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A small group of elite people having control, as a form of government, over a country, organization, or institution. This form of government usually exists in the order of family hierarchy, where children are born into royalty and/or wealth and raised as heirs to positions of power. Throughout history, oligarchies have exercised power for economic benefits and purposes and have relied highly on public servitude. Examples include Japan, during the Meiji Restoration; modern-day Russia; and, to some, the two-party political system in the United States and its procedural methods to exclude third parties from electoral politics.

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