The Kingdom of Greece (Greek: Βασίλειον τῆς Ἑλλάδος ) was a state established in 1832 at the Convention of London by the Great Powers (the United Kingdom, Kingdom of France and the Russian Empire). It was internationally recognised by the Treaty of Constantinople, where it also secured full independence from the Ottoman Empire. This event also marked the birth of the first fully independent Greek state since the fall of the Byzantine Empire to the Ottomans in the mid-15th century.
The Kingdom succeeded from the Greek provisional governments after the Greek War of Independence, and lasted until 1924. In 1924 the monarchy was abolished, and the Second Hellenic Republic was established, after Greece's defeat by Turkey in the Asia Minor Campaign. It lasted until 1935, when it was overthrown by a military coup d'état which restored the monarchy. The restored Kingdom of Greece lasted from 1935 to 1973[note 4][note 5]. The Kingdom was again dissolved in the aftermath of the seven-year military dictatorship (1967–1974), and the Third Republic, the current Greek state, came to be, after a popular referendum.
Most of Greece gradually became part of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. The Eastern Roman, the direct continuation to the ancient Roman Empire who ruled most of the Greek-speaking world for over 1100 years, had been fatally weakened since the sacking of Constantinople by the Latin Crusaders in 1204.
The Ottoman advance into Greece was preceded by a victory over the Serbs to its north. First, the Ottomans won at 1371 on the Maritsa River — where the Serb forces were led by the King Vukašin of Serbia, the father of Prince Marko and the co-ruler of the last emperor from the Serbian Nemanjic dynasty. This was followed by a draw in the 1389 Battle of Kosovo.
With no further threat by the Serbs and the subsequent Byzantine civil wars, the Ottomans captured Constantinople in 1453 and advanced southwards into Greece, capturing Athens in 1458. The Greeks held out in the Peloponnese until 1460, and the Venetians and Genoese clung to some of the islands, but by 1500 most of the plains and islands of Greece were in Ottoman hands. The mountains of Greece were largely untouched, and were a refuge for Greeks to flee foreign rule and engage in guerrilla warfare.
Cyprus fell in 1571, and the Venetians retained Crete until 1670. The Ionian Islands were only briefly ruled by the Ottomans (Kefalonia from 1479 to 1481 and from 1485 to 1500), and remained primarily under the rule of Venice.