While train tracks and train cars are simple enough to make in country right now, the locomotives for the Athens Piraeus line are British made at least for the time being. Going forward, most of the locomotives for future railway projects will probably be made in Greece once the appropriate know how and industrial capacity exists to make them although that may be subject to change.

Also while I'm thinking about it I would like to thank @Zulfurium , @Unknown , and @Vasilas for nominating me for the Colonialism and Revolutions Era Timeline Turtledove for 2018 and the Newcomer Award for 2019. I'm truly honored that you think that highly of this timeline especially given the high quality of so many other timelines on this site, let alone the Colonialism and Revolutions Era timelines I'm directly competing against. In many ways this timeline is a result of everyone's support and interest, not to mention all the ideas and corrections you give me which have kept me motivated to continue working on this project. So thank you all and I'll try my utmost to make this timeline the best it can be!

You're welcome, @Earl Marshal...
 
Part 44: The First Election
Part 44: The First Election

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The Hellenic Parliament

While Greece had officially been declared a Constitutional Monarchy with a fully functioning Legislature following the Fifth National Assembly in 1830, in truth power rested solely in the hands of King Leopold, Prime Minister Ioannis Kapodistrias, and the Cabinet. Though the Senate existed as a functioning Chamber of the Legislature, it was effectively a toothless institution filled with political appointees and loyalists who generally did as they were told by the King and Prime Minister. The other Chamber of the Legislature, the House of Representatives remained vacant as elections were regularly postponed. Reasons for this delay ranged from instability and unrest, shoddy communication with the many villages and isolated communities of the country, the lack of a permanent Parliament building for the Senate and House, and poor census data along with a myriad of other excuses.

Provided their families had a roof over their heads, food in their bellies, a sense of upward mobility, and they could live in relative peace as good Orthodox Christians, most Greeks didn’t care if they couldn’t vote. For a time, this was true as the common people generally went about their everyday lives without a thought paid to suffrage and representation, but as the years progressed and the final tenants of the 1830 Constitution continued to remain unfulfilled, many Constitutionalists and Liberals within Greek society grew increasingly worried that their liberties were being worn away. Soon, demonstrations began taking place in Athens with increasing prominence and regularity as these concerned citizens made their voices known to the King and the Cabinet that effectively ruled their country. Fortunately for all, their concerns would be assuaged when King Leopold and the Greek Government announced on the 11th of September 1836, that elections would be held in one year’s time to select members for the House of Representatives.

The motive for this announcement lay in the strong rapport Leopold and Kapodistrias had built in the preceding years that had lifted Greece out of the fires of war and into the Modern era. While they were by no means dictators or authoritarians, they felt it best to hold the reins of power until the people were ready to decide for themselves how they wished to be governed. By the Fall of 1836 it would seem that the people were finally ready and so the decision was made. Regardless of their rational, this pronouncement sent the Hellenic Government into a whirlwind of activity and debate as they discussed how to go about the election. Many questions swirled around them as they determined who would be able to vote, how long could they vote for, where could they vote, what candidates could they vote for, and so on, and so on. It is fortunate that some of these issues had been settled during the 1830 Assembly, such as suffrage and the distribution of representatives, but many still needed to be dealt with.

Under the Constitution of 1830, the right to vote was bestowed to all citizens above the age of 25, with citizenship being restricted to men of Hellenic descent residing in the territories comprising the Kingdom of Greece. This includes all the Greeks of the Morea, Southern Roumeli, and the Islands as well as all Greek refugees from Asia Minor, Macedonia, Thessaly and Thrace who fled the Ottoman Empire during the War and remain in the Greek State to this day. Those Greeks serving the Hellenic State from abroad in an official or professional capacity such as diplomats or merchants during the 1830 National Assembly were also bestowed citizenship in absentia. Finally, any other people professing loyalty to the Greek state and primarily residing within its borders following the war were granted citizenship as well. This included the former Philhellene volunteers who remained in Greece after the war’s end, the remaining Cretan Muslims, and the recent refugees from Albania who were later granted citizenship in December 1836.[1] According to the 1836 Census, the total male population of Greece was recorded at 496,258, with the number of voting age men at 308,129. As a result, just under a third of the country’s total population (31.1%) possessed the right to vote in the coming election.

As for the setting of the election, voting would take place on the 11th of September 1837 from sunrise to sunset. Voting would take place in any location prepared by the local municipal and provincial officials, such as a schoolhouse, local church, or town hall for instance. Corruption was a major concern for the Kapodistrian Ministry which proposed that any attempts to impede or influence voters through bribery or coercion was to be considered a criminal offense punishable by fines or even imprisonment. Additionally, attempts to falsify or rig the election for any one candidate would be considered a criminal offense punishable by fines or imprisonment. To ensure a fair voting process, Government officials from the Ministry of Internal Affairs would be on site serving as election judges to aid voters in their endeavor and to guard against criminal behavior. Despite their best efforts, however, corruption and attempts to rig the elections were unfortunately inevitable.

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The Byron School of Missolonghi (pictured above) would serve as a Polling Place during the 1838 Election​

Anyone could run for office provided they met all the necessary prerequisites, namely that they were citizens of the Kingdom of Greece, that they were above the age of 25, that they were residents of the district they were campaigning for, and that they register with their respective Nomos Advisory Council before election day. Candidates could come from any variety of backgrounds, any number of vocations, and any political ideology or affiliation. Prospective legislators could campaign for office in any manner they so choose, provided they did not engage in criminal behavior which would result in their immediate suspension of their candidacy. On election day, voters would be free to vote for the candidate of their own choosing from sunrise until sunset at which point voting would cease and all the collected votes would be sent to the Nomos capital where they would be tallied and recorded. When the process was finally completed, the winners would be announced to the general populace as soon as the results become readily available.

If elected, a Representative would serve for a 4-year term as prescribed in the 1830 Constitution with the start of their term beginning on the 1st of January 1838. Candidates or incumbent Representatives could run for as many terms as they were able provided they remain residents of their respective Nomos with new elections taking place every four years. Should the King decide to dissolve Parliament, new snap elections could be called a set time afterwards. Once in office, Representatives were free to join any caucuses, any political organizations, or any factions of legislators within the Chamber. Representatives would also be privy to economic restitution for their services and they would enjoy the legal protections their office includes such as protection from prosecution or imprisonment unless they were caught in flagrante delicto. Should a Lawmaker charged with an offense, they would be subject to review by their peers in the event of a criminal indictment against the Representative.

The House of Representatives would be a chamber whose minimum size would be no less than 80 members with the total number determined by population. A Nomos would be awarded a representative for every 10,000-people living within the Nomos. Based on the 1836 Census data, there would be 94 members in total for the first meeting of the House of Representatives from 1838 to 1842. The Nomos of Argolis-Corinthia would receive 6 Representatives, the Nomos of Arcadia would receive 12, the Nomos of Laconia would receive 6, the Nomos of Messenia would receive 6, the Nomos of Achaea would receive 8, the Nomos of Attica-Boeotia would receive 8, the Nomos of Phthiotis-Phocis would receive 6, the Nomos of Euboea would receive 4, the Nomos of Aetolia-Acarnania would receive 6, the Nomos of Arta would receive 4, the Nomos of the Archipelago would receive 9, the Nomos of Chios-Samos would receive 5, the Nomos of Chania would receive 6, and the Nomos of Heraklion would receive 8.

With the parameters for the election established, the information was disseminated to the Nomoi and the campaigns began in earnest early the following year. Within days, hundreds of men registered for office. Some were old war heroes from the Revolution, others were former political leaders or delegates to the many Assemblies during the war, others still were bankers, financiers, traders, and merchants who had invested heavily in the Greek cause. In many ways the candidates were among the most talented, the most powerful, and the most influential people in Greece. Most shared the same desire to strengthen Greece, to restore her to greatness and respectability on the world stage, the means of achieving that differed from person to person however.

Several weeks before election day, it became clear that the contestants were coalescing into one of two broad groups, the Kapodistrians, those who supported Prime Minister Ioannis Kapodistrias, and the Anti-Kapodistrians, those who opposed him. In many ways the Kapodistrians were advocates of the common man, they were modernizers, industrializers, small landowners, and former klephts. The Anti-Kapodistrians in turn were generally wealthy merchants, the ship lords from the islands, the landing owning Primates, a few Phanariotes, and several obstinate priests who all opposed the modernizing and centralizing policies of the Prime Minister. In a sense the Kapodistrians and Anti-Kapodistrians could be considered Proto-Political Parties in the early years of the Kingdom of Greece.

While groups had existed in Greek politics before, such as the Magnate faction and Military faction, or the Moreots, Roumeliotes, and the Islanders, they were more akin to caucuses of men from similar geographic or economic backgrounds rather than actual political parties like the Whigs and Tories of the British Parliament. It is a testament to Ioannis Kapodistrias’ popularity and divisiveness as a leader that Greek politics in the early years of the Kingdom became more about support for or opposition against the Count of Istria rather than an innate political difference between the leading men of the country. Still, the divide between them was deep and it was real with fights occasionally breaking out between the groups and their supporters.

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Fight between Kapodistrians and Anti Kapodistrians at a Patras Polling Station

It was clear that this split would not be resolved easily as the divide was spurred on by the interference of foreign powers, namely Britain and France who continued to interject into Greek affairs.[2] Kapodistrias remained a constant concern to the leading men of London and Paris who saw the Count of Istria as a Russian Proxy regardless of his stated intentions, and so they worked tirelessly to oppose him. Even the stern diplomacy and relative popularity of Leopold wasn’t enough to deter the most determined British and French efforts against Kapodistrias who donated to his opposition and established media outlets in the country denouncing the Prime Minister as a tyrant. Strangely enough their efforts to destroy Kapodistrias met with little success across the country given his immense popularity and support among the general populace. Thankfully, the matter was mitigated to simple political bickering and the occasional scuffle rather than outright conflict and violence due to the careful navigation of Kapodistrias who announced he would retire from public life at the end of the next term in 1842 after 15 years of service to his country. Ultimately, the election came and went without controversy or incident, for the most part, and for the next few weeks the results slowly made their way in. When all was said and done a total of 63 Kapodistrians and 31 Anti Kapodistrians had won elections who made their way to Athens in the following days and weeks.

With the election over the old system of governance by the King, Kapodistrias, and the Cabinet was gradually replaced with a joint system of governance alongside the newly elected Legislature. After years of debate, planning, and preparation, the elected members of the House of Representatives stood poised to take their place in the Hellenic Parliament, the only obstacle remaining was the oath of office. In a spectacle not to be forgotten, King Leopold, addressing the joint Chambers of the Parliament in his heavily accented Greek, congratulated the men on their victories and tasked them with doing their utmost to serve Hellas and the Hellenes. His speech complete, the King promptly read aloud the oath of office, which the assembled legislators repeated in kind and with that, the First Parliament of the Kingdom of Greece had taken its place in the Greek Government.

Next Time: Victoria and Leopold


Author's Note: Special thanks to everyone reading this timeline, everyone commenting on this timeline, and everyone providing critiques, criticism, and advice to me for this timeline. I couldn't do this without your support.

[1] Technically King Leopold, Queen Marie, and their respective entourages were included in this last group as well.

[2] Even with Leopold as King of Greece I find it hard to believe that Britain, France, and Russia would remain detached from the affairs of the Greeks, especially if Ioannis Kapodistrias is still around and in a position of power. Leopold was in many ways treated as a parvenu King of a parvenu country in OTL and I see no reason why he would be treated any differently in Greece in TTL, especially when the Powers have a vested interest in interfering in his country's elections, ie to limit Russian influence.
 
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That's good; BTW, good update and waiting for more (I will be voting for this in the Turtledove Awards, hopefully)...
 
That's good; BTW, good update and waiting for more (I will be voting for this in the Turtledove Awards, hopefully)...
Yeah this was a shorter update than usual, but I should have a pretty sizable one next time since it will be covering a lot of material and thank you very much!
 
Not the slightest of the slightest chance the Souliotes, Arvanites and Vlachs would be called a non Greek population by anyone in government . Not by anyone caring for his health after the offended tried to fix the issue by blades and firepower. All three might be linguistic minorities but both considered themselves and were considered by other Greeks as indistinguishably Greek.
 
Not the slightest of the slightest chance the Souliotes, Arvanites and Vlachs would be called a non Greek population by anyone in government . Not by anyone caring for his health after the offended tried to fix the issue by blades and firepower. All three might be linguistic minorities but both considered themselves and were considered by other Greeks as indistinguishably Greek.
Okay, thanks for the heads up, its been edited to better reflect this.
 
Just wait until the new govt tries to go collect taxes.... that rugged terrain and hills makes control outside the cities and main roads a bitch.
 
Just wait until the new govt tries to go collect taxes.... that rugged terrain and hills makes control outside the cities and main roads a bitch.
Indeed they are, Greece is one of the most mountainous countries in the world with somewhere around 80% of its land covered in mountains or hills. Even with the earlier focus on railroads and steamships, it will still be difficult for anyone, let alone government tax collectors to travel to the many hilltop villages and valley towns that are scattered across the country.

What is going to happen to Napoleon II ?
Officially, Oberstleutnant Franz Bonaparte (Napoleon II) died on the field of battle at Piacenza on the 5th of April 1831 fighting against the Italian Revolutionaries. Unofficially, he is hiding out in Switzerland with his cousins Louis Napoleon and Napoleon Louis who have both survived ITTL. I've been meaning to do another France update elaborating on their whereabouts and actions following the Italian War of 1830-1831 as well as a particular infernal incident, but other areas of the timeline have drawn me away.
 
That's really weird it must have slipped my mind as I was writing this, but yeah it was random.

I literally, in the back of my mind, was thinking "Huh, September 11. Is this foreshadowing? I suddenly have a sense of dread about these upcoming elections" :D But, I'm actually kinda glad the date was at random - after all, not everything has to be Amero-centric and just because that happened to be a bad day for us, it doesn't mean everyone in the multi-verse need dread it :)
 
Indeed they are, Greece is one of the most mountainous countries in the world with somewhere around 80% of its land covered in mountains or hills. Even with the earlier focus on railroads and steamships, it will still be difficult for anyone, let alone government tax collectors to travel to the many hilltop villages and valley towns that are scattered across the country.


Officially, Oberstleutnant Franz Bonaparte (Napoleon II) died on the field of battle at Piacenza on the 5th of April 1831 fighting against the Italian Revolutionaries. Unofficially, he is hiding out in Switzerland with his cousins Louis Napoleon and Napoleon Louis who have both survived ITTL. I've been meaning to do another France update elaborating on their whereabouts and actions following the Italian War of 1830-1831 as well as a particular infernal incident, but other areas of the timeline have drawn me away.

Louis Napoleon and Napoleon Louis. Huh. The Bonapartes can be accused of many things - but creative naming conventions are not one of them, it seems!

Personally I'm really hoping for Napoleon II to make a splash in the upcoming chapters; he strikes me as a particularly fun figure that could offer some very interesting spice to the bubbling stew that is French and European politics in the coming years. I do wonder if, should he come to power (and that's assuming a lot), if he'd have a good relationship with Austria due to having spent so much time in the Vienna court.
 
I literally, in the back of my mind, was thinking "Huh, September 11. Is this foreshadowing? I suddenly have a sense of dread about these upcoming elections" :D But, I'm actually kinda glad the date was at random - after all, not everything has to be Amero-centric and just because that happened to be a bad day for us, it doesn't mean everyone in the multi-verse need dread it :)

Dan, so was I; at least this date will be different and happier for the Greeks ITTL...
 
I literally, in the back of my mind, was thinking "Huh, September 11. Is this foreshadowing? I suddenly have a sense of dread about these upcoming elections" :D But, I'm actually kinda glad the date was at random - after all, not everything has to be Amero-centric and just because that happened to be a bad day for us, it doesn't mean everyone in the multi-verse need dread it :)
Dan, so was I; at least this date will be different and happier for the Greeks ITTL...
I was clearly referencing the Ottoman defeat in the 1565 Great Siege of Malta for the date of the elections.:p

In all honesty though, aside from the opening events of the timeline which heavily followed the OTL Greek War of Independence, most of the dates I have used have been entirely random. Some events in TTL are closer to the OTL dates than others, but it really depends on the degree to which the butterflies have effected that particular region.

Louis Napoleon and Napoleon Louis. Huh. The Bonapartes can be accused of many things - but creative naming conventions are not one of them, it seems!

Personally I'm really hoping for Napoleon II to make a splash in the upcoming chapters; he strikes me as a particularly fun figure that could offer some very interesting spice to the bubbling stew that is French and European politics in the coming years. I do wonder if, should he come to power (and that's assuming a lot), if he'd have a good relationship with Austria due to having spent so much time in the Vienna court.
Yeah the Bonaparte men are usually named some combination of Napoleon, Louis, Joseph, Charles, as was the case with Napoleon III who was born Charles-Louis Napoleon Bonaparte.

While I won't spoil anything here, Napoleon II is scheduled to reappear in the next few parts and he will feature heavily in the major events going forward.
 
Part 45: Victoria and Leopold
Part 45: Victoria and Leopold

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Leopold’s Great Victory, the Marriage of Victoria and Albert

While Leopold had agreed to give up his “emergency” powers to the Legislature by holding fair and free elections in the Fall of 1837, he was by no means ceding all his powers to the newly elected Parliament. Under the 1830 Constitution, the king was endowed with several powers ranging from his responsibilities as Commander in Chief of the Hellenic Military during times of war to his office as the Chief Executive of the Greek Government. He could still appoint Ministers and Judges, provided they received approval from the Legislature for their nomination, and he could appoint anyone to the Senate of his own volition without the interference of the Lower Chamber of Parliament.

The King also had veto power over prospective pieces of legislation, but it was merely a suspending veto rather than an absolute veto. As such, Leopold would make sparing use of it over the early years of his reign, only vetoing two bills in 1838 and 1840 respectively. While these were hardly substantial by themselves, under an astute statesman like Leopold the powers of the Monarch were pushed even further by utilizing various loopholes and abstract clauses in the constitution to exert his limited authority to its fullest potential.

He remained an active, yet neutral figure in the Legislative process, who used his platform to serve as an impartial mediator, an honest negotiator, and an effective dealmaker who worked tirelessly to ease along the legislative process. He frequently met with disgruntled Representatives and made speeches on the House floor calling for unity and compromise between the two “Parties” for the betterment of the people. While he tried to remain above the pettiness of partisan politics, he would on occasion intervene in favor of one side over the other, but only when it was necessary to maintain his own powers and prerogative from those who threatened it. By far though, his greatest strength was his good relationship with Prime Minister Ioannis Kapodistrias as Leopold had come to view the Count of Istria as a close confidant over the course of their 7 years together.

Together the two would discuss politics, philosophy, art, music, various innovations and technological advancements among a list of other topics. Of course, these meetings would always turn to politics and how to better the Greek state and the Greek people. On many a night, the pair would work long into the night debating different policies, different programs, and different initiatives which might prove effective in advancing the cause of their Kingdom. Leopold for better or for worse viewed himself as the Atlas upon which Greece rested; that its burdens were his burdens, that its ills were his ills, and that its success would be his success as well, and Kapodistrias for his part felt the same. It is fortunate that they found allies in one another who shared many of the same goals and aspirations, and though they would not always be in alignment on all issues, the two wholeheartedly trusted one another’s intentions to benefit Greece and the Greek people.

Another area where the King seemingly retained some degree of authority was over the military of Greece. Under the Constitution the King served as Commander in Chief of the Hellenic Military which effectively granted Leopold complete control over the nation’s army and navy. In truth though, most military matters were delegated to the King’s Aide de Camp, Ypostrategos Panos Kolokotronis, his Chief of the General Staff, Strategos Demetrios Ypsilantis, and the Ministries of the Army and Navy, effectively relegating Leopold to little more than a figurehead status during times of peace.[1]

Even still, Leopold retained considerable power over the Greek Military, namely he could appoint the Minister of the Army and the Minister of the Navy as well as the members of the General Staff. As such he could still effectively influence the military policy and procedures of the Hellenic Armed Forces through his selection of ministers and the General Staff. In an effort to showcase his role as Commander in Chief, Leopold routinely reviewed the soldiers of the Royal Guard in Athens and on occasion he would travel to the Northern border to visit the men stationed along the frontier with the Ottoman Empire. He frequently dined with officers from the Army and Navy, and he made a concerted effort to sit in on every meeting of the General Staff even when his was presence was not required.

While he worked tirelessly to broaden and preserve his powers wherever he was able; the only area in the Greek Government where King Leopold retained unbridled power and influence was in the arena of diplomacy and foreign affairs. As the king of an extremely prestigious, if relatively powerless state, Leopold stood poised to engage in diplomatic mediation with the other Heads of States across the globe, whether they be Kings and Queens, or Prime Ministers and Presidents. If anything, the relative military and economic weakness of his state made the successful utilization of diplomacy paramount to the security and safety of the Greek State and the pursuit of its interests around the world.

To that end, Leopold engaged in regular discussions with the Tsar of Russia, he opened dialogue with the Ottoman Empire, and he frequently sent dispatches to the crowned heads of France and Germany. He even engaged in cursory exchanges with the United States of America, the Empire of Brazil, and the Republic of Haiti, sending platitudes to the Americans who had helped inspire the Greeks to fight for their independence.[2] By far though his closest and best documented correspondence was with his niece, the heir presumptive of the British Empire, Princess Alexandrina Victoria, soon to be Queen Victoria.

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Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

Due to the close familial and personal relation he shared with Princess Victoria, King Leopold took great care to impart as much wisdom and provide as much support as he was able for the young girl. Because of the great distance between them, much of Leopold’s correspondence with Victoria was done through letter, although he would on occasion dispatch aides or family members to meet with her in person to convey his words and intentions. Though the number of these letters were unfortunately limited in their volume, Leopold made sure that each dispatch was as detailed and thorough as possible, effectively making up for the lacking quantity with pristine quality.

Even still, the King would pen letters to his niece every month conveying advice he had collected over the years, providing simple words of encouragement, and lauding her with constant affection. They exchanged gossip, they talked politics, they shared news of family, and they talked of the difficulties of ruling among a slew of other topics. The frequency of these letters would only increase as she approached her majority and by the time her uncle King William IV had died in June 1837, the flow of letters had grown into a great deluge.

While his actions to aid Victoria were genuinely compassionate in nature and he would never intentionally do anything to harm her or her country, it cannot be denied that Leopold had ulterior motives to his benevolence. Britain was the closest economic and diplomatic partner Greece had following the war for independence, with Russia being a close second and France a more distant third. Most of the funding the Greek Revolutionaries received during the war came from British supporters and bankers who had purchased stocks and bonds to fund the Greek cause. The effort to intervene in the War for Independence was driven primarily by the British and Russian Governments who aimed to aid the Greeks in whatever way they could. The Allied Fleet sent to the Aegean in 1827/1828 was led by a British Admiral (Codrington) and composed primarily of British ships. The Appointed King of Greece (Leopold) had been the preferred British candidate with a close familial relation to the Heir Presumptive of the British Crown.

The close relation between Greece and Britain continued to remain strong under the Canningite Government following the war as a series of trade deals were soon drafted between the British and Greek States in the months that followed. The British Mediterranean Fleet, along with their French and Russian counterparts, would continue to patrol the waters around the Kingdom of Greece for an additional 5 years after the revolution, providing Greece with a potent shield against any aggression on the part of the Ottomans. The only point of contention between the two, if one could call it that, was over the status of the Ionian Islands.

Even before the end of the war, talks of Enosis, Union, between the Greek state and the United States of the Ionian Islands emerged as a prominent topic among Greek circles. This issue became even more pronounced following the selection of Leopold of Saxe Coburg as King of Greece, given the believed perception that he was a client of the British. For its part, the Canningite Government of Great Britain proved genuinely amenable to the idea at the London Conference of 1830 and talks began in earnest regarding the possible cessation of the islands to Greece in return for basing rights and other privileges for the British. Sadly, these talks would prove to be just that, only talks, as matters closer to home soon required the full undivided attention of the British government and its Prime Minister.

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The Flag of the United States of the Ionian Islands

When the fires of revolt and revolution across Europe finally settled in late 1833 George Canning lay on his deathbed and was forced to withdraw from government for the last time leaving the matter to his successor, the incredibly recalcitrant Duke of Wellington who nixed any discussion regarding the ceding of the islands to Greece in the bud. With Wellington’s ascension to the Premiership, the matter lost much of the momentum that had seemingly been building before Canning’s death. Even the succession of Queen Victoria to the throne in 1837 did little to move the matter in Greece’s favor as the islands remained stubbornly separate. Ultimately, discussion of Enosis was laid to rest for the immediate future greatly disheartening the Greek people.

Though he was an immensely popular man in Greece, Leopold’s fame was decidedly less so in Britain where his many adversaries and enemies had coalesced against the parvenu King. Many of his doubters and rivals, Wellington included, had been the loyal lapdogs of his former Father in Law George IV and his equally distasteful brother, King William IV, both of whom had viewed Leopold with contempt for his marriage to Princess Charlotte and his continued residency in their country following her death. Leopold's continued presence in Britain served as a constant reminder to King George of his daughter's death, and the matter was made worse by Leopold's support for his estranged wife Queen Caroline in the terrible debate over the Pains and Penalties Bill in 1820. Though the friendly Premiership of George Canning would do much to mask the dissension between Leopold and his antagonists, their bombacity would return greater than before following Canning’s death in early January 1834.

Wellington and many of his High Tories widely assumed that Greece would collapse to infighting and that Leopold would flee to Britain once more with his tail between his legs. The years that followed proved to be incredibly grating to Wellington and Leopold's other adversaries who grew increasingly frustrated by the resilience of the Marquis Peu-Peu.[3] If nothing else, Leopold wished to prove his doubters wrong and he hoped that by tying himself to the future Queen Victoria, Leopold could exert some influence over the girl and lay low his political adversaries in the process. Unfortunately for Leopold, Victoria would prove highly resistant to his intrigues, forcing her dear Uncle to earn the begrudging respect of his rivals the hard way.

While Princess Victoria was a willing student of her uncle’s advice, she had steadily grown into an independent young woman, capable of making her own decisions for the good of her own country. As such, she began ignoring the advice of her uncle, choosing her own advisors and ministers contrary to Leopold’s endeavors. Even still, Leopold refused to give up and changed course, if Victoria could not be persuaded by him, then he would find someone who could, he would find her a husband. As the Queen of a Great Power, it fell upon her to marry and have children so that her dynasty might continue for the good of the country.

Fortunately for Leopold, he need not look far, as he had a perfect candidate in mind that might further his influence over the young Queen. His candidate for Victoria’s husband was his nephew, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Prince Albert was the younger son of Leopold’s eldest brother Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, making him Victoria’s first cousin through her mother Duchess Victoria of Kent. He was a remarkable physical specimen, who shared an uncanny resemblance to Leopold in his younger years, and his mind was equally sharp and perceptive as that of his dear uncle Leopold.[4] Unlike his father and older brother, Albert was a considerate youth who was charming, gentle, kind, and above all he was a Coburg through and through.

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Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

In many ways, Albert also provided the House of Saxe Coburg with another opportunity to stake a claim to the British throne as Leopold himself had attempted to do nearly twenty years prior with the late Princess Charlotte. First proposed by Leopold’s own mother the Dowager Duchess of Saxe Coburg and Saalfeld, Countess Augusta Reuss in 1821, Leopold made it his mission to see to its realization.[5] As such, Leopold heavily invested in the boy’s education so that he might become a worthy husband of Victoria, and to that end the King of Greece even dispatched his long-time friend and close advisor Baron Stockmar to aid in the boy’s grooming. He practiced fencing and horseback riding, he partook in lessons on music and the arts, and he developed a curiosity for science and philosophy all in a bid to impress the Young Queen Victoria.

Despite exhibiting a great interest in Prince Albert during their first meeting in 1836, the Queen would prove resistant to her uncle’s attempts to rush her into marriage choosing instead to postpone talks of an engagement to any suitor indefinitely. Much of the early resistance to Albert can be attributed to Victoria’s overbearing uncle King William IV who strongly opposed another match between the House of Hannover and the Coburgs of Saxony and would remain strongly opposed to the match for the remainder of his life. Most of the British government and the British Public were similarly against the match given the low standing and prestige of Albert’s House.

Rather than needlessly pushing the issue, Leopold wisely changed tactics once more, opting instead to give Victoria time to settle into her new role as Queen of Britain and Ireland while he continued with Albert’s preparation. Suffice to say, the ploy worked as distance had indeed made the heart grow fonder between the two with the young Queen routinely inquiring about Albert’s progress over the years. When the pair met once again in 1839, they were instantly smitten with one another prompting the young Queen Victoria to propose to Prince Albert in early November 1839. On the 10th of February 1840 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert married in the Chapel Royal of St. James Palace. In attendance were many members of Parliament, numerous Peers, several Uncles and Aunts from the House of Hannover, Albert’s Father and Brother, and one very pleased King Leopold of Greece.

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The Wedding of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

For Leopold, the match between Victoria and Albert was a great personal victory for him and his house and the completion of a lifelong goal to have the Coburgs seated upon the throne of Britain. It also earned him the begrudging respect of his rivals in London who finally began to make amends with Greek King’s successes. Victoria for her part was no less grateful to her Uncle for all his efforts to bring her happiness and joy, and though they would endure their share of hardships and despair, they would certainly have great joys and glad tidings. Within days of Victoria and Albert’s wedding the relationship between Leopold and his beloved niece would face its greatest challenge yet. On the 2nd of March 1840 the Ottoman Empire invaded Egypt, throwing the Middle East into the fires of war once more, and caught in the midst of their fighting was the little Kingdom of Greece.

Next Time: The Ottoman Empire Strikes Back


[1] In OTL, Panos Kolokotronis’ younger brother Ioannis served as King Otto’s Aide de Camp during the 1830’s and early 1840’s. As Panos is alive in this timeline I thought it would be interesting to keep him around in an official capacity and so I gave him the role ITTL. Demetrios Ypsilantis is still alive as well as a result of the different circumstances for him during and after the war.

[2] Haiti was coincidentally the first foreign state to recognize Greece as an independent country during the Greek War of Independence.

[3] One of Leopold’s less kind nicknames was Marquis Peu-Peu, which was meant to be a derogatory term, mocking his overly cautious nature. Instead, Leopold would surprisingly take it as a badge of honor, as his caution and patience carried him through a series of crises in his life.

[4] There were some wild rumors that Albert was not Duke Ernest’s son, but rather Leopold’s illegitimate son. Apparently, the marriage between Duke Francis and his wife Princess Louise was very estranged due to Francis’ infidelities, ultimately resulting in their divorce in 1824 and had been taking place soon after their marriage in 1817. It was around this time that Leopold returned to visit Coburg following the death of Princess Charlotte and in his despair and her self-pitying they had a brief affair which led to Albert’s birth. Leopold for his part was a known womanizer who had various affairs with both single and married women and he even took a few mistresses throughout his life so there certainly could be some validity to this account, but whether it is actually true or not is unknown.

[5] For this reason alone, I believe a match between Victoria and Albert was almost predetermined from the get go. Their relationship is also one of the genuinely sweet aspects of the 19th Century and so I decided to keep it for this timeline. Also, due to the fact that most of the butterflies have been contained to Greece and the Ottoman Empire prior to 1830, Victoria and Albert generally developed the way they did in OTL, meaning they would likely have the same interests and tastes as OTL, with a few exceptions. That said, things will be very different for Victoria and Albert going forward due to some changing circumstances in the world around them.
 
It is a dark time for Egypt. Although the Ottoman Navy has been destroyed, Imperial troops have driven the Egyptian forces from their hidden base and pursued them across the Levant.

Evading the dreaded Ottoman Army, a group of freedom fighters led by Ibrahim Pasha has established a new secret base in the remote desert region of Nahr-el-Kelb.

The Sultan, obsessed with finding young Pasha, has dispatched thousands of light cavalry troops into the far reaches of Lebanon...

:p
 
Not certain how long Ypsilantis would live under any circumstances, his health was pretty fragile I understand. Still if his health is in relatively better shape and with Kolletis less influential in ATL his marriage with Manto Mavrogenous may well happen in the ATL. Which would be a nice touch just on general principle (and maybe useful in the next generation :evilsmile:)

As for Panos Kolokotronis by all accounts he was more capable than his brother who was hardly a slouch in the first place. Besides which he was relatively well educated (one of the contemporary sources called him the second best educated man in the Morea, an obvious exaggeration of course since instead of university he followed his father to the field, but still he was apparently a pretty good mathematician, knew his classics and also spoke a few foreign languages. What you'd expect for someone being groomed by Theodore to follow in his steps during his years in exile in other words.) Hence I think that had he not be killed at 24 he was all too likely to be playing a central role in Greek political and military matters over the next decades. After all he has everything going for him to do so from brains and money, to family name to his own record during the war. So aide de camp may even be on the low side... were it not for the apparent influence he wields through the position.

I might have also suggested earlier that he would be a very likely candidate to play a central role to the development of European style units on the Greek side during the war of independence given his background although he'd be probably following his father's ideas for gradual conversion of existing soldiers... which was actually what was done with the chiliarchies and light battalions under Kapodistrias.
 
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