EUROPEAN REVOLUTIONARY IDEAS IN CRETE DURING "THE AGE OF REVOLUTIONS" – THE CASE OF SITIA, 1897 (FROM PUBLISHED SOURCES)
Crete is a unique phenomenon in the history of revolutions. It is the only place in Europe to have experienced more than 13 risings over a period of 127 years. Is there any possibility of finding an explanation in the context of European political ideas on this phenomenon? Might writers such as Alexis de Tocqueville, Karl Marx or Montesquieu have influenced the revolutionary history of Crete? The case of Sitia in the final rising (1897-1898) can provide an example for the hypothesis.
During the last Cretan rising, there were many educated people in Sitia who participated in it and wrote analytical studies of this period. People like E. Aggelakis (a former politician and lawyer), N. Papadakis (a teacher and founder of the Historical Archive of Crete), Bishop Ambrosios Sfakianakis and M. Katapotis (a former politician and physician) wrote excellent studies and historical documents on the revolutionary history and the political ideas of the time. The development of education helped to substantially cultivate the idea of national independence and the defeat of the Ottoman power.
We find references in the sources to ideas such as socialism or even to administration within the framework of socialism. The idea is not promoted but criticised. At the same time there are ideas based on proposals by European intellectuals and about social liberalism, including ideas such as nationalism inspired by the French Revolution. We often come across ideas that combine completely different ideological bases. Naturally, the ideas of patriotism and bravery are used to exhort both Christians and Muslims. However, in any case, we must admit that, although there are references to European ideas, they are rarely obvious.