What is an Oligarchy?
An oligarchy is a type of government in which a few rule over many.
Who are Oligarchs?
In Ancient Greece, the oligarchs that shared power were all wealthy men called aristocrats. Most oligarchs had inherited their wealth from their families or were successful business men. Oligarchs lived lives of luxury full of good food and fun activities.
Most of the laws in the Ancient Greek Oligarchy were not approved by the citizens and mainly served those in power. These laws made it possible for the oligarchs to stay wealthy and were enforced by the use of military power.
Life as a common citizen
As a result of the laws instated by the oligarchy, many citizens had to work very hard and for many hours each day. If they were unable to pay their taxes, the citizens were forced to sell themselves into slavery. Most citizens were unhappy living under an oligarchy and wanted things to change.
The word oligarchy comes from
Greek and is written like this:
The end of Oligarchy
The people were tired of living under a system in which the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. Eventually, the citizens and the military joined together to overthrow the oligarchy. This was possible because together, the military and citizens were much greater in number and gained power by uniting under a common cause.