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What independence for Greece? Abbé de Pradt’s point of view



What independence for Greece? Abbé de Pradt’s point of view


5 February 2021


"During almost the whole length of the war, between January 1822 and January 1828, Abbé de Pradt published seven works devoted partly or exclusively to the Greek question. As a result of this series of publications, he appeared rather as an expert, having a special place among the many French writers who voiced their opinion on the matter. However, he sparks our interest particularly because of his positions, which seem characteristic of the ambiguities of philhellenic discourse, particularly on what the independence of Greece should have been. He maintained strongly, on the one hand, that it ought to be conquered by the Greeks themselves, without the intervention of any foreign power, and that, for this reason, it was up to them alone to choose the form of their institutions. On the other hand, he also strongly emphasised the advantages Europe could gain from this independence, with the new state notably being a mound against the expansion of Russian power. Not only should its territory and population be formed according to this strategic purpose, but its political regime as well. In the paper we try to show how de Pradt linked these two apparently conflicting prospects, and how their system evolved from one book to the other according to how events unfolded."

From the book of abstracts of the conference, as it was published on Intiative's 1821-2021 website.

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