The 1821 Greek War of Independence and America's contributions to the Greek cause by George J. Leber, unknown edition, See "Terms of Service" link for more information. It was said that the countries which did nothing to stop the massacres of the Greeks were themselves equally guilty with the Turks. Between 1821 and 1827 at least one hundred and twenty-eight separate books of philhellenic verses are known to have been published in France alone. The themes of his closing remarks were all familiar: The Turks… have on several occasions threatened our own civilization with total destruction, and the Greeks have a proverb that wherever they put their feet the grass ceases to grow. There was no means of following events in detail and reports had often to be revised later. These societies should find means of supporting the cause and ascertain who is ready to go and fight. Before the Revolution he tried to present himself as a Robin Hood defending the poor against their oppressors, but, for the most part, he was a simple bandit chief. The Pope co-operated by closing the ports in the Papal States. The official opinion of the powers on the Greek Revolution, pressed most strongly by Metternich and the Austrian Government, that the Sultan was the legitimate sovereign of the Greeks and that they were wrong to rebel against him, struck many people as hypocritical and cynical. The city was surrounded by thousands of Greeks all waiting for their chance to share in the spoils. 6 Humphreys, First Journal, p. 28; Raybaud, i, p. 397. If someone was killed then it became a matter of pride to try to capture and strip the body. The flood of books of verse in favour of the Greeks was matched by the publication of numerous pamphlets in the same style making ever more extreme claims on their behalf. An immense amount of writing sympathetic to the Greeks appeared in the newspapers and reviews, but suggestions that practical help should be sent met with little response. It was generally realized, for example, that one of the main reasons for the drastic decline in the military effectiveness of the Turks was their insistence on employing the charge of uncoordinated soldiers in huge numbers, even although experience had shown, on dozens of battlefields, that trained European infantry standing in lines and regulating their fire could withstand them. These officers were certain from their own wide experience that with a few hundred disciplined European troops they could capture any fortress still held by the Turks; with a few hundred such troops they could clear the whole of Greece. Looking at the topography of the place one marvels at the daring of the plan and doubts whether it could ever have been carried out. Virtually none of the news emanating from Greece was free of distortion. The fact that the Ottoman Empire was in manifest decline made such a revolt feasible. Hypsilantes’ prestige and that of Europeans generally slumped again after this failure and another exodus of volunteers took place. They preferred squatting on the floor to … 25 Address in behalf of the Greeks, Edinburgh, 1822. The students of Germany, conscious of having played a leading part in the expulsion of the French, had made themselves into an important political force on the return of peace. Several Frenchmen and Germans declared that they would never consent to serve under the command of an Italian (although this was not intended) and began to pick quarrels with the Italian volunteers. They cheerfully demanded the wholesale expulsion of the millions of Turks settled in Europe. Zeune made a public statement in the newspapers that he could no longer be associated with receiving collections. But when he made his preparations to fire the first shot, it was obvious to the other Europeans that he knew nothing whatsoever about artillery. The ’Freedom’ had been mainly thought of as freedom from the foreign rule of the French, but many who took part in the last successful campaigns had dreamed of political freedom, of constitutional government, and they had been encouraged to do so by their leaders. LeFebre, p. 9, specifically says he committed suicide. Unlike the British and French, few of them had been taken to the Mediterranean by the wars. The armed bands of Colocotrones and the other captains burst into the fortress and plundered all they could find, killing any Turk they met. From That Greece Might Still Be Free: The Philhellenes in the War of Independence. In Europe the model of military virtue was the man who would stand his ground in the line of battle as his comrades were shot down around him and obey his orders to the end. A German officer[12] who was present describes how they staggered through a double rank of Greek women shouting and spitting at them. The fellow citizens of Penn, of Washington and of Franklin will not refuse their aid to descendants of Phocion and Thrasybulus or Aratus and Philopoemen.[28]. To make surprise doubly sure Dania arranged for the assault to be made at night several hours before daybreak since it was well known that neither Turks nor Greeks ever ventured out in the dark. In all countries only a small proportion of the population were concerned with political questions. In the imperial city of Hamburg the following notice was taken round from door to door: Proclamation to the Youth of Germany. The answer came back that the Greek Revolution was inimical to the policy of Europe, the cause was being exploited for political purposes, and that poetry must be rigorously controlled. Baleste himself was present, and, knowing what had happened at Monemvasia, refused to be a party to the surrender agreement or to commit Hypsilantes. The great majority (except in England) had apparently one edition only, although one or two especially influential works went to as many as four editions. The limiting factor was the inaccuracy of the firearms and the poor quality of the gunpowder which could be obtained locally. The Modern Greek is the descendant of those glorious beings whom the imagination almost refuses to figure to itself as belonging to our kind, and he inherits much of their sensibility, their rapidity of conception, their enthusiasm, and their courage. But its garrison was small, consisting of a few hundred troops, mostly Albanians, and it was full of refugees who had gone there for protection during the early days of the outbreak. As a result of the spirit of the French Revolution the Greeks developed a strong feeling of nationalism which resulted in a program to win thier independence from the Turks. Young Greeks spread Enlightenment ideas and Greek literature, art, etc. Throughout the War of Independence, supplies were brought from Cyprus by the Filiki Etairia to aid the Greek struggle. The Star-Spangled Banner must wave in the Aegean’.[30]. pp. Some of the leaders who had served with the French and British armies had seen how small bodies of well trained and disciplined troops could cut their way through local troops many times their number; they had also seen the effects of European artillery both in the field and in storming defended positions. Then, victorious and crowned with glory, blessed by our Greek brothers and all Christendom and with the glorious knowledge that we have broken the chains of slavery of millions of our brothers, we shall see our German Fatherland again. Many rich Turks and Jews were also known to live there. The newcomers were shocked to find some of their friends whom they had last seen in officers’ messes and ladies’ salons in Europe now settling down to live like bandits surrounded by concubines and slaves. 8 Gordon who saw the aftermath dared not describe the horrors in his history (i, p. 245). The means by which opinion could be expressed were few. It seemed the kind of situation where European military methods and especially European artillery would be most useful. … Some fifty others on their way from Calamata did not arrive in time. Muhammad Ali Pasha sent his son Ismail with an army and a fleet to help fight the Greeks and the Greek Christian revolutionaries asked for help from European Christians. Many Greeks now had their first sight of Europeans in action. The Greeks who had actually carried out the killings that made the Revolution possible had little sympathy with the Greeks from overseas and their Frankish colleagues who assumed so readily that they would take over the leadership. It is a measure of the receptiveness of the public that the demand for such poems continued unabated. 33 Translated from Karl Iken, Hellenion, Leipzig, 1822. In 1822, the Turks… Could any sensitive and grateful man – especially the lover of letters and of the arts who owes to this country his most noble pleasures and sweetest inspiration – withhold his pity for the misfortunes that heap on them. Panagiotis Zographos illustrates under the guindance of General Makriyannis the battles of Alamana (left) and Acropolis (right) (from his Scenes from the Greek War of Independence). A committee was formed and a few prominent men made a contribution, including Lords Lansdowne, Aberdeen, and Elgin, all famous for their collections of Greek sculpture. What human soul could refuse to ally himself to your noble efforts, and would not offer you the tribute of his prayers in consolation for being unable to offer the help of his arm![19]. Prisoners who were suspected of having concealed their money were tortured. At the same time as the Appeal to the Nations of Europe was allegedly issued from ’the Spartan Headquarters’ at Calamata, another version was sent to the United States: To the Citizens of the United States: Having formed the resolution to live or die for Freedom we are drawn toward you by a just sympathy since it is in your land that Liberty has fixed her abode, and by you that she is prized as by our fathers… We esteem you nearer than the nations on our frontiers… Free and prosperous yourselves you are desirous that all men should share the same blessings; that all should enjoy those rights to which all are by nature equally entitled. 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