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Greek civil wars of 1824–1825

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Greek civil wars of 1824–1825

The Greek War of Independence was marked by two civil wars, which took place in 1824–1825. The conflict had both political and regional dimensions, as it pitted the Roumeliotes (the people of Continental Greece) and the Islanders (the shipowners, especially from Hydra island), against the Peloponnesians or Moreotes. It divided the young nation, and seriously weakened the military preparedness of the Greek forces in the face of the oncoming Egyptian intervention in the conflict.

Background

Theodoros Kolokotronis, one of the main military leaders of the Greeks. The Peloponnese was his powerbase.

By the end of March 1821, the Areopagus in the east, and a Senate in the west.[1] The three local statutes were recognized by the First National Assembly, but were later dissolved by the Second National Assembly.[2]

The First National Assembly was formed at [4]

First civil war

Greek civil wars of 1824–1825
Part of the Greek War of Independence
Date autumn 1823 – June 1824
Location Peloponnese
Result Agreement between the two factions, partial victory of the Government
Belligerents
Primates and supporters of the Government Military leaders and supporters of Philiki Etaireia
Commanders and leaders
Alexandros Mavrokordatos, Andreas Londos Theodoros Kolokotronis

The provisional government decided that the National Assembly would take place in Nafplio, and asked Kolokotronis to return the fort to the government. Kolokotronis refused, and proposed that the Assembly take place in Nafplion, while the city remained under his control. His stance divided his supporters and weakened him politically. Most of the members of the Peloponnesian Senate obeyed the decisions of the government, and the captains were forced to negotiate their participation in the Assembly. Finally, the Second National Assembly was gathered in March 1823 in Astros. Central governance was strengthened at the expense of regional bodies, a new constitution was voted, and new members were elected for the executive and legislative bodies.[5]

Trying to coax the military leaders, the central administration proposed to Kolokotronis to participate in the executive body as vice-president. Kolokotronis accepted, but his actions caused a serious crisis when he prevented Mavrokordatos, who had been elected president of the legislative body, from assuming his position. His attitude towards Mavrokordatos caused the rage of the members of the legislative body, which was controlled by the Kountouriotis as president.

The war started in early March 1824, when the government asked Panos Kolokotronis to surrender Nafplion. Panos denied and the government decided to besiege the city. In 22 March 1824, the forces of the new executive besieged Tripolitsa, and after two weeks of fighting an agreement was reached between Kolokotronis, from the one side, and Londos and Zaimis, from the other. The old executive was finally dissolved, and Kolokotronis fled the city. In 22 May the first phase of the civil war officially ended. Most members of the new executive however wanted a complete victory over their opponents, and were thus displeased by the moderate terms of the agreement that Londos and Zaimis brokered. Kolokotronis and Mavromichalis retreated, but they intended to regroup their forces and launch a new offensive. Additionally, Panos Kolokotronis agreed to surrender Nafplion only to Londos and Zaimis, an arrangement which again resulted in the intensification of the mistrust of the government towards the two Achaean notables, who were still allies of the central administration.[7]

Second civil war

Greek civil wars of 1824–1825
Part of the Greek War of Independence
Date October 1824 – February 1825
Location Peloponnese
Result Victory of Roumeliotes and Islanders, imprisoment of Kolokotronis
Belligerents
Roumeliotes and Islanders (Hydra) Moreotes
Commanders and leaders
Ioannis Kolettis Theodoros Kolokotronis, Andreas Londos, Kanellos Deligiannis

During this period the two first instalments of the English loan had arrived, an event which strengthened the position of the government; but the infighting was not yet over. Zaimis and the other Peloponnesians who supported Kountouriotis came into conflict with the executive body when they were excluded from most government posts after the elections of 3 October 1824. Prominent persons from both sides proposed negotiations and the convening of a new National Assembly, but most members of the executive (especially Papaflessas and Ioannis Kolettis) wished the complete subjugation of the Peloponnesians.

The military conflict resumed when Kolokotronis roused the residents of Tripolitsa against the local tax collectors of the government. Papaflessas and Kitsos Tzavelas and others, attacked in Achaea Londos and Zaimis, who retreated and then fled to Kalamos. In January 1825, a Roumeliote force, led by Kolettis himself, raided once again Peloponnese, and arrested Kolokotronis, Deligiannis' family and others. The next month Mavrokordatos assumed the position of the president of the executive. In May 1825, under the pressure of the Egyptian intervention of Ibrahim Pasha, those imprisoned were released and granted amnesty.[8]

Citations

  1. ^ Koliopoulos & Veremis, Greece: the Modern Sequel, pp. 14–17.
    * Papageorgiou, "First Year of Freedom", pp. 67–70.
  2. ^ Koliopoulos & Veremis, Greece: the Modern Sequel, pp. 19–20.
    * Theodoridis, "A Modern State", pp. 129–130.
  3. ^ Dakin, The Greek Struggle for independence, pp. 87-9.
  4. ^ Rotzokos, "Civil Wars", 143–148
  5. ^ Rotzokos, "Civil Wars", 148–151
  6. ^ Rotzokos, "Civil Wars", 152–154
  7. ^ Dimitropoulos, Theodoros Kolokotronis, 79–81
    * Rotzokos, "Civil Wars", 154–161
  8. ^ Dimitropoulos, Theodoros Kolokotronis, 79–81
    * Rotzokos, "Civil Wars", 164–170.

References

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