The declaration of the Greek Revolution, the lengthy war and its successful outcome with the establishment of an independent state inaugurated changes that introduced Greek society to the modern era. These changes occurred in all sectors of social, political and economic life, and gradually dominated in different ways and at different times. The changes which characterize the whole Greek society of the 19th century became more apparent in the years of the Revolution. From the First National Assembly and the Provisional Constitution of Epidauros procedures of political unification and integration began with the introduction of modern institutions and machinery: the formation of a constitution, the separation of powers and the establishment of a governmental infrastructure.
But the introduction of modern political institutions was often accompanied by elements that belonged to a different, traditional political culture (regional and kinship networks, factions and so on). Thus, the politically active (but no longer exclusively the politically active) came from the leading groups of the pre-revolutionary period (local notables, klephts and armatoles, bishops). This was different and new. It reflected a society which acknowledged itself and its future in a different way from the past and which consequently sought new forms of existence.
The opening of Greek society to modernity thus represented a new departure at the time and a new experience for the people. The social actors of the Greek Revolution handled in a historically original way the conjunction of changes and ruptures with the past that they themselves had caused, without being in the position of controlling and even less determining the results of their action. The innovations brought about by the Revolution resulted in general changes in political life, which were expressed on three different levels. First, there were changes in the institutions through which the political autonomy of the Greek nation was achieved.
Secondly, there were changes which involved the formation of new political hierarchies, that is the social origin and composition of the personnel that staffed and operated the new institutions. Finally, there were changes in the procedures of the political hierarchy.
These profound changes which effected the whole of Greek society reversed the pre-revolutionary established order (institutions, hierarchies, procedures) formed in the framework of the Ottoman occupation. The pulling down of a world and the building of a new one provoked social reversals and produced antagonisms which often took the form of conspiracies, or ended in murders and armed conflicts in the age-long struggle for freedom.
The civil wars of 1824, the movements against Kapodistrias, as well as the new armed conflicts before the arrival of Otto are probably the main events. However, even if these conflicts suggest social-political rivalries dating to the Ottoman past (conflicts between local elites, notables and chieftains, Rumeliots-Peloponnesians), yet they did not constitute an obstacle to the consolidation of the new institutions and procedures. Through these conflicts the new institutions prevailed and offered the possibility of the unification and modernization of the social-political arena, which was inaugurated by the Greek Revolution.