The modern Greek state came into being in 1821-33, when part of the Greek people won independence from the Ottoman empire in their ‘national revolution’. This was an early stage in the emancipation of the Balkan peoples from Ottoman rule, and Greeks were the first of them to win internation­ ally recognised sovereignty. Like the other Balkan states which thus emerged during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Greece derived legit­ imacy from a sense of identity which was based on deep-rooted ethnic charac­ teristics and then cultivated by intellectuals and patriotic insurgents from the late eighteenth century onwards, before being inculcated by a national government in its subjects. Among the characteristics of the Balkan nations, religion was especially influential, a fact which led, except in Muslimdominated areas, to close association between church and nation.