power structure in which power rests with a small number of people
Oligarchy is a form of government. In an oligarchic system, all the power is held by a small group of people. It is usually the most powerful people who govern the state. It was used in Sparta, where the kingship alternated between three leading families. Oligarchy can be a form of dictatorship.
Rule by the bestEdit
An oligarchy where the best rule is called Aristocracy.
Rule by the richEdit
If the richest people rule the country, this is called Plutocracy.
- Online Text: Leonard Whibley, Greek Oligarchies: Their Character and Organisation Archived 2005-03-12 at the Wayback Machine (1896), still the only full-scale treatment of oligarchy in Classical Greece.