Having entered the Ottoman Empire after the fall of Constantinople (1453), Greece remained under its rule until the early decades of the 19th century. The imperial power, unchallenged for a long time, gradually fell apart due to the joint action of various internal and international factors. Among them, the weakening of central control and the consolidation of strong centrifugal tendencies played a crucial role, and the growing pressure of Russia on the Balkan Peninsula on the other. It was in this dual context that, in the last decades of the 18th century, the Greek nationalist movement began to take shape, which had its most important nucleus in the Phanariotes, the powerful Greek merchant aristocracy of Constantinople and the main Mediterranean emporiums, very influential at the very top of the Empire and,
Already in 1770, during the Russo-Turkish war, all of Greece rose, supported by the tsarist fleet, but the revolt failed due to a lack of efficient organization and the uncertainty of political objectives. The most immediate conditions for the struggle for independence against the Turks matured in the first decades of the nineteenth century and, more specifically, in the context of the European uprisings of the 1820s. The engine of the national uprising was Etheria, a patriotic secret society founded in Odessa in 1814 and led by Alessandro Ipsilanti, aide-de-camp to the Russian Tsar Alexander I. Thanks also to a complex game of international politics – in which Russia, Great Britain, France and Egypt played a decisive role – in 1821 Greece rose up: on 7 March Ipsilanti entered Moldavia, where he tried in vain to raise the Romanian population and then occupied Bucharest with a few Greeks, but was forced to take refuge in Hungary; instead the revolt in the South succeeded, led by his brother Demetrio. To the Turkish massacres of ecclesiastical notables and dignitaries in Fanari (the Greek quarter of Constantinople from which the Etheria originated) and elsewhere, the patriots responded by proclaiming, on January 1, 1822, the independence of Greece and establishing a national government with a head Alessandro Maurocordato. In favor of Greece, liberal public opinion in Europe moved and US President James Monroe also sent a message of solidarity to the insurgents. The intervention of the Egyptian fleet and army marked the crisis of the revolution: attacked in 1825, despite the heroic resistance (sieges of Missolungi and the Acropolis of Athens),
Hellenic independence then became a European political problem: the London conference for Greece convened in 1827 established the principle of Russian-Franco-British mediation to impose an armistice on the sultan and the recognition of Greek autonomy. But only after the destruction of the Turkish-Egyptian fleet by the three European powers in the Navarino harbor (1827) and a war campaign that saw the French fight in Morea and Russia engaged against Turkey, with the Peace of Adrianople (1829)) the defeated sultan undertook to accept that Greece would become an independent state.