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General Michalis Korakas
Lithograph
24" high x 19.5" wide
20th Century
Greece
HPS 1996.2

Description: One of the main leaders of the Cretan revolt was General Michalis Korakas who survived the uprising and lived until 1913 seeing Crete free from the Turks in 1898 and united with mainland Greece in the year of his death.

In the 17th century, Crete came under the rule of the Ottomans; Crete did not become an independent Greek republic until 1898, nor unified with mainland Greece until 1913. During this rule, Crete was divided into provinces with Herakleion, Rethymnon, and Xania as capitals governed by corrupt Turkish pashas. Turkish occupation led to severe economic hardship and numerous injustices. By 1821 a Declaration of Independence by mainland Greece provoked excessive slaughter throughout Crete by the Turks. Cretan forces attempted retaliation and by 1866 Cretans plotted with those in mainland Greece to receive armed aid. However, the Cretans received no sympathy from any European power or the Greek government and were left single-handedly to defend against tens of thousands of Ottoman powers, armed forces, and supplies.