Greece and the World today celebrate and honour the bicentennial of the Greek Revolution, declared on the 25th of March 1821. A historic act that resulted in the establishment of an independent State nine years later, after the London Protocol was signed by England, France and Russia.
What makes the Greek Revolution so special, a real milestone not only for a small country that carries 4,000 years of history, but for the modern world as well? A first answer is that it was the first national movement ever to succeed in Europe, half a century after the United States Declaration of Independence and almost at the same time as liberation movements in South America occurred.
Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire, a huge state consisting of multiple nations conquered gradually from the beginning of the second millennium AD in East Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa. This empire was practically the successor of the Byzantine Empire - dominated by the Greeks but definitely not a Greek state. The latter lasted for more than 1,000 years and was the evolution of the eastern part of the divided Roman Empire.
The Greek Revolution was inspired by the principles of the Enlightenment: freedom, self-determination, respect and equality – principles that first rose in the Western World with the Athenian Democracy. Greek intellectuals that were living in Western Europe transferred the light to their compatriots. The latter gained courage and strength from the ideal “Freedom or Death”.