Introduction

          The modern centaury witnesses a new phenomenon in the form of “Nationalism ‘through out the 18 th, 19th and 20th centuries. By comprising three indispensable part of the nations –national autonomy, national identity and national unity ,the term nationalism itself explains it as an ideological movement which allots and maintains the autonomy, identity and unity for the population in which some of its members  constitute actual and potential nation.(1).It means the person should be a member of the nation ,if he is  not the member there may  some disagreement arise as there are no common characteristics, common language and culture to maintain their tradition.(2)

          The origin of the nationalism, we can say, began in Greece as the result of the Revolution 1821.During the 1st Balkan war the Greek and Bulgarian government has been in uncertainty regarding the coalition along with Serbia and Montenegro to destroy the festering Empire of Ottomen. So it was one of the troubled uncertainties on the part of Greek to pave the way for   “megal idea’. Moreover the affiliation with Orthodox Church was always misunderstood with ethnic affiliation as the Bulgarian was attached with separate Bulgarian Exarchate church. (3)

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1. D.A Smith, Nationalism, Cambridge, Polity Press, 2001

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2. M. Wessels, Nationalism: Construct or Reality, Oldenburg, Moormerland, 2002

3. Carl Savich, Macedonia and First Balken War, Publ. Balkanalysis, Issue no.04, 2004

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           In 1830’s the Greek politics recognised the significance of the Megale idea widely .During this era, Greek leaders urged to liberate the Greeks in abroad but turned to be a contingency regarding their liberation.  In1885 when the Bulgarians expanded their province in to Eastern Roumellia , the political leader of Greek Theodoros Deliyannis mustered the Greek army to conquer more  territories for Greece. Consequently a war out broke in between the Greek and Turky over the Island of Crete .But Ottoman defeated the Greece which led the economic crisis, military weakness, political corruption and bankruptcy in Greek government .Even though Greek was defeated badly and the so called crisis went on the me gale idea retained its political significance in the later stages also.(3)

          In 1903 the Greek had to meet another crush when the Paul Melas ,a commissioned officer in Greek Army was killed  while he was rendering secret service in Macedonia which sparked allegations against Greek as they interfered inside the Turky. But later the Greek guerrillas secured the southern half of the Macedonia .But the Young Turk revolution of 1908 and another revolt on the island of Crete turned to be the major root of the disadvantage of the Greek horde to capture other unions.(4)

        In 1909 some officers in the Greek army put forward complaints on financial and tax

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3. Arnold J.Toynabee and Kenneth, D. Kirkwood, Turky, Ernst Benn: London, 2006

4. Stephen W. Sowards, Greek Nationalism: The Megale Idea to Venizelism 1923, 2004

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reforms with regard to the improvement and expansion of the army. Even though a ministry was appointed to solve the problems, the new pointed prime minister turned down the reform and appointed usual associates. Later the prime minister started court martial proceedings against the army protestors. The Athens group of Army began Rebellion and marched to Goudhi and warned the government to occupy the capital. Consequently there was swift action for the demands related to the reforms passed.(4)

         But the speedy reaction of the actions did not reflect in later stages. The army officers were annoyed with the legislature. They needed a person who is familiar with the legislative negotiating skills in order to support them in unfastening legislative difficulties. This led to the appointment of the Cretan politician Eletherious Venizelos as their adviser and spokesperson. Venizelos had taken significant role in 1896 revolt in which the great power granted some degree of autonomous power to Island of Crete under Turkish rule. He was known as political genius among his crowd.(5)

        Later the reformers took over the government after the election they invited Venizelos to lead them. He was the adamant speaker of the moral regeneration of Greece even though he was not the citizen of Greece. He won the support of the King as he showed his positive attitude in monarchy. In late 1910’s Greek witnessesed another

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5. Richard Clogg, The concise history of Greece, Richard Clogg, The concise history of Greece, Cambridge University Press, 2002

6. ibid 4

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elections Venizelist won majority seats.

          The Venizelists were the rigid advocates of Megale idea. During the world war the issue regarding the national expansion raised and the Venizelos recognition of irredentism went on catastrophe in their image. The Venizelists wanted to expand the territory to access more resources and markets. Any how they succeeded in expanding the territories, mainly after the Balkan wars of 1912-1913 and it turned to more strength to the party of Venezolism. But these wars caused negative impact on the relationship of Venizelos and the King who was against the wars. When Bulgaria attacked Serbia ,Venezelos invited the British and French troops to land at Salonika on the basis of Greco-Serb treaty of 1830 and this empowered the British-French acting as th protector of Greek state.

         Anyhow after Russian revolution the area of Constantinople became the part of Turky and they allowed Greece to act in Anatolia. In 1920 a treaty of peace was drawn between the Greek and the Turky, consequently a large part of Anatolia has become the autonomous zone of Greece. But the severe refusal of Turkish nationalists led Turkish defy back and the Greece forces had to move back to Izmir. Later, a revised peace with Turkey  made a million Greeks from Turkey were transferred to Macedonia in exchange for a smaller number of Muslims.(7)

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7. ibid 4, 6

Conclusion

       The loss of Greece in Anatolia caused great debacle in Greek politics and Megale idea. During the period of 1920-1930, the megale idea was in its peak of catastrophe and it was mainly due to the political rivalry. But the fact is that the shadow of the megal idea is still apparent in Greece; the Cyprus crisis is the best example for the megal idea.

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Bibliography

1. Arnold J.Toynabee and Kenneth, D. Kirkwood, Turky, Ernst Benn: London, 2006

2. Carl Savich, Macedonia and First Balken War, Publ. Balkanalysis, Issue no.04, 2004

3. D.A Smith, Nationalism, Cambridge, Polity Press, 2001

4. M. Wessels, Nationalism: Construct or Reality, Oldenburg, Moormerland, 2002

5. Richard Clogg, The concise history of Greece, Cambridge University Press,2002

6. Stephen W. Sowards, Greek Nationalism: The Megale Idea to Venizelism 1923,

Twenty-Five Lectures on Modern Balkan History, 2004

 

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