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What type of government is an Oligarchy?

What form of government is an Oligarchy?

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Oligarchy is a form of government wherein power rests only to a few members in the society. These people have political powers that control trade, education, military strength, and strong political influence. Oftentimes, groups of families form an oligarchy.

The history of how oligarchy started extends from the ancient times, to the royal families and England, and up to the modern era of today. One common reason how a society becomes an oligarchy type of government is because of the shift of power from one political family to another through the means of war, alliances or plainly military strength and monetary richness. Other oligarchy societies were also formed as a result of poor political systems wherein higher classes in the society take advantage of the situation.

The monarchal rule in England experiences defeat and loss of power by a group of elite people in the society during the reign of King John on 1215. During this era, King John’s political influence is slowly fading, leading to the draft of a Magna Carta that recognizes a group of nobles as heads of state. This now started the spread political power and more rights to a larger group of people. Over the years, the Magna Carta is revised and the oligarchy form of government continued in Europe.

In another continent and in a modern era, oligarchy still lingers among societies. South Africa during the 1900s experienced this type of government. After the Boer War, the Afrikaans- speaking whites ruled South Africa. They only comprise 20 percent of the population but they control the flow of health care, education, finance, and overall government. The black majority has little to no power over the Afrikaans-speaking whites who denied them of their basic rights as citizens of South Africa. Fortunately, this type of government did not last long. By 1994, South Africa adopted the democratic type of government where the black majority were given equal rights.

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