1863-1897 1914-1918

Greece 1897-1914

The years 1897 to 1914 were turbulent in regard to expansionist policy. In an 1897 war on the Ottoman Empire Greece suffered a defeat; the contested island of Crete was placed under an international trusteeship and in 1908, much to the credit of the Greek-Cretan politician Eleftherios Venizelos, annexed into Greece.
In 1911-1912 the Italians defeated the Ottoman Empire, gaining Tripolitania, Cyrenaica (Africa) and the Dodecanese Islands. Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro formed a military alliance which handed another defeat to the Ottoman forces in the First Balkan War of 1912-1913; Greece gained some Aegaean islands, much of Epirus and Aegaean Macedonia; her territory had expanded by 70 %, her population increased from 2.8 million to 4.8 million (but a large part of the additional population, ethnically, was non-Greek). In the city of Salonica, only 4 % of the prewar population had been Greek.

A coup in 1909 brought to power prime minister Eleftherios Venizelos, a proponent of the Megali Idea (the dream of a large Greek state). Another strong faction, supported by the king, objected to an expansionist policy. In 1911 major amendments to the constitution were passed. King George I. was assassinated in 1913, succeeded by his son Constantine I. The territorial gains of 1912-1913 greatly expanded Venizelos' support base.
In the year before World War I broke out, Greek society was split into two rival camps, almost hostile to each other.
In 1913 Greece introduced registration of motor vehicles.

Biography of Eleftherios Venizelos, from Spartacus Schoolnet
The Expansion of the Hellenc State, 1897-1922, from chronos
DOCUMENTS List of Greek Prime Ministers etc., from World Statesmen by Ben Cahoon
Historical Population Statistics : Greece, from Population Statistics, Jan Lahmeyer
Benaki Museum, Historical Objects, commented scans
Graeco-Turkish War, from The Great Round World and What is Going on in it, Vol.1 No.26, May 1897, Vol.1 No.27, May 1897, Vol.1 No.29, May 1897, Vol.1 No.30, June 1897, Vol.1 No.31, June 1897, Vol.1 No.32, June 1897, Vol.1 No.33, June 1897 Vol.1 No.34, July 1897, Vol.1 No.35, July 1897, Vol.1 No.36, July 1897, Vol.1 No.37, July 1897, Vol.1 No.38, July 1897, Vol.1 No.39, August 1897, Vol.1 No.40, August 1897, Vol.1 No.41, August 1897, Vol.1 No.44, September 1897, Vol.1 No.46, September 1897, Vol.1 No.48, October 1897, Vol.1 No.49, October 1897, Vol.1 No.51, October 1897, Vol.1 No.52, November 1897, Vol.2 No.10, March 1898, posted by Gutenberg Library Online
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
Justin McCarthy, Death and Exile. The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims, 1821-1922, Princeton, NJ : Darwin Press 1995 [G]
Article : Greece, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1913 pp.1031-1034 [G]
Article : Greece, in : Statesman's Year Book 1898 pp.644-656, 1901 pp.734-747, 1905 pp.798-812, 1910 pp.918-928 [G]
Article : Greece, in : International Year Book 1898 pp.377-379, 1899 pp.386-388, 1900 pp.422-424
Article : Greece, in : The New International Year Book 1907 pp.347-349, 1908 pp.322-323, 1909 pp.326-329, 1913 pp.320-322 [G]
Jacob Gold Schurman, The Balkan Wars 1912-1913 (1916), posted by Gutenberg Library Online
Jivoin Perich, La Confederation Balkanique (The Balkan Confederation, 1912), posted online by Gutenberg Library Online, in French
Anonymous, Une Confederation Orientale comme solution de la Question d'Orient (An Oriental Confederation as solution of the Oriental Question, 1907), posted online by Gutenberg Library Online, in French
Algernon Bastard, The Gourmet's Guide to Europe (1903), posted by Gutenberg Library Online, chapter XVI pp.230-233 on Greece

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on September 16th 2009

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