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Greece's 1821 as an international event: its impact on America



Greece's 1821 as an international event: its impact on America


25 March 2021


The Greek Revolution of 1821 impacted the United States in many ways which this paper explores before offering an overall interpretation of the phenomenon of American philhellenism in the early 19th century. On the eve of the revolution there was evidence of the admiration Americans held for Classical Greece with the emergence of “Greek Revival Architecture”. When news came of the modern Greeks fighting for their freedom against the Ottomans there was a wave of sympathy throughout America. The Congress debated the possibility of offering direct help to the insurgents but the proposal was narrowly defeated in the name of non-intervention in European affairs, a policy known as the Monroe Doctrine. But private citizens rallied to Greece’s cause: a few brave volunteers went to fight on the side of the Greeks, many others formed philhellenic committees in Boston, New York and Philadelphia to raise fund to support the insurgents. They were motivated by feelings of solidarity for fellow Christians, humanitarian concern about the suffering civilians and above all by the resonance that the goal of freedom had Among Americans who saw parallels between their war against the British and the Greek war against the Ottomans. The significance of the message of freedom for Americans was confirmed subsequently when the anti-slavery Abolitionist cause drew inspiration from the Greek uprising.

(Edited description from organiser’s website)

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Sponsors: Andrew Panna QC. Corporate sponsors: Delphi Bank, Delphi Accounting, Symposiarch

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