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How does an oligarchy work?

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An oligarchy works by effectively resting power with a small number of people. This group of people could be distinguished by being royalty, having wealth, having corporate or family ties or gaining military control.

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According to Princeton University, oligarchies have been tyrannical throughout history. Aristotle was the first to pioneer the use of the term oligarchy to mean a rule by wealth, but oligarchs can simply be a group of privileged people. Some examples of an oligarchy include the Vaishali and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Sparta could also be considered an oligarchy in Ancient Greece when it clashed with Athens during the Peloponnesian war.

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