|John Kapodistrias and Rigas Velestinlis (or Pheraios)|
...continued from part three.
12. The Russian Design and the Proposal of John Kapodistrias
Within this prism we must interpret the proposal of Russia in 1824: to divide the already microscopic, at that time, state of Greece into three autonomous principalities in imitation of the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia.(3) Bessarabia and the Crimea with its Romaiic population had already become a part of Russia.
Having this tactic of the Russians in view, as well as the plans of Rigas Velestinlis, John Kapodistrias, as soon as he received his duties as President of Greece in April of 1828, proposed to the Russians the establishment of the Balkan confederation of five autonomous states - Dacia, Serbia, Macedonia, Epirus and Greece - and the conversion of Constantinople into a free city.(4)
13. The Provincial Name Becomes One of a State and Nation
From the proposal of John Kapodistrias it is clearly seen that the name Hellas and Hellenes in the consciousness and tradition of Romiosini is neither a state nor a nation, but a province,(5) and because of this it expanded into Macedonia and Epirus.
For this reason in the Constitutions of 1822, 1823, 1827 and 1832 the Hellenes are only the indigenous provinces of the old Romaiic province of Greece. That is, the provincial name became national. The Roman revolutionaries in other places were given the right to become Hellenes, but only when they came and settled permanently in Greece. The Romans outside of Greece were not considered constitutional Hellenes because they went to battle, but only when and provided that they came and settled in Greece.(6)
14. Romania - Roumeli
Our state name from the time before Constantine the Great was always Romania, which during the Turkish occupation was maintained under its Turkish form and called Roumeli. Among the Pontians till this day Romania is still maintained.
15. The Russian Army Approaches Constantinople in 1828
The proposal mentioned above of Kapodistrias was proposed because Russia proclaimed war against the Turks and imposed the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in Europe. From April until September of 1828 the Russians conquered the Turks in Armenia and the Balkans. They captured Adrianople, arrived at the Aegean, and found themselves in a place where they could organize an attack to capture Constantinople.
16. The Final Decision of Russia to Dissolve Romiosini
Among the advisors of the tsar however there was a disagreement. There was a powerful group at that time against the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in the Balkans. The views of this group were upheld and thus the proposal of Kapodistrias was rejected.(7) The Russians capitulated and returned to their land.
The Russians clearly wanted at their southern border a weak state against Russia, but strong enough against other powers who would become dangerous to Russia.
In other words, it was conducive to Russia to have a weak and crumbling Turkish state at its border, to slowly dislodge and absorb pieces of it, instead of having a Romaiic state, or even small Romaiic states according to the plans of Kapodistrias which in the future could possibly become united. It was precisely this design that the Russians planned in 1801 after the murder of Tsar Paul, when they decided to divide up the Ottoman Empire with Napolean, so that they would not have a strong and dangerous state at their border.(8) An important example of this Russian design is today's wish of the Bulgarian province to unite Bulgaria as an autonomous democracy with the union of similar democracies of the Soviet Union. There are other such examples from tsarist times and after the death of the President of Yugoslavia it is certain that another example will be cultivated.
3. M.S. Anderson, The Eastern Question, London 1966, p. 62.
4. Ibid., p. 71.
5. See J. Romanides, Romiosini, Romania, Roumeli, pp. 190-203.
6. Ibid., pp. 195-200. Cf. J. Romanides, "Costes Palamas and Romiosini", Athens 1976, pp. 19-21.
7. M.S. Anderson, The Eastern Question, London 1966, p. 71.
8. Ibid., p. 33.