Griechenland     
Greece - Hellas - Ελληνική Δημοκρατία
Ellinikí Dimokratía


Republic in southeastern Europe. Greece was the center of the Minoan civilization of Crete during the 2nd millennium B.C., and of the Hellenic civilization after c. 800 B.C. After the 7th and 8th centuries B.C., Greek colonies were established throughout the Mediterranean, producing a civilization that greatly influenced subsequent European development. The conquests of Alexander the Great spread Greek culture throughout western Asia, and Alexandrine successor states maintained Greek cultural dominance in the Middle East and northern India for two centuries. By 146 B.C., Greece was conquered by Rome, although the Romans soon became thoroughly Hellenized and so perpetuated Greece's cultural influence. Greece remained a part of the Eastern Roman Empire until it was occupied by the French and Italian crusaders. In 1456, the country was conquered by the Ottoman Turks. Greek nationalism began to emerge in the late 18th century, culminating in revolution in 1821. By 1832, Greece had become an independent kingdom. Greece has since expanded to include Greek-speaking territories in the southern Balkans, as well as Crete and the Aegean Islands. The period 1912-19 saw the rapid expansion of Greece's borders, producing many occupation issues. Greece successfully resisted an Italian invasion in 1940, but German intervention in 1941 brought the country's rapid defeat and occupation by Germany, Italy and Bulgaria. Communist elements, defeated by the royalist government and Britain in 1944-45, waged a guerrilla war against the regime during 1947-49. The communists were suppressed, with U.S. assistance. In the postwar years, Greece experienced rapid economic growth. Increasing tension between liberal and conservative factions, however, brought a military coup in 1967. After unsuccessfully attempting to moderate the harshness of the regime, King Constantine and the royal family fled the country. In 1973, this government was overthrown in a second military coup. The new government, in turn, was overthrown in 1974, and democratic civilian government was restored.

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