The Greek revolt actually started in a territory where the Greeks were a minority -- on 22 February 1821 (O.S.), Alexander Ypsilanti raised the Greek banner of revolt in Moldavia. The Romanians (who had more grievances against the Greek Phanariots than against the Turks) helped the Turks to expel the Greeks.
A second uprising began in the Peloponnese on 25 March 1821 - it is this rising which is celebrated as the start of the Greek Revolution.
In 1814 three Greek merchants, Nikolaos Skoufas, Manolis Xanthos, and Athanasios Tsakalov, inspired by the ideas of Feraios and influenced by the Italian Carbonari, founded the secret Filiki Eteria ("Society of Friends"), in Odessa, an important center of the Greek mercantile diaspora. With the support of wealthy Greek exile communities in Great Britain and the United States and the aid of sympathizers in Western Europe, they planned the rebellion. The basic objective of the society was a revival of the Byzantine Empire, with Constantinople as the capital, not the formation of a national state. In early 1820, Ioannis Kapodistrias, an official from the Ionian Islands who had become the Russian Foreign Minister, was approached by the Society to be named leader but declined the offer; the Filikoi (members of Filiki Eteria) then turned to Alexander Ypsilantis, a Phanariote serving in the Russian army as general and adjutant to Tsar Alexander I, who accepted.
The Filiki Eteria rapidly expanded, gaining members in almost all regions of Greek settlement, amongst them figures who would later play a prominent role in the war, such as Theodoros Kolokotronis, Odysseas Androutsos, Papaflessas and Laskarina Bouboulina. In 1821, the Ottoman Empire found itself occupied with war against Persia, and most particularly with the revolt by Ali Pasha in Epirus, which had forced the vali (governor) of the Morea, Hursid Pasha, and other local pashas to leave their provinces and campaign against the rebel force. At the same time, the Great Powers, allied in the "Concert of Europe" in their opposition to revolutions in the aftermath of Napoleon I of France, were preoccupied with revolts in Italy and Spain. It was in this context that the Greeks judged the time to be ripe for their own revolt. The plan originally involved uprisings in three places, the Peloponnese, the Danubian Principalities and Constantinople. The start of the uprising can be traced to on February 22, 1821 (O.S.), when Alexander Ypsilantis and several other Greek officers of the Russian army crossed the river Prut into Moldavia.
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