Liberation, Civil War

Greece 1949 to 1967

Administration . King Paul (1947-1964) was succeeded by King Constantine II (1964-1973). A new, democratic constitution was passed in 1952. Greece was a constitutional monarchy; general elections were held in 1950, 1951, 1952, 1956, 1958, 1961, 1963 and 1964. From 1949 to 1967 Greece saw 23 cabinets come and go; the one politician who was able to hold on to the position for more than a couple of months was Konstantinos Karamanlis (1955-1958, 1958-1961, 1961-1963). In 1967 Greece became a military dictatorship.

Foreign Policy . In 1951 Greece and Turkey joined NATO. In 1954, Greece, Turkey and Yugoslavia signed the Balkan Pact, a U.S.-supported mutual defense alliance intended to contain the USSR.
In 1954 Greece promoted Enosis (the annexation of Cyprus, then a British possession, with Greece); as Britain was not cooperative, the EOKA began a campaign of terrorism. Britain suggested negotiations on Cyprus' future involving representatives of the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey. The Greek government was opposed to the participation of Turkey; Graeco-Turkish relations deteriorated, reaching a low in the 1955 Istanbul pogrom. Under PM Karamanlis, Greece abandoned the policy of Enosis and now aimed at promoting the independence of Cyprus, which was achieved in 1960. A constitution guaranteed that both population groups (Christian Greeks and Muslim Turks) would be represented in government; Greece and Turkey, as signatories of the Cyprus Treaty, guaranteed the constitution.
On Cyprus, pogroms against isolated Turkish villages, organised by the Greek EOKA were conducted, f.ex. in 1963.

Political History . Following World War II, the democratic Greek government had been established with, during the Greek Civil War supported by massive Anglo-American aid (Truman Doctrine, Marshall Plan). British influence had contributed to the monarchy in Greece being restored.
With the Communist Party being banned, the Greek political landscape was fragmented. From 1949 to 1952, Greece had 7 cabinets and 3 general elections. From 1952 to 1963 Greece experienced political stability. Next to political fragmentation of Greece's political landscape, another factor destabilizing politics was the interference of kings into political matters. Konstantin Karamanlis, PM for most of the time between 1955 and 1963, resigned over a disagreement with King Paul, and decided to go into self-imposed exile. Young King Constantine II. (1964-1973), even more than his father, tried to play an active political role, in 1965 being involved in a coup ousting PM Georgios Papandreou. From the resignation of Kostantin Karamanlis in 1963 until the military coup in 1967, Greece had 10 cabinets.

The Economy . Greece benefitted from the Marshall Plan. After the war Greece's economy recovered; in contrast to central European countries it remained largely based on agriculture, fishing and on the growing tourism sector. Greece developed one of the world's largest merchant shipping fleets, operated by shipping tycoons such as Aristoteles Onassis.

Social History . According to the census of 1951, Greece had a population of 7.63 million, in 1961 the figure was 8.38 milion, the 1971 figure is 8.76 million (Lahmeyer).

Cultural History . The 1960 movie Never on Sunday made Greek actress Melina Mercouri an international star. In 1963, Greek poet Giorgos Seferis was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. Regular tv broadcasting began in 1966.
Greek athletes participated in the Summer Olympics of Helsinki 1952, Melbourne 1956, Rome 1960 and Tokyo 1964. Future king Constantine in 1960 won a gold medal (sailing, dragon class).

Articles Paul of Greece, Constantine II. of Greece, Elections in Greece, List of Prime Ministers of Greece, Constantine Karamanlis, Communist Party of Greece, Apostasia of 1965, Elliniki Radiofonia Tileorasi, Greece at the 1952 Summer Olympics, Greece at the 1956 Summer Olympics, Greece at the 1960 Summer Olympics, Greece at the 1964 Summer Olympics, Giorgos Seferis, Melina Mercouri, from Wikipedia
Overview over the Constitutional History of Modern Greece, from Greek Parliament
Greece 1964-1974. F.. your parliament and your constitution, said the President of the United States, from William Blum, Killing Hope, posted by Third World Traveller
Greece : The Party System in 1950-1956 and 1957-1962, in : Kenneth Janda, Political Parties : A Cross-National Survey
DOCUMENTS List of Greek Prime Ministers etc., from World Statesmen by Ben Cahoon
Historical Population Statistics : Greece, from Population Statistics, Univ. Utrecht
Protocol to the North Atlantic Treaty on the Accession of Greece and Turkey, Oct. 22nd 1951, from Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The Truman Doctrine, speech in US Congress, March 12th 1947, from Modern History Sourcebook
United States Use of Defense Facilities: Agreement Between the United States and the Kingdom of Greece, October 12, 1953 , from Avalon Project at Yale Law School
Treaty of Alliance, Political Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance Between the Turkish Republic, the Kingdom of Greece, and the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia (Balkan Pact), August 9, 1954, from Avalon Project at Yale Law School
Makedonska Iskra - newspaper of the Macedonian community in Australia, 1946-1957, posted by Pollitecon
REFERENCE Richard Clogg, A Concise History of Greece, Cambridge : UP 1992, KMLA Lib.Sign. 949.5 C643a
Article Greece, in : Encyclopaedia Britannica, Macropaedia, 15th edition, vol.20 pp.178-205, KMLA Lib.Sign. R 032 B862n v.20
Chapter 12 : Along the Mediterranean, pp.160-177, in : John Gunter, Inside Europe Today, NY : Harper & Bros. 1961 [G]
Article Greece, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1950 pp. 332-333, 1951 pp. 334-335, 1952 pp. 326-327, 1953 pp. 323-325, 1954 pp. 321-323, 1955 pp. 370-371, 1956 pp. 310-311, 1957 pp. 371-372, 1958 pp. 308-309, 1959 pp. 306-307, 1960 pp. 305-306, 1961 pp. 311-312, 1962 pp. 304-305, 1963 pp. 421-422, 1964 pp. 400-401, 1965 pp. 395-397, 1966 pp. 350-351, 1967 pp. 381-382 [G]
Article : Greece, in : Americana Annual 1957 pp.335-337, 1961 pp.316-318, 1962 pp.321-322, 1963 pp.293-295, 1964 pp.292-293, 1965 pp.309-310, 1967 pp.322-323 [G]
Article : Greece, in : Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1952 pp.187-188, 1961 pp.143-144 [G]
Time/Life : Time Capsule 1950, A History of the Year Condensed from the Pages of Time pp.131-132; 1959 p.19 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on September 28th 2007

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