The failure of the Revolution of 1821-1822 in northern Greece was a milestone in the history of Macedonia. For more than 50 years social developments there were severed from those of southern Greece, where a new nation was being built, in theory and in reality.
The Greek political leadership considered Macedonia an indisputable part of their historic heritage. In practice, however, they gave priority to backing the burgeoning liberation movements in the Ottoman provinces of Thessaly and Epirus, which were closer to the Greek kingdom, and to Crete. Nevertheless, the Macedonian refugees and fighters who had sought sanctuary in Athens never ceased to exert pressure to change the fate of their own homeland.
In Macedonia itself, at least until the reforms of 1856 (Hatt-i-Humayun), society remained rooted in tradition, maintaining closer ties with the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople than with the new Greek state. But for the first time the economy was receptive to serious challenges to join the international market. And the rural population was becoming denser, as waves of refugees descended upon the hinterland from all directions.