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ARISTOCRACY. That form of government in which the sovereign power is exercised by a small number of persons to the exclusion of the remainder of the people.

References in periodicals archive ?
Nobody feared aristocracies more than Thomas Jefferson, who argued that the best way to prevent an aristocracy was to limit inheritance.
The primary source for these cultural phenomena was contact between the aristocracies of the three kingdoms, who not only served in the Netherlands but began volunteering in European armies, and "European martial culture" (19).
Michele Renee Salzman focuses specifically on members of the Roman senatorial, imperial, bureaucratic, and ecclesiastical aristocracies in the West from 284 to 423 from an empire that practiced traditional Roman religions to one that outlawed them.
With the exception of the English aristocracy, aristocracies and colonial elites running patrimonial management economic systems have generally been viewed as a parasitic class contributing little to process of economic growth.