George I, 1845–1913, king of the Hellenes (1863–1913), second son of Christian IX of Denmark. After the deposition (1862) of Otto I, he was elected to succeed on the throne of Greece. Much more effective than his predecessor, George introduced (1864) a democratic constitution, acquired (1881) Thessaly and part of Epirus from Turkey, and in 1897 declared war on Turkey in order to aid the insurrection in Crete. Although badly defeated, George's close contacts with most of the ruling houses of Europe helped prevent Turkey from imposing a harsh peace settlement. George saw Greece through the first of the Balkan Wars, during which Macedonia was gained, but was assassinated before the outbreak of the second. Harilaos Trikoupis and Eleutherios Venizelos were the outstanding political figure in George's reign. George married Grand Duchess Olga, a niece of Alexander II of Russia. He was succeeded by his son Constantine I.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Modern Greek History: Biographies