Vintage: Greece (late 19th Ccentury)

Vintage: Greece (late 19th Ccentury)


Greece remained a very poor country throughout the 19th century. The country lacked raw materials, infrastructure and capital. Agriculture was mostly at the subsistence level, and the only important export commodities were currants, raisins and tobacco. Some Greeks grew rich as merchants and shipowners, and Piraeus became a major port, but little of this wealth found its way to the Greek peasantry. Greece remained hopelessly in debt to London finance houses.

By the 1890s Greece was virtually bankrupt. Poverty was rife in the rural areas and the islands, and was eased only by large-scale emigration to the United States. There was little education in the rural areas. Nevertheless, there was progress in building communications and infrastructure, and fine public buildings were erected in Athens. Despite the bad financial situation, Athens staged the revival of the Olympic Games in 1896, which proved a great success.
The Hellenic Parliament in the 1880s, with PM Charilaos Trikoupis standing at the podium.

The parliamentary process developed greatly in Greece during the reign of George I. Initially, the royal prerogative in choosing his prime minister remained and contributed to governmental instability, until the introduction of the dedilomeni principle of parliamentary confidence in 1875 by the reformist Charilaos Trikoupis. Clientelism and frequent electoral upheavals however remained the norm in Greek politics, and frustrated the country’s development.

Ermoupoli, Greece, 1865

Ermoupoli, Greece, 1865

Chania port, Greece, 1868

Chania port, Greece, 1868

Plaka from Acropolis, Greece, 1868

Plaka from Acropolis, Greece, 1868

Monastiraki, Athens, Greece, 1869

Monastiraki, Athens, Greece, 1869

Royal Palace from Acropolis, Greece, circa 1870-90

Royal Palace from Acropolis, Greece, circa 1870-90

Tourists on Parthenon, Athens, Greece, circa 1860

Tourists on Parthenon, Athens, Greece, circa 1860

Corfu, Greece, 1875

Corfu, Greece, 1875

Corfu port, Greece, circa 1880

Corfu port, Greece, circa 1880

Corfu, Greece, circa 1880

Corfu, Greece, circa 1880

Kerameikos, Athens, Greece, 1882

Kerameikos, Athens, Greece, 1882

Athens from Acropolis, Greece, circa 1860

Athens from Acropolis, Greece, circa 1860

Piraeus, Greece, 1889

Piraeus, Greece, 1889

Athens street scenes, Greece, 1890

Athens street scenes, Greece, 1890

Mytilene port, Lesbos, Greece, 1890

Mytilene port, Lesbos, Greece, 1890

Syntagma, Athens, Greece, 1890

Syntagma, Athens, Greece, 1890

Athens from Acropolis, Greece, circa 1860

Athens from Acropolis, Greece, circa 1860

Hephaisteion, Acropolis, Greece, circa 1860

Hephaisteion, Acropolis, Greece, circa 1860

Jupiter temple, Athens, Greece, circa 1860

Jupiter temple, Athens, Greece, circa 1860

Piraeus, Greece, 1860

Piraeus, Greece, 1860


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