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Dbq-Greek Ottoman Empire

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The greeks, between the eighteenth century and early nineteenth century, fought for independence from the Ottoman impire. In 1821, when the Greeks revolted against Ottoman turk rule, the Concert of Europe was hardly invoked at all. The cries for freedom from that home of ancient democracy excited liberals throughout Europe, and early demonstration of the power of nationalist movements that would be repeated throughout the century. By 1827, British and French fleets intervened to support the Greek's outburst for freedom, with help from many of Europe's countries, greece finally gained independence in 1829. During their struggle for independence, there was a variety of views coming from people throughout Europe. Many European countries supported this act, while others felt it was very important for the Greeks to stay under rule of the Ottoman empire. The point of views varied from liberal minded people who had negative feelings towards the turks, who were autonomies, therefore sympathized for the Greeks wanting to self-rule, a christian perspective (many of which also happen to be greek), and lastly, the Turks point of view; who would do anything in their power to keep the Greek's from gaining independence.

Europe, at this time, was going through an era when Britain, France, and Russia displayed a willingness to use force, a preoccupation with their own self-interest, and an eagerness to carve up the ottoman Empire that foreshadowed the practice of imperialism later in the century. Meaning that them supporting Greece's independence was more of a selfish act, due to the reason that they only wanted to free Greece so that the Ottoman empire would loose power, causing their empire to be highly ranked with power. Sneyd Davis, and English writer wrote a poem titled "To His Friend and Neighbor Dr. Thomas Taylor," 1744, "Go, search for Athens;her deserted ports, Enter- a noiseless, solitary shore...Upon the mount where once the muses sung, Sits the gruff Turkish captain, and exacts Harsh tribute! In the grove where Plato* taught A stupid Turk is preaching ignorance." (doc 1) He clearly, is for the Greeks gaining independence. But this statement is biased, it is expressed that he has negative feelings towards the Turks, and therefore would want them to loose Greece under their power. Being as he is English, his government has taught the English nation to be against other empires, the Ottoman being one of them. Claude Etienne Savary, a French scholar of Greek and Arabic, wrote a letter in 1778 saying, "Let me not be accused of painting the Turks in darker colors that they deserve, but I have traveled through their empire and have seen the injuries of every kind which they have blood boils in my veins and i would wish to excite all Europe to combine against these Turks who have crushed the Greek nation." (doc 3) For I am sure, this man does sympathize for the Greeks to some extend, seeing as he is a scholar for the Greeks. But he is also a French man, consequently, he too is biased in saying this. France at the time, was also a very imperialistic country, so he supports the Greek independence with dissenting animosity towards the Turks. James Dallaway wrote a litter to his English friend expressing some interesting thoughts. He says "The richer Greeks are very devious and intriguing, and with very limited exception, only less ignorant than their turkish masters. The lower ranks are the merriest creatures imaginable, but are untrustworthy, and awake to every advantage, (doc 5)" Dallaway shares that he doesn't necessarily "like" the Greek people, whether they be upper or lower class, but they are less ignorant than the Turks. Being a champlain to the English community in Constantinople, he is probably also a nationalist. Any nationalist would feel similar to this; believing their nation exceeds all others, which is why he vividly writes that he has little respect for either the Turkish Empire or the Greeks themselves. In 1806, a pamphlet titled The Greek Monarchy or a Word about Freedom, states, "The Ottoman state today finds itself in its death throes. O Greeks, learn forever that the weapons of justice are unconquerable, and that Ottomans will flee from the armed Greeks..the Greeks are neither savage nor of worthless spirit, as are their enemies...The hour has approached, O Greeks, for the liberation of our motherland!" (doc 6) This pamphlet was published in Italy, since italy was not imperialistic, they had nothing against the ottoman Empire, although they were very nationalsitic. For that reason, the Italian people think it is fair and right for the greeks to gain freedom. They believe that no country should have to be ruled by anyone but themselves, as a result, they support the Greeks in every way gaining the right of freedom. Percy Bysshe Shelley, and English poet, wrote is a preface to his poem "Hellas" (Greece), in 1821, "Greece; and the wise and generous policy of England would consist in establishing the independence of Greece, and it maintaining it against both Russia and the Turks" (doc 7) This statement is incredibly biased. England, during this time, was in a competition against both Russia and the Turks. They were all (especially England) imperialistic countries, up against each other to conquer the majority of Europe. That would make this statement biased as the person writing it is English, they want to Greece to gain independence for the pure selfish reason so their own country can be in "higher power" compared to the Ottoman Empire. Edward Blaquiere, an English organizer and fundraiser for the London Greek Committee, states "The fortress or Navario, which surrendered soon after the uprising began in 1821, was the scene of another tragedy, to which only wars between slaves and their masters ever give rise...The fury of the Greek troops, worked up to madness was therefore vented on the Turkish garrison, of whom a considerable number were massacred." (doc 8)There is no clear opinion in this document, he is not leaning towards the Turks or the Greeks. More or less, he is just stating facts about a series of events that is occurring. Based on the fact that this is an English fundraiser, it is written so that English people will sympathize for the Greeks, again for the reason that England wants to see the Ottoman Empire fail. As these documents have presented, Europe was very supportive of the Greeks becoming independent from the Ottoman Empire. Whether it was a selfish, imperialistic act, or true belief that each country should have the right to freedom, the overall support around Europe was a big contribution to the Greeks achieving the independence that was achieved.

Another point of view that was expressed in Europe towards the Greeks movement for independence from the Turks was a Christian perspective.



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