223 Outcome: Types of Government

Describe forms of government and explain politics in the United States

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 U.S. democracy hinges on free, 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.

What You’ll Learn To Do:

  • Define common forms of government: monarchy, oligarchy, dictatorship, democracy
  • Compare common forms of government and identify real-life examples of each
  • Discuss how voter participation affects politics in the U.S. and the significance of “one person, one vote”
  • Explore the influence of race, gender, and class issues on the voting process


The learning activities for this section include:

  • Reading: Forms of Government
  • Reading: Politics in the United States
  • Self-Check: Types of Government


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Introduction to Sociology Copyright © by Lumen Learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book