Capodistrias was born in 1776 on the island of Kerkira (Corfu). He
belonged to an aristocratic family. His formal education was carried
out on the island of Kerkira and in Italy. In Italy he studied
philosophy and medicine, and then returned to Greece.
When the French took control of the Ionian Islands the young
Capodistria fled and went to Russia. In Russia he served as a
diplomatic advisor to the Russian army. As a result of his diplomatic
ability the Russians made him head of foreign affairs for Russia.
When the Greeks began their uprising he attempted to use his
powerful position in Russia to sway the tsar into supporting the Greek
uprising. The tsar would have none of this, and because of his
inability to sway the tsar Capodistria abandoned his position in Russia and
went to Switzerland. In Switzerland he did all he could for Greece to
When he was asked to become prime minister of Greece he
heartily welcomed the challenge. He went to all the capitals of Europe
and used the influence he gained from serving in Russia to garner support and
protection for the newly created small nation.
The country he came upon to rule was completely devastated
by eight years of war. The destruction had been complete, the
landscape had been completely devastated, hardly any livestock remained,
and few roads existed. The people feared for their lives as the crime rate was unbelievably high.
Capodistrias however managed to turn the country
around. His accomplishments were unbelievable. He managed to
organize the Greek state. He brought an end to the fear that had been
created as a result of the crime rate by bringing security to the
country. He created the National bank of Greece, created the first
currency, and brought the country's economy back into order. He
created the agriculture school to educate the farmers to produce more
produce for the country. He also created the Naval, Military, and
Theological schools among others. He managed to bring Greece into the
modern world in a span of very few years. A remarkable achievement for
a nation that had been culturally and economically destroyed as a result of
the 400 years of Turkish occupation.
However, many Greeks who did not believe in
The result of many years of war had brought them to think that freedom meant
that you could do anything you wanted. Capodistrias strict sense of order
was despised by many. They felt that his accomplishments were done at
their expense, and that he was a tyrant.
Sadly his achievements resulted in him being hated by a
segment of the Greek population, and one of the greatest heroes of the
modern Greek nation was assassinated on September 27th 1831.