Greek society in the inter-war period, 1923-1940

The first decade of the inter-war period ushered in the idea of the modern city, introducing and examining new concepts within an evolving society and a state full of aspirations and anticipations. The refugee presence changed the profile of major landownership (expropriations, positive redistribution of big estates), but also transformed urban centres (Athens, Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Volos, Kavala) into densely populated industrial cities. In this way it directly contributed to the industrial and urban transformation of Greek society.
The middle class, whose rise contributed to the advance of the Liberal bloc, had by now established itself in the social and political system of the country. Even though at the beginning it had supported Eleftherios Venizelos in his efforts at restoration, it did not allow him to pursue his modernizing vision. The business world, which at the beginning had apparently supported consensus politics (e.g. ecumenical governments), became divided in the early 1930s in its trade and industrial sector. Increasing pressure from the working classes and confusion in the Venizelist camp led to a polarization that took the form of political rallying around the values and concepts of a wider conservative bloc (practically of the People's Party).
For all these reasons, then, the inter-war period was a turning point in the formation of modern Greek society. One can distingusih two phases in the period defined by two major events: the Catastrophe (1922) and Occupation (1941). The former, coinciding with the Republic, was marked by dynamic mobilizations in a state struggling to confront and overcome the consequences of defeat. The period was characterized by organized struggles over claims, while new forms of scepticism emerged about aspects of the social system - though these were violently checked by the authoritarian Regime of the Fourth of August. The experience of Metaxas' 'New State', combined with the bankruptcy of the old political world, would contribute decisively to the process of radicalization that a large part of the social classes experienced in the Occupation period that immediately followed.