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Imperial and national liberation schemes: The case of the Peloponnese



Imperial and national liberation schemes: The case of the Peloponnese

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6 February 2021


"By virtue of occupying a central position amid the competing projects of European forces in the eastern Mediterranean in the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Peloponnese was central to cultivating the idea of secession from the Ottoman Empire. This prospective presentation examines the conspiratorial movements and secessionist enterprises that unfolded in the Peloponnese in 1770, 1808–9, and 1821; nonetheless it also addresses the efforts on behalf of the Philiki Etaireia to approach the other Balkan peoples, such as the Serbians and the Montenegrins, but primarily the Albanians, as potential allies against the Ottomans. This plan resembles the vision of Rigas and the Russian imperial aspirations as well. The talk stresses the similarities and dissimilarities of these conspiratorial plans, and investigates the continuities and discontinuities through which the idea of liberation – that is, of liberation from Ottoman rule – was received. The presentation does not treat these conspiratorial movements as “stages” or “episodes” of a unified and continuous course towards national liberation, although the national movement espoused and remoulded those earlier projects so that they served its own political agenda."

(Slightly modified abstract from the Initiative 1821-2021 website)

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