A really well-done timeline, subscribed. I must say, despite some minor objections, this is indeed the most realistic timeline I have seen of how the Greek War of Independence could have gone better for the Greeks, without verging into ASB territory.

A couple of points, anticipating the future: on Macedonia and Thrace, while the Bulgarian national consciousness had begun its awakening, in 1830 it is still way too early. Most of the populace in the area saw themselves as "Christian" or "Turk" (Muslim), national labels were not assumed until the last decades of the 19th century, and then through the active endeavours of the respective nation-states, who sent teachers and propagandists to proselytize them. IMS, as late as 1880 or so, Charilaos Trikoupis summed the situation up to the effect that whoever captures Macedonia militarily, will also determine its ethnic affiliation; if the Bulgarians, he had no doubt they would be able to make everyone a Bulgarian up to Mount Olympus, if the Greeks, then everyone would become a Greek. A better-organized and wealthier Greek state will definitely do even better than OTL in this regard.

On the Muslims in Greece, I think that unlike the mainland, where the Muslims left or were forced to leave, in Crete things will be different. The local Muslims were overwhelmingly native converts, spoke Greek, and, Cretans being Cretans,* very reluctant to leave. Even after five Christian uprisings in the 19th century, and over 20 years of de fact Christian rule, many remained on the island as late as 1923, and would never have left if not for the forcible population exchange. That might actually be an argument in favour of seeing Crete as a special case and not uniting it with Greece outright; if not, then Greece will have to deal with a substantial Muslim population in one of its most important provinces early on. Given the aspirations of the Greek elite IOTL to be a "model kingdom in the East", I don't think it likely that they will be persecuted. Luckily for the Greeks, the Muslim Cretans were mostly concentrated in the cities, so a kind of reverse Cretan Issue, with Muslim guerrillas demanding rights, is out of the cards. However, how successful their incorporation into the Greek state is will be a determining factor for the Greek state's ability to incorporate (or not) other Muslim populations in the future, in Macedonia, Thrace, and Asia Minor. It will probably be political issue of some importance in the new state, given the role of the Christian identity in the revolution, Orthodoxy's enshrining in the constitution, and the debates about Greek identity and citizenship, that characterized the period (IOTL, the 1827 constitution defined as Greek citizens prima facie those who resided in Greece and believed in Christ).

* there is a well-known joke in Greece that sums up the Cretans' attitude towards their island: "- Dad, what is localism? -Localism, my son, is thinking that your village is more beautiful than our Crete."
Thank you very much! While the Greeks have done a lot better I have tried to write it so they still made some mistakes where it seemed rational, for them to do everything perfectly wouldn't be possible without veering into ASB in my opinion and quite honestly it wouldn't be as exciting or interesting to read if they did everything perfectly.

That's a very interesting point regarding the national identity and consciousness of identity and I'll be sure to remember that as the 19th century progresses. I certainly agree that a decent percent of the Greek Muslim population will remain behind in Greece, especially in Crete as there were a lot of crypto-Christians among the islands Muslim population.
 
Thank you very much! While the Greeks have done a lot better I have tried to write it so they still made some mistakes where it seemed rational, for them to do everything perfectly wouldn't be possible without veering into ASB in my opinion and quite honestly it wouldn't be as exciting or interesting to read if they did everything perfectly.

That's a very interesting point regarding the national identity and consciousness of identity and I'll be sure to remember that as the 19th century progresses. I certainly agree that a decent percent of the Greek Muslim population will remain behind in Greece, especially in Crete as there were a lot of crypto-Christians among the islands Muslim population.
Do you think this muslim population could be converted back on any noticable scale ?

Also, how much % of the muslim population wouldbe crypto-christian?
 
Do you think this muslim population could be converted back on any noticable scale ?

Also, how much % of the muslim population wouldbe crypto-christian?
I'm not an expert on this by any means, but in the cases of crypto-Christians on Crete, they generally reverted back to Christianity after religious equality came about on the island in the 1840's and 1850's. At the end of the War, Crypto-Christians on Crete are considered to have been a relatively small percentage of the "Muslim" population, maybe 10 to 15% at most, which out of a population of roughly 48,000 Cretan Muslims in 1832, that's around 5,000 to 7,000 people. In 1821, the Muslim population was recorded at 46%, but in 1881 they were down to 24%, and in the last census in 1923 they only formed 7% of the island's total population. Most of this decline can be attributed to the war for Independence which saw a decline of 60% among the island's Muslim population and the 5 separate revolts from 1830 to 1898 against Ottoman rule on the island, but a decent fraction can be attributed to conversions or reversions to Greek Orthodoxy as well.
 
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Part 29: The Long Road to Independence
Part 29: The Long Road to Independence

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The Isle of Poros

In September of 1828 a most peculiar spectacle occurred on the island of Poros in the Saronic Gulf. Representatives of Britain, France, and Russia, along with the Governor of Greece Ioannis Kapodistrias and members of his Government gathered to outline the territorial extent of Greece once the war reached inevitable conclusion. There were several proposals considered by the delegates at Poros, with the most generous to the Greeks unsurprisingly coming from Kapodistrias, who desired a border running from Delvino in the West to Thessaloniki in the East. The most limited border proposed at the Conference was a frontier running across the Isthmus of Corinth, reducing Greece to just the Peloponnese, with all territory to the North remaining under Ottoman dominion.[1] In truth, only two options were considered with any seriousness and as to be expected, they were proposed by two of the Powers themselves.

Of the two plans, the French option developed by the French Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Armand Charles Guilleminot was the smallest state territorially. He proposed a border from Itea to Livanates, effectively cutting Central Greece in half, with everything the to the South and East joining a Greek state, and everything to the North and West returning to Ottoman control. The islands which were considered under the French plan were the Cyclades and Saronic islands. This effectively left Crete, Chios, Euboea, Icaria, Psara, Samos, and the Sporades outside of a Greek state despite presently being free from Ottoman occupation.

Stratford Canning, the British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire proposed a border that was more favorable to the Greeks than the French option. He proposed a border running from Volos in the East to Arta in the West. In addition, Crete, Euboea, the Cyclades, Saronic, and Sporades islands were to be included in the Greek state as well with the possible inclusion of Chios and Samos as well. Canning’s reasoning for this border was twofold. First, it provided the Greeks with a strong defensive frontier that would enable them to defend themselves with a reasonable effectiveness. Secondly, it prohibited the influx of refugees into the nascent Greek state should land presently free of Ottoman occupation be returned to the Porte’s domination, an outcome which would surely take place should the French Plan be enacted.

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Stratford Canning, British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire

Canning’s proposal enjoyed the support of the Russian delegation under Ambassador Alexander Ivanovich Ribopier as well as the Greek delegation and Count Kapodistrias. All parties agreed that this border was the most defensible and the most stable for Greece in the immediate aftermath of the war. A flood of refugees fleeing the return of Ottoman rule to their lands would so thoroughly handicap the Greek state that they would effectively kill the newborn state it in its cradle and for the powers to allow such an act to occur would be utter callousness on their parts. So, it was that Canning’s plan was agreed to by all parties in attendance. One last matter that was discussed at the Conference of Poros was the form of government for Greece, which had thus far been a Republican Apparatus. It was decided rather quickly that Greece would be a Monarchy, but the intricacies of that government would be left to the Greeks themselves. With the delegates in agreement, their proposed recommendations were dispatched to their respective Governments.

British Prime Minister George Canning was supportive of his cousin’s initiative regarding the territory of the Greeks, and used his immeasurable influence to convince the French and Russian governments of its merits as a baseline for future negotiation if nothing else. The main point of contention, however, remained the level of autonomy for Greece as several members of the British Government were strongly against the complete separation of Greece from the Ottoman Empire. Many within Parliament had simply sought to pacify a rebellious province rather than conquer an entire country for the Greeks. Those Greeks, however, were firmly against the return of Ottoman Rule over their lands in any form. While at one time they had considered the idea during the darkest days of 1825 and 1826, following the Treaty of Alexandria and the Battle of Cesme, anything less than full independence was to be considered an insult. They would accept only independence and nothing else, moreover, they now demanded a say in their own fate.

In November of 1828, the Greeks gathered at the ancient theater in the city of Argos for the Fourth National Assembly. The occasion had originally been promised upon Ioannis Kapodistrias’ arrival in Greece nearly two years earlier, but the rigors of war and the political divisions of the Greeks began to emerge once more delaying the congregation for many months. Kapodistrias himself was similarly opposed to the organization of an Assembly for some time due to his innate distrust of the Magnates and Primates of Greece with whom he held no confidence or trust. While the Count had initially attempted to work with them, their pettiness and greed spoilt any burgeoning relationship between them and so he began to work around them.

To do so he needed the support of the military and the people. To do so, he used his powers as Governor to reform the klephts and independent Military Captains into a cohesive and professional fighting force, tying them to his will through the regular payment of their arrears and the regulation of their organization. He removed bad actors and implanted loyal commanders in their place, he clamped down on crime and piracy which benefitted trade, and he promoted himself as an impartial adjudicator for all military affairs. By depriving his adversaries of their men, he effectively neutered them as a physical threat to his authority at which time he made his move politically by calling the National Assembly.

On the 10th of November 238 delegates from across Greece descended on the city of Argos, of which 171 were staunch supporters of Ioannis Kapodistrias. Kapodistrias was accused by his opponents of rigging the elections for the delegates, but in all cases the Count was innocent of the charges cast against him, and in the two cases where there was evidence of malpractice, Kapodistrias condemned them and ordered new elections. The real reason for the high disparity between the number of his supporters and the number of his adversaries at the National Assembly lies within his immense popularity with the middle and lower classes. His policies also had the added benefit of bringing the masses to his side by steadily improving every aspect of their lives, while at the same time painting the Primates and Magnates as the propagators of their misfortunes. He provided the people with security and order, he built schools and hospitals, he constructed roads and networks of communication between isolated villages, and he brought a sense of stability and legitimacy to the Greek government that had been sorely lacking in the years before his arrival.

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The Seal of the Fourth National Assembly


Using his majority support in the Assembly, Kapodistrias forced through a number of revisions to the Constitution restructuring the Government of Greece in its entirety. The Senate was reduced from 70 members to 30, but more importantly 6 of the 30 were to be directly appointed by the Governor while the remaining 24 Senators would be elected from a predetermined list of 72 candidates. The Senate was then subdivided into three Committees of ten Senators each, a Committee of the Economy, a Committee of Internal Policy, and a Committee of War. The Senate would still retain the power to write and craft legislation, but only at the discretion of the Governor, and the Governor was granted an absolute veto over all legislation. The Governor also expanded his purview by assuming total authority over foreign policy and the war effort, although he promised to cede these powers to the Senate upon the war’s conclusion. Lastly, the Assembly adopted a provision by which the final settlement of Greece’s status and extent after the war must be approved a National Assembly. If nothing else, the Greeks wanted a say in their own fate.

The Powers were generally dismissive of the Greek’s demands and in the subsequent conferences concerning the state of Greece, its territorial extent, and its political autonomy the concerns and opinions of the Greeks were largely ignored. At best, Kapodistrias could influence the proceedings using his immense force of will and personal connections to advance the debate in the favor of the Greeks, but by in large he was a simple observer. The best way in which the Greeks could affect the ongoing negotiations was to continue the war which had completely turned against the Ottomans following the Battle of Cesme. The Ottoman Navy had effectively been removed from play as a threat against Greek shores making Greece a de facto independent state. Their efforts to liberate further islands from the Turks was challenged by the Powers who became increasingly opposed to the Greeks expanding beyond their current extent after the debacle that was Cesme. On land though, the Greeks enjoyed more leeway as the Powers had no army North of the Gulf to enforce their dictates.

As year came to an end, the Greeks were advancing North on both fronts as Turkish opposition in Southern Rumelia had melted following the declaration of war by Russia as forces were drawn away from Greece to the fronts in Bulgaria.[2] In the West, the Souliot Strategos Markos Botsaris reached the shores of the Gulf of Arta and began moving towards the city of Arta itself in the following days. Botsaris’ main objective was Arta, but he had a more personal goal in mind, the liberation of his homeland, the Souli Valley. Their progress north was quick initially as on the 10th of January, Botsaris, 1,000 Souliotes, and 4,000 Greek soldiers occupied the town of Peta to the north of Arta, where nearly seven years before the Greeks had suffered a terrible defeat at the hands of Omer Vrioni leading to the fall of the Souli Valley to the Ottomans in 1822. Unfortunately for Botsaris, Ottoman resistance would tighten in the environs of Arta, forcing a siege that would last well into the Summer and delaying his offensive towards the Souli until the end of the year.

The main Greek thrust came in the East, where the army of Strategos Demetrios Ypsilantis began the long-awaited siege of Lamia. Lamia had long been the logistics center of the Ottoman army in Eastern Greece as many Turkish and Albanian forces would gather in its vicinity before departing Southward into Greek territory. Its importance had waned over recent years as the western front gradually took on a higher priority and campaigns into the Morea ceased with Ibrahim Pasha’s landing in 1825. As such when Demetrios Ypsilantis began his attack in early February the city hosted all of 7,000 men of varying proficiency with only 2,000 Nizamis among them. Ypsilantis in comparison hosted an army nearing 10,000 men with 5,000 Taktikons, and roughly 5,000 irregulars who had joined with them on their advance North.

The Ottoman defenses at Thermopylae were quickly overrun on the 12th of February, when Ypsilantis sent half his force through the hills and into the rear of the Turkish position causing their retreat. The Ottomans however had prepared a secondary line on the far bank of the Spercheios and managed to repel the Greek attacks for two days before an unguarded ford further upstream was discovered by Greek scouts on the morning of the third forcing the Turks to withdraw once again. Advancing on the city of Lamia on the 17th, the city fell to the Greeks in a matter of minutes after a brief skirmish in the streets, but the castle would surprisingly holdout against them for several months. Despite their determined resistance, their defeat was all but assured unless reinforcements were sent from the North. After many months of waiting their morale had begun to wane, but finally near the end of Summer help was finally on its way.

In late July, a relief army some 8,000 strong was finally dispatched from Larissa to lift the siege of Lamia, unfortunately for the Ottoman commander Aslan Bey word of their advance had been relayed to Ypsilantis and the Greeks. Leaving Odysseus Androutsos behind to continue the siege, Ypsilantis and some 6,000 men of the Hellenic Army marched forth to oppose the approaching Ottoman army. They met outside the little hamlet of Palamas a day’s march to the North of Lamia. Ypsilantis having arrived only moments earlier had prepared basic defensive works in the hills overlooking the main road south and when Aslan Bey and his men appeared the battle commenced on the 28th of July. Despite being outnumbered, the Greeks managed to hold their own and exchanged a volley of gunfire with the Ottomans before charging on their enemy with bayonets and swords. Unprepared for the Greek advance, many Turkish soldiers began to break ranks and flee, sending the Ottomans into a panic.

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The Battle of Palamas

The casualties for the battle were relatively light on both sides, with the Greeks suffering 25 dead and 160 wounded, while the Ottomans suffered nearly 150 dead, 400 wounded, and nearly 1,500 captured. Aslan Bey managed to regather most of his forces over the course of the evening, but the damage was done. As they were unable to advance on Lamia to break the siege, Aslan Bey and his men turned around and returned to the North. Ypsilantis for his part dispatched a column of infantry and cavalry to follow in their wake and secure as much territory as they could. Faced with the defeat of their relief force, the Ottomans in Lamia commenced negotiations with the Greeks regarding terms of surrender and would capitulate to Ypsilantis three days later on the 1st of August.

The Battle of Palamas would prove to be the last major battle of the war as the peace between the Ottomans and Russians had finally imposed the Armistice across the land. All of Greece from Arta in the West to the outskirts of Volos in the East had been freed from Turkish rule. Kapodistrias in his memoirs even recounts how Greek cavalry reached as far as the Pinios river near Larissa itself before turning back in the face of Ottoman opposition and the armistice. Markos Botsaris, ever the loyal Souliot made one final push for the Souli valley on the 1st of September only to be stopped short of its entrance by a committed resistance of local Albanians and Turks. It is said that Botsaris and the Souliotes in his company openly wept at their short comings that day. Elsewhere in Greece tears of joy were shed as the war was finally over.

Next Time: The Conference of London


[1] Both of these proposals were actually considered in the OTL Poros Conference with the border at the Isthmus having some more credibility due to the poor state of Greece at the time, while the Delvino to Thessaloniki border was a complete pipe dream with no possibility of enactment. Here the situation is more balanced between the two extremes although both are unlikely.

[2] The total size of the Ottoman Army at the start of 1829 is roughly around 350,000 to 400,000 men, of which nearly 250,000 are facing the Russians, another 100,000 are arrayed along the border with Persia and Egypt, and the remaining 50,000 are spread out across the rest of the Balkans with roughly 25,000 in what is OTL Thessaly and Epirus.
 
Before anyone goes shouting that little changed from OTL, this is true. But as detailed, the Greeks did not have much influence on the great powers. Notable however is that the current Greek border is the one that was actually assumed only a few years in the future when King Otto complained about the borders of the greek state. Arta-Volos is the more generous line he got in the treaty of Constantinople in 1832. So a larger Greece from OTL is still far from being off the table.
 
Before anyone goes shouting that little changed from OTL, this is true. But as detailed, the Greeks did not have much influence on the great powers. Notable however is that the current Greek border is the one that was actually assumed only a few years in the future when King Otto complained about the borders of the greek state. Arta-Volos is the more generous line he got in the treaty of Constantinople in 1832. So a larger Greece from OTL is still far from being off the table.
That is correct, Greece will be more or less the 1832 border with a few amendments in their favor on the mainland. The key territorial difference come at sea with the inclusion of several islands like Crete and Samos which were explicitly left out of the 1830 and 1832 states. There are other important economic and political changes compared to OTL Greece as well due to a better management of the loans and a mitigated civil war between the Greeks. The real major, world changing divergence from OTL will come in the next part.
So anybody got a map of the situation with Greece and Egypt?
Ask and you shall receive. Greece Timeline map Part 30 Treaty of London(1).pngTimeline Map 1830(2).png
These maps were intended for the next update but I'll post them now because I'm in the giving spirit. Egypt's situation is not covered because they are more or less still a part of the Ottoman Empire at least in de jure. Muhammad Ali's Egypt has de facto control over Upper and Lower Egypt, Sudan, and the Hejaz.
 
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That is correct, Greece will be more or less the 1832 border with a few amendments in their favor on the mainland. The key territorial difference come at sea with the inclusion of several islands like Crete and Samos which were explicitly left out of the 1830 and 1832 states. There are other important economic and political changes compared to OTL Greece as well due to a better management of the loans and a mitigated civil war between the Greeks. The real major, world changing divergence from OTL will come in the next part.

Ask and you shall receive. View attachment 362364View attachment 362365
These maps were intended for the next update but I'll post them now because I'm in the giving spirit. Egypt's situation is not covered because they are more or less still a part of the Ottoman Empire at least in de jure. Muhammad Ali's Egypt has de facto control over Upper and Lower Egypt, Sudan, and the Hejaz.

Soon to be RIP United Netherlands :(

Also I guess that will be a surviving Kapodistrias ?
 
Soon to be RIP United Netherlands :(

Also I guess that will be a surviving Kapodistrias ?
Whatever do you mean? Nothing bad is going on in the Netherlands.:evilsmile:

Yes, it's my intention of keeping Kapodistrias around longer than OTL. Barring an accident, assassination, or severe illness, I plan for him to be around for a few more years than OTL, and by a few I actually mean 10 to 15.
 
Whatever do you mean? Nothing bad is going on in the Netherlands.:evilsmile:

Yes, it's my intention of keeping Kapodistrias around longer than OTL. Barring an accident, assassination, or severe illness, I plan for him to be around for a few more years than OTL, and by a few I actually mean 10 to 15.

Pls don't create Belgium :p
 
Following this thread with great interest......I'm eager to know more about this improved Greece. Especially about TTL possibilities of economic development under better guidance and better outcome of Revolution.
 
Following this thread with great interest......I'm eager to know more about this improved Greece. Especially about TTL possibilities of economic development under better guidance and better outcome of Revolution.
Thank you. I actually have a few updates planned on the post war reforms of the Greek government, economy, and military and one of the major things of the economic policies will be land reform among several others.
 
On the Muslims in Greece, I think that unlike the mainland, where the Muslims left or were forced to leave, in Crete things will be different. The local Muslims were overwhelmingly native converts, spoke Greek, and, Cretans being Cretans,* very reluctant to leave. Even after five Christian uprisings in the 19th century, and over 20 years of de fact Christian rule, many remained on the island as late as 1923, and would never have left if not for the forcible population exchange.

The only Muslim population to remain after the revolution was that of Chalkis which actually survived all the way to 1923, while the Muslim civilians in Patras, Methone and Korone sailed away with the Ottoman garrisons when the latter were evacuated. That said garrisons consisted to a large degree of local Muslims had it's role there, a decade of very harsh war another. I don't really see why Turkocretans are going to behave much differently. Crete has seen every bit as harsh a war as the Morea, arguably even harsher during the suppression of the revolt in 1823-24. With the Egyptians gone the majority of the remaining Ottoman forces would be local Muslims so when the forts surrendered and they were to leave with their arms their families would be following. You also had a number of Muslims that had converted to Christianity early in the revolution and remained, barring occasional surnames they were indistinguishable in the years to come.

So at a guess we see any remaining Cryptochristians showing up an masse as soon as it looks that Crete stays free (the more... dynamic like the Kourmoulis clan have already done so from the start of the revolt), some of the Muslims converting, a large number leaving along with the garrisons and only a fraction remaining as Muslims. I doubt said fraction will be exceeding roughly 8-12,000 out of the 48,000 in OTL 1832. (If we estimate garrisons and their dependents at roughly 30-40,000, plus a fraction of converts/cryptochristians). Which will be forming an interesting community, barring religion they are indistinguishable, in language etc. They may well be forming a Muslim ethnic Greek community in due time.
 
Greece is on the verge of a bold new age it seems
Well at the very least, I'm on the verge of a new chapter in the timeline, The Reign of King ******* I of Greece, which details the events of his reign from his coronation in 1830 to the time of his death in 186*. It was a time of peace and prosperity for Greece which set the stage for its later greatness.
 
Well at the very least, I'm on the verge of a new chapter in the timeline, The Reign of King ******* I of Greece, which details the events of his reign from his coronation in 1830 to the time of his death in 186*. It was a time of peace and prosperity for Greece which set the stage for its later greatness.

Will we see the coronation of an non-orthodox monarch? (I read that the Greek Church refused crowning Otto because he didn't convert to orthodoxy, or perhaps it didn't happen because the Religious Establishmment didn't forgive him the forced separation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate).

Or maybe our "first choice candidate" chooses to embrace the faith of his new subjects.... something that some protestant prince did to get crowned as Tsar of Russia, by the way...
 
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