16 Types of Government

Text taken from the infographic by

  • Anarchy – a state of lawlessness and disorder (usually resulting from a failure of government).
  • Autocracy – a government controlled by absolute power; in the hands of a single person with minimal restraints on the decisions; a lack of any mechanisms of popular control.
  • Communism – the state owns and operates industry on behalf of the people.
  • Democracy – means ‘rule of the people’. The term today refers to a political system in which the people or their elected representatives govern themselves.
  • Dictatorship – where the power rests entirely on one person or a group of persons; could be through inheritance or force and is usually oppressive.
  • Fascism – advocates total control of the people; seeks to promote the ancestral and cultural values and eradicate foreign influences.
  • Federation – characterised by a union of small states, groups or parties which are self-governed in internal affairs and united under a central government.
  • Junta – a group or coalition that takes control of the state after overthrowing a government. Usually this is done by military groups.
  • Monarchy – supreme authority is vested in a single and usually hereditary figure, such as a king, and whose power can vary from absolute to none at all.
  • Oligarchy – rule of the few. It is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a faction of persons or families.
  • Plutocracy – government ruled by the rich or power provided by wealth; often used to describe a wealthy class ruling a government, often from behind the scenes.
  • Republic – a government whose authority is based on citizen’s votes, which are represented by elected or nominated officials chosen in free elections.
  • Technocracy – a government where scientists and technical experts are in control of the state, and where rulers are selected on the basis of their knowledge / skill rather than wealth / power.
  • Theocracy – a government where priests rule in the name of God or by officials who are regarded as divinely guided, or consistent with the principles of a particular religion.
  • Totalitarian – a single political authority regulates total control over state, that is centralised and dictatorial.
  • Tyranny – absolute ruler; arbitrary exercise of power over subjects not requisite for the purposes of government / approved by law and justice.

From History: Roman

From the book Ancient Rome: The Republic

In or out. Patricians were the son of somebody important, and they, and their peers, were the true sons of Rome. The plebian was an outsider, with few rights or privileges. Before the time of Servius, the whole weight of public duty – military service and war tax – fell to the Patricians, under the principle “that the duty of defending the State ought to fall heaviest on those who had the most to defend.” (page 43)

“In the vigorous youth of their nation the Romans knew how to combine the advantages of city and country life. The mere farmer, who spends all his days in tilling the soil, is generally a dull and half-savage creature, cut off from the higher wants and the higher instincts of a civilized man. The mere citizen, whose life is a perpetual violation of all natural laws, inevitably stunted and deformed alike in body and in mind. The primitive Romans avoided both of these extremes … He looked to the land for his support, and spent most of his time in the free air and wholesome activities of the fields. But he was also a citizen, who from the earliest times had some voice at least in the national affairs; and after the establishment of the Republic he might rise to the command of armies and the highest offices of State.” (page 53)

Government. Two rulers known as Consuls took turns governing the nation, one day each, for a period of a year.

Help! A Dictator could be appointed in times of national crisis by decree of the Senate, who would rule with absolute power for six months. The right of appeal was suspended while he was in office. Originally used to confront an invader, the Dictatorship later became a tool of the Patricians to clamp down on commoner dissension.

Got thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s