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The Hellenic Republic, which is usually called Greece, is situated in southern Europe at the crossroads of Europe, Africa, an Asia. This unitary parliamentary republic includes the mainland of Greece, 227 inhabited islands, and somewhere between 1,200 and 6,000 uninhabited islands. It is located southmost tip of the Balkan Peninsula bordered by the countries of Albania to the northwest, Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. The nation has one of the longest coastlines in the world, with the Aegean Sea east of the Greek mainland, the Cretan and Mediterranean Seas to the south, and the Ionian Sea to the west. The capital and largest city of Greece is Athens.

It is frequently called the cradle of Western civilization in that it is the birthplace of Western philosophy, the Olympic games, democracy, Western literature as well as Western drama, and major mathematical and scientific principles.

Around 2900 BC, during the Bronze Age, early Aegean cultures began to emerge, and in the eighth century BC, the Greeks lived in independent city-states called polis, which were spread throughout all of the Mediterranean region and the Black Sea. Philip II of Macedon unified most of the Greek mainland in the fourth century, while his son Alexander the Great was conquering the ancient world. It was annexed by Rome and was part of the Byzantine Empire and was conquered by the Ottoman Empire beginning in the 15th century.

In 1814, while Greece was still being ruled by the Ottomans, a secret organization of nationalist Greeks in Odessa, which was home to members of the Greek diaspora, called the Filiki Eteria, or "Friendly Society" was formed with the goal of overthrowing the Ottoman rule of Greece and freeing Greeks from the oppressive rule of the Ottoman Empire. They were hoping to launch simultaneous uprisings in the Danubian Principalities, the Peloponnese, and Constantinople, among other places.

In 1820, Alexander Ypsilantis, a prince of the Danubian Principalities and a senior officer in the Russian Imperial Army during the Napoleonic Wars, was elected the leader of the organization. His plan was to involve all Balkan Christians in the planned rebellion and force Russia to intervene. To that end, he issued a proclamation calling all Christians and Greeks to rebel against the Ottomans.

In March of 1821, Orthodox Bishop Germanos of Patras declared a national uprising. Uprisings all over Greece began simultaneously. The Greeks recaptured many of the regions in the country as they surprised the unarmed Ottoman settlements. Approximately 40% of the Muslims in the Peloponnese were killed during the siege and the survivors were either deported or successfully fled. The Ottomans retaliated by massacring entire towns which garnered support for the Greeks from the governments of France and Britain. The people from the island of Hydra, who had become rich during the Napoleonic Wars running British blockades, had become the leading naval power the nation with more than 125 merchant ships converted to military ships.

In 1827, a force made up of British, Russian, and French navies razed the Ottoman and Egyptian armadas, and Greek expatriate Ioannis Kapodistrias returned to Greece as the President of the new Republic of Greece. He made several enemies of members of the military, and actions such as raising the customs rates alienated the merchant families. Kapodistrias steadfastly refused to convene the National assembly and was thought by many Greeks to have become a despot.

French troops landed in the Peloponnese in the fall of 1828 with the stated mission of quelling the Ottoman atrocities, and in 1829, the Greek War of Independence was won and the Ottomans granted independence to the Greeks, although they were not recognized as an independent country until 1832.

After the revolution, Mavromichalis Petrobey, a leader of the people of the the Mani Peninsula and a hero during the war, became a member of the new Greek Senate under President Kapadistrias, clashed repeatedly with the president mainly due to the latter's establishment of a centralized regional administrated, peopled by political appointees which ran counter to the traditional system of family loyalties. Petroney's brother Tzanis, who let a revolt against the governor of Lakonia, and the senator himself were invited to meet with the president to negotiate a solution and were thrown from prison. Their brother instants and his son Georgios assassinated the president on the steps of the church he was about to attend. Kapodistrias's brother Augustinos took his place, but six months later, King Otto replaced him.

In 1974, democracy was restored after a referendum, and King Constantine II became the final monarch of Greece.



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