A Brief History of the Struggle for Greek Independence:
In the 1770s and 1780s Catherine booted the Turks from the Black Sea coast, created a number of towns in the region, including Odessa, and gave them Ancient Greek or Byzantine names. She offered Greeks financial incentives and free land to settle the region, and many took up her offer.
In Odessa in 1814, three businessmen Athanasios Tsakalof, Emmanuel Xanthos and Nikolaos Skoufas founded a Greek independence party, the Philiki Etairia (Friendly Society). The message of the society spread quickly and branches opened throughout Greece. Members met in secret and came from all walks of life. The leaders in Odessa held the firm belief that armed force was the only effective means of liberation, and made generous monetary contributions to the freedom fighters.
Meanwhile there were also stirrings of dissent amongst Greeks living in Constantinople. The Ottomans regarded it as beneath them to participate in commerce, and this had left the door open for Greeks in the city to become a powerful economic force. These wealthy Greek families were called Phanariots. Unlike the Filiki Etairia, who strove for liberation through rebellion, the Phanariots believed that by virtue of their positions they could effect a takeover from within. Influential Phanariots included Alexandros Mavrokordatos and Alexandros and Dimitrios Ypsilantis.
Ali Pasha's private rebellion against the sultan in 1820 gave the Greeks the opportunity they had been waiting for. The legend says that on March 21, 1821 Bishop Germanos of Patras hoisted the Greek flag at the monastery of Agia Lavra in the Peloponnese, an act of defiance that marked the beginning of the War of Independence. Fighting broke out throughout the Peloponnese, with fearless Maniot freedom fighters, led by Petrobey Mavromichaelis, governor of the Mani, laying siege to the most strategic Turkish garrisons and razing the homes of thousands of Turks. The worst atrocity occurred in the city of Tripolitsa (present-day Tripolis) where 12,000 Turkish inhabitants were massacred.
The fighting escalated throughout the mainland and many islands. Within a year the Greeks had captured Monemvassia, Navarino (modern Pylos), Nafplion and Tripolitsa in the Peloponnese, and Messolongi, Athens and Thebes. Greek independence was proclaimed at Epidaurus on 13 January 1822. The Turks retaliated with massacres in Asia Minor, most notoriously on the island of Chios, where more than 25,000 civilians were killed.
The Western powers were reluctant to intervene, fearing the consequences of creating a power vacuum in south-eastern Europe, where the Turks still controlled much territory. But help did come from the philhellenes; aristocratic young men, recipients of a classical education, who saw themselves as the inheritors of a glorious civilization and were willing to fight to liberate its oppressed descendants. Philhellenes included Shelley, Goethe, Schiller, Victor Hugo, Alfred de Musset and Lord Byron. Byron arrived in Messolongi an important center of resistance in January 1824 and died three months later of pneumonia.
The prime movers of the revolution were the klephts Theodoros Kolokotronis (who led the siege of Nafplion) and Markos Botsaris; George Koundouriotis (a ship owner) and Admiral Andreas Miaoulis, both from Hydra; and the Phanariots Alexander Mavrokordatos and Demitrios Ypsilantis. Other heroes were: Georgios Karaiskakis, Odysseas Androutsos, Konstantinos Kanaris, Makriyannis, Papaflessas, Athanasios Diakos, Bouboulina, Manto Mavrogenous and many more. If you familiarize yourself with these names, walking along streets in Greece will take on a whole new meaning as a disproportionate number are named after these heroes.
The long list makes it clear that the cause was not lacking leaders; what was lacking was unity of objectives and strategy. Internal disagreements twice escalated into civil war, the worst in the Peloponnese in 1824. The sultan took advantage of this, called in Egyptian reinforcements, and by 1827 captured Modon (Methoni) and Corinth, and recaptured Navarino, Messolongi and Athens.
At last the Western powers intervened, and a combined Russian, French and British fleet destroyed the Turkish-Egyptian fleet in the Bay of Navarino in October 1827. Sultan Mahmud II defied the odds and proclaimed a holy war. Russia sent troops into the Balkans and engaged the Ottoman army in yet another Russian-Turkish war. Fighting continued until 1829 when, with Russian troops at the gates of Constantinople, the sultan accepted Greek independence by the Treaty of Andrianople.http://www.hellenism.net/eng/1821.htm
ZHTO H ELLAS!!!