1827 - The Battle of Navarin


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1827 The Battle of Navarin 471

IN the year 1827 Great Britain was at peace with all the world. Although the political horizon had been occasionally clouded since the year 1815, no act of aggression had been committed by any of the European powers, and a general tranquillity prevailed : Greece was the only nation excepted. The inhabitants of that country had long groaned under the tyranny of the Turkish government ; frequent insurrections of its unhappy inhabitants, in order to shake off the yoke under which they laboured, had been attempted, and as often repressed ; acts of atrocious cruelty were daily committed by the imperious master, until the slaves (for in reality the poorer class of Greeks had been slaves to the Ottoman Porte) rose in greater numbers, and made a more desperate, and ultimately successful, opposition to their former conquerors. The disordered state of Greece afforded ample scope for piracies ; vessels of different sizes were manned and armed, and fell alike upon the Turkish ship or the unprotected merchantman of other countries, which chanced to cross their tract. Commerce was interrupted - thousands of helpless creatures were butchered-the loss of life was immense„ until Great Britain, France, and Russia determined to interfere and to put a period to the ravages of both parties. The high contracting powers came to the following determination

" His Majesty the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, &c., his Majesty the King of France, &c., and his Majesty the Emperor of all the Russias, penetrated with the necessity of putting an end to the sanguinary contest, which, by delivering up the Greek provinces and the isles of the Archipelago to all the disorders of anarchy, produces daily fresh impediments to the commerce of the united states, and gives occasion to piracies, which not only expose the high contracting powers to considerable losses, but, besides, render necessary burdensome measures of protection and repression ; having. besides, received, on the part of the Greeks a pressing request to interpose their mediation with the Ottoman Porte ; and being animated by the desire of stopping the effusion of blood, and of

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