Under the leadership of two brilliant generals, Apaminondas and Pelopidas, the Spartans were defeated in 371 BC at the battle of Leuctra. Life in Greece changed overnight. The Thebans dismantled the Peloponnesian League and created a new league of states which didn ‘t include Sparta. The Thebans took territory away from the Spartans, whose population had been severely depleted because of Agesilaus ‘s wars, freed all of the helots, and allowed them to set up an independent state. For the next thirty years, Thebes, a democracy would hold sway over much of the politics of the Greek mainland. The Thebans, however, were no more enlightened in their hegemony than the Spartans were, and they soon met bitter resentment and resistance. In 362, in the face of the rivalry of a new Peloponnesian coalition and a resurgent Athenian empire, as well as the deaths of Apaminondas and Pelopidas, Thebes quickly slipped out of its powerful position.