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Chapter 1: Principles of Government Section 2

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1 Chapter 1: Principles of Government Section 2

2 Forms of Government Introduction
How are they classified? Democracies and dictatorships are classified according to who can participate in government. Unitary, federal, and confederation-style governments are classified based on how power is divided geographically. Presidential and parliamentary governments are defined by the relationship between the executive and legislative branches.

3 Founding a New System At the time of the founding of our nation several forms of governments existed… Monarchy Oligarchy Aristocracy All are based on elite rule and give few rights to the people who live under them. The colonists did not want to live under the systems they had suffered under in the Old World so they established a new system: democracy.

4 Theories of Democracies
Democracy – the people rule Direct democracy Indirect democracy Republic

5 Direct Democracy A system in which all come together periodically to discuss policy and abide by majority rule. New England town meeting

6 Direct Democracy In a direct or pure democracy, the people pass laws by discussing and voting on them in meetings, such as town meetings. This system works only in small communities.

7 Indirect Democracy A system of government that allows citizens to vote for representatives who will work on their behalf.

8 Indirect Democracy These representatives rule with the consent of the governed and can be removed by the people at election time. NOTE TO TEACHERS: Some people argue that the United States is properly a republic, not a democracy, because only a direct democracy can truly be called a democracy. Still, representative governments such as the United States are commonly called democracies. The above image shows a legislator voting.

9 Example Democracies The United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy.
Most power lies with the Parliament, which is elected by the people. The queen is the head of state, while the head of government is the Prime Minister, who is the head of the leading party in Parliament. NOTE TO TEACHERS: The current Prime Minister as of Jan is Gordon Brown, while Queen Elizabeth II is the monarch.

10 Example Democracies, cont.
The United States is a constitution-based federal republic. The President and members of Congress are chosen by the people. The President is both Chief of State and Head of Government.

11 Characteristics of American Democracy
individual liberty (few restrictions/fairness) majority rule with minority rights (protect against tyranny) free elections (all votes equal, opportunities to participate are high) competing political parties (major parties point out differences/faults with opposition, work to make officials responsible)

12 Democracies Flourish When…
Economic climate is favorable free market thinking lends itself well to good political decision making Education is widespread high levels of spending and choice Social consensus Citizens tend to agree on basic values like: liberty, equality, etc.

13 Dictatorships Dictatorship - holding absolute and unchallenged authority over the people, who have no say in government. What is the difference between an oligarchy and an autocracy? Autocracy - one person holds total political power oligarchy - a small elite group shares political power. Checkpoint Answer: Both are dictatorships, but an autocracy is ruled by one individual with all political power, while an oligarchy divides absolute political power among a small ruling elite. 13

14 Example Dictatorships
Some dictatorships are like that of China, where people can vote only for candidates from one political party and the legislature does whatever the dictatorship says. Other dictatorships are like the one in Myanmar, where the military rules and there are no elections.

15 Unitary Government In a unitary model, all power belongs to the central government, which may grant some powers to local governments. The powers of the central government may be limited or unlimited. Most governments in the world are unitary in form.

16 Federal Government In the federal model, power is divided between a central government and several local governments, usually according to a constitution. The U.S. and some 25 other states have federal forms of government.

17 Confederate Government
A confederation is an alliance of independent governments that grant limited powers, usually involving defense or foreign affairs, to a central government. The European Union is similar to a confederation.

18 Unitary Confederation Federal
Types of Governments Unitary Confederation Federal Definition: One central government controls weaker states. Power is not shared between states, counties, or provinces. Definition: An organization of states agrees to follow a central government.; nations can choose to follow or not follow the lead of the central government. Power is shared by a powerful central government and states or provinces that are given considerable self-rule, usually through their own legislatures. Examples: China, United Kingdom (although Scotland has been granted self-rule). The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), formerly known as the Soviet Union. Also, Switzerland's canton system and the Confederate States of America ( ) The United States, Australia, the Federal Republic of Germany.

19 Presidential Government
A presidential government divides executive and legislative power between two branches. The details of this separation of powers are spelled out in a constitution. NOTE TO TEACHERS: The United States is the main example of a presidential government in the world, and most presidential governments are found in the western hemisphere.

20 Parliamentary Government
In a parliamentary government, the legislature chooses the executive, which is part of the legislature and under its control. A majority of world governments use the parliamentary system, which lacks some checks and balances but promotes cooperation between the executive and legislative branches.

21 Parliamentary Government, cont.
The prime minister is the head of the leading party in Parliament and chooses cabinet members from the Parliament. If the Parliament loses confidence in the Prime Minister and cabinet, elections are held to form a new government. NOTE TO TEACHERS: The image above shows members of the South African parliament being sworn into office.

22 Key Terms autocracy: government in which a single person holds all political power oligarchy: government in which a small, usually self-appointed group has the sole power to rule unitary government: a government in which all power belongs to one central agency federal government: a government in which power is divided between one central and several local governments

23 Key Terms, cont. division of powers: the split of power between central and local governments confederation: an alliance of independent states presidential government: a government with separate executive and legislative branches parliamentary government: a government in which the executive branch is part of the legislative branch and subject to its control

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