REPERCUSSIONS OF THE REVOLUTION ON CRETE: THE ECONOMY AND POPULATION
The Economy as a Parameter
During the course of the revolution, economic activity did not shut down altogether, but it was gradually limited as revolutionary activity on the island spread and intensified. The revolutionaries drew their revenue from assorted voluntary or involuntary contributions, from exploiting Muslim and Christian property in rural areas and from the spoils taken in their raids. At the same time, trade was conducted in almost all accessible areas on the island, using olive oil as the main medium of exchange. Yet despite the relatively favourable conditions in the early years, after almost eight years of clashes and the mass flight of the population from the hinterland, the upshot was that the bulk of farmed land and other productive infrastructure was gradually abandoned and fell into ruin. Despite the revolution ending for good and attempts being made by the Egyptian Administration, the local economy continued to face major problems, but gradually regained its momentum in the 1830s.
Demographic and Social Shifts
The protracted fighting, difficult living conditions and mass flight of both Christians and Muslims from the island resulted in serious shrinkage of the Cretan population. A total of between 98,000 and 116,000 inhabitants were recorded in 1832-1833, whereas it had been put at around 260,000 - 280,000 in pre-revolutionary times, i.e. a reduction in the order of 56% to 62%. At the same time, the relative proportion of the two religious communities changed slightly, giving a 10% lead to the Christians compared to 6% before the revolution. Changes between the towns and the countryside were small but equally important. Although the ratio between them did not radically alter, the presence of Muslims grew in the towns, especially in Heraklion, as did that of the Christians in the countryside. Beyond population shifts, the flight of Muslims and the policy implemented by the Egyptian Administration led to significant changes on the level of land ownership in favour of the Christians, decisively impacting how the broader framework took shape on Crete over the remainder of the 19th century.