overtaxed the weak Greek economy, forcing the declaration of public insolvency in 1893 and to accept the imposition of an International Financial Control authority to pay off the country's debtors.
Another political issue in 19th-century Greece was uniquely Greek: the language question. The Greek people spoke a form of Greek called Demotic. Many of the educated elite saw this as a peasant dialect and were determined to restore the glories of Ancient Greek. Government documents and newspapers were consequently published in Katharevousa (purified) Greek, a form which few ordinary Greeks could read. Liberals favoured recognising Demotic as the national language, but conservatives and the Orthodox Church resisted all such efforts, to the extent that, when the New Testament was translated into Demotic in 1901, riots erupted in Athens and the government fell (the Evangeliaka). This issue would continue to plague Greek politics until the 1970s.
All Greeks were united, however, in their determination to liberate the Greek-speaking provinces of the Ottoman Empire. Especially in Crete, a prolonged revolt in 1866–1869 had raised nationalist fervour. When war broke out between Russia and the Ottomans in 1877, Greek popular sentiment rallied to Russia's side, but Greece was too poor, and too concerned of British intervention, to officially enter the war. Nevertheless, in 1881, Thessaly and small parts of Epirus were ceded to Greece as part of the Treaty of Berlin, while frustrating Greek hopes of receiving Crete. Greeks in Crete continued to stage regular revolts, and in 1897, the Greek government under Theodoros Deligiannis, bowing to popular pressure, declared war on the Ottomans. In the ensuing Greco-Turkish War of 1897 the badly trained and equipped Greek army was defeated by the Ottomans. Through the intervention of the Great Powers, however, Greece lost only a little territory along the border to Turkey, while Crete was established as an autonomous state under Prince George of Greece.The Kingdom's status was greatly improved in the 20th century by George I. Many trade agreements and alliances were signed with countries in Europe. During the early 1900s, George persuaded the world powers of France, the United Kingdom, and Italy to fund Greek infrastructure and economy with subsidies. These relationships improved, especially with Italy as they had similar interests over the Ottomans. As nationalism and cultural fervor grew in the kingdom, the parliament passed many anti-Turkish laws. Conflicts and disputes were constantly erupting between Greece and the Ottoman Empire. Although there was these unremitting disputes, Greece did not join the Ottoman War of Aggression against Russia and Serbia in 1904. After many revolts occurred on Crete, the Ottomans officially ceded it to Greece in 1907. Despite these negotiations tensions still rose.
George I also improved the military's situation by founding an air force as part of the army in 1910. A national military radio was also made to communicate well with the troops. The navy also saw some enlargement under George from the foreign subsidies.
These tensions caused Greece and Italy to declare war on the Ottoman Empire on September 30, 1911.
Hellenic Royal Air Force (Polemikí Aeroporía)
|8||Farman III||1909||1909||Active Service|
|4||Farman MF.7||1913||1913||Active Service|
|2||Farman MF.11||1914||1914||Active Service|
|4||Farman HF.20||1914||1914, 1915||Active Service|
|8||Farman MF.11||1914||1916||Active Service|
|6||Caproni Ca.3||1916||1916||Active Service|
|12||Bristol F.2 Fighter||1916||1916||Active Service|
|I001||Vasilefs Georgios||1866||1867||1868||Vasilefs Georgios-class (UK)||Training Ship (1904)|
|I002||Vasilissa Olga||1869||1870||1870||Vasilissa Olga-class* (AH)||Training Ship (1911)|
|I003||Hydra||1890||1889||1890||Hydra-class (FR)||Active Service|
|I004||Psara||1888||1890||1890||Hydra-class (FR)||Active Service|
|I005||Spetsai||1888||1889||1890||Hydra-class (FR)||Active Service|
|C001||Navarchos Miaoulis||1878||1879||1879||Navarchos Miaoulis-class (FR)||Active Service|
|C002||Hermes (Viking)||1901||1902||1911||Viking-class (DE)||Active Service|
|C003||Artemis (Væringjar)||1901||1902||1911||Viking-class (DE)||Active Service|
|B001||Naxos (Korstog)||1901||1904||1911||Dannebrog-class (DE)||Active Service|
|U001||Medusa (Hroðr)||1909||1910||1912||Ægir-class (DE)||Active Service|
|U002||Minotaur (Gerðr)||1909||1910||1912||Ægir-class (DE)||Active Service|
UK. Bought from United Kingdom
AH. Bought from Austria Hungary
FR. Bought from France
DE. Bought from Denmark
GE. Bought from Germany
|Name||Capital||Type of entity||Population (Est. 1900)||Total Area (km²)|
|Cyrenaican Tripolis||Euesperides||Entire Territory||50,000||793|