The reputation of the 'victorious army commander', King Constantine I, was built during the Balkan Wars, when under his leadership the Greek army scored important victories.

In the general euphoria of the era, his role in the defeat of 1897 was forgotten or minimized. But when, later, in the build-up to the First World War, the question of coalitions arose, the attitude he had adopted contributed to his demystification as a binding national symbol; he became part of the political conflict. The neutrality he advocated was in favour of the Central Powers. This attitude of his disguised his dislike for paliamentary liberalism of the western republics and his confidence in the authoritarian and militarist ideals of Kaiser's Germany.

In general lines, the policy of Constantine expressed the views of the traditional social strata that were not in favour either of the reforms of the Venizelists or the entrance onto the political scene of new social forces. The established elites naturally feared any change of the status quo. They reached the point of facing with reservation both the outcome of the victorious Balkan Wars, that is the annexation to the Greek state of new territories and populations, and the furtherance of military operations aiming at a wider expansion of the borders of the Greek state. There were many reasons for this attitude: the 'unknown' outcome of these developments, the unbearable cost of campaigns in terms of human lives and money, the annexation of areas with remarkable productive and commercial activities (and therefore competitive with the economic centres of Old Greece), the presence of refugees from war zones or areas under foreign rule, who, on the one hand received minimal care from the state and, on the other hand, were developing economic activities competitive with those of native Greeks. In addition, the humiliating (so many thought) intervention of the Great Powers in the domestic affairs of the country and the imposition of the removal of the King in particular must be taken into account. This fact reinforced the discontent towards the policy of Venizelos and rallied the supporters of Constantine even more.

The victory of the anti-Venizelists in the elections of 1920, despite the success of the Treaty of Sevres, expressed the view of the 'small but honourable Greece'. What is of interest is that royalist governments immediately after this victory practised a policy opposite to that promised beforehand. They expanded the front in Asia Minor, probably inspired by the Great Idea even more than their predecessors. The chances are that various legends may have played a part, such as that of the marmaromenos vasilias (the king turned to marble) that Constantine might have personified in the imagination of his followers. Nevertheless, the required military conditions were not secured, and naturally it was impossible for aid to originate from the Great Powers, with whom the King had recently clashed. All these contributed to the magnitude of the ensuing Catastrophe.