S.S. CE Review


Definition: Any form of government in which political power is exercised by all citizens, either directly or through their elected representatives.

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

Representative Democracy:  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 country: USA


Definition: A form of government in which political power is controlled by one individual such as a monarch, dictator, emperor, etc.

Monarch: 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 country: England

            Absolute Monarch: Absolute monarchy or absolutism is a monarchical form of government in which the monarch has absolute power among his or her people. An absolute monarch wields unrestricted political power over the sovereign state and its people. Example Country: Brunei

            Constitutional Monarch: Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a king or queen acts as Head of State. The ability to make and pass legislation resides with an elected Parliament, not with the Monarch. Example Country: 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 Country: Hitler in Germany


Definition: “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 Country: Iran


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


Definition: No government at all… In an anarchy there is no government to make or enforce laws. Example Country: Somalia



  1. 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.
  2. Example Country: Cuba