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Types of Governments

Governments can be classified into several types. Some of the more common types of governments are:

1. Democracy

The word "democracy" literally means "rule by the people." In a democracy, the people govern.

2. Republic

A literal democracy is impossible in a political system containing more than a few people. All "democracies" are really republics. In a republic, the people elect representatives to make and enforce laws.

3. Monarchy

A monarchy consists of rule by a king or queen. Sometimes a king is called an "emperor," especially if there is a large empire, such as China before 1911. There are no large monarchies today. The United Kingdom, which has a queen, is really a republic because the queen has virtually no political power.

4. Aristocracy

An aristocracy is rule by the aristocrats. Aristocrats are typically wealthy, educated people. Many monarchies have really been ruled by aristocrats. Today, typically, the term "aristocracy" is used negatively to accuse a republic of being dominated by rich people, such as saying, "The United States has become an aristocracy."

5. Dictatorship

A dictatorship consists of rule by one person or a group of people. Very few dictators admit they are dictators; they almost always claim to be leaders of democracies. The dictator may be one person, such as Castro in Cuba or Hitler in Germany, or a group of people, such as the Communist Party in China.

6. Democratic Republic

Usually, a "democratic republic" is not democratic and is not a republic. A government that officially calls itself a "democratic republic" is usually a dictatorship. Communist dictatorships have been especially prone to use this term. For example, the official name of North Vietnam was "The Democratic Republic of Vietnam." China uses a variant, "The People’s Republic of China."

So then, a barbaric people will most often be governed by a totalitarian type government such as a dictatorship; while a righteous people will often be allowed to enjoy the liberty of living under a democratic type of government.

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