Kalliope Pavli, Ph.D.

Post-doctoral Fellow

Panteion University, Faculty of Political Sciences and History
Research Centre for Modern History
Athens, Greece



On Colonialism and its legacy to the Greek scholars

 at the era of Greek military campaign in Asia Minor


Postdoctoral Research




       The late 19th century is characterised by the sharpening of the struggle for colonies and by the intensification of the economic monopolies, following the expansion of the so-called Industrial Revolution in regions that provided raw materials and markets. Colonialism appeared as the "spirit of world" and doctrine of development, as it was propagated by the colonial “blockbuster” exhibitions; trade shows with antiquities and products from the colonies spiced up by the popular “Human Zoos”, based on the anthropologists’ motto “to see is to know”. In such an imperialist and racist frame, the internal disintegration of the Ottoman Empire, of the most politically charged regions, facilitated the British, German and French capital to take over control in banks, navigation trade, mining, water supply, railways; goods whose their unequal distribution in colonies was the evidence of the capitalistic interests and their established colonial regulations.

       The Greek ruling class supported the Europeans’ ambitions in the shape of the post-war world. Greek scholars were also certain that colonialism transfers civilization and wealth from the colonisers to the colonised areas, bringing up economic and educational development. Thus, the military campaign in Asia Minor hadn’t been simply a matter of historical (mis)conception  based on the “since ever pure” and “solid” Greekness of Asia Minor and its “liberation”—even if the ethno-historical myths and the archaeological interpretations added a widely accepted gloss in the war. For a moment’s reflection was enough to convince that the Greek army walked on a land of multiple layers of history as it was pointed out in the treatise of Kalliope Pavli, “The excavations held by the Greek State in Asia Minor during the Greek military campaign of 1919-1922”; the Anatolian context before and after the immigration of the Greek tribes and the continuous populations movement that created a multi-ethnic environment. After all, the Greek upper class never hide, as show the primary sources, that their deepest aim was the Anatolian’s raw materials, praising the efforts of the Greek bankers and industrialists to increase through the war —and because of it— their profit. Besides the fact that Prince George, who served as a major general, explicitly addressed the campaign as “colonial”, the Greek maritime shipping was in its peak between the years 1919 and 1922 and the growth of the Greek banks had been quite remarkable: they loaned money to farmers and kings with high interest rates, and the Greek state as well, in order to continue the Greek-Turkish war in Asia.

      Colonialism reflected a certain socio-economic development. This postdoctoral research aims, taking account of the reality of the late 19th-early 20th century, to present aspects of the late colonial era in relation to the Greek bourgeois class and their necessity to become more effective economically.


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