S.S Common Exam Review


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.

Representative Democracy

v 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. An example the United States.


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


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.

Absolute Monarch

  1. 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, Saudi Arab.

Constitutional Monarch

  1. 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, The United Kingdom.


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.


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.


“Rule by few”. Can get power from : 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).


No government at all…In an anarchy there is no government to make or enforce laws.


Communism, the political and economic doctrine that aims to replace private property and a profit-based economy with public ownership and communal control of at least the major means of production (e.g., mines, mills, and factories) and the natural resources of a society.