Social Studies Common Exam Review


Democracy-Any form of government in which political power is exercised by all citizens, either directly or through their elected representatives. Example: United States of America.

Direct-All citizens participate in government. There are no representatives in government: The citizens vote on everything! citizens can create public policy if they want to. Example: In ancient Athens, Greece, they held assemblies where citizens voted to pass laws.

Representative- Like direct democracy, all citizens participate in government.People elect representatives who vote on laws for the citizens.Representatives answer to the people through regular elections.Representatives are also usually held accountable by a constitution. Example: U.S.

Autocracy- A form of government in which political power is controlled by one individual such as a monarch, dictator, emperor, etc. Example: North Korea

Monarchy- Rule by kings, queens, princes, and princesses… sometimes by other names, but always MONARCHS! Leaders usually gain their power because their parents were rulers too.Some modern monarchies like Spain and Japan have constitutions.Example: United Kingdom

Dictatorship-In a dictatorship, power is not inherited, but is acquired by force (military or political).Dictators have absolute control over the lives of their citizens and usually people are not allowed to voice their negative opinions.North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Il is considered a dictator. Example: Soviet Union

Theocracy-“Theo” means “god” in Greek… so if a government is THEO-cratic that means it is ruled by… That’s right! A god or higher power! Leaders (autocratic or oligarchic) are usually religious leaders and society uses religious law to settle its disputes. Example: The Islamic Republic of Iran is a modern theocracy that uses the holy Islamic book, The Qur’an, as its guide.

Oligarchy- “Rule by few”.Power can be based on several things:Military strength = Military Junta,Family power = Aristocracy, and Religious control = Theocratic Oligarchy. Oligarchies can often come from or lead to other forms of government (like autocracies). Example: China, North Korea, and Venezuela.

Anarchy-No government at all in an anarchy there is no government to make or enforce laws. Example: Somalia's

Communism- a political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs.Example: Cuba