International History Now: The Greek Revolution

Contributed by Dr George Giannakopoulos, Visiting Fellow, Centre for Hellenic Studies, King’s College London. George is also the author of this essay published in Jacobin Magazine on 25 March 2021.

Take a look at this recent episode in the podcast series ‘International History Now’, which I produce with my LSE-based colleague Dr. Dina Gusejnova. In this episode we discuss key aspects of the Greek Revolution with Profs. Mark Mazower, Katherine E. Fleming, and Effi Gazi.

The day of 25 March 1821 is celebrated annually in Greece as Greek Independence Day, a day that marks the birth of what some have seen as the first nation-state in Europe after post-revolutionary France. A series of localised revolts against Ottoman rule gave rise to a broad revolutionary wave that swept parts of the country. By the end of the 1820s, interventions by different European powers and the rise of philhellenic sentiment secured the state’s autonomous existence from the Ottomans. This development came at the price of greater dependence upon the so-called Great Powers: Britain, France, and Russia. As Greece celebrates the bicentennial of the events of 1821, we examine the dimensions of Greek dependence and independence from different angles. Was the war of independence a stand-alone event or part of a transnational process of revolutionary activity? How did the heterogeneous populations (Jews, Muslims) within what became the Greek nation-state experience the revolution and its aftermath? What kinds of sovereignty did Greece gain and how did its place in the world change over time? Finally, how is the revolution remembered in Greece today?


Mark Mazower, Ira D Wallach Professor of History at Columbia University and founding director of the new Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination

Katherine E. Fleming, Provost of New York University, Alexander S. Onassis Professor of Hellenic Culture and Civilization in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at NYU

Effi Gazi, Professor of History at the University of the Peloponnese and a member of the editorial board of the journal Historein Music by Κυριάκος Τζωρτζινάκης, 4 Δημοτικές Εικόνες – Του βουνού (Four folk Images: Of the Mountain) (1975), recording by Andreas Vlachos (2021).

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