At the beginning of the 19th century, with the reconstitution of the patriotic secret society Eteria, the anti-Turkish movement acquired new vigor. In 1821 the Greece rose up: Alessandro Ipsilanti on 7 March entered Moldavia, where he tried in vain to raise the Romanian population and then occupied Bucharest with a few Greeks, but was forced to take refuge in Hungary ; instead, the revolt in the south, led by his brother Demetrius, succeeded. To the Turkish massacres of notables and ecclesiastical dignitaries in the Fanari (the Greek quarter of Constantinople from which the Eteria originated) and elsewhere, the patriots responded by proclaiming, on 1 January 1822, the independence of the Greece and constituting a national government (headed by A. Maurocordato). In favor of Greece, while the governments of the great powers at the Congress of Verona denied the Greek delegates the floor, the liberal public opinion of Europe moved (➔ philhellenism) and the US president J. Monroe sent a message of solidarity to the insurgents. The intervention of the Egyptian fleet and army marked the crisis of the revolution: attacked in 1825, despite the heroic resistance (sieges of Missolungi, of the Acropolis of Athens), in the summer of 1827 the whole Greece continental was again subject to the Turks.
Hellenic independence then became a European political problem: the London conference for Greece convened in 1827 established the principle of Russian-Franco-British mediation to impose an armistice on the sultan and the recognition of Greek autonomy. But only after the destruction of the Turkish-Egyptian fleet by the three European powers in the Navarino bay (1827) and a war campaign that saw the French fight in Morea and Russia engaged against Turkey, with the peace of Adrianople (1829)) the defeated sultan undertook to accept the erection of Greece in an independent state.
The constitution of the kingdom
The London Protocol (1830) gave rise to the kingdom of Greece, territorially limited between the Gulf of Árta and that of Volos, while Great Britain retained possession of the Ionian Islands (ceded to the Greeks only in 1863) and the subsequent convention of 1832 attributed the crown to Otto of Wittelsbach. The new state, deprived of the most productive regions (Thessaly, Macedonia, Crete), also had to shoulder the debts of the war of liberation, becoming economically dependent on London, while in domestic politics they prevailed over the free functioning of the parliamentary regime (put in place by Constitution granted by the king in 1844), the autocratic will of the sovereign and the intrigues of the great powers, until Otto was deposed and a constituent gave a new king to the country, George I (1863). The new Constitution (1864) established a regime of liberal democracy.
The government of E. Venizèlos
The first impulse to economic and civil development was given to the country by the government action of C. Trikùpis (1882-90), but the modest resources of Greece did not withstand the effort aimed at realizing the aspirations of irredentism: the intervention in the Balkan conflict of 1885-86 and the war against the Turks for the liberation of Crete ended in a defeat (1897). The government of E. Venizelos, came to power in 1910, marked for Greece a period of significant events: promoted effective constitutional reform (1911), the reconstruction of the armed forces and, in the aftermath of the Balkan wars, assured the country, with the treaties of Bucharest and London (1913), important territorial acquisitions (Giannina, Thessaloniki, Kavàla, Crete and the Aegean islands except the Dodecanese, which became an Italian possession; will return to Greece in 1947). The First World War saw the clash between the crown, in favor of the Central Empires, and the liberal party of Venizèlos, in favor of the Entente. The developments of the conflict allowed the Franco-British to force the expulsion of Constantine I (succeeded by Alexander I), who ascended to the throne in 1913 after the assassination of George I, and the return to power of Venizèlos, who declared war on Germany, Turkey and Bulgaria.
The Treaty of Sèvres (1920) assigned to Greece East Thrace up to the Black Sea, the peninsula of Gallipoli and the territory of Smyrna. Having beaten Venizèlos in the elections of 1920, a plebiscite restored the deposed King Constantine I to the throne after Alexander I died. The Western powers did not recognize the new regime and Kemalist Turkey forced Greece to evict Smyrna (1921); followed the fall of Constantine (replaced on the throne by George II) and his government, while the peace of Lausanne (1923) closed the conflict with Turkey by imposing territorial sacrifices on Greece The Greek-Turkish agreement (1923) which established the principle of the exchange of alloglot populations, if it posed the problem of accommodating more than 1,200,000 immigrant Greeks, nevertheless consolidated national unity.
The republican revolution
In 1924, a revolution promoted by the military spheres overthrew the monarchy and established, by vote of the national constituent assembly, the republic; in the new regime the liberal-national current of Venizèlos succeeded in prevailing in 1928, which carried out the reintegration of Greece into European and Mediterranean politics through a series of agreements with Italy (1928), Yugoslavia (1929), Turkey (1930). However, it was not successful in consolidating republican democracy; in 1933, the electoral victory of the pro-monarchist opposition caused the fall of his ministry. After the failed revolutionary reconquest of power carried out in 1935 by the Venizelists, the coup d’état of General Greece Kondỳlis restored the monarchy.