VCR Lesson 3

Rachael Davis

Fill in the Blank

The major decisions of the town were made by an ________ that was composed of five wise men.

The Word

  • Oligos (Greek) = few
  • Arkhein (Greek) = to rule

n. Government by the few, especially a faction of persons or families.


  • Domination
  • Totality


  • Democracy


Oligarchies were often controlled by powerful families, whose children were raised and mentored to be the heirs of the oligarchy. In some cases, oligarchs chose not to exercise political power openly, but exerted control through economic or political pressure.

An example of an oligarchy is the Spartan oligarchy. It was a group of twenty-eight men over sixty years old, joined by two kings. This group was called the "council of elders", and it had two major roles. It proposed laws which were put before the citizen assembly and functioned as a Supreme Court.

Identify the incorrect sentence

a) According to many people, the economy is run by a financial oligarchy that has the richest men on the planet.

b) The school's student council was an oligarchy that consisted of a group of ten students who planned events and worked with many teachers.

c) The company's oligarchy, which consists of the president, vice-president, and the treasurer, makes all the key decisions.

d) The oligarchy in France consisted of the King who made all of the decisions and passed all the laws by himself.