"The Greek Fire": The Greek War for Independence and the Emergence of American Reform Movements, 1780-1860




Santelli, Maureen Elizabeth Connors

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This dissertation places early Americans in the midst of a global conflict that pit the Greeks against the Ottoman Turks. Although historians have focused a great deal of attention on American support for the French Revolution, few have examined a similar conflict, the Greek War for Independence. Fought from 1821 to 1832, this war generated nearly as much popular support and interest as had the French movement. Perceiving strong cultural and intellectual ties with Greece, American men and women identified the region as the seedbed of American democracy and a crucial source of American values. Contrasting their western classical tradition with the Muslim origins of the Ottoman Empire, Americans portrayed the struggle in Greece as a climactic battle between western freedom and Oriental despotism.



American history, World history, Abolitionism, American Foreign Relations, American Reform Movements, Ancient World, Greek Revolution, Women's Rights