The First Greek Modernizer: Just How Much of a Modernizer Was He? The Charilaos Trikoupis Case

  • Ioannis Papanagiotou National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Economics


This article presents the case of Charilaos Trikoupis, who is considered to have been the first to modernize the Greek economy. The argument here, based on a review of the daily press and parliamentary proceedings of his time, is that Trikoupis’ development plan was, apart from its modernism, also based on a grand delusion. Trikoupis was a political conquistador in his undertaking of bridging a path of capital between the advanced Occident and Greece. While it became apparent that the strategy he had developed had begun heading towards a profound dead-end, he never actually revised it, although he should have. The focus of this article is not to deny Trikoupis’ role as a modernizer, but re-evaluate and refine it.