November 14, 2007

Different Types of Government

Anarchy is a situation where there is no government.
This can happen after a civil war in a country, when a government has been destroyed and rival groups are fighting to take its place.
Anarchists are people who believe that government is a bad thing. They say it stops people organising their own lives.

In a capitalist or free-market country, people can own their own businesses and property.
People can also buy services for private use, such as healthcare.
But most capitalist governments also provide their own education, health and welfare services.

In a communist country, the government owns things like businesses and farms.
It provides its people's healthcare, education and welfare.

In a democracy, the government is elected by the people.
Everyone who is eligible to vote has a chance to have their say over who runs the country.

This is a country ruled by a single leader.
The leader has not been elected and may use force to keep control.
In a military dictatorship, the army is in control.

Federal government
In this type of system, a central government shares power with a number of small local governments.
The USA is a type of this, called a federal republic.

A monarchy has a king or queen.
In some traditional monarchies, the monarch has absolute power.
But a constitutional monarchy, like the UK, also has a democratic government that limits the monarch's control.

Regional or local
This is a government or council that controls a smaller area within a country.
Some local governments have very limited powers and are mainly controlled by the central government.
Others are powerful enough to make their own laws, like individual states in the USA.

A republic is a country that has no monarch.
The head of the country is usually an elected president.

In a Democracy, the people meet and exercise the government in person;
in a Republic they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents.
A Democracy consequently will be confined to a small spot.
A Republic may be extended over a large region

Revolutionary government
If a government is overthrown by force, the new ruling group is sometimes called a revolutionary government.

Totalitarian state
This is a country with only one political party.
People are forced to do what the government tells them and may also be prevented from leaving the country.

A country that is changing from one type of government to another has a transitional government.
For example, a dictatorship may turn into a democracy after the dictator dies.
The change between governments can take several years.


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