From The Making of Eastern Europe: From Prehistory to Postcommunism, by Philip Longworth (Lume Books, 2020), Kindle pp. 206-208:
It was difficult for Bulgarians to think in terms of liberation other than through the church, which was dominated by Greeks, so that Bulgarian national feeling emerged almost as much in reaction to the Greeks as to the Turks.
The Greeks themselves present a different case, for they included important mercantile and administrative classes. These elements formed a cultural community of sorts, but they were distanced from the common people, who had also built up a tradition of self-defence, especially in the mountain areas and some of the islands. The Greek elite was also widely dispersed geographically. Their trading network ramified throughout the Mediterranean, the Balkans and the Black Sea littoral, while the Phanariotes staffed much of the Ottoman diplomatic service and bureaucratic machine besides ruling the Romanian principalities (often corruptly, but sometimes in the spirit of enlightened despotism). The Greek elite constituted fertile ground both for conspiracy and manipulation by foreign powers.
The Greek diaspora extended to Paris, and beyond; and French agents had been active in the Greek world since the later 1790s. Revolutionary notions were to grip members of the merchant class (though not the more substantial of them), some Orthodox clergy (though few bishops), and even an occasional potentate in the Ottoman service. But it was on Russian, not French soil, that the Greek revolution got off the ground. In 1814 expatriate Greeks formed a friendly society (Philiki Etairia) in Odessa. Like others founded earlier in Paris and Vienna its aims were cultural; unlike them, however, it aimed to liberate ‘the motherland’.
In 1821 it mounted an attempt to do so, launching an invasion of the Danubian Principalities. But Vladimirescu’s followers provided none of the support they had hoped for, and the Turks soon mopped them up. The conspirators succeeded, however, in sparking an insurgency in the Peleponnese and some of the islands. Though the Russians withdrew their ambassador from Istanbul, and Metternich opined (quite rightly as it happened) that Greece was merely a geographical expression, the Powers supported neither side. Then the Turks executed the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople, even though he had roundly denounced the rebellion – and the idealists of Europe rallied to the cause of Greek independence. The volunteers (including Byron), the money, and, not least the publicity which they supplied contributed greatly to the success of the cause. Albeit indirectly, they also helped to ensure that the emergent state of Greece would adopt a Western-type constitution highly unsuitable for a society that was largely traditional and innocent of Western values. Events were to demonstrate that although the seeds of Western democratic ideas were to germinate in Eastern Europe, unlike the rampant bean-stalk of nationalism, the plants that grew out of them would be weak and spindly.
Greece’s first head of state, Capodistrias, understood the problem. He was an authoritarian in the mould of the enlightened despots. He set out to build sound administrative and educational systems, to improve communications and the economy. He also favoured land reform. Anticipating Stolypin, he regarded a free and prosperous peasantry as the foundation of a stable society. Traditional interest groups, whom he held in contempt, and idealists starry-eyed with Western ways, all hated him. In 1831 he was assassinated. When the ensuing anarchy finally subsided, independent Greece found herself (thanks to an agreement between Russia, France, and Britain) with a sizeable Western loan, a Bavarian King [Otto] and a small Bavarian army.