The Greek Struggle For Independence Essay

1269 words - 5 pages

On the 25th of March 1821, the Greeks’ fight for independence from the Turks began. After about 8 long years of numerous battles, Greece was able to gain their independence in 1829. Their independence would not have been achievable without the help of their allies, who were mainly the French, Russia, and Great Britain. The philhellenes, or Greece-loving people, in those countries would rally support for Greece, and their revolution was a success because of their support. Greece would not have been able to attain their independence if not for the help of the various influential philhellenes in Great Britain.
One of the biggest philhellenes was Lord Byron, an English poet in the 1800s. His book the Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, originally published in around 1813, was immensely popular among the British people. It was a collection of poems about of his journeys around the world especially when he was in Greece. He wrote about basically everything that had occurred during his stay, and he even included events from his nightlife. The Britons at the time were in love with the mythical and ancient times of Greece, where the gods would overlook all of Greece. Lord Byron had also first fallen in love with the ancient mythical Greece, but he later fell for the modern Greeks too. As stated in The Freedom’s Battle by Gary J. Bass, “Greece would be Byron’s fatal political cause, and the muse for some of his best-and worst-poetry.” His poetry had many indications of political calls for Greek liberation from the Turks. He was trying to make both the British and Greeks take action. “For foreign arms and aid they fondly sigh, Nor solely dare encounter hostile rage, Or tear their name defiled from Slavery's mournful page.”
Englishman George Canning, the British Foreign Secretary at the time, was also another important philhellene, whom I believe to be the most influential and impactful philhellene. Though he was not a die-hard philhellene like Lord Byron, he was against the atrocities that the Turkish government had done upon the Greeks, like the public executions of their religious leaders. A proclamation sent out by the King of Great Britain stated that the British people were to not interfere in the affairs of belligerents unless Great Britain was personally attacked. He and his advisors wanted to pacify Eastern Europe without angering their allies, whom the Turks were one of them. “And whereas The Ottoman Porte, a Power at Peace with His Majesty, is and has been for some years past engaged in a Contest with the Greeks, in which Contest His Majesty has observed a strict and impartial neutrality.” But this proclamation only made the Britons yearn to help the Greeks even more. The King believed that neutrality was the key to pacifying the Easy, but Canning believed that the independence of Greece was the only way.
Russia had initially helped Greece in their revolution, but when they had tried to subdue Greece’s revolution for their own benefit, the Greeks sent...

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