The land reform of 1945 has, as it was shown in Chapter 2, decapitated the landowning hierarchy by dispersing the large estates, but did little to change the social fabric of the rural communities. From the beneficiaries' point of view, the significance of the land reform was that it settled the 'thousand year long dispute' of the Hungarian peasant for the land and gave an impetus to post-War recovery. Nevertheless, the majority of land recipients remained deprived; with very few exceptions, neither their material conditions nor their position within the community was greatly affected by the changes. In these immediate postwar years the peasantry as a whole was strengthened and the categories of the peasant system were unchanged in meaning, content and prospects.