We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Greek-American Relations from Monroe to Truman

Angelo Repousis

Publication Year: 2013

Most studies of U.S. relations with Greece focus on the Cold War period, beginning with the enunciation of the Truman Doctrine in 1947. There is little substance in the extant literature about American policy toward or interaction with Greece prior to World War II. This overlooks the important intersections between the two countries and their peoples that predated the Second World War.

U.S. interest in Greece and its people has been long-standing, albeit primarily on an informal or unofficial level. Author Angelo Repousis explores a variety of resonant themes in the field of U.S. foreign relations, including the role of nongovernment individuals and groups in influencing foreign policymaking, the way cultural influences transfer across societies (in this particular case the role of philhellenism), and how public opinion shapes policy—or not. 

Repousis chronicles American public attitudes and government policies toward modern Greece from its war for independence (1821–1829) to the Truman Doctrine (1947) when Washington intervened to keep Greece from coming under communist domination. Until then, although the U.S. government was not actively in support of Greek efforts, American philhellenes had supported the attempt to achieve and protect Greek independence. They saw modern Greece as the embodiment of the virtues of its classical counterpart (human dignity, freedom of thought, knowledge, love of beauty and the arts, republicanism, etc.) and worked diligently, albeit not always successfully, to push U.S. policymakers toward greater official interest in and concern for Greece.

Pre–Cold War American intervention in Greek affairs was motivated in part by a perceived association among American and Greek political cultures. Indebted to ancient Greece for their democratic institutions, philhellenes believed they had an obligation to impart the blessings of free and liberal institutions to Greece, a land where those ideals had first been conceived.

Published by: The Kent State University Press

Series: New Studies in U.S. Foreign Relations Series


pdf iconDownload PDF (82.1 KB)
p. 1-1

Title Page, Seriess Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF (55.0 KB)
pp. 2-5


pdf iconDownload PDF (31.3 KB)
pp. v-vi

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (46.0 KB)
pp. vii-viii

Much of the research was conducted at the National Archives, Library of Congress, Temple University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, Massachusetts Historical Society, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the American Presbyterian Historical Society, the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, and the Library Company of Philadelphia. ...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (90.8 KB)
pp. 1-9

In October of 2000, former U.S. ambassador to Greece Nicholas Burns, together with Athens mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos, rededicated the monument to the American philhellenes who fought for Greek independence that was first donated by the American Legion in 1930. Later that month the ambassador helped dedicate a new permanent exhibition in the U.S. embassy lobby ...

read more

1. The Culture of Hellenism

pdf iconDownload PDF (132.6 KB)
pp. 10-24

Lord Byron’s acclaimed Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, published in 1812 with its detailed notes on contemporary Greece, deeply affected a number of American philhellenes, including a young twenty-one year old Boston linguist and scholar named Edward Everett. On completion of his studies at Harvard, Everett was inspired to make his own pilgrimage to Greece. ...

read more

2. The Cause of Liberty and Greece

pdf iconDownload PDF (145.8 KB)
pp. 25-41

On March 25, 1821, after nearly four centuries of Ottoman Turkish rule, the Greeks of the Morea (Peloponnesus) rose in rebellion. As Americans watched the drama of the Greek revolution unfold, they recoiled in horror as Turkish armies devastated the Greek countryside, destroying villages and churches. ...

read more

3. The Cause of Freedom and Humanity

pdf iconDownload PDF (136.2 KB)
pp. 42-56

In 1824, while public enthusiasm over the Greek Revolution was at its height, one of the last surviving heroes of the American Revolution returned to the United States. The Marquis de Lafayette’s visit in 1824–25 stirred the mystic chords of 1776. Americans welcomed him with balls and banquets and eulogized him in speeches, poems, and songs. ...

read more

4. Trojan Women

pdf iconDownload PDF (128.1 KB)
pp. 57-70

It is true, that the principal obstacle to the regeneration of Greece was the dominion of the Turks over the country, and that this has been removed by the revolution; but everything remains to be done in the great work; and it is to be done too by means of education. If we would restore Greece to her ancient glory; ...

read more

5. The Devil’s Apostle

pdf iconDownload PDF (177.5 KB)
pp. 71-91

Written a generation after the Greek war for independence, Pavlos Kalligas’s novel Thanos Vlekas offers an unflattering portrait of mid-nineteenth-century Greek society. A member of the Greek establishment, Kalligas deftly confronts the troubles plaguing the young nation. These include the endemic inefficiency of the state; the problem of how public lands would be apportioned; ...

read more

6. Cretan Days

pdf iconDownload PDF (177.3 KB)
pp. 92-112

In the ancient legend this man-bull devoured annually seven youths and maidens, till Theseus, the king of Athens, slew the monster and freed his state. Today a worse than Minotaur is devouring its own people—not by annual sevens, but by daily hundreds and thousands. ...

read more

7. Brigands, Philhellenes, and Currants

pdf iconDownload PDF (132.6 KB)
pp. 113-127

I suppose that ancient Greece and modern Greece compared, furnish the most extravagant contrast to be found in history. George I, an infant of eighteen, and a scraggy nest of foreign office-holders, sit in the palaces of Themistocles, Pericles, and the illustrious scholars and generals of the Golden Age of Greece. ...

read more

8. American Hellenes

pdf iconDownload PDF (135.5 KB)
pp. 128-142

With the glory of ancient Greece and Byron’s romantic championship of the modern Greek in mind, one is shocked when he meets for the first time a representative of that people in the thrifty, good natured, and polite keeper of a fruit-stand or “shoe-shine parlor.” . . . The average American expecting every Greek to have the beauty of an Apollo and the ability of a Pericles, ...

read more

9. The Angel of Discord in Smyrna

pdf iconDownload PDF (155.3 KB)
pp. 143-160

Of course all of us were brought up to believe that the Greeks or modern Greeks are simply the representatives of all the ancient Greeks meant to the world. This is so far wrong that probably everyone out here will agree that the Greek is about the worst race in the Near East. . . . I am holding no brief for any race in the Near East ...

read more

10. To the Truman Doctrine

pdf iconDownload PDF (182.1 KB)
pp. 161-182

For many literary philhellenes, the extirpation of Hellenism in Asia Minor marked the end of the philhellenic legacy. As David Roessel writes, Greece became “the lost country for both the Lost Generation and the generation after that.” In the 1920s and 1930s few literary travelers made the pilgrimage to the hallowed land that their nineteenth-century counterparts had made. ...


pdf iconDownload PDF (383.4 KB)
pp. 183-227


pdf iconDownload PDF (175.9 KB)
pp. 228-247


pdf iconDownload PDF (96.9 KB)
pp. 248-256

Back Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (82.1 KB)
p. 266-266

E-ISBN-13: 9781612777139
E-ISBN-10: 1612777139
Print-ISBN-13: 9781606351772

Page Count: 288
Publication Year: 2013

Series Title: New Studies in U.S. Foreign Relations Series