Oligarchic

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Oligarchic'

Oligarchic Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    oligarchic adj : of or relating to or supporting or characteristic of an oligarchy [syn: oligarchical]
Oligarchic Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Oligarchic \Ol`i*gar"chic\, Oligarchical \Ol`i*gar"chic*al\, a. [Gr. ?: cf. F. oligarchique. See Oligarchy.] Of or pertaining to oligarchy, or government by a few. ``Oligarchical exiles.'' --Jowett (Thucyd. ).
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Oligarchic'


An oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία, oligarkhía Such states are often controlled by politically powerful families whose children are heavily conditioned and mentored to be heirs of the power of the oligarchy.

Oligarchies have been tyrannical throughout history, being completely reliant on public servitude to exist. Although Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as a synonym for rule by the rich, for which the exact term is plutocracy, oligarchy is not always a rule by wealth, as oligarchs can simply be a privileged group, and do not have to be connected by bloodlines as in a monarchy. Some city-states from ancient Greece were oligarchies.

Some examples include Vaishali, the French First Republic government under the Directory, and the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth (only the nobility could vote).In the time of the ancient Greeks, Sparta was an oligarchy that clashed with the democratic city-state of Athens,(these two nations eventually clashed in the Peloponnesian war in which Sparta defeated Athens causing the city state to rule much of Greece for some time). A modern example of oligarchy could be seen in South Africa during the twentieth century. Here, the basic characteristics of oligarchy are particularly easy to observe, since the South African form of oligarchy was based on race. After the Second Boer War, a tacit agreement or understanding that was reached between English- and Afrikaans-speaking whites. Together, they made up about twenty percent of the population, but this small percentage ruled the vast non-white and mixed-race population. Whites had access to virtually all the educational and trade opportunities, and they proceeded to deny this to the black majority even further than before. Although this process had been going on since the mid-17th- 18th century, after 1948 it became official government policy and became known worldwide as apartheid. This lasted until the arrival of democracy in South Africa in 1994, punctuated by the transition to a democratically-elected government dominated by the black majority.

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