could be panos kolokotronis earl said he wanted to make him pm at some point and mentioned that he will be important for greece.
He and Alexandros Maurokordatos seem the logical candidates I think. Andreas Metaxas would be less influential and on Kolokotronis side anyway, while Kriezis and Kanaris stay as naval ministers of their respective parties as long as Maurokordatos and Kolokotronis are around. Although Kanaris is liable to become prime minister on his own sooner or later particularly if a unifying figure for a coalition government is needed, given his reputation from the war of independence.
 
I want to see what’s going on back in the Ottoman Empire Years have gone bye and how Abdulmecid is handling his more modern Empire. Perhaps now that he feels Europe is more concerned with either internal issues, or ones in formerly Austria-Hungary he’s decided now while Europe’s strength is on the down swing to strike out at any remaining problem areas in his Empire.

Or is he peacefully reincorporating all the lands in his empire with infrastructure, roads, schools, government institutions and economics? Either or doesn’t bother me but it would be cathartic to see Egypt get bum rushed by surprise maybe a bit of internal dissidents against the Albanian elite for going against the Sultan/Caliph of Islam and for locking them out of higher offices.

But it is the 1850’s correct? So pretty soon France might be demanding titles and concessions from the Ottomans that’s gonna lead to the Crimean War so maybe the Turks should have that nice army they’ve not wasted in internal schisms for quite some time.
 
I want to see what’s going on back in the Ottoman Empire Years have gone bye and how Abdulmecid is handling his more modern Empire. Perhaps now that he feels Europe is more concerned with either internal issues, or ones in formerly Austria-Hungary he’s decided now while Europe’s strength is on the down swing to strike out at any remaining problem areas in his Empire.

Or is he peacefully reincorporating all the lands in his empire with infrastructure, roads, schools, government institutions and economics? Either or doesn’t bother me but it would be cathartic to see Egypt get bum rushed by surprise maybe a bit of internal dissidents against the Albanian elite for going against the Sultan/Caliph of Islam and for locking them out of higher offices.

But it is the 1850’s correct? So pretty soon France might be demanding titles and concessions from the Ottomans that’s gonna lead to the Crimean War so maybe the Turks should have that nice army they’ve not wasted in internal schisms for quite some time.
I would think they’d be to busy panicking over Austria’s collapse ( the two are more similar than they are to any other nations in this period) to do anything bold
 
As has been mentioned before, the region of Macedonia was quite fluid ethnically at this time. While there were certainly many staunch Greeks, Serbs, Bulgarians and Albanians living in Ottoman Macedonia, many others lacked a definable cultural identity of their own beyond being a Christian or a Muslim. Given Greece's stronger economy and its stronger education system (along with a stronger military) ITTL, I don't see why they wouldn't be able to make more inroads in the region than they did in OTL. Am I suggesting that there will be a Greek Skopje at the end of this timeline, probably not, but a Greek Ohrid, a Greek Bitola and a Greek Strumica are definitely doable in my opinion.
While there was fluidity of ethnicity, it should not be exaggerated (strangely enough, you agree below that the Bulgarians are an established ethnic groups, which contradicts your point above). In particular, there was even in the 1850s a movement for an independent Bulgarian Church, one of whose of main centers was Ohrid. So while it's certainly plausible that the Greeks could capture that city, it seems unlikely to me that it's going to become Greek (as in ethnically Greek) by any process that could plausibly be called voluntary.

Thank you. I fortunately managed to get this update out in only 1 month as opposed to 3 for the last one.;)

The Rhodope mountains do seem like they'd be a good northern boundary for Greece to have, especially when paired with the Strandzha mountains in the East and the Maritsa river, but getting the entire region would be a tall task for Greece.
This is the case in OTL as well. Or more precisely the southern ridge of the Rhodope mountains. Though perhaps you meant a different ridge? Ultimately, though there might be some adjustments, it seems difficult to see how Greece could expand much farther north - the terrain favors an advance from the north rather than the south.
A probably less important, but still significant factor is that there were a lot more Bulgarians than Greeks living in the Rhodopes - even discounting the Muslim Bulgarians (Pomaks). This won't be important if the Greek military conquers the region, but it certainly won't help either. As an example, even in OTL, the region around Shiroka Laka was supposed to remain under the Ottomans, but the representative of the Great Powers who was tasked with delieanting the border moved it to Bulgaria on his own authority after he found out that it was mostly Christian. Meanwhile the Vacha valley which was mostly Pomak, refused to recognize Eastern Rumelia and created their own independent republic.

Your link doesn't work. Anyway, I believe that this map seems closest to the post WWII Greek demands - so quite a bit more than a border on the Arda river.

Concerning the future Greek borders, I expect that Greece will certainly be in a better position to acquire most, or all of Northern Epirus, the areas around Bitola (Monastiri in Greek) and Gevgeli, and Petrich in modern day Bulgaria. Besides this, a stronger Greece might be able to prevent Eastern Rumelia from becoming Bulgarian, or at least have the rights of the Greeks residing there being respected.
Considering how far back the POD here is, there might well not be an Eastern Rumelia in this timeline, especially considering that Eastern Rumelia was in OTL an artificial entity created to serve as a buffer to the Ottomans. This might not be the case in this timeline.
As for whether Eastern Rumelia could survive, this depends entirely on whether it has a common border with Greece. Without it, it's likely to be as short-lived as any country where the majority of the population wants to join another country.
Regarding the rights of the Greeks living in Eastern Rumelia, in OTL they were largely respected after the unification with the Principality of Bulgaria. This changed due to the Greek-Bulgarian conflict. First, in 1906 there were anti-Greek riots in response to the Greek-Bulgarian struggle in Macedonia (more specifically attacks by Greek bands against Bulgarians in Macedonia) which led to many Greeks fleeing the country and many Greek institutions were later closed. Second, there was a population exchange after WWI where most of the remaining Greeks emigrated to Greece. Avoiding the Greek-Bulgarian conflict thus seems the best away to preserve the rights of the Greeks in Bulgaria.
 
Last edited:
While there was fluidity of ethnicity, it should not be exaggerated (strangely enough, you agree below that the Bulgarians are an established ethnic groups, which contradicts your point above). In particular, there was even in the 1850s a movement for an independent Bulgarian Church, one of whose of main centers was Ohrid. So while it's certainly plausible that the Greeks could capture that city, it seems unlikely to me that it's going to become Greek (as in ethnically Greek) by any process that could plausibly be called voluntary.
Ohrid? No and actually it was never claimed by Greek nationalists. The line would be at Monastir/Bitola and Stromnitsa/Strumica which held the northernmost significant concentrations of Greeks.

This is the case in OTL as well. Or more precisely the southern ridge of the Rhodope mountains. Though perhaps you meant a different ridge? Ultimately, though there might be some adjustments, it seems difficult to see how Greece could expand much farther north - the terrain favors an advance from the north rather than the south.
A probably less important, but still significant factor is that there were a lot more Bulgarians than Greeks living in the Rhodopes - even discounting the Muslim Bulgarians (Pomaks). This won't be important if the Greek military conquers the region, but it certainly won't help either. As an example, even in OTL, the region around Shiroka Laka was supposed to remain under the Ottomans, but the representative of the Great Powers who was tasked with delieanting the border moved it to Bulgaria on his own authority after he found out that it was mostly Christian. Meanwhile the Vacha valley which was mostly Pomak, refused to recognize Eastern Rumelia and created their own independent republic.
As you know Greeks, Turks and Bulgarians have all claimed the Pomaks as their own, but I'd be interested to see the Bulgarian point of view on that one as far as the relation between the Bulgarian national movement and Pomaks went. Per the Greek sources the Pomaks both in 1878 and 1912-13 had been hostile towards the Bulgarian revolutionaries/Bulgarian army and preferred Greece over Bulgaria if it was a choice between the two... the cynic in me would find this logical with religion trumping language in the loyalties of each side and the Greeks seen as the lesser evil tactical ally.

Your link doesn't work. Anyway, I believe that this map seems closest to the post WWII Greek demands - so quite a bit more than a border on the Arda river.
Not necessarily. Greek territorial claims in 1945 varied from a maximum about 16,000 square km to a minimum of less that 2,000 square km.
 
Your link doesn't work
I still use my uni account to find papers so it is still open for me. The paper's title is "On ‘Strategic Frontiers’: Debating the Borders of the Post-Second World War Balkans" by Dragostinova. It was the only english peer-reviewed article I found on the topic. Where does your map come from?

The only peer-reviewed map I was able to find is this one
 

Attachments

Ohrid? No and actually it was never claimed by Greek nationalists. The line would be at Monastir/Bitola and Stromnitsa/Strumica which held the northernmost significant concentrations of Greeks.
Never is too strong a word. Looking at this map, at some point there was a conviction that the just Greek border had to run considerably further north. Note that the real author of the map was the Greek charge d'affairs at London Ioannis Gennadius, so it was hardly the opinion of some lone fanatic.

As you know Greeks, Turks and Bulgarians have all claimed the Pomaks as their own, but I'd be interested to see the Bulgarian point of view on that one as far as the relation between the Bulgarian national movement and Pomaks went. Per the Greek sources the Pomaks both in 1878 and 1912-13 had been hostile towards the Bulgarian revolutionaries/Bulgarian army and preferred Greece over Bulgaria if it was a choice between the two... the cynic in me would find this logical with religion trumping language in the loyalties of each side and the Greeks seen as the lesser evil tactical ally.
The Pomaks have never been an unified group. Their attitudes towards Bulgaria and the Bulgarians have differed by region, due to differences in outlook, their relationships with the Christian Bulgarians, etc. There were certainly Pomaks who supported Bulgaria in 1878, for example in the Central Rhodopes (where there had been a recent joint uprising by Christians and Muslims against oppresive local authorities), but unsurprisingly there were many who proffered Ottoman rule or any other kind of rule, no matter how unlikely (as Greek rule would be in 1878, considering how far away the Greek border was). This included most prominently the above mentioned Pomaks of the Vacha valley, since armed volunteers from there (bazhibozuks) had been involved in atrocities against the Christian Bulgarian population during the 1876 uprising and were afraid of retaliation.
The events of 1912-13 are different. There were certainly Pomaks who were willing to support Bulgaria, but the Bulgarian authorities destroyed any possible goodwill by the attempt to forcefully convert them to Christianity. Consequently, when the Second Balkan war started, the Pomaks rose up widely and since at this point Greece and the Ottomans were de-facto allied, unsurprisingly supported Greece where it was possible.

Not necessarily. Greek territorial claims in 1945 varied from a maximum about 16,000 square km to a minimum of less that 2,000 square km.
On second thought, the map is probably exaggerated. The minimal claims probably looked something like this.

I still use my uni account to find papers so it is still open for me. The paper's title is "On ‘Strategic Frontiers’: Debating the Borders of the Post-Second World War Balkans" by Dragostinova. It was the only english peer-reviewed article I found on the topic. Where does your map come from?
From a Bulgarian website, without attribution to sources. Which considering that it contradicts other more authoritative, seems to indicate that it's likely dubious.

The only peer-reviewed map I was able to find is this one
This is considerably less than what the Greek representative demanded at the Paris peace conference (also contradicts the text of the article, where it states that Greece wanted the Arda valley). There the Greeks raised claims to the following northern border:
" a) Pirin Planina,
b) Mt. Rhodope (Dospat Dagh)
c) Karlek Balkan
d) Chain of Besh Tepe with the Arda Valley."
Now this is considerably less than my maps, but certainly quite a lot more than shown in the article by Dragostinova. The terms used are somewhat unclear, but I would say that they refer to approximately the southern border of Bulgaria before 1912 (excepting the ceded Vacha valley).
 
Never is too strong a word. Looking at this map, at some point there was a conviction that the just Greek border had to run considerably further north. Note that the real author of the map was the Greek charge d'affairs at London Ioannis Gennadius, so it was hardly the opinion of some lone fanatic.
Unless I'm mistaken the Stanford map puts Ohrid just outside the border of Greek influence, it's shown as Ochreida on the map if I can read it at magnification correctly. Ok it apparently makes it Albanian but that is a different matter. Of course then it goes to show Eastern Rumelia as largely Greek, but that was the common Greek belief at the time.

This is considerably less than what the Greek representative demanded at the Paris peace conference (also contradicts the text of the article, where it states that Greece wanted the Arda valley). There the Greeks raised claims to the following northern border:
" a) Pirin Planina,
b) Mt. Rhodope (Dospat Dagh)
c) Karlek Balkan
d) Chain of Besh Tepe with the Arda Valley."
Now this is considerably less than my maps, but certainly quite a lot more than shown in the article by Dragostinova. The terms used are somewhat unclear, but I would say that they refer to approximately the southern border of Bulgaria before 1912 (excepting the ceded Vacha valley).
The above unless mistaken corresponds to a line of mount Pirin - Kresna pass - mount Rhodope -Ardas and about 6,800 km2. This would be later amended to an area of about 2,000 km2.

And speaking of sources I believe the Drafostinova piece can actually be read here:

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/contemporary-european-history/article/on-strategic-frontiers-debating-the-borders-of-the-postsecond-world-war-balkans/8FAEBA46756F19647BA8DE013C9E963F/core-reader

For the ones reading Greek or willing to take their chances with google translate the following two, may be of some interest

 
so i found this:https://orthodoxjointcommission.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/restoring-the-unity-in-faith-the-orthodox-oriental-orthodox-theological-dialogue/

it seems the differences between the orthodox and oriental churches were linguistic and that they express the same meaning(at least from the viewpoint of both churches)
the source is probably credible since constantinople says the same🤓
 
Last edited:
so i found this:https://orthodoxjointcommission.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/restoring-the-unity-in-faith-the-orthodox-oriental-orthodox-theological-dialogue/

it seems the differences between the orthodox and oriental churches were linguistic and that they express the same meaning(at least from the viewpoint of both churches)
the source is probably credible since constantinople says the same🤓
This is true *but* there are a lot of barriers that have arisen since the schism, chiefly in the form of anathemas which themselves create a major barrier.
 
practically, at least in the West and I'm told in Syria, OO parishioners are received into communion with EO churches/parishes through confession, which is virtually not even a hurdle as all EO parishioners confess, vs Catholics who are received through chrismation and many Protestants who have to be re-baptized (a point of contention in itself b/c of the "one baptism" line in the creed arising out of issues with the Donatist heresy)
 
I've been wondering if we might have a map of the borders of the new kingdom of Hungary, they're pretty much the old kingdoms borders minus Croatia right?
 
earl about greek titles (or any titles really)(i realise it is quite late to be saying this:oops:)if leopold/Λέων Α' wants to do something like the duke of sparta, greece probably still allows it

The Greek Constitution of 1831 ITTL is essentially a modified version of the OTL 1827 Constitution with a few slight tweaks and an added clause establishing the Greek Monarchy, it's powers, privileges, and order of succession.
article 27 gives the ability to confer titles to the governor<<article 27/no aristocratic title is given by the greek state and no greek in it,can without the consent of the governor to take ministry,gift, remuneration, office,or titles of all kinds from any
monarch, ruler or external territory>>so yeah titles in the 1827 constitution still exist and that power has transfered to the king since the constitution has been amended
(i am speculating here i dont know if that clause is in the constitution that it has ittl)
(I assume given the butterflies and that leopold was in the conference as well,not to mention that kapodistrias had autocratic leanings)

First among them was a National Assembly, which was little more than a ceremonial approval of the Treaty of London.[2] While some men in attendance would have liked more from the treaty, they recognized it was the best they could hope for given the circumstances and ratified it in its entirety with little debate. The Greek Constitution was also amended to reflect the change in government from a Republic to a Constitutional Monarchy.
i think leopold would have fougth for titles to remain as it would have strengthened the monarchy in the new state,also i imagine kapodistrias would want the monarchy to be somewhat strong
 
Last edited:
So its been roughly two months since I last posted anything. I don't really have a good reason for being silent for so long aside from work and a general lack of interest in writing for a couple of weeks. I did manage to put together the next update, which I hope to have posted sometime later today, but I'll try to answer these comments first.

Non-Coms School/Officers School:
Greece will eventually establish an Officers School and a Non-Commissioned Officers School for the Greek Army and Navy once the need arises, but for now the Academies at Kypseli and Piraeus are providing enough officers to fulfill the needs of the peacetime Army and Navy.

Constantine/Leopold II:
While Prince Constantine does share several inadequacies with his OTL counterpart Leopold II (an understandable development considering he has the same father and a relatively similar upbringing), by in large they are completely different people. Unlike Leopold, Constantine has the benefit of a mother who balances out the coldness and strictness of his father somewhat. Constantine will also have an easier avenue of pursuing his ambitions ITTL compared to Leopold II, resulting in him being a lot less controversial and in some ways, a celebrated figure both in Greece and in Europe. Finally, his environment is completely different; he is surrounded by (mostly) different people, the political landscape is completely different, and his opportunities will be vastlydifferent.

Greece's border with Bulgaria:
Without giving too much away, the Greek border will be further North than OTL. Where exactly it end up in this timeline is still up for debate as I haven't made a definitive decision on it just yet. These discussions have definitely helped, but I'm still undecided on this matter.

The Ottomans:
The Ottomans will reappear in short order, but for now the focus will stay primarily on Greece. Overall, they managed the 1848 Revolutions relatively well, apart from a few minor revolts in Bulgaria and the failed rebellions of Wallachia and Moldavia, they have been relatively quiet. Austria's collapse was a very concerning development for the Ottomans and it will definitely cause some problems for them in the future, but the impact of their fall on the Ottomans are relatively minor right now.

Ducal titles for Prince Constantine and Prince Alexander:
To be honest, I'm not really sure how to proceed on this. From what I know of the OTL title, Duke of Sparta it was rather controversial and only really used outside of Greece. While I'm sure Leopold would make a better argument for titles than Otto or George, I'm not sure if he'd used his political capital on it.

Greece's next Prime Minister:
You'll find out right now.
 
Last edited:
Part 75: Gilded Greece
Part 75: Gilded Greece



Hellas Ascendant
The death of Greek Prime Minister Ioannis Kolettis in the Summer of 1853 presented somewhat of a new challenge for King Leopold and the Vouli. While Prime Ministers leaving office abruptly was not a new phenomenon for the Greek Government (as had been the case for more than a few of Kolettis’ predecessors), none had actually died in office prior to Kolettis. Naturally, King Leopold would eventually have to appoint someone to the Office of Prime Minister as was his duty and his right under the Greek Constitution of 1831, but unlike earlier vacancies in the Office of the Prime Minister, politics had changed. Complicating matters was the recent enactment of the Dedilomeni Principle by Kolettis in 1850 which significantly limited his options for Prime Minister from any Greek citizen of his choosing to a ranking member of the dominant political party in the Vouli.

By the Summer of 1853, that leading party was the Ethnikó Kómma (the National Party), which was far and away the largest party in the Vouli at the time with 86 out of 137 seats after its’ rather successful showing in the 1850 Snap Elections. Compared to the likes of the Laïkó Kómma (the People’s Party) and the Fileléfthero Kómma (the Liberal Party) which only had 29 and 22 seats respectively, the National Party was a truly dominant political force in Greek politics. Mirroring this strength in the Vouli was the Nationals dominance over numerous city and municipal offices across the country, including the Mayorships of Greece’s four largest cities – Athens, Patras, Heraklion, and Chalcis, in addition to nearly 100 more. The city council for Lamia for instance was completely controlled by the Nationals, bar one member of the Liberal Party who had little say in any debate.

Their support among the Greek people was also incredibly strong with nearly seven out of every ten voters in Greece having voted for the party in the 1850 Elections. The Nationals also dominated their rivals in terms of fund raising thanks to the financial backing of several prominent landowners, bankers and businessmen across Greece and Europe. Finally, they held a near monopoly on the Greek Press with eight out the top ten newspapers in Greece being operated by card carrying members of the National Party.

Despite boasting an impressive grip on the Vouli, numerous municipalities across Greece, and significant public support; the Nationalists were not all powerful in Greek politics. While they received moderate support from parts of the Morea and several Aegean Islands, the National drew the lion’s share of their resources, leadership, and membership from Central Greece, providing a distinct Rumeliot veneer to the Party. Mirroring this development, they only held direct control over the 5 Nomoi of Rumelia (Attica-Boeotia, Euboea, Phocis-Phthiotis, Aetolia-Anarcania, and Arta) and the Nomos of Heraklion, providing them with a total of 6 out of 14 states in Greece. This number, while certainly respectable, was not a satisfying situation for the National Party which frequently ran into conflict with the regional Governors.[1]

In the Greek Senate their standing was even worse as the Nationals only possessed a paltry 7 seats out of a total 30 seats. While the Senate had long been considered to be little more than a glorified gentleman’s club that would rubberstamp any legislation the Vouli passed under prior administrations; the Senate had recently stirred into life with its consistent opposition to Kolettis’ agenda. Many acts passed by the Vouli would find stiff resistance from Upper Chamber, which stymied Kolettis’ policies to the best of its admittedly meager abilities, delaying bills for several weeks, sometimes even months. Eventually, pressure would mount against the Senators to pass the bills into effect, but in the process, many were hollowed out or moderated extensively, greatly limiting their original effects.

This attack on their authority was also mirrored by the battles being fought within the Ethnikó Kómma itself which had begun splintering following Kolettis demise. The National Party was a party founded principally on the pursuit of the Megali Idea, a Greek irredentist political concept calling for the liberation of any and all territory inhabited by Greek peoples (both past and present). The Megali Idea was the driving ethos of the National Party and Ioannis Kolettis had been its chief vicar as he painstakingly codified the great aspiration of philosophers and politicians into something definable and understandable for the everyman in Greek society. Naturally, the idea of restoring Greece to its former splendor was immensely popular across the country, resulting in its inherent popularity, especially in Rumelia whose communities had been ripped apart by the War and the 1830 Treaty of London. However, outside of this singular belief in the Megali Idea, the Nationals had very few things upon which they could all actually agree.

Many differed over economic policy with some like the venerable representative from Mystras, Nikolaos Korfiotakis favoring a laissez faire stance towards the economy. Others like the Souliot war hero Kitsos Tzavelas preferred strong oversight and regulation of the Greek economy by the Government. They also differed over foreign policy, largely over which Power Greece should align itself with. Many supported stronger ties with Britain as they had been Greece’s closest friend politically, diplomatically and economically since Greece had gained its independence in 1830. Many others supported closer ties with Russia owing to the shared cultural, religious, and historical ties between them. Some, like Kolettis, had even supported strengthening relations with France although they were in the minority at this time and completely fell out of favor following Kolettis’ death. Even the Megali Idea had its share of controversy and division as many notable figures within the National Party differed over how to fulfill it with many seeking to achieve it exclusively through military means, while a few preferred a more diplomatic approach.

Naturally, this disparity in opinion resulted in various sub-factions arising within the Party, each with their own leader eager to make their case for the mantle of party leadership. Among their number were several famed generals and admirals, politicians and lawyers, businessmen and entrepreneurs each deserving in their own right. Yet, in spite of their own prominence and impressive credentials, no singular figure possessed the same unanimous support among the party rank and file that Ioannis Kolettis had previously held.

This situation was likely by design as Kolettis had feared any rival rising against him and carefully cut off any would-be challengers to his authority. Over the course of his four year-long Premiership, Kolettis had gradually ousted perceived threats to his power, he used his immense political support to censor his critics, and he steadily accumulated the Offices of Foreign Minister, Interior Minister, Minister of Justice, and Minister of the Army for himself. When combined with the National Party’s lack of Governors and Senators; the Party was effectively denuded of any real leadership outside Kolettis and a handful of his most loyal sycophants. While there were certainly a number of high-profile individuals within the Party, they had mostly been deprived of prominence in Kolettis’ government, in favor of men he could trust. One of these men had been the esteemed representative from Athens and former Minister of War, Yannis Makriyannis.


Yannis Makriyannis in 1860

General Makriyannis first emerged as a notable figure in Greek society during the liberation of Athens in 1821, where he acted with great valor and distinction, earning him the governorship of the city for the next four years. His term would be remembered fondly by the people of Athens who deemed Makriyannis to be a stern, but fair administrator who rooted out corruption and meted out justice to criminals and brigands. However, Makriyannis is most famous as a war hero thanks to his miraculous victory over Ibrahim Pasha at the Mills of Myloi, a victory which almost certainly saved the nascent Greek state from a certain death. Makriyannis would later follow up this great victory at Myloi with another at Gytheio just two years later where he would fight alongside the likes of Panos Kolokotronis, Konstantinos Mavromichalis, and Georgios Mavromichalis. Together they would decisively defeat Ibrahim Pasha and his Egyptians, compelling the Egyptians to end their involvement in the Greek War for Independence.

Following the war, Makriyannis would leave the Hellenic Army to become a political activist, advocating extensively for greater representation for the people of Greece. In 1836, he would be elected to the city council of Athens, and then in 1837 he would be elected as the first representative for the city of Athens in the Greek Vouli. While Makriyannis initially maintained his independence from the political cliques that coalesced in the early years of Greek politics, he would eventually join with Ioannis Kolettis’ National Party following their formation in 1844 and would be appointed Minister of the Army in 1849 for his loyalty and dedication to the party. However, following a particularly heated public spat with Kolettis in early 1851 over constant meddling in his Ministries’ affairs, Makriyannis was removed from his post by a vindictive Kolettis and censored by the Vouli when he attempted to protest. When many of his supposed allies and supporters failed to aid him in his moment of plight, Makriyannis promptly resigned from office, choosing to retire from politics entirely rather than remain in a gilded cage.[2]

Following Kolettis’ death in the Summer of 1853, several of Makriyannis’ former colleagues and supporters would attempt to rouse the old Strategos from his self-imposed retirement in an attempt to make him leader of the Party. Yet Makriyannis, having remembered their earlier betrayal during his time of need and having come to enjoy his peaceful retirement where he could write his memoirs in peace, bluntly refused all their calls to return to politics. Despite this, Makriyannis still remained a prominent powerbroker within the National Party capable of throwing his enormous political weight and influence behind another prospective candidate for the Premiership. The man Makriyannis would choose to support would be the former Navarchos and current Minister of the Navy, Constantine Kanaris.

Constantine Kanaris had briefly served as Prime Minister of Greece in 1848 as the leading member of the newly formed Laïkó Kómma (the People’s Party); however, his short-lived Premiership would be troubled right from the start. Burdened with minority support in the Vouli, infighting among his allies, and a slew of political scandals in his cabinet, Kanaris would soon be forced to resign after little more than a month in power. Kanaris’ fortunes were little better after his term as Prime Minister ended, as he soon found himself steadily being pushed out of his own party by the ambitious Panos Kolokotronis. Eventually, the former Navarchos would find his way to the National Party in early 1850, joining ranks with Kolettis prior to the 1850 Snap Elections.

While his transition to the Nationalist Party was initially met with distrust on the part of Kolettis and his allies, the Psarian would prove to be a devout nationalist and populist committed to the principles of the Megali Idea. Kanaris also remained an incredibly popular figure in Greece thanks to his herculean efforts during the Greek War of Independence. Best known for his stunning nighttime raid on Chios harbor in June of 1822, Kanaris and a handful of Greek fireship would successfully sink the Nasuh, flagship of Kara Ali, Kapudan Pasha of the Ottoman fleet in retaliation for the Chios Massacre two months prior. In a fitting piece of irony, Kanaris would also lead the Greek Naval elements during the liberation of Chios in 1827, defeating an Ottoman fleet nearly twice his own and ensuring Greek Naval dominance for the remainder of the Greek expedition. After the end of the war in 1830, Kanaris would be elevated to Chief of Staff of the Hellenic Navy in 1831 and then later Minister of the Navy under the Kapodistrian, Metaxan, and Kolettis Administrations.

Along with the support of Yannis Makriyannis, Kanaris also had the stalwart support of King Leopold, who considered Kanaris to be a moderating influence within the Nationalist Party, capable of steering Greece through the troubled waters all around it. While he was certainly an ardent nationalist, Kanaris was also a pragmatist who recognized Greece’s perilous geopolitical position and would work to fulfill his party’s ideals along a safer route. More than that however, King Leopold considered Constantine Kanaris to be a friend and confidante, who had diligently served him during his first tumultuous years in Greece. Still, there were many within the Ethnikó Kómma who were opposed to electing Kanaris as their leader, largely owing to his previous failed tenure as Prime Minister and his recent conversion to their party. Yet when Makriyannis proclaimed his support for Kanaris in late June, King Leopold cast off any linger doubts he held and appointed Constantine Kanaris as Prime Minister of Greece for the second time.

Prime Minister Constantine Kanaris

The start of his second term as Prime Minister would prove much better than his first as Kanaris would quickly prove himself to be quite the adept administrator, capable of managing the Government bureaucracy and achieving definitive results. Seeking to shore up his support within the Party, Kanaris made the tactful decision to retain much of Kolettis’ remaining Cabinet in their current roles, while appointing prominent allies to fill the vacancies. Kanaris would also continue most of Kolettis’ policies, or at least those that were still in effect, which included among other things a focus on education reform and school building across the country. While the first few months of his second Premiership would be spent solidifying his grip on the Prime Ministry, Kanaris would also enact a few of his own initiatives.

In September 1853, he formally established the Hellenic Fire Brigade across Greece following an accident at a Chalcis smelting facility set fire to several neighboring buildings and killing seven people and injuring several more. Kanaris would also update Greece’s extensive list of customs and duties for the first time in fifteen years, reflecting both changes in politics and the growing strength of the Greek economy. Finally, Kanaris would establish the Department of Public Works within the Interior Ministry, signaling to all the direction that his Administration would focus on.

Kanaris also benefitted from the completion of several major land reclamation projects that had been started, or rather restarted under his predecessor Ioannis Kolettis. Many of the swamps and lagoons across the Nomos of Elis were being cleared, dried and developed with the notable exception of the Kotychi and Prokopos Lagoons among a few others. In addition, a small portion of the Missolonghi marsh was cleared as well to improve traffic across the lagoon, but by far the largest and most consequential of these land reclamation efforts was the draining of Lake Copais in Boeotia. Work at the site had originally started in 1843 during the administration of Prime Minister Andreas Metaxas, who had himself inherited the idea from his predecessor Ioannis Kapodistrias. However, following the Liberal takeover of the Government in 1845 and Alexandros Mavrokordatos’ assumption of power, work on the project immediately came to a halt as a result of ballooning expenses and an overall shift in focus by the new government.

This changed yet again, when Kolettis and his Nationalists assumed power in 1849, they would breathe new life into the abandoned project as a series of new culverts were constructed from the Gulf of Euboea to Lake Copais. When work finally ended in early October 1853, the waters from Lake Copais were able to begin emptying into the sea. Although it would take several more months before the lake would completely drain, when it finished in mid-April the following year, it would provide an additional 200 square kilometers of rich, arable land ripe for development and cultivation by Greek farmers.


Lake Copais, prior to its Draining

With these early victories in hand Kanaris’ Government was encouraged to begin work on a series of more ambitious and costly projects largely aimed at improving the country’s (almost) non-existent infrastructure. Apart from a single 8-mile (13 kilometer) track of railroad running from the port of Piraeus to the city of Athens, a smattering of paved roads across the country and a large number of dirt roads and cattle paths, Greece possessed little in the way of an extensive, modern infrastructure system. This lack of infrastructure severely hampered rural farmers, herders, tailors, smiths and miners from transporting their wares from the Greek interior to the coast, while similarly frustrating fishermen, merchants and traders trying to move their products to markets further inland. Efforts over the years to develop land routes across the Greek mainland had met with limited success as Greece’s mountainous landscape and its proximity to the sea had made transportation by ship much easier (and much cheaper) than transportation by ox or mule.

The completion of the Athens-Piraeus Railway in 1847 would begin to change this mindset, however, as tons upon tons of freight and material were now being hauled from the port of Piraeus to the Greek capital on a daily basis. What had previously taken several hours to complete at great expense was now being done in a matter of minutes and at a relatively cheap price. Although the initial cost to build the railroad had been quite expensive and cost prohibitive, its completion had provided a sizeable boon to the economy of Attica, a fact that was not lost on the magnates of Greece.

The Athens-Piraeus Railway was so profitable in fact, that talks were underway in 1853 to extend it to the town of Kifissia 10 miles (16 kilometers) to the North of Athens. While it would more than double the line, it would help extend the reach of railroad into the central Attican plain and it would more closely connect the lavish resort town with capital.[3] The success of the Athens-Piraeus line would encourage other interested parties to begin exploring projects of their own with Attica being the primary locale for most of these projects. Sadly, many of these initiatives would die during the initial fundraising stages of development, while some like the Eleusis-Athens line would only come to fruition many years later when economics made such a project more cost efficient. One of the more ambitious efforts, however, would be the extensive Athens-Rafina railway.

Taking inspiration from the Athens-Piraeus Railway, a group of bankers, businessmen, and landed magnates led by the former War hero turned business tycoon Odysseus Androutsos established the East Attica Railway Company (ESA) in early 1851. The ESA hoped to siphon off some of the impressive wealth that the current Athens-Piraeus Railroad Company (SAP) had been accumulating thus far, with a railway of their own running from the city of Athens to the port of Luarium. At 36 miles long (58 kilometers), it would be the longest railroad built in Greece by far, but the rapid growth of Athens over the past twenty-five years necessitated another outlet for Athenian products and another inlet for foreign wares. As Attica’s second largest port and a major connecting hub for several islands in the Cyclades and Central Aegean, a railroad to Laurium was an attractive prospect for investors in the region that made a great deal of sense. Laurium was also located near several silver, lead, and manganese mines which provided an enormous amount of wealth for the Greek state, providing a further incentive for the ESA.


The Port of Laurium in Modern Times

While the route would be more than four times the length of the Piraeus Line, it benefited from the technical know how and experience gained from the earlier SAP railway. The proposed route was also relatively simple; running from Plateía Kolokotróni (Kolokotronis Square) in central Athens across the Athens Plain, then skirt along the northern edge of Mount Hymettus before traveling southward across the Mesogeia plain, passing through the town of Keratea, and then on to the port of Laurium. Finally, the project had the complete support of Odysseus Androutsos who invested much of his considerable fortune into the project, giving him a majority stake in the company and its management.

Although construction would run into several problems initially, work would continue swiftly until the Laurium Line was completed in mid-1855. Despite its quick construction time and its relatively decent traffic rates, the Athens-Laurium Line just couldn’t compete with the more profitable Athens-Piraeus line. Even still, the line remained relatively profitable for some time thanks to Laurium's mineral deposits, but in wake of Androutsos’ death in the Spring of 1858, the East Attica Railway Company would begin to collapse. Eventually, the company would be forced to declare bankruptcy following a series of marketing missteps and poor investments in newer, untested techniques. Ironically, it would be the rival SAP which would save the dying ESA in the form of a buyout and merger of the two companies, resulting in the formation of the Attica Railways company (AS) in early 1861.

The next to organize their own railroad were a group of entrepreneurs, business owners, bankers, and plantation owners from all across the Nomos of Elis known as the Pyrgos Group (OP), who envisioned a line running from the city of Pyrgos to the port of Katakolo 8 miles to the east. The leaders of this group were the venerable merchant Dimitrios Avgerinos, his son Andreas Avgerinos, and the magnate Michail Sisinis who proposed a railway connecting the raisin rich region around Pyrgos with the port of Katakolo. This rail, when completed would enable local farmers to more easily transport their product in great supply to foreign markets where it was in high demand, which in turn would inject much needed wealth into Elis. Finally, if the railway proved as profitable as advertised, then the line would later be extended to the town of Mariada eleven miles to the northwest and Ancient Olympia twelve miles to the East.[4]



The Train Station at Pyrgos

The OP would start off well, raising slightly over a million Drachma by the end of 1851 through private donations, government loans, and public fundraising and would begin laying rail in the Summer of 1852. The project would soon run into trouble as prices continued to escalate while the work gradually slowed. Still, the rail line was gradually nearing completion, until the end of the year when Dimitrios Avgerinos suddenly passed away, disrupting the Company’s management. Work would temporarily come to a halt, roughly two miles from the port of Katakolo in late 1853. Prime Minister Kanaris, seeing a golden opportunity, promptly stepped in and provided government loans to assist the project’s completion. With the aid of the Kanaris administration, work on the Pyrgos-Katakolo Railway quickly restarted and finished by the end of March 1854.

Other than railroads, the Kanaris Administration also engaged in a small number of road building efforts across Greece. A paved road running from the mining town of Dirfys on Euboea was constructed connecting it with the industrial port city of Chalcis to improve transport of Dirfys’ coal to the refineries of Chalcis. Another paved road was built between the emery quarries on Naxos with the port, while a third road was made to connect the port of Kalamata with the city of Megalopolis which was itself becoming a significant producer of lignite coal following its discovery in recent years. While all these developments on land were immensely beneficial to Greece, Kanaris was a sailor at heart and remained thoroughly committed to improving the standing of Greek shipping and maritime activities.

During his term as Prime Minister, Kanaris would see the port of Piraeus expanded for the second time in the past two decades. Similarly, the neighboring port of Eleusis was thoroughly dredged and modernized to necessitate increased traffic through the region. Patras, Preveza, Heraklion, and Chios would also see expansions of their ports over the course of the 1850’s thanks in large part to Kanaris’ efforts. Kanaris would also actively campaign for the passage of the Harbors and Shipping Act, which would see various harbors and ports across Greece modernized to accommodate newer vessel like steamships.

The ship building industries in Piraeus and Ermoupoli were also given extensive leeway regarding government oversight and regulations as well as numerous tax breaks and incentives, something which proved especially beneficial to the nascent steamship industry in Greece. Naturally, the shipping industry in Greece reacted well to these endeavors by Kanaris’ government by expanding by a considerable margin over the next few years, reaching their zenith in the late 1860’s. By 1856, the Hellenic Steamship Company, now owned by Ilias Kehayas, was among the largest and most profitable in Europe, surpassing even the British in large parts of the Mediterranean. While these initiatives were all beneficial to the Greek Economy and Kanaris’ legacy, they would all pale in comparison to Kanaris’ most ambitious and most enduring initiative, the Corinth Canal.

Next Time: Moving Heaven and Earth

[1] According to the Constitution of 1831, the Governors of the 14 Nomos are appointed by the King of Greece. They are generally responsible for carrying out the Government’s will in their respective provinces, but they do have some autonomy in that regard.
[2] Under the impression that his primary political goals had been accomplished with the enactment of the 1843 Constitution, Yannis Makriyannis made the surprising decision to walk away from politics in OTL too, albeit he did so following a failed run for office in 1844. Even after his “retirement” Makriyannis remained politically active, and constantly opined on matters of state and foreign affairs.
[3] The town of Kifissa was especially popular among the upper echelons of Greek society at that time for its serene landscape, beautiful gardens and mild climate as well as its general proximity to Athens.
[4] OTL Amaliada.
 
Last edited:
Top