Time in Samos, Greece:

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Modern History

Posted On 11 Jan 2016
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As commerce starts to develop and living conditions are improved, the notions of the French Revolution come in, to influence an up-coming social class, creating the movement of “Carmanioles” which, in the early 19th century, seeks to overthrow the Potentates, supplant the Ottomans and to normalize taxes. In the years 1805-1812 there are intense, bloody conflicts between the “Carmanioles” and the “Kalikantzari” parties, with the former finally dominating and becoming carriers of the ideals of the oncoming Revolution. Reactions against the Turkish oppressor gradually intensify, while Lycurgus Logothetis becomes the leader.

On his side is Captain Stamatis Georgiadis. In the city of Samos, Revolution starts on April 18, 1821, and in Karlovasi on May, 8, 1821. The fights of the people (1821-1826) earn them freedom and independence! New social structures are formed, with a General Congress of Representatives having lawmaking, executive and judicatory authorities. In 1830, the foreign Forces decide, through the London Protocol, that Samos should remain outside of the fledgling Hellenic State. In 1834 a new Hegemonic (or Magisterial) Government is established, and all Samian rebels are exiled. However, in 1849, the Samians revolt against the Hegemonic Government, banish the Ruler, Stefanos Vogoridis and fully restructure all social institutions. The Samian Hegemony (or Magistracy) is reconstructed and it the new reality, bringing the island once again in a time of political and spiritual progress, while establishing full independence. The capital is transferred from Hora to Vathi, in order to boost commerce. Values for a new regime are being formed, with a General Assembly annually, unified budget, while many public works are undertaken. Meanwhile an Educational system is developed, with schools in every village and the creation of Commercial Schools. Printing offices are created, newspapers and books, as well as many important scientific (mathematical, historical studies) and spiritual (literary, philosophical) works are being written and published. After 1850 the island reaches a more drastic boom of development, with commerce, industry and shipping playing key roles. This period sports a great number of pieces of architecture, mostly in the city of Vathi. The waterfront of the harbor is constructed, as well as the Hegemonic Manor, the Pythagoras Square, the Hospital, the Public Market, the Court-house Hall, the Pythagoras High school, the Prison Buildings- which host the Historical Archives today, the Houses of Parliament- which today is the Town-hall, the Paschalis Archive House – today an archaeological museum, the Mavrogenios Schools, along with numerous more buildings preserved and used until today. Life takes a new meaning, without, however, straying from traditions. It is enriched with features that are far more cosmopolitan, such as the official celebrations for the anniversary of the arrival of the Ruler, or his name day, or even the name day of the King of Greece.

The Balkan Wars that follow cause great concern to the island and in 1912 the Samians seek the unification with the rest of Greece. Aided by the mediation and the persistence of Themistocles Sofoulis the incorporation into the Greek State is carried out with a symbolic occupation of the island by the Greek Fleet, which raises the Greek Flag. This will determine the course of the island in the 20th century. Even though commerce, intimate relation with the peoples of Asia Minor, and prosperity dwindle, Greece offers safety and security for the future. During this period Samos accommodates innumerable immigrants (especially in 1922) who aid in the cultivation of tobacco, being cheap laborers. Besides, tannery remains active at that time, and the Viniculture’s Union is formed. During the rough years of WWII the Samians are ravaged by the looting of the Italians (1941-1943) and German bombardments (1943-1944). After the War the Samians find themselves in opposing sides and are driven to the bloody Civil War of 1947-1949. This fierce decade, which had paralyzed the island, leads to an intense migration flux, especially towards foreign countries (Australia, USA, and Germany). The resurgence of the island starts in the 70ies, when Tourism development gradually begins, thrusting the island into a new developmental course which is being strengthened ever since and being a major enterprise. At the same time, the very existence of military personnel, as well as the Aegean University over the past few years has brought about great vivacity.

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