“Ioannis Kapodistrias, The Governor, and the Making of the Hellenic Nation” Live Panel Discussion

Join us in Athens, Greece for EMBCA’s “Ioannis Kapodistrias, The Governor, and the Making of the Hellenic Nation” Live Panel Discussion on Thursday, March 21, 2024 at the Demos Center in Plaka (17B Ipitou St.) at 7 P.M.. It will be preceded by a Cocktail Hour starting at 6 P.M.. The discussion will be introduced and moderated by Lou Katsos EMBCA’s President. The distinguished panel, in formation, will include Prof. Ilias Giarenis, Vice Rector Ionian University; Archeologist/ Professor of Ancient History Pierre Ducrey of the University of Lausanne; Author/Sociologist/Economist/Historical Researcher Georgios Sklavounos; and Film Director / Screenwriter Giannis Smaragdis. There is no charge for the event but an RSVP is required due to limited space.

Ioannis Kapodistrias, a prominent Hellenic and International statesman of the 19th century, left an indelible mark on the course of Hellenic as well as European history. Born in Corfu Kapodistrias embarked on a remarkable career that would culminate in his role as the first head of state of independent Hellas. His legacy is multifaceted, encompassing international diplomatic achievements, administrative reforms, and enduring contributions to the concept of a modern Hellenic nation-state.

Kapodistrias’ diplomatic prowess was evident in his efforts to secure Hellenic independence during a tumultuous era. In the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, he navigated the complex European political landscape to garner support for the Hellenic cause. His diplomatic endeavors culminated in the Protocol of St. Petersburg in 1826, which recognized Greece as an autonomous, albeit still Ottoman vassal, state. This diplomatic success laid the groundwork for the subsequent establishment of the independent Hellenic state.

As the first Governor of Hellas (1827-1831), Kapodistrias faced the Herculean task of nation-building. His administrative reforms aimed at modernizing the Hellenic state and ensuring its viability. He introduced a centralized administrative system, reorganized the military, and implemented economic policies to stabilize the nation. However, his attempts at centralization faced resistance from regional powers and traditional Hellenic elites, leading to internal strife.

Kapodistrias's legacy extends beyond the realm of governance, encompassing cultural and educational contributions. He recognized the importance of education in forging a national identity and which helped establish the University of Athens in 1837. This institution played a pivotal role in nurturing intellectual and cultural development, contributing significantly to the resurgence of Hellenic national consciousness.

Despite his notable achievements, Kapodistrias's legacy is also marked by controversy and tragic demise. His vision of a centralized state clashed with the aspirations of local leaders, and political opposition grew. The assassination of Ioannis Kapodistrias in 1831 in Nafplio reflected the complex challenges of nation-building in a post-revolutionary context. His death highlighted the struggle between centralization and regional autonomy, a tension that would persist in Hellenic politics for years to come.

EMBCA is an organization exempt from Federal Income Tax under Internal Revenue (IRC) Section 501(c)(3), classified as a public charity, and qualifies to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under Section 2055, 2106, or 2522 . Donors can deduct contributions they make under IRC Section 170. Thank you all again for your continuing enthusiasm and support of our events !!