Alexandros Koumoundouros

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His Excellency
Alexandros Koumoundouros
Koumoundouros.png
Prime Minister
In office
October 25, 1880 – March 15, 1882
Preceded by Charilaos Trikoupis
Succeeded by Charilaos Trikoupis
Prime Minister
In office
November 7, 1878 – March 22, 1880
Preceded by Charilaos Trikoupis
Succeeded by Charilaos Trikoupis
Prime Minister
In office
September 14, 1877 – November 2, 1878
Preceded by Konstantinos Kanaris
Succeeded by Charilaos Trikoupis
Personal details
Born 1817
Mani, Ottoman Greece
Died February 26, 1883(1883-02-26)
Athens, Greece
Political party Nationalist Party
Spouse(s) Aikaterini Mavromichali
Efthimia Peroti
Children Konstantinos, Maria, Spyridonas, Olga
Occupation Lawyer
Religion Orthodox Christian
Signature

Alexandros Koumoundouros (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Κουμουνδούρος, 1817 - 26 February 1883) was a Greek politician. Born in Kampos located in the Messenian side of the Mani Peninsula, he was the son of Spirìdonas-Galànis Koumoundoùros who was the Bey of the area during the last period of the administration of the region by the Ottoman Empire.

He was a political personality famous for his work towards national progress, his patriotism and unselfishness, despite his having been in office during a very unsettled period of Greek history.

Early years[edit]

After the Greek War of Independence, he moved to Nafplion where he went to school, then to Athens to study law.

Greek War of Independence[edit]

In 1841, he took part in the revolution in Crete despite believing it was a lost cause—the conditions were not right for such an undertaking at that time.

Political career[edit]

Koumoundouros’ long career encompassed many facets of political life, including serving in parliament, authoring of legislation, promotion of a democratic regime, restoration of the army, distribution of national farms to landless farmers, and the approval of major construction work (such as the Isthmus of Corinth).

During his 50-year-long period of political involvement he tried to remain neutral, and to avoid confrontation both with the three Great Powers and with the smaller powers of that time. In this period he held various ministerial appointments eighteen times, was twice president of the Greek Parliament and ten times Prime Minister of Greece. Despite often experiencing inimical conditions, including at least three assassination attempts, he still managed to create a firm foundation for democracy in Greece.

Early career[edit]

Meanwhile, he was appointed as Public Prosecutor in the Tribunal of Kalamata, but he soon quit this position in order to become a politician. His first political distinction emerged in 1853 when he was elected deputy of the province of Messinia (the province of Kalamàta). Two years later he became President of the Greek Parliament, and the following year Minister of Economics.

He kept the same ministry in the new governments both of 1857 and 1859. After the overthrow of King Othon in 1862 he became Minister of Justice of the temporary government.

The first elections for a proper government after the fall of King Othon took place in 1863 and Koumoundouros remained as Minister of Justice, however, the extremely poor political stability lead to new elections the following year.

In the succeeding government of 1864, Koumoundouros was moved to the Ministry of Religion and Education and later to the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Tenure as Prime Minister[edit]

On March 25, 1865, he became Prime Minister of Greece for the first time and won the elections of 1866, too. Four years later, he retained the position of the Minister of Army and Internal Affairs, in addition to being Prime Minister. In 1875, Koumoundouros was successful in uniting all other parliamentary parties against Charilaos Trikoupis.[1] In August 1875, he became President of the Parliament once again and in the elections of the same year he was made Prime Minister of the country once more.

Elections took place three times in 1876 and Koumoundouros was victorious in two of them. He also won the elections of 1878.

The time of Koumoundouros’ greatest achievement came in 1881 during his last (tenth) premiership, after diplomatic contacts with Turkey, he managed to bring about the annexation of areas Thessaly and Arta to the Greek mainland.

Right after this achievement he called for new elections so that representatives of the newly annexed regions could enter Parliament. Despite this concession, the new candidates elected the representative of the opposition party as President of Parliament. As a result, Koumoundouros resigned on March 3, 1882. He died some months later on February 26, 1883, in his home on Ludwig Square (now known as Koumoundourou Square), in Athens, and was buried at public expense in the First Cemetery of Athens.

Personal life[edit]

After the end of the unsuccessful Cretan revolution, he married Ekaterìni Mavromichàli of the famed Maniot family and his first son Konstantìnos and daughter Marìa were born. Ekaterìni died young and Koumoundouros married Efthimìa Perotì who presented him with his second son in 1858, Spirìdonas and in 1867 a daughter, Olga.

Other spellings of his name are: Kumunduros and Komunduros. Consult Bikélas, Coumoundouros, (Montpelier, 1884).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Woodhouse, "The Story of Modern Greece", "The Emergence of the Greek Kingdom (1833-1908)", p. 173, Faber and Faber (1968).

Notes[edit]

Preceded by
Benizelos Rouphos
Prime Minister of Greece
March 14, 1865 - November 1, 1865
Succeeded by
Epameinondas Deligiorgis
Preceded by
Dimitrios Voulgaris
Prime Minister of Greece
November 18, 1865 - November 25, 1865
Succeeded by
Epameinondas Deligiorgis
Preceded by
Dimitrios Voulgaris
Prime Minister of Greece
December 30, 1866 - January 1, 1868
Succeeded by
Aristeidis Moraitinis
Preceded by
Epameinondas Deligiorgis
Prime Minister of Greece
December 15, 1870 - November 9, 1871
Succeeded by
Thrasivoulos Zaimis
Preceded by
Charilaos Trikoupis
Prime Minister of Greece
October 27, 1875 - December 8, 1876
Succeeded by
Epameinondas Deligiorgis
Preceded by
Epameinondas Deligiorgis
Prime Minister of Greece
December 13, 1876 - March 10, 1877
Succeeded by
Epameinondas Deligiorgis
Preceded by
Epameinondas Deligiorgis
Prime Minister of Greece
June 1, 1877 - June 7, 1877
Succeeded by
Konstantinos Kanaris
Preceded by
Konstantinos Kanaris
Prime Minister of Greece
September 14, 1877 - November 2, 1878
Succeeded by
Charilaos Trikoupis
Preceded by
Charilaos Trikoupis
Prime Minister of Greece
November 7, 1878 - March 22, 1880
Succeeded by
Charilaos Trikoupis
Preceded by
Charilaos Trikoupis
Prime Minister of Greece
October 25, 1880 - March 15, 1882
Succeeded by
Charilaos Trikoupis