Government

Forms of Government

Olawunmi Omosanya - Tue, 23rd July, 2019 @ 06:55: AM

Topics in Government

Characteristics of Democracy Forms of Government Characteristics, Functions and Importance of Government Definitions and Branches of Government Organs or Arms or Branches of Government Meaning, Types, Qualities and Importance of Constitution Meaning, Types and Characteristics of Pressure Group Gender Equality and how we can achieve it



Academic Questions in Government

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

The definition of democracy as "Government of the people, by the people and for the people" is a concept of _____.

  • A. John F. Kennedy
  • B. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • C. Aristotle
  • D. George W. Bush
  • E. Kamala Harris
  • F. Abraham Lincoln

A form of government where the wealthy rule the people is known as _____.

  • A. plutocracy
  • B. timocracy
  • C. technocracy
  • D. meritocracy
  • E. richocracy
  • F. autocracy

Which of the following countries isn't a result of the disintegration of the Soviet Union (USSR)?

  • A. Malta
  • B. Latvia
  • C. Moldova
  • D. Estonia
  • E. Georgia
  • F. Uzbekistan

Forms of Government:

Government and good governance is a necessity in every society. Without a form of government, anarchy, chaos and confusion will become the order of the day due to the absence of necessary laws and constitution. Without laws, the rich will oppress the poor while the mighty oppresses the weak without being brought to justice.  Please read the definitions and branches of government here.

Note: One of the duties of the government is to make laws that govern the society.

The absence of government in a society or country or nation or state or community is referred to as anarchy

An instance of anarchy occurred in Somalia in 1991 after a dictator name Said Barre was overthrown. This made Somalia disintegrate into fractions with local warlords imposing their authority over their land/area.

In this article, we will look into the various forms of government, some of which existed in the past while others are currently adopted by various countries of the world..

To better understand why various forms of government exist, you can read on characteristics and importance of government here.

Below are some forms of government

 

1. Colonialism

Colonialism is a form of governance in which a nation or country is governed by another country. Most often, the ruling country (sometimes called colonial masters) may utilize or exploit the resources of the nation(s) under them for their own benefits. Also, the colonial masters will likely impose their language, culture and religion on the nation(s) they govern. Nigeria as a nation underwent this form of government (colonialism) under the British colony until she gained her independence on the 1st day of October, 1960.

When countries gain independence, it means they are now free from colonialism.

The people of an independent country are considered to be free because they can rule themselves.

Note: Nelson Mandela, the first Black South African President liberated the black people of South Africa from the few whites (colonial masters) who racially discriminated and ruled the black majority. He was imprisoned for 27 years in the course of fighting for his people during the apartheid regime. Mandela lived as a civil right leader, an African nationalist and a socialist. You can read on the Nigerian nationalist, Herbert Macaulay here.

 

2. Oligarchy

Oligarchy is a form of government where the privileged, wealthy, elite and noble men rule over those of lower classes or statuses. The few wealthy men in oligarchy will often transfer the power to rule unto their children, while the poor continues to serve them. It is noteworthy that the wealthy, elite and noble men are typically educated and are view in high esteem by the common masses.

Aristocracy is sometimes considered to be a kind on oligarchy.

In Aristocracy, the nobles rule the people.

Other kinds of oligarchy will include:

Plutocracy: The wealthy rule the people.

Technocracy: Technical experts and the educated rule the people.

Timocracy: Those with honors rule the people.

 

3. Monarchy

Monarchy is a form of government where power is attributed to a royal bloodline. Typically, A single member of the royal family becomes the king unto which absolute power and authority is given. The people usually celebrate when the king assumes his throne because he is believed to be divinely destined as their king. Historically, this form of government displayed absolute power but nowadays, some of the powers wielded by the kings have been lost to the federal and even the state government.

In a society with absolute monarchy, the king (monarch) is not restricted by the law and constitution.

States like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Brunei, Oman, Morocco and Swaziland have kings who wields power and political authority.

Note: Nowadays, constitutional monarchs are present. These are elected into office and will exercise their powers in accordance with the constitution. Please read on constitution here.

 

4. Communism

Communism is a form of government whereby the society and all its structure are owned by the public.

According to Karl Marx, there isn’t a lower class among the people; instead, all are considered as equal.

It usually retains a single system of government and had been practiced in Soviet Union (USSR); which later disintegrated into 15 different countries in 1991. The countries include: 

  • Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan

Note: If communism isn’t properly checked, it may give rise to a form of dictatorship. Some countries will often refer itself to as communist but meanwhile, their form of governance tends to tilt towards dictatorship. North Korea.may be considered as an instance here.

 

5. Federalism

In Federalism, each state that makes up the country has the power to govern itself and manage its own resources.

Additionally, each of these states will have a unifying federal government which will represent the country (all the states) on the international scene. The federal government may also get remittance from each of the state in accordance to their resources and generated revenue.

It is often said that true federalism is practiced in the United States of America, which comprise of 50 states with their unique sets of laws and customs. Each of these states is often considered to have some degree of independent authority even though they are being united by the federal presence.

Note: The federal government have their own laws which may sometimes override the laws of the states

 

6. Dictatorship

Dictatorship can either exist in the forms of military or civilian rule.

In military dictatorship, there is no form of election and the nation involved is ruled by the absolute power of one man whom may be referred to as the Head of the Nation’s Armed Forces. The dictator of a military regime assumes power by coup d'etat which is usually bloody (as lives are lost), but may also be bloodless in some cases. The militaty dictator must be a military personnel (an Army officer for instance) and will normally defend their rise to power under the claims of corruption by the previous military dictator. The courts usually do not exercise their powers in military dictatorship because the leader seems to be above the law..

In 1966, Major General Johnson Aguiyi Ironsi became the first military Head of State in Nigeria after he overthrew a democratic and constitutional government (headed by the prime minister; Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa

In June 1998, General Abdusalam Abubakar became the last military Head of State in Nigeria after the death of General Sani Abacha from food poisoning. Abdusalam Abubakar honorable handed the mantle of leadership to a democratic system of government in 1999.

Note: Dictatorship can also be civilian. In this case, absolute power is vested in the hands of a single civilian who may be elected into office.

A typical example of a civilian dictatorship is Adolf Hitler of Germany and Joseph Stalin of Russia and Georgia

 

7. Democracy

Democracy is a form of government where the power of choosing a leader is vested on the people. It represents a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

According to Abrahim Lincoln,

Democracy means government of the people, by the people and for the people.

In democracy, the citizens have the rights to vote and be voted for. The citizens are mandated to choose their preferred candidate by voting for them through their political party. In fact, this voting process is considered as one of the civic responsibility of every citizen. Please read on the fundamental Human Rights here. No one is above the rule of law in the democratic system. If the election outcome does not reflect the mandate of the people, a court of competent jurisdiction can nullify such election.

Note: Democracy is practiced in countries like Nigeria, United States of America, India and South Africa.

 

8. Meritocracy

This form of government requires that power is vested on individuals who have got academic achievements, professional statuses and leadership experience. It is assumed that whoever the leaders are, they must be credible and deserving of their office. In this rule, one who has a doctorate degree in English cannot become the minister of power. This is because his or her doctorate degree in English has very little or no correlation with electricity and power; rather such person can become the minister of education or something related to their achievement.

To so extent, Meritocracy is practiced in Singapore and it seems to yield some positive result for the country.

 

9. Autocracy

An autocratic form of government requires that supreme power must be vested in the hand of one person. The individual on which this power is vested may be educated or not. Also, external authorities have no say on the decisions made by an autocratic government. Dictatorship and absolute monarchy are sometimes considered as types of autocracy.


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Amazing facts in Government


NOTABLE POINTS IN Government

Anarchy is one of the forms of government. Ironically, it is the absence of government in a society, country or state.

An instance of anarchy occurred in Somalia in 1991 after a dictator name Said Barre was overthrown. This made Somalia disintegrate into fractions with local warlords imposing their authority over their land/area.

Other forms of government includes:

  1. Oligarchy
  2. Colonialism
  3. Monarchy
  4. Communism
  5. Federalism
  6. Dictatorship
  7. Democracy
  8. Meritocracy
  9. Autocracy
  10. Aristocracy 

Please read on the various forms of government here

Democracy is a form of government where the power of choosing a leader is vested on the people. It represents a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

According to Abrahim Lincoln,

Democracy means government of the people, by the people and for the people.

In democracy, the citizens have the rights to vote and be voted for. The citizens are mandated to choose their preferred candidate by voting for them through their political party. In fact, this voting process is considered as one of the civic responsibility of every citizen.

Please read on the fundamental Human Rights here.

NOTE: No one is above the rule of law in the democratic system. If the election outcome does not reflect the mandate of the people, a court of competent jurisdiction can nullify such election.

Democracy is practiced in countries like Nigeria, United States of America, India and South Africa.

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