In these Flemish cities the early oligarchic form of municipal government speedily gave way to a democratic. The great mass of the townsmen organized in trade gilds - weavers, fullers, dyers, smiths, leather-workers, brewers, butchers, bakers and others, of which by far the most powerful was that of the weavers - as soon as they became conscious of their strength rebelled against the exclusive privileges of the patricians and succeeded in ousting them from power.
The Great Council of Venice, the curiae of Rome, were each of them the assembly of a privileged class, an assembly in which every member of that class had a right to a place, an assembly which might be called popular as far as the privileged class was concerned, though rigidly oligarchic as regarded the excluded classes.
This was the germ of the great council, the Maggior Consiglio, which was rendered strictly oligarchic in 1296.
In 479 he was re-elected strategus, and invested with special powers as commander of the Athenian contingent at Plataea; he is also said to have judiciously suppressed a conspiracy among some oligarchic malcontents in the army, and to have played a prominent part in arranging for the celebration of the victory.
Power passed into the hands of John de Witt, who represented the oligarchic element and the special interests of one province, Holland, and was taken from the Orange party which represented the more democratic element and the more general interests of the Seven Provinces.