Throughout history there have been many types of government. Man's struggle to establish order, safety and justice for himself, as well as his neighbors, has been at the root of all civilizations since the beginning of time.
In Defiance of Tyranny
And almost since the beginning of time, there have been men who desire to enforce their will upon others. And so throughout mortal existance, mankind had struggled to form a type of government that successfully achieves a balance between individual liberty, oppression, and total chaos.
Until a group of brilliant, brave and inspired men penned the following words:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Let's look at some of the other types of government that exist throughout the world today.
An oligarchy government is ruled by a few people or a small segment of the society. These rulers are usually the most powerful in the area, whether that power comes from wealth, military power, or outright oppression upon everyone else. Rulers in an oligarchy aren"t necessarily in power because they have the good of the people in mind.
The term "monarchy" might make you think of "mono", meaning "one", which accurately describes this type of government. A monarchy is a government of one and usually the position of ruler is hereditary, such as the position of king being handed to the eldest son when the current king dies. Not all monarchs are male, however, such as in the case of the United Kingdom being ruled by the Queen.
A dictatorship is a type of government that is somewhat similar to an oligarchy and a monarchy. A dictatorship is ruled by a single person or a small group. However, a dictator does not gain the position through heredity as in a monarchy, but rather through political means or force--or more often than not--both. Some dictators you've probably heard of or even studied about include Adolf Hitler of Germany, Idi Amin of Uganda, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, and Kim Jong II of North Korea.
Communistic governments are currently found in Russia and China. They seek to create a classless nation, meaning there is no lower, middle, and upper class " except, of course, for those in charge who have a lot of wealth and possessions. But the government provides just enough basics to the people to keep them from revolting. They may be provided housing based on their needs, have their utilities paid directly from any paychecks, etc. In a communistic government, all goods are shared equally amongst everyone.
Dictionary.com defines communism thus: A system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party.
In a socialistic government, as in communistic governments, there is no private ownership. According to Dictionary.com, socialism is a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
In Marxist theory, socialism is the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles.
In a democratic government, the people decide. In a direct democratic government, everyone has a say of their own when it comes to laws and such. As you can imagine, this can have some huge logistical problems where thousands or millions of people need to vote.
An indirect democracy lets the people elect officials to represent them in the voting of laws and other issues.
A republic is a government in which supreme power resides in a body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by elected officers and representatives responsible to them and governing according to law.
A government in which absolute power is vested in a single ruler. When someone gains sole leadership of a group of people, this is a tyrannical government. Gaining this position does not come from heredity or election, but through sheer power, might or some unconventional means. Tyrannies are naturally oppressive since all the power lies with one person who forced their way to the top in the first place.
Learn more about various types of government and governing theories by looking them up in the dictionary below.
December 23, 1775
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