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History of the Hellenic Republic

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Title: History of the Hellenic Republic  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Nikolaos Politis, Alexandros Skouzes, Pavlos Oikonomou-Gouras, Alexandros Karapanos, Loukas Kanakaris-Roufos
Collection: History of Modern Greece, Political History of Greece, Republicanism in Greece, Second Hellenic Republic
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

History of the Hellenic Republic

Part of a series on the
Part of a map of the Mediterranean Sea and adjacent regions by William Faden, March 1785
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The history of the Hellenic Republic constitutes three discrete republican periods in the modern history of Greece: from 1822 until 1832; from 1924 until 1935; and from 1974 through to the present. See also the constitutional history of Greece.


  • First Hellenic Republic (1822–1832) 1
  • Second Hellenic Republic (1924–1935) 2
  • Third Hellenic Republic (1974-) 3
  • External links 4

First Hellenic Republic (1822–1832)

The First Hellenic Republic (Greek: Αʹ Ελληνική Δημοκρατία) is a historiographic term used for a series of councils and "Provisional Governments" during the Greek War of Independence. In the first stages of the uprising, various areas elected their own regional governing councils. These were replaced by central administration at the First National Assembly of Epidaurus in early 1822, which also adopted the first Greek Constitution. A series of National Assemblies followed, while Greece was threatened with collapse due to civil war and the victories of Ibrahim Pasha.

In 1827, the Third National Assembly at Troezen selected Count Ioannis Kapodistrias as Governor of Greece for a term of seven years. He arrived in 1828 and established the Hellenic State, ruling with quasi-dictatorial powers. He was assassinated by political rivals in 1831 and was succeeded by his brother, Augustinos Kapodistrias until in 1832 the Great Powers declared Greece a Kingdom and selected the Bavarian Prince Otto to be its king.

Second Hellenic Republic (1924–1935)

The failed royalist coup was asked by the parliament to leave Greece so the nation could decide what form of government it should adopt. In 1924, the Republic was proclaimed and confirmed by plebiscite.

The first President of the Hellenic Republic was Pavlos Kountouriotis, an Admiral and supporter of Venizelos who resigned after a coup d'état in 1925. He was succeeded by the coup's leader General Theodoros Pangalos, who was likewise deposed by the military 5 months later after embroiling Greece in the War of the Stray Dog. Kountouriotis was reinstated and reelected to the office in 1929, but was forced to resign for health reasons later that year. He was succeeded by Alexandros Zaimis, who served until the restoration of monarchy in 1935.

Despite a period of stability and relative prosperity under the last government of Eleftherios Venizelos in 1928–1932, the effects of the Great Depression were severely felt, and political instability returned. Although the opposition People's Party, which represented the royalist and anti-Venizelos factions of the electorate, had pledged to support the Republic, its imminent rise to power after the March 1933 elections caused fears of a return to the monarchy. A Venizelist coup was launched but quickly suppressed.

Following the outbreak of another Panagis Tsaldaris, and Kondylis declared himself Regent. He abolished the Republic and staged a plebiscite on 11 November which resulted in return of King George II to the country.

Third Hellenic Republic (1974-)

The current Third Hellenic Republic (Greek: Γʹ Ελληνική Δημοκρατία) was declared in 1974 during the Metapolitefsi (Greek, "regime change"), after the end of the Regime of the Colonels which had controlled Greece since the coup d'état of 21 April 1967.

The Junta had already held a staged controlled democratization was ended by the hardliners under Brigadier Dimitrios Ioannides, who overthrew Papadopoulos in November 1973 in the aftermath of the Athens Polytechnic uprising. The Republic was maintained, but was nothing more than a façade for the military regime until August 1974, when the Turkish invasion of Cyprus led to the collapse of the Junta.

After the fall of the regime and the return to civilian rule in August 1974 however, the legal and constitutional acts of the Junta were deemed invalid, and a new referendum was held on 8 December 1974, which finally abolished the monarchy. A new Constitution, promulgated on 11 June 1975, declared Greece a presidential parliamentary democracy (or republic – the Greek δημοκρατία can be translated both ways). This constitution, revised in 1985, 2001 and 2008, is still in force today.

External links

  • Hellenic Parliament – Constitutional History of Greece
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