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Encyclopedia > Aristocracy

Erik Dyreng is a weird-o'The term aristocracy refers to a form of government where power is held by a small number of individuals from a social elite or from noble families. The transmission of power is often hereditary. In common usage, the term is often a synonym for the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the the nobility, mainly hereditary, of Europe and other parts of the world, regardless of how much political power they have. Anarchist redirects here. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      This article applies to political and organizational ideologies. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      An autocracy is a form of government in which the political power is held by a single person. ... This article is about a form of government in which the state operates under the control of a Communist Party. ... Direct democracy, classically termed pure democracy,[1] comprises a form of democracy and theory of civics wherein sovereignty is lodged in the assembly of all citizens who choose to participate. ... Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principles of popular sovereignty by the peoples representatives. ... This does not cite its references or sources. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A dictatorship is an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by a dictator. ... Roland pledges his fealty to Charlemagne; from a manuscript of a chanson de geste. ... Kleptocracy (sometimes Cleptocracy) (root: Klepto+cracy = rule by thieves) is a pejorative, informal term for a government that is primarily designed to sustain the personal wealth and political power of government officials and their cronies (collectively, kleptocrats). ... Kritarchy is a form of government ruled by judges and is based on natural rights. ... A Krytocracy is a government ruled by judges. ... In civics, minarchism, sometimes called minimal statism or small government, is the view that the size, role and influence of government in a free society should be minimal — only large enough to protect the liberty and property of each individual. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... For the documentary series, see Monarchy (TV series). ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Absolute monarchy is a monarchical form of government where the monarch has the power to rule his or her land or country and its citizens freely, with no laws or legally-organized direct opposition in force. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A constitutional monarchy is a form of government established under a constitutional system which acknowledges an elected or hereditary monarch as head of state, as opposed to an absolute monarchy, where the monarch is not bound by a... Ochlocracy (Greek: οχλοκρατια; Latin: ochlocratia) is government by mob or a mass of people, or the intimidation of constitutional authorities. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Oligarchy (Greek , Oligarkhía) is a form of government where political power effectively rests with a small, elite segment of society (whether distinguished by wealth, family or military powers). ... A plutocracy is a form of government where the states power is centralized in an affluent social class. ... Look up republic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Classical republic. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      A constitutional republic is a state where the head of state and other officials are elected as representatives of the people and must govern according to existing constitutional law that limits the governments power over citizens. ... Parliamentary republics around the world, shown in Orange (Parliamentary republics with a non-executive President) and Green (Parliamentary republics with an executive President linked to Parliament). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Socialist state. ... A Capitalist Republic is the name for a Federal Republic with a Capitalist or Private Capital economic system that has a major outcome on elections or selections of major political leaders. ... States in which the constitution mandates power to a sole party are colored brown. ... The term thalassocracy (from the Greek Θαλασσο-κρατία) refers to a state with primarily maritime realms—an empire at sea, such as the Phoenician network of merchant cities. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      For the metal band, refer to Theocracy (band). ... Theonomy The word theonomy derives from the Greek words “theos” God, and “nomos” law. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Totalitarianism is a term employed by some scientists, especially those in the field of comparative politics, to describe modern regimes in which the state regulates nearly every aspect of public and private behavior. ... Nobility is a traditional hereditary status (see hereditary titles) that exists today in many countries (mainly present or former monarchies). ...


In aristocratic government, power is thus confined to an elite drawn from a single caste, or social class. For other uses, see Elite (disambiguation). ... Caste systems are traditional, hereditary systems of social classification, that evolved due to the enormous diversity in India (where all three primary races met, not by forced slavery but by immigration). ... Social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups in societies or cultures. ...


It is derived from two Ancient Greek words: "aristos" meaning the "best" and "kratein" "to rule" and so aristocracy originally meant "rule by the best". Aristocracies have most often been hereditary plutocracies (see below), with a belief in their own superiority. Aristocracies often include a monarch who although a member of the aristocracy rules over the aristocracy as well as the rest of society. Aristocracy can also refer to the highest class in society even if they do not rule directly. Note: This article contains special characters. ... A plutocracy is a form of government where the states power is centralized in an affluent social class. ...

Contents

History

The term "aristocracy" was first given in Athens to young citizens (the men of the ruling class) who led armies from the front line with their swords up. [citation needed] Since military bravery was such a highly regarded virtue in ancient Greece, the armies were being led by "the best". From the ancient Greeks, the term passed on to the European Middle Ages for a similar hereditary class of military leaders often referred to as the "nobility". As in ancient Greece, this was a slave holding class of privileged men whose military role allowed them to present themselves as the most "noble", or "best". The word citizen may refer to: A person with a citizenship Citizen Watch Co. ... Personification of virtue (Greek ἀρετή) in Celsus Library in Ephesos, Turkey Virtue (Latin virtus; Greek ) is moral excellence of a person. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... Nobility is a traditional hereditary status (see hereditary titles) that exists today in many countries (mainly present or former monarchies). ...


In India, these men are strictly of the martial or Kshatriya caste such as Jats, Rajputs and their sub-divisions only. For the Bollywood film of the same name see Kshatriya Kshatriya (Hindi: , from Sanskrit: , ) is one of the four varnas, or castes, in Hinduism. ... Jats are now preeminently a farming community. ... A Rajput (possibly from Sanskrit rāja-putra, son of a king) is a member of a prominent caste who live throughout northern and central India, primarily in the northwestern state of Rajasthan. ...


In early China, the emperor & his descendants would be of this status. An emperorrefers to Nick Herringshaw, a title, empress may only indicate the wife of an emperor (empress consort. ...


Contrastingly, in Japan, till present, this title would be reserved for the emperor only. An emperorrefers to Nick Herringshaw, a title, empress may only indicate the wife of an emperor (empress consort. ...


In the Islamic world, the aristocratic caste of Sayyid belongs exclusively to the descendants of Muhammad and extends to all classes of society. This is usually distinguished from the ordinary use of "Sayyid" to mean 'Sir' or 'Lord'. In this sense, the Sayyid is a born aristocrat on account of his/her blood lineage to the person of the Muhammad and is usually synonymous with high morality, integrity, cleanliness, impeccable manners and deep courtesy. Both aristocracies relied upon an established church to back up their claims of being "best" in the society. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Muhammad in a new genre of Islamic calligraphy started in the 17th century by Hafiz Osman. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For the architectural structure, see Church (building). ...


The French Revolution attacked aristocrats as people who had achieved their status by birth rather than by merit, such unearned status being considered unjust. The term had became synonymous with people who claim luxuries and privileges as a birthright. In the United Kingdom and other European countries in which hereditary titles are still recognised, "aristocrat" still refers to the descendant of one of approximately 7,000 families with hereditary titles, usually still in possession of considerable wealth, though not necessarily so. Hereditary titles, in a general sense, are titles, positions or styles that are hereditary(heritable) in particular families. ...


Comparison with other government forms

Aristocracy can be compared with:

  • autocracy - "rule by a single individual", such as a dictator or absolute monarch.
  • meritocracy - "rule by those who most deserve to rule". While this appears to be the same as the original meaning of "aristocracy", the term "meritocracy" has usually implied a much more fluid form of government in which one is, at most, considered "best" for life, but must continually prove one's "merit" in order to stay in power. This power is not passed on to descendants.
  • plutocracy - "rule by the wealthy". Wealth is passed down through inheritance, and in countries like England may be kept intact through primogeniture, in which the oldest child (usually first male) inherits the bulk of the wealth and titles.
  • oligarchy - "rule by the few". Whether an aristocracy is also an oligarchy depends entirely upon one's idea of what is a "few".
  • monarchy - "rule by a single individual". Historically, the vast majority of monarchs have been aristocrats themselves. However, they have also been very often at odds with the rest of the aristocracy, since it was composed of their rivals. The struggle between a ruling dynastic family and the other aristocratic families in the same country has been a central theme of medieval history.
  • democracy - "rule by the people". Democracy and aristocracy are incompatible as forms of government because of the hereditary nature of power in an aristocratic system.

Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      An autocracy is a form of government in which the political power is held by a single person. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... A plutocracy is a form of government where the states power is centralized in an affluent social class. ... Primogeniture is the common law right of the first born son to inherit the entire estate, to the exclusion of younger siblings. ... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Oligarchy (Greek , Oligarkhía) is a form of government where political power effectively rests with a small, elite segment of society (whether distinguished by wealth, family or military powers). ... For the documentary series, see Monarchy (TV series). ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... For the scientific journal Heredity see Heredity (journal) Heredity (the adjective is hereditary) is the transfer of characters from parent to offspring, either through their genes or through the social institution called inheritance (for example, a title of nobility is passed from individual to individual according to relevant customs and...

See also

Nobility is a traditional hereditary status (see hereditary titles) that exists today in many countries (mainly present or former monarchies). ...

External links

  • BBC series on recent history of European aristocracy

Further reading

  • Beerbohm, Max, Zuleika Dobson.
  • Bence-Jones, Mark. The Viceroys of India. Curzon family.
  • Brough, James. Consuelo: Portrait of an American Heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt's marriage to the Duke of Marlborough. Marlborough family.
  • Bush, Michael L. The English Aristocracy: a Comparative Synthesis. Manchester University Press, 1984. Concise comparative historical treatment.
  • Bush, Michael L. Noble Privilege. (The European Nobility, vol. 1) Manchester University Press, 1983.
  • Cannadine, David, 1998 Aspects of Aristocracy (series Penguin History) ISBN 0-14-024953-2. Essays on class issues, aristocratic family norms, careers.
  • Cannadine, David. The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy. Yale University Press, 1990.
  • Channon, Sir Henry. Chips: The Diaries of Sir Henry Channon Robert Rhodes James, editor. Excerpts from the diaries of a privileged observer, 1934–53.
  • Country Life Magazine, Documenting houses, gardens, pictures, horses, local history, debutantes since 1897.
  • Forster, E. M., Howard's End.
  • Galsworthy, John. The Forsyte Saga
  • Girouard, Mark. Life in the English Country House : A Social and Architectural History
  • Halperin, John. Eminent Georgians: The Lives of King George V, Elizabeth Bowen, St. John Philby, & Nancy Astor
  • James, Henry. The novels.
  • Jullian, Philippe. Prince of aesthetes: Count Robert de Montesquiou, 1855-1921. Montesquiou family; the Decadent movement and the original of Proust's Baron de Charlus.
  • Lacey, Robert. Aristocrats. Little, Brown, 1983.
  • Lampedusa, G., The Leopard novel.
  • Lovell, Mary S. The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family.
  • Mitford, Jessica. Hons and Rebels. ISBN 1-59017-110-1
  • Mitford, Nancy, Love in a Cold Climate
  • Montagu of Beaulieu, Lord (Edward John Barrington Douglas-Scott-Montagu). More equal than others: The changing fortunes of the British and European aristocracies. St. Martin, 1970.
  • Morton, Henry. The Rothschilds.
  • Nicholson, Nigel. Portrait of a Marriage : Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson
  • Pearson, John. The Sitwells: A Family's Biography
  • Pine, Leslie G. Tales of the British Aristocracy. Burke Publishing Co. 1956.
  • Prochaska, F. K., editor, 2002. Royal Lives ISBN 0-19-860530-7 (Lives series) Excerpted official biographies from the Dictionary of National Biography
  • Proust, Marcel, The Guermantes' Way', Sodom and Gomorrah. The closed circle of French aristocracy after 1870.
  • Sutherland, Douglas, The Fourth Man: The story of Blunt, Philby, Burgess, and Maclean The double career of Sir Anthony Blunt, Keeper of the Queen's Works of Art and spy.
  • The Tatler Magazine.
  • Trollope, Anthony The Plantagenet Palliser series of Parliamentary novels.
  • Wasson, Ellis, Aristocracy and the Modern World, Palgrave Macmillan 2006.
  • Waugh, Evelyn. Brideshead Revisited
  • Waugh, Evelyn, Decline and Fall.
  • Winchester, Simon. Their Noble Lordships: Class and Power in Modern Britain. Faber & Faber, 1981.

Film: Gosford Park, The Perfect Husband, A Room with a View Max Beerbohm by William Rothenstein, 1893 Sir Henry Maximilian Beerbohm (August 24, 1872 - May 20, 1956) was an English parodist and caricaturist. ... Country Life is a British weekly magazine. ... Edward Morgan Forster, OM (January 1, 1879 – June 7, 1970), was an English novelist, short story writer, and essayist. ... Howards End is a novel by E. M. Forster, first published in 1910, which tells the story of class struggle in turn-of-the-century England. ... John Galsworthy OM (14 August 1867 – 31 January 1933) was an English novelist and playwright. ... For other uses of this name, see Henry James (disambiguation). ... Nancy Mitford, 1957 The Hon. ... The Dictionary of National Biography (or DNB) is a standard work of reference on notable figures from British history. ... Tatler is a British magazine, originally founded in 1709 by Richard Steele. ... Anthony Trollope (April 24, 1815 – December 6, 1882) became one of the most successful, prolific and respected English novelists of the Victorian era. ... Evelyn Waugh, as photographed in 1940 by Carl Van Vechten Arthur Evelyn St. ... Upstairs, Downstairs was a BAFTA and Emmy award-winning British drama set in a large townhouse in Edwardian London that depicted the lives of the servants downstairs and their masters upstairs. It ran on ITV for five series from 1971 to 1975. ... The Jewel in the Crown is a British television drama series produced by Granada Television for ITV and based on the Raj Quartet novels by Paul Scott. ... Brideshead Revisited, The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder is a novel by the English writer Evelyn Waugh, first published in 1945. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... This article is about the book. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Aristocracy - LoveToKnow 1911 (882 words)
Aristocracy is thus the government by those who are superior both morally and intellectually, and, therefore, govern directly in the interests of the governed, as a good doctor works for the good of his patient.
The distinction between aristocracy and oligarchy, which are both necessarily the rule of the few, is that whereas the few apcaroc will govern unselfishly, the oligarchs, being the few wealthy ("plutocracy" in modern terminology), will allow their personal interests to predominate.
The aristocracy of which we know most in ancient Greece was that of Athens prior to the reforms of Cleisthenes, but all the Greek city-states passed through a period of aristocratic or oligarchic government.
aristocracy — FactMonster.com (273 words)
Aristocracy may be based on wealth as well as land, as in ancient Carthage and medieval Venice, or may be a theocracy like the Brahman caste in India.
Inflation, which cut into the fixed income of the aristocracy, the loss of the traditional military role of the aristocracy, and the rise of industry and decline in the importance of landed property have all worked against the aristocracy.
Aristocracy - Aristocracy The cold shade of the aristocracy—i.e.
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