of the major governmental terms and types of government
are as follows:
- a condition of lawlessness or political disorder
brought about by the absence of governmental authority.
- a nation, state, or other political entity founded on
law and united by a compact of the people for the common
- a system of government in which the state plans and
controls the economy and a single - often authoritarian -
party holds power; state controls are imposed with the
elimination of private ownership of property or capital
while claiming to make progress toward a higher social
order in which all goods are equally shared by the people
(i.e., a classless society).
(Confederation) - a union by compact or treaty
between states, provinces, or territories, that creates a
central government with limited powers; the constituent
entities retain supreme authority over all matters except
those delegated to the central government.
- a government by or operating under an authoritative
document (constitution) that sets forth the system of
fundamental laws and principles that determines the
nature, functions, and limits of that government.
Democracy - a form of government in which the
sovereign power of the people is spelled out in a
Monarchy - a system of government in which a monarch
is guided by a constitution whereby his/her rights,
duties, and responsibilities are spelled out in written
law or by custom.
- a form of government in which the supreme power is
retained by the people, but which is usually exercised
indirectly through a system of representation and
delegated authority periodically renewed.
Republic - a state in which the supreme power rests
in the body of citizens entitled to vote for officers and
representatives responsible to them.
- a form of government in which a ruler or small clique
wield absolute power (not restricted by a constitution or
laws). Also, a system in which the citizens do not
possess the right to choose their own leaders.
- a government administrated by a church.
(Federative) - a form of government in which
sovereign power is formally divided - usually by means of
a constitution - between a central authority and a number
of constituent regions (states, colonies, or provinces)
so that each region retains some management of its
internal affairs; differs from a confederacy in that the
central government exerts influence directly upon both
individuals as well as upon the regional units.
Republic - a state in which the powers of the central
government are restricted and in which the component
parts (states, colonies, or provinces) retain a degree of
self-government; ultimate sovereign power rests with the
voters who chose their governmental representatives.
the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism developed in
China by Mao Zedong (Mao Tse-tung), which states that a
continuous revolution is necessary if the leaders of a
communist state are to keep in touch with the people.
- the political, economic, and social principles espoused
by 19th century economist Karl Marx; he viewed the
struggle of workers as a progression of historical forces
that would proceed from a class struggle of the
proletariat (workers) exploited by capitalists (business
owners), to a socialist "dictatorship of the
proletariat," to, finally, a classless society -
- an expanded form of communism developed by Lenin
from doctrines of Karl Marx; Lenin saw imperialism as the
final stage of capitalism and shifted the focus of
workers' struggle from developed to underdeveloped
- a government in which the supreme power is lodged in
the hands of a monarch who reigns over a state or
territory, usually for life and by hereditary right; the
monarch may be either a sole absolute ruler or a
sovereign - such as a king, queen, or prince - with
constitutionally limited authority.
- a government in which control is exercised by a small
group of individuals whose authority generally is based
on wealth or power.
Democracy - a political system in which the
legislature (parliament) selects the government - a prime
minister, premier, or chancellor along with the cabinet
ministers - according to party strength as expressed in
elections; by this system, the government acquires a dual
responsibility: to the people as well as to the
Government (Cabinet-Parliamentary government) - a
government in which members of an executive branch (the
cabinet and its leader - a prime minister, premier, or
chancellor) are nominated to their positions by a
legislature or parliament, and are directly responsible
to it; this type of government can be dissolved at will
by the parliament (legislature) by means of a no
confidence vote or the leader of the cabinet may dissolve
the parliament if it can no longer function.
monarchy - a state headed by a monarch who is not
actively involved in policy formation or implementation
(i.e., the exercise of sovereign powers by a monarch in a
ceremonial capacity); true governmental leadership is
carried out by a cabinet and its head - a prime minister,
premier, or chancellor - who are drawn from a legislature
- a representative democracy in which the people's
elected deputies (representatives), not the people
themselves, vote on legislation.
- a government in which the means of planning, producing,
and distributing goods is controlled by a central
government that theoretically seeks a more just and
equitable distribution of property and labor; in
actuality, most socialist governments have ended up being
no more than dictatorships over workers by a ruling
- similar to a monarchy, but a government in which the
supreme power is in the hands of a sultan (the head of a
Muslim state); the sultan may be an absolute ruler or a
sovereign with constitutionally limited authority.
- a form of government in which a Deity is recognized as
the supreme civil ruler, but the Deity's laws are
interpreted by ecclesiastical authorities (bishops,
mullahs, etc.); a government subject to religious
- a government that seeks to subordinate the individual
to the state by controlling not only all political and
economic matters, but also the attitudes, values, and
beliefs of its population.