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Classifying Governments. 1. Who Participates Autocratic vs. Democratic 2. Selecting the Executive 3. Geographic Distribution of Power. 3 Ways to Classify Governments. Autocracy- “self-rule” one ruler who arbitrarily rules and controls the people’s lives in the name of the people

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3 ways to classify governments

1. Who Participates

    • Autocratic vs. Democratic
  • 2. Selecting the Executive
  • 3. Geographic Distribution of Power
3 Ways to Classify Governments
1 who participates

Autocracy- “self-rule” one ruler who arbitrarily rules and controls the people’s lives in the name of the people

    • Monarchy-Denmark
    • Dictatorship-former Iraq
    • Totalitarian- Peoples’ Republic of China, former Soviet Union
1. Who Participates?
who participates
Who Participates?
  • Oligarchy-rule by few
    • Junta- rule by military (former Chile, Thailand, Pakistan)
    • Aristocracy- rule by landed classes (former Mexico)
    • Theocracy- rule by religious officials (Iran, Vatican)
who participates5

Democracy- “rule of the people”

    • Direct
    • Indirect
  • Democracy and free enterprise go hand in hand-
    • They promote individual freedom
    • The governments participation in the economy is limited but used to protect the public
Who Participates?
2 how is the executive chosen parliamentary model vs presidential model
Parliamentary-Executive is part of legislative Branch and chosen by its majority party

Presidential-executive chosen at large by voters

Advantages of Parliamentary System

  • More cooperation between the executive and the legislature-questions with the Prime Minister once a week
  • More accountability for the executive-legislature can ask for vote of no confidence
  • Cabinet officials play an active role in enactment of legislation

Disadvantage of Parliamentary System

  • Prime Minister not as representative as the president
  • Allows one party to go unchecked
  • Instability
2. How is the Executive Chosen?-Parliamentary model vs. Presidential Model
3 geographic distribution of power

Unitary System

3. Geographic distribution of power


The Big Government makes policies for the local governments as well as handle national affairs: examples France, Britain, China, Egypt

Big Government

Local Government

Local Government

geographic distribution of power
Geographic Distribution of Power
  • Confederal: The people establish the local governments which give to the national government (power that is extremely limited) (Articles of Confederation, Confederate States of America)
  • Federal: Power is constitutionally divided between levels of government, and their legitimacy comes from the people
how much government
How much government?

Want stuff

More gov’t

Have stuff

Less gov’t

other ideologies

Marxism/Leninism: central control of economy-total equality and security (totalitarianism, despotism, authoritarianism)

  • Socialism: government control of economy-economic equality, political liberty
  • Liberalism: active government to achieve economic and social equality-political liberty, economic security, equal opportunity
  • Conservative: protect capitalism, political liberty, economic liberty, social order
  • Libertarianism: least government is best government
Other ideologies
purposes of government

Form a more perfect union

  • Establish Justice
  • Insure Domestic Tranquility
  • Provide for the Common Defense
  • Promote General Welfare
  • Secure Blessings of Liberty
  • “A nation is formed by the willingness of each of us to share in the responsibility for upholding the common good…For the American idea, though it is shared by all of us, is realized in each one of us.” Barbara Jordan
Purposes of Government