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13/05/2008

The Fourth National Assembly

Municipality of Argos

On the last days of June 1829, the constituents of the several provinces, 236 altogether, started arriving at Argos to take part in the Fourth National Assembly. The Fourth National Assembly started working on the 11th of July in the ancient theatre of Argos, which had been shaped especially for this purpose after Kolokotronisís suggestion. A doxology, which was attended by all the constituents, anteceded in the temple of Panagia (Virgin Mary) by the x-Metropolite of Helioupolis Anthimos Komninos. Kapodistrias was also present, wearing a uniform with many medals, which many of the attendees mistook for a Russian uniform, since they had never seen something like that. After the oath-taking all of them went to the theatre, where the meeting of the Assembly began. The most important act of the Assembly of Argos was the affirmation of thirteen statutes referring mainly to the organization of the public administration of the state. The Assembly substantially approved of the statutes, which had been composed by Kapodistrias himself whose policy had the approval of all the constituents, who subscribed.
Kapodistriasís foreign policy until then was approved of and he was given the authorization to continue his acts in the field of the negotiations with the Great Powers. The Senate was founded to replace the Panhellenion, a judging body comprised of 27 members, and which had ex officio been abolished. The bases of the review of the Constitution were settled. Control of all the accounts of the Financial Committee, the endowment with possessions of the National Stock Bank, the application for an assurance by the Great Forces for the acquisition of an external loan of sixty million francs, acquittance of the country from the English loans, the review of finance bills, a census of national possessions. Matters of organization of armed forces, conscription, the arrangement of requests from servicemen and mariners were settled as well. The allocation of 200.000 stremmas (1 stremma =1.000 sq. meters) of national land, the coinage of national currency with Phoenix as a unity, which caused a great emotion to the attendees, especially when they held the first coins that had been cut to be tested. A delegation of representatives to the courts of England, France, Russia and Bavaria to express the gratitude of the nation for their support, as well as the construction of two monuments, was decided. The first monument would be placed in Navarino in memory of the well known sea fight and the other one in Petalidi, where the French troops first disembarked. Another monument would be constructed for the Philhellens and the battalion of the Savior was founded. After a written suggestion by Kolokotronis an application to Kapodistrias for financing with 160.000 Phoenixes, was approved, but he refused it as he had done in the past, while the export of antiquities form the country was prohibited. Rules for obtaining resources for the improvement of clergy, the orphanage and Education were instituted. Furthermore the way of judging the penal conflicts, which occurred between Greek people during the years of the Revolution, was settled, in the framework of equity, which was the main rule.
There is no doubt that the Fourth National Assembly completed the work of the Governor, which began with his arrival and set the bases on which the new born state was organized. The form of the state organized at that time was undoubtedly adjusted to the possibilities and needs of the Greek Nation of the time and offered much to the financial, social and cultural reformation of the country. Kapodistrias will continue this effort, despite the difficulties until his assassination.



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