Introduction: The course of social change in the inter-war period

The structural changes that the Greek state underwent at all levels after 1922 did not leave the earlier social formation intact. Fluidity became a permanent characteristic of the period, even though some older factors continued to hold sway alongside new ones that had emerged. The presence of refugees, the formation of the working class and reconstructions in the wider rural and urban areas were the new elements of the social scene. Social clashes in various forms became more frequent while the state took on a new role with its mechanisms such as welfare and suppression.
In the first phase of the inter-war period, and up to 1932, the demand for urban modernization, mainly expressed by Eleftherios Venizelos, lost the irredentist character which had led it to seek the expansion of the Greek state (with the ideological crowning of the Great Idea) and expressed itself through the building of a unified national state in the form of the Republic. During the crucial period 1932-1936, both the democratic constitution and social cohesion itself suffered irreparable blows. The rise to power of the dictator Ioannis Metaxas (1936) marked the transition to a new period, having as its main characteristic the submission of society and its functions to the newly authoritarian state.