Introduction: The formation of Greek society in the inter-war period

Determining the profile of the active population in Greece according to profession, social layers and classes is a very complex issue, even without the possible unreliability of the relevant censuses. The splits and schisms which tormented Greek society in the inter-war period were impressed on its fabric in many characteristic ways: on the one hand horizontally, from the point of view of economic stratification with the establishment of distinctive income groups; on the other hand vertically, with the creation of bipoles intersecting that same fabric.
The basic conclusion in the issue of social composition is that Greece remained a rural country: 60% of the active population were employed in agriculture and contributed 50% of the gross national revenue. The essential difference in relation to previous periods was that, after Venizelos' agrarian reform, the majority of farmers were now small landowners. At the same time, in urban populations a dominant position in the peculiar social stratification established in the inter-war period was taken by petit bourgeois, non-productive classes.
The power of big landowners significantly decreased as the result of the extended application of agrarian reform, which changed the socio-economic balance. Groups such as the upper clergy and univeristy professors were among the strongholds of anti-Venizelism and monarchy. What must be stressed is that during the whole period, the relation between society (and its agents) and the political figures speaking on its behalf was characterized by crises of representation. There was a frequent dislocation between political language and the radical and crucial social demands that emerged during this period.