United States of the Ionian Islands

United States of the Ionian Islands

Infobox Former Country
native_name = Ηνωμένον Κράτος των Ιονίων Νήσων (el)
"Enomenon Kratos ton Ionion Neson" (el-Latn)
"Stati Uniti delle Isole Ionie" (it)
conventional_long_name = United States of the Ionian Islands
common_name = Ionian Islands|
continent = Europe
region = Balkans
country = Greece
era = 19th century
status = Protectorate
status_text = Amical protectorate of the United Kingdom
empire = United Kingdom
government_type = Federal republic|
year_start = 1815
year_end = 1864|
event_pre = Congress of Vienna
date_pre = 9 June 1815 (signed)
event_start = Protectorate established
date_start = 9 November 1815
event1 = Constitution
date_event1 = 26 August 1817
event2 = Treaty of London
date_event2 = 29 March 1864
event_end = Gifted to Greece
date_end = 28 May 1864|
p1 = Illyrian Provinces
flag_p1 = Flag of France.svg
s1 = Kingdom of Greece
flag_s1 = Flag of Greece (1828-1978).svg|

flag_link = Flag of the United States of the Ionian Islands



image_map_caption = The Republic's territory extended to the six main islands plus the smaller islets of the Ionian Sea|
capital = Corfù|
national_motto =
national_anthem =
common_languages = Greek, Italian in some circumstances
religion = Greek Orthodox
currency = Obol (1818–33)
Greek lepton (1833–64)|
legislature = Parliament
house1 = Senate
house2 = Legislative Assembly|
stat_year1 = 1864
stat_area1 = 4694
stat_pop1 = 236000|
footnotes = References: Capital city [Constitution of the Ionian Islands, Article II] ; languages [Constitution of the Ionian Islands, Article IV] [Constitution of the Ionian Islands, Article V] ; area and populationcite web|url=http://www.mfa.gr/greek/the_ministry/eny/1864_london_treaty.doc |title=Treaty of London |accessdate=2006-07-21 | publisher=Greek Ministry for Foreign Affairs |archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20050308000116/http://www.mfa.gr/greek/the_ministry/eny/1864_london_treaty.doc |archivedate=2005-03-08] .
The United States of the Ionian Islands ( _el. Ηνωμένον Κράτος των Ιονίων Νήσων ("Enomenon Kratos ton Ionion Neson"), _it. Stati Uniti delle Isole Ionie) was a former state and amical protectorate of the United Kingdom between 1815 and 1864. It is located in modern Greece, to whom it was ceded as a gift at the end of the protectorate.


Prior to the French Revolutionary Wars, the Ionian Islands had been part of the Republic of Venice. With the dissolution of that polity under the 1797 Treaty of Campo Formio, it was annexed into the French Republic. Between 1798 and 1799, the French were driven out by a joint Russo-Turkish force. The occupying forces founded the Septinsular Republic, which lasted from 1800 until 1807.

The Ionian Islands were then re-annexed by the French into the Illyrian Provinces. In 1809, the United Kingdom defeated the French fleet off Zakynthos on 2 October, and captured Kefalonia, Kythira, and Zakynthos. The British took Lefkada in 1810. Corfu remained under French rule until 1814.

The Congress of Vienna agreed to place the Ionian Islands under the exclusive protection of the United Kingdom. Despite British military administration, the Austrian Empire was guaranteed equal commercial status to the UK. The arrangement was solidifed with the ratification of the 'Maitland constitution' on 26 August 1817, which created a federation of the seven islands.

On 29 March 1864, the United Kingdom, Greece, France, and Russia signed the Treaty of London, pledging the transfer of sovereignty to Greece upon ratification. Thus, on 28 May, by proclamation of the Lord High Commissioner, the Ionian Islands were united with Greece. [cite book | last = Hertslet | first = Edward | editor = | others = | title = The map of Europe by treaty | url = http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k960368/f31 | format = PDF | accessdate = 2006-07-21 | edition = | year = | publisher = | location = | pages = p. 1609 ]


As its name suggests, United States of the Ionian Islands was a federation. It included seven island states:


The government was organised under the leadership of a Lord High Commissioner, appointed by the British monarch on the advice of the British government. In total, ten men served in this capacity, including William Gladstone as a Lord High Commissioner Extraordinary.

The Ionian Islands had a bicameral legislature, titled the 'Parliament of the United States of the Ionian Islands' and composed of the Legislative Assembly and the Senate. [Constitution of the Ionian Islands, Article VII]

ee also

* Order of St Michael and St George, an extant British chivalrous order created in honour of the protectorate




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