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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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
The feudal aristocracy was not the only class that has ruined by the bourgeoisie, not the only class whose conditions of existence pined and perished in the atmosphere of modern bourgeois society.
The fight of the German, and especially, of the Prussian bourgeoisie, against feudal aristocracy and absolute monarchy, in other words, the liberal movement, became more earnest.
It is, therefore, not among our aristocracy that we must look (if at all, in Appallachia), for the spirituality of a British boudoir.
The spirit of clanship which was, at an early day, introduced into that kingdom, uniting the nobles and their dependants by ties equivalent to those of kindred, rendered the aristocracy a constant overmatch for the power of the monarch, till the incorporation with England subdued its fierce and ungovernable spirit, and reduced it within those rules of subordination which a more rational and more energetic system of civil polity had previously established in the latter kingdom.
First, then, I said, let us enquire how timocracy (the government of honour) arises out of aristocracy (the government of the best).
And the new government which thus arises will be of a form intermediate between oligarchy and aristocracy?
Even a Master of Arts in our University of Wentbridge has been known to confuse a ten-sided with a twelve-sided Polygon; and there is hardly a Doctor of Science in or out of that famous University who could pretend to decide promptly and unhesitatingly between a twenty-sided and a twenty-four sided member of the Aristocracy.
My "seonbaenim" at Harvard, Martina Deuchler, has concluded that Korea has had only one ruling aristocracy for over 1,500 years.
Weak politicians pandering for votes have created a labour aristocracy for which different laws apply when it comes to work terms and conditions.
Summary: New Delhi [India], Mar 29 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday said that the Lok Sabha election is being fought between aristocracy and 'chowkidar.'
Aristocracy has often been seen as elitism while its opponents have been seen to manifest an envy that was dangerous to any society.
He sets out his case in the introduction to Entitled, which one suspects gathers together more information and anecdotes about our aristocracy than has appeared in a single volume before.