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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

To preserve the status quo in Greece


Greece saved]

The island of Hydra and with it all Greece was saved. The subsequent course of Sultan Mahmoud was that of blind infatuation and fury. So far from accepting the European demands for an armistice, he put forward a peremptory request for an indemnity for the losses inflicted upon him. The Ambassadors of the Powers quitted Constantinople. It was then that the loss of Canning was felt in England. Instead of pursuing the vigorous policy to which it stood committed by the battle of Navarino, Great Britain hung back. Further intervention, with the profits accruing therefrom, was left to Russia.


[Sidenote: Peace of Tourkmanchay]

The time for undisturbed intervention in the East was most auspicious for Russia. Peace with Persia was concluded early in the year. By the treaty of Tourkmanchay, Fet Aly of Persia ceded to Russia the provinces of Erivan and Nakhitchevan and paid an indemnity of 20,000,000 roubles. The river Araxes was recognized as the frontier of both states. England's ascendency in Persia was effectually set at naught. Even in China Emperor Taouk-Wang felt encouraged to issue edicts prohibiting England's pernicious opium trade on the Chinese coast. Russia's armies were now let loose on Turkey.

[Sidenote: Independence of Greece]

justify;">[Sidenote: Capodistrias summoned]

[Sidenote: Russia's double game]

[Sidenote: Understanding with France]

In the meanwhile, the Greeks profited by the Turkish check at Navarino to assert themselves as an independent people. On January 18, Capodistrias, the former Prime Minister of Russia, was summoned from Geneva and made president of the Greek republic. His term of office was to last seven years. This eminent statesman justified his selection by immediate beneficent measures. A grand council of state was established and a national bank opened in Athens. With the help of France, immunity from further incursions from the Turks was practically assured. To preserve the _status quo_ in Greece, Russia undertook to limit its single handed war on Turkey to operations on the mainland and in the Black Sea. Within the waters of the Mediterranean the Czar proposed to continue as an armed neutral in harmony with the other Powers under the treaty of London, and, to allay the apprehensions of Austria, the Russian forces in the Balkans were ordered to carry their line of operations as far as possible from Austria's sphere of influence. A still more effectual check on Austria was secured by the Czar's secret encouragement of French aspirations toward the Rhine. Charles X. exposed the plot when he said: "If the Czar attacks Austria, I will hold myself in reserve and regulate my conduct according to circumstances. If Austria attacks, I will instantly march against her." As Prince Metternich put it, "The two powers were at one: France against the European _status quo_; Russia against that of the Orient."

[Sidenote: Holy War proclaimed in Turkey]

[Sidenote: Russia declares war]

[Sidenote: Early success]

Although the recent Turkish concessions to Russia left to the Czar

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