Second Hellenic Republic

The "Second Hellenic Republic" was declared on March 25, 1924 after the defeat of Greece by Turkey in the Asia Minor Disaster of 1922 and the subsequent exile and death of King Constantine I in 1923. The king and his political nemesis, Eleftherios Venizelos, had struggled over control of the country from 1915 to his death and the country was sorely divided (see National Schism). King Constantine was succeeded by his son, King George II, who was asked by the parliament to leave Greece so the nation could decide what form of government it should adopt, ultimately selecting a Republic.

The first President of the Hellenic Republic was Pavlos Kountouriotis, an Admiral and supporter of Venizelos who resigned after a coup d'etat in 1925. He was succeeded by the coup's leader General Theodoros Pangalos, who was likewise deposed by the military 5 months later after embroiling Greece in the War of the Stray Dog. Kountouriotis was reinstated and reelected to the office in 1929, but was forced to resign for health reasons later that year. He was succeeded by Alexandros Zaimis, who served until the restoration of monarchy in 1935.

Despite a period of stability and relative prosperity under the last government of Eleftherios Venizelos in 1928-1932, the effects of the Great Depression were severely felt, and political instability returned. As the prospect of the return of the monarchy became evident, Venizelist officers launched a coup in March 1935, which was suppressed by General Georgios Kondylis. On October 10 1935, the chiefs of the Armed Forces overthrew the government of Panagis Tsaldaris, and Kondylis declared himself Regent. He abolished the Republic and staged a plebiscite on 11 November which resulted in return of the monarchy, in the person of King George II.


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