Greece a South-Eastern European Country Is Also Essay

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Greece, a south-eastern European country, is also officially known as the Hellenic Republic. The country "occupies the southernmost part of the Balkan Peninsula and borders on the Ionian Sea in the west, on the Mediterranean Sea in the south, on the Aegean Sea in the east, on Turkey and Bulgaria in the northeast, on Macedonia in the north, and on Albania in the northwest" ("Greece," 2012). The largest city and capital of Greece is Athens.

Geographical Characteristics

Approximately seventy-five percent of the country is mountainous whereas just about twenty percent of the land is suitable for growing crops. The country can be divided into 4 major geographical regions i.e. Northern Greece, Central Greece, and Southern Greece whereas the fourth region is comprised of numerous islands among which Crete, Zakinthos, the Northern Sporades, the Thasos are the notable ones. There are few rivers in the country and none of them is crossable.

History (16th century onwards)

The 16th century marks the first Greek civilization when it was discovered that Linear B. is a Greek script. This discovery placed positioned Mycenae at the top of the Greek civilization story. By the eighteenth century, Greece became the first country in the Eastern Europe that gained absolute independence. It also became the first country that was granted the membership of the European Community in 1831. The country possesses an exceptionally heritage of Orthodox Christianity and Ottoman rule. A simple glance at her past can easily demonstrate that great revolutionary movements like the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Enlightenment and the French and Industrial Revolutions that impacted the norms in Western Europe in intense manners, took no notice of Greece (Clogg, 1992). This is the reason why when Greek historical development and society is compared with the other countries in Europe, one can easily observe a striking difference.

During the Second World War fought in the 19th century, the Axis forces were dauntingly resisted by Greeks. However, the luck was not on their side and the Greeks lost the war. A large area in Greece was occupied by the Germans and Italians. With the conclusion of the Great War II, Greek state expanded with the inclusion of the Dodecanese. The next three decades made Greek experience a political tumult, including a military stratocracy from 1967 till 1974. Ever since 1975, the administration of Greece is Parliamentary Republic (Clogg, 1992).

The Olympic Games in Ancient Greece

Olympic sporting events held at Olympia were oldest and most exalted of the 4 great ancient Greek athletic festivals. Although they were originated much earlier, the official sporting events were made official from 776 BC to be held every four years. They were, in fact, held for honoring the god Zeus. The athletes were asked to take oaths for following the rules before a Zeus' statue. The announcements of the games were made by messengers who travelled to all the major cities of the country ("Olympic games," 2012).

It was between the periods 5th -- 4th BC that the Olympics reached their height. The games were regarded by Greeks as an integral part of their nationalism. They were said to have been more proud of winning at Olympics than winning battles. Women, outsiders, slaves, and desecrated individuals were not allowed to participate in the events. The participants were needed to get coaching devotedly for ten months before the commencement of the event. The officials in Elis were in charge of the games who kept these contestants under their eyes for the remaining 30 days. Though the Olympic Games were restricted to running; new events were added with the passage of time. The winners were awarded with crowns made of chaplets of wild olive, and other tributes, precious gifts, and privileges were given to the male winners when they visited their home cities. The games at Olympia were held continuously with inconsequential disruptions. These were the games that inspired the beginning of the modern Olympic Games at Athens in 1896 ("Olympic games," 2012).


Socrates, a Greek, is one of the most renowned philosophers of all times. Although he is well-known for his philosophical vision as a recreation appropriate and essential to all intellectuals, Socrates is one of the grand examples of a gentleman who followed his morality and values although they eventually cost him his life. His knowledge and teachings have come in a roundabout way from certain dialogue of Plato and from the Memorabilia of Xenophon. Socrates had a firm belief in the idea that his mission "was to search for wisdom about right conduct by which he might guide the intellectual and moral improvement of the Athenians" ("Socrates," 2012). In doing so, he neglected his own affairs and spent time discussing desirable qualities, righteousness, and godliness anywhere his fellow citizens gathered together. According to many opponents, Socrates was not interested in carrying out his public responsibilities as he never hunted for public office ("Socrates," 2012).

Socrates has an unquestionable distinctive place in the history of philosophy. He was a gifted thinker whose honest and logical uprightness permeated into every aspect of his life even though his fellow Athenians betrayed and executed him eventually (Taylor, 2000). Socrates was ethically, mentally and publically against his fellow citizens. He was captured for polluting the minds of the young people. According to him, the Athenians were not concerned about the betterment of their souls. He said that while it is important to be concerned about one's family and career, it is also important at the same time to do something about one's own soul and its cleanliness. He openly disapproved the Sophistic doctrine that virtue can be learned. Socrates was of the opinion that it is not necessary that a successful man will produce a successful offspring. According to him, excellence in morality can only be achieved through divine bequest and not by how one has been brought up by his/her parents.

Wave Of Immigration From Greece To North America

Towards the end of the nineteenth century, the Greeks started to migrate to the United States of America and began to settle there. The main reason behind this immigration was that there were profound changes that were taking place in the overall structure of the society in Europe. Also, the Industrialism revolution in America had made it attractive for people from all around the world. Thus, Greeks started doing a transatlantic immigration to the northern America. It was the time when Greeks were not only living in the Greek Kingdom but were also dwelling in Istanbul and in Izmir and in many other countries that fell under the Ottoman Empire.

This wave of immigration from the Greek Kingdom to America was fuelled by many factors. Firstly, the financial crisis made the agricultural areas miserable and the huge amount of money that farmers had taken as debts from the money-lenders. Therefore, many Greek families that were involved in agricultural work decided to migrate to North America where they had enough opportunities to settle and start a new life.

Secondly, the bad governance in the country and inflation made it difficult for the Greeks to remain at home and live in miserable conditions. The only way they could improve the standard of their lives was to migrate to Northern America and settle there for earning better. Thirdly, the tourist agents that were hired by the ship companies used to advertise the American lifestyle as very appealing and attractive. Therefore, many Greeks went to America to taste the life they could not imagine spending at their homeland.

About 3/4 of the Greek immigrants made America their permanent abode and settled there permanently particularly in Chicago and New York. They engaged themselves in different kinds of jobs including street vendors, restaurant and shop owners, factory workers, miners etc. After settling in permanently, they started to develop a…[continue]

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