The Septinsular Republic (Επτάνησος Πολιτεία, Repubblica Settinsulare) was an island republic that existed from 1800 to 1807 under nominal Ottoman sovereignty in the Ionian Islands. It was the first time Greeks had been granted even limited self-government since the fall of the last remnants of the Byzantine Empire to the Ottomans in the mid-15th century.
The seven islands constituting the Republic were:
Soon however, and despite several progressive measures adopted by the French administration, the population was alienated due to heavy taxation and the undisciplined behaviour of French soldiers. This discontent was used by a joint Russo-Ottoman force under Admiral Ushakov to evict the French from the islands. In March 1799, the city of Corfu fell after a four-month siege, ending French rule. This was the beginning of the Septinsular Republic.
In 1800, the so-called "Byzantine" Constitution was approved in Constantinople by the Sultan, establishing the Septinsular Republic as a tributary state to the Ottoman Empire. Political power was exercised more by murder and vendetta than through the Senate. The Republic existed practically as a Russian protectorate largely because the population saw the Russians as their Orthodox co-religionists. The political experience of administering the Republic was hugely important for the young Ioannis Kapodistrias, who thereby attracted Russian patronage, and would later became the first president of an independent Greece. Jervis gives a copy of the constitution (presumably the second) in his book. The franchise was restricted to males of legitimate Christian birth on the islands, who did not keep a shop or practise any mechanical art and could read and write. They also required a minimum yearly income which varied between the islands from 1800 ducats on Corfu to 315 ducats on Ithaca. People with the franchise are normally referred to as nobles but this term probably exaggerates their wealth.
H. Jervis-White Jervis 1852 reprinted 1970 History of the Island of Corfu and the Republic of the Ionian Islands