Europe 1821: Greek War of Independence
In 1814 a secret organization called the Filiki Eteria was formed to liberate Greece from centuries of Ottoman rule. The revolution began in early 1821, with rebellions in Moldavia and Wallachia (which were ruled by Greek princes). By March the revolution had spread to Greece itself, where Greek nationalists gained control of most of the country by the end of the year.
23 Oct–17 Dec 1820 Congress of Troppau▲
Tsar Alexander I of Russia, Emperor Francis I of Austria, and the crown prince (later Frederick William IV) of Prussia met at Troppau (Opava) in Austrian Silesia to discuss the July 1820 revolution in the Kingdom of Two Sicilies; they were joined by representatives of Britain and France. The three eastern powers—which together headed the Holy Alliance—agreed to the ‘Troppau Protocol’, denouncing governments formed through revolution and excluding them from the European Alliance. The conference was then adjourned for the year, to be resumed at Laibach in January.
12 Jan–12 May 1821 Congress of Laibach▲
In 1821 the European powers of Austria, Prussia, and Russia—which together headed the Holy Alliance—and representatives of Britain and France met at Laibach (Ljubljana) in the Austrian Duchy of Carniola to continue the discussions began at Troppau the previous year. They were joined by King Ferdinand of the Two Sicilies, who requested aid against the revolution in his country. The Congress authorized Austrian intervention in support of Ferdinand, although British and French reservations on the decision signaled the decline of the Congress System.
2 Feb–7 Jun 1821 Wallachian Uprising of 1821▲
In early 1821 Tudor Vladimirescu, in contact with Alexander Ypsilantis of the Filiki Eteria, led a revolt in Oltenia, the western region of the Ottoman tributary state of Wallachia. Vladimirescu’s Pandurs and Ypsilantis’ Sacred Band converged to capture Bucharest in March, but soon fell into conflict. In June Ypsilantis’ agents seized and murdered Vladimirescu, even as invading Ottoman troops regained control in Wallachia.
6 Mar–29 Jun 1821 Ypsilantis Rebellion▲
In October 1820 Alexander Ypsilantis, a Phanariot prince of the Danubian principalities, announced that he would soon lead the Filiki Eteria—a Greek nationalist secret society—in revolt against the Ottoman Empire. In early March 1821 Moldavia revolted in favor of the Filiki Eteria and in 25 March Ypsilantis crossed the Pruth into Wallachia. Despite capturing Bucharest with the help of Wallachian rebels, Ypsilantis failed to gain Russian support and was defeated by the Ottomans at Drăgășani in June.
7 Mar–18 Oct 1821 Defeat of the Carbonari▲
In February 1821 the Austrian Empire agreed to King Ferdinand of the Two Sicilies request to send an army to suppress the Carbonari revolution in his kingdom. Austrian troops crossed the border in March, defeating the Carbonari at Rieti and advancing to retake Naples later that month. In October the king signed a treaty with Austria, allowing for a three-year period of Austrian occupation while order was restored. Recovery took longer than expected and the last Austrian forces would only depart in March 1827, during the reign of Ferdinand’s son, Francis.
10 Mar–8 Apr 1821 Carbonari Revolt in Piedmont▲
In March 1821 the 22-year-old Charles Albert, Prince of Carignano and heir presumptive to the throne of Sardinia, was persuaded to support a liberal revolution. Although Charles Albert quickly changed his mind and alerted all involved, the revolutionaries went ahead anyway, gaining control of most of Piedmont. In response, King Victor Emmanuel abdicated in favor of his brother Charles Felix, who asked Austria for assistance. The Austrians intervened in April, defeating the revolutionaries at Novara and restoring Piedmont to Sardinian rule.
29 Mar 1821–27 Jan 1822 Greek Revolution▲
Inspired by Ypsilantis’ rebellion in the Danubian Principalities, Greeks in the Peloponnese declared war on the Ottoman Empire in late March 1821, followed by Central Greece in early April. By the end of May, Samos and Crete had joined the uprising and the Greek rebels were in Athens besieging Ottoman forces in the Acropolis (which would finally fall in June 1822). In January 1822 revolutionaries from the Peloponnese, Central Greece, and the Aegean islands met at Piada (Nea Epidaurus) and formally proclaimed Greek independence.
22 Apr 1821 Death of Patriarch Gregory V▲
In retaliation for the 1821 Greek uprising against Ottoman rule, Sultan Mahmud II ordered Ottoman forces to march into the Greek Patriarchal Cathedral of St George in Constantinople on Easter Sunday and seize Patriarch Gregory V. The Patriarch was hanged from the main gate of the Patriarchate compound, where his dead body was left for two days. This action was followed by a massacre of the Greek population of the city.