The Macedonian committees of Athens were the result of efforts by circles of anxious refugees from Macedonia. After the dissolution of the 'Ethniki Etaireia' (National Society) in 1900, its former members Pavlos Melas, Kostas Mazarakis, Athanassios Exadaktylos and others, became restless: they were anxious about the fate of Macedonia, from where appeals for help kept arriving.
Neoklis Kazazis' society "Hellenism", and the Committee in support of the Greek Church and Education, headed by Vikelas, Streit and Baltatzis, filled the gap, at least temporarily. In 1902, the central Macedonian Association, founded by the brothers Theoharis and Mavroudis Yeroyiannis from Halkidiki, made a vigorous appearance on the scene. After the dramatic events of 1903, the efforts of both individuals and the state took a more dynamic turn.
In May 1904, the Macedonian Committee was founded in Athens. It soon attracted the veterans of the 'Ethniki Etaireia', the activists around the politician Stefanos Dragoumis, members of other committees and associations, as well as representatives of the state. The guiding force behind the effort was Dimitris Kalapothakis, editor of the newspaper "Embros", which came to be the Committee's mouthpiece.
Until the spring of 1908, when it essentially lost its private character, the Macedonian Committee directed and concluded the fighting in western Macedonia. Its success lay primarily in the setting up of a parallel internal organization within Macedonia, which incorporated all the local committees, national associations and information networks. Armed initiatives on a smaller scale were also undertaken by the Yeroyiannis brothers in central Macedonia.