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Forms of Government From CIA World FactbookMonarchy - a government in which the supreme power is lodged in the hands of a monarch (king or queen) who reigns over a state or territory, usually for life and by hereditary (inherited) right; the monarch may be either a sole absolute ruler or have constitutionally limited authority. Absolute monarchy - a form of government where the monarch rules unhindered (as he/she pleases), without any laws, constitution, or legally organized opposition. Constitutional monarchy - a system of government in which a monarch is guided by a constitution whereby his/her rights, duties, and responsibilities are spelled out in written law or by custom. Communist - a system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single party holds power (often total power); state controls put in place with the elimination of private ownership of property or businesses. Socialism - a government in which the means of planning, producing, and distributing goods is controlled by a central government that seeks a more equitable distribution of property and labor (attempt to reduce differences between upper and lower classes through programs to aid the lower class). Democracy - a form of government in which the supreme power is retained by the people, but which is usually exercised indirectly through a system of representation (leaders elected every few years as determined by a constitution). Republic - a representative democracy in which the people's elected representatives, not the people themselves, vote on legislation. Democratic republic - a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote for officers and representatives responsible to them. Parliamentary democracy - a political system in which the legislature (parliament) selects the government - a prime minister, premier, or chancellor along with the cabinet ministers - according to party strength as expressed in elections; people elected members of the legislative branch, then the members of that branch select the other members of government. Dictatorship - a form of government in which a ruler or small group of leaders have absolute power (not restricted by a constitution or laws). Oligarchy - a government in which control is exercised by a small group of individuals whose authority generally is based on wealth or power. Totalitarian - a government that seeks to subordinate the individual (have total control over its citizens) to the state by controlling not only all political and economic matters, but also the attitudes, values, and beliefs of its population. Theocracy - a form of government in which a Deity (God) is recognized as the supreme civil ruler, but the Deity's laws are interpreted by religious authorities (bishops, mullahs, etc.); a government subject to religious authority. Anarchy - a condition of lawlessness or political disorder brought about by the absence of governmental authority. Analyzing the forms of government – Let’s decide which is the most effective by listing strengths and weaknesses of each form of government. Forms of Government Form of Government Monarchy Communist/ Socialist Strengths Weaknesses Form of Government Democracy Dictatorship Strengths Weaknesses Forms of Government Form of Government Theocracy Anarchy Strength Weaknesses Government Closure Questions 1. Now that you have analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of different forms of government, which do you think is the most effective way to run a country? Explain why. 2. Is the king/queen’s power more likely to be limited in a constitutional monarchy or an absolute monarchy? Explain why. 3. In a parliamentary democracy, the citizens vote for fewer of their leaders than in a democratic republic. Explain why this is so.