Types of Governments


            1.  The types of governments are based on one key question

a.  Who governs the state?


2.      There are three different types of governements

a.       Autocracy

b.      Oligarchy

c.       Democracy



1.      Government in which the power to govern is held by one person

2.      Generally the power to rule is inherited, or by military force

3.      There are three types of Autocracy

a.       Totalitarian Dictatorship

1.      The government seeks to control all aspects of social and economic life

2.      An example would be Adolf Hitler in Germany, and Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union

b.      Absolute Monarchy

1.      King, queen  or emperor control government

2.      The power is usually inherited or passed down from family members

3.      The King of Saudi Arabia is an example this form of government


c.       Constitutional Monarch

1.      Kings, queens or emperors share power with elected legislatures

2.      Generally Kings are nothing more than figureheads

3.      Examples would be Japan and Great Britain



1.      Small group of people hold power

2.      The group gets their power from either military, wealth or social status

3.      Examples would be China.

4.      Usually these governments claim to rule for the people. 

a.       May hold elections, but offer only one candidate, or control elections

5.      Usually suppress political opposition








1.      Rule is by the people

2.      There are two forms of democracy

a.       Direct Democracy

1.      People vote on all issues

2.      Exists in small societies where citizens can regurarly meet and discuss issues

3.      Examples of this is in New England

b.      Representative Democracy (AKA Republic, Constitutional Republic)

1.      People elect representatives and give the them the power to vote on issues

3.       Works to develop individual freedoms and equality

4.      Based on majority rule

5.       Free elections must be held

a.       Everyone votes carries equal weight

b.      All candidates can express their views freely

c.       Citizens are free to help candidates

d.      Legal requirements to vote are kept to a minimum

e.       Citizens vote by secret ballot