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Russia and the Making of Modern Greek Identity, 1821–1844$
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Lucien J. Frary

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198733775

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198733775.001.0001

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Absolutism under Siege

Absolutism under Siege

(p.204) Chapter 6 Absolutism under Siege
Russia and the Making of Modern Greek Identity, 1821–1844

Lucien J. Frary

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the 1843 Revolution and National Assembly of 1844 in Greece from the perspective of Russian archives. Analysis of the background and course of these events provides a means of evaluating Russia’s attitudes toward constitutionalism, nationalism, and foreign intervention when tsarist ideology was under threat. Russian archival materials help clarify many misconceptions in the historiography regarding the coup and the actions of the Russian ambassador. The episode sheds light on the reactions of Russian officials to a revolt led by their partisans, and provides an interesting case study of the functioning of the tsarist government when absolutism was under siege. Although tsarist censors sanitized the events, the Russian reading public remained well informed about the changes taking place in Greece. Although Tsar Nicholas opposed the rebellion, he abstained from forceful intervention, in part because the National Assembly of 1844 championed the religious aspect of Greek national identity.

Keywords:   Greek Revolution of 1843, Russian foreign policy, Russian–Greek relations, Greek Constitution of 1844, Eastern Orthodoxy, Russian embassy in Athens, Eastern Question, Megali Idea, national identity

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