1832-1863 1897-1914

Greece 1863-1897

With King Otto's resignation, the throne of Greece was vacant again. The Protecting Powers chose Prince Christian Wilhelm Ferdinand Adolf Georg von Holstein-Glücksburg, who assumed the throne under the name George I. (1864-1913). Another constitution was passed. Britain ceded the Ionian Islands, after a plebiscite in favour of annexation into Greece, to the latter.
Greece continued to suffer from a heavy debt burden (and excessive demands in interest). The nation's economy was weak, the main export item being dried currants. Another problem was brigandry in the countryside, causing an international scandal when British aristocrat visitors were abducted by brigands, and later killed (the Dilesi Incident), in 1870. In 1876, Greece formally joined the Latin Monetary Union. Railroad construction had begun in 1869.
In 1879 Greece had a population of 1,679,884; the areas gained in 1881 added a popukation of 293,028 (figure of 1883; Meyers).
In 1881, Greece gained Thessaly as a late concession from the Ottoman Empire, decided at the Berlin Congress of 1878. In 1882 construction of the Corinth Canal began (completed in 1893). The construction of a railroad network was difficult in a country that mountaineous as Greece; the world famous Thermopylae pass fell victim to detonations undertaken to create a railway line connecting Athens with Thessaly.
Construction in the capital Athens continued; the building housing the National Academy was taken into service in 1886. In 1896 the First Olympic Games of the Modern Era were held in Athens. The Greek National Olympic Committee had been formed in 1894.
Another war with the Ottoman Empire in 1897, in which Greece hoped to liberate Crete, ended in a humiliating defeat; no territory as lost, as the Powers pressurized the Ottoman Empire to accept a peace treaty which deprived them of territorial gain.

Article National Olympic Committee, from Wikipedia
The Diolkos and the Corinth Canal, from Loutraki City Guide
The First Olympic Games, Athens 1896, from ORAMA
The Formation of the Hellenic State, from Hellenic History on the Internet
M.U. Ekinci, The Origins of the 1897 Ottoman-Greek War - A Diplomatic History, masters thesis Bilkent University 2006
DOCUMENTS List of Greek Prime Ministers etc., from World Statesmen by Ben Cahoon
Historical Population Statistics : Greece, from Population Statistics, Univ. Utrecht
The Succession Laws of the Greek Monarchy, from Heraldica
Benaki Museum, Historical Objects, commented scans
Photos from the 1896 Olympics, posted by Olympic Games Photo Gallery, more photos from the same site : People of the first Modern Olympic Games, Athens 1896
The Uprising of Greece, by Demetrius N. Botassi, in : The North American Review, Vol.164, 1897, pp.456-462, from Cornell Digital Library
Article : Neu-Griechenland (New Greece), from Meyers Konversationslexikon 1888-1890 edition, in German
Medal : Visit of King George I. of Greece to London, 1880, from Medal Web, Collection Benjamin Weiss
Register of Russian Diplomatic Documents, Greece Mission 1874-1924, from Hoover Institution
REFERENCE Richard Clogg, A Concise History of Greece, Cambridge : UP 1992, KMLA Lib.Sign. 949.5 C643a
Article : Greece, in : Encyclopaedia Britannica, Macropaedia, 15th edition, vol.20 pp.178-205, KMLA Lib.Sign. R 032 B862n v.20
Article : Greece, in : Statesman's Year Book 1878, pp.281-295, 1895, pp.645-657 [G]
Article : Greece, in : The American Annual Cyclopaedia and Register of Important Events 1864 pp.412-413, 1886 pp.408-412, 1894 pp.338-342 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on September 16th 2008

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