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15 terms

Types of Government Systems

STUDY
PLAY
aristocracy
Power is in the hands of a hereditary ruling class or nobility. A form of oligarchy. EX: Saudi Arabia
autocracy
A single person rules with unlimited power. Also called dictatorship and despotism. EX: Germany under Adolf Hitler
direct democracy
Citizens hold political power by citizens directly making political decisions. EX: ancient Athens
representative democracy
Citizens hold political power by electing representatives. EX: United States
federal
Powers are divided among federal, or national government and a number of state governments. EX: United States
feudalism
A king allows nobles to use his land in exchange for their loyalty, military service, and protection of the people who live on the land. EX: Medieval Europe
military state
Military leaders rule, supported by the power of the armed forces. EX: Myanmar
absolute monarchy
A ruling family headed by a king or queen holds all the political power. EX: reign of King Louis XIV of France
constitutional monarchy
The ruling family's power is limited by the constitution or laws of the nation. EX: present-day United Kingdom
oligarchy
A few persons or a small group rule. EX: ancient Greek city-states
parliamentary
Legislative and executive functions are combined in a legislature called a parliament. EX: present-day United Kingdom
presidential
The chief officer is a president who is elected independently of the legislature. EX: present-day United States
republic
Citizens elect representatives to rule on their behalf. EX: United States
theocracy
Religious leaders control the government, relying on religious law and consultation with religious scholars. EX: present-day Iran
totalitarianism
The government controls every aspect of public and private life, and all opposition is suppressed. EX: Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin