Introduction to Types of Government

What you’ll learn to do: describe forms of government and explain politics in the United States

Graphic illustration of a hand putting a ballot into a blue box labeled "VOTE"

Nations are governed by different political systems, including monarchies, oligarchies, dictatorships, and democracies. Generally speaking, citizens of nations wherein power is concentrated in one leader or a small group are more likely to suffer violations of civil liberties and experience economic inequality. Many nations that are today organized around democratic ideals started out as monarchies or dictatorships but have evolved into more egalitarian systems. Democratic ideals, although hard to implement and achieve, promote basic human rights and justice for all citizens. The success and validity of democracy in the U.S. hinges on free and fair elections that are characterized by the support and participation of diverse citizens. In this section, we’ll examine political systems and take a look at how politics work in the United States.

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