Chapter 1 Section 3 - Guthrie Public Schools

Types of Government
Key Terms
autocracy, monarchy, oligarchy, democracy,
republic, political party, free enterprise
Find Out
• What are the main characteristics of a
• Why is free enterprise conducive to the growth
and preservation of democracy?
Types of Government
Understanding Concepts
Cultural Pluralism How does a representative
democracy provide a good government for
diverse peoples?
Section Objective
Summarize the relationship between democracy
and free enterprise.
Over 100 million Americans voted in the
presidential election of 2000.Yet nearly twice
that number were eligible to vote. George W.
Bush was elected president with less than 50
percent of the popular vote.
I. Major Types of Government (pages 18–20)
A. Governments may be classified according to
who governs the state.
B. In an autocracy, such as a dictatorship or
absolute monarchy, power and authority
reside in a single individual.
C. In an oligarchy, such as a communist
country, a small group holds power in the
D. In a democracy, such as the United States,
the people hold the sovereign power of
I. Major Types of Government (pages 18–20)
I. Major Types of Government (pages 18–20)
Critics argue that the low voter turnout in
recent national elections is a weakness in
our democratic system. Do you agree or
disagree? Explain your viewpoint.
Answers will vary. Students should support
their views with thoughtful analysis.
II. Characteristics of Democracy
(pages 20–23)
A. Government works to secure an equal
opportunity for people to develop their
own abilities.
B. Government is based on majority rule through
the people’s elected representatives, but
respects the rights of minorities.
C. Government is based on free and open
elections in which every citizen has the
right to vote, every vote has equal weight,
and candidates for office can freely express
their views.
D. Political parties choose candidates for office,
respect the voters’ decisions in elections, and
act as loyal opposition.
II. Characteristics of Democracy
(pages 20–23)
Why do you think that nations with wide gaps
between the rich and the poor are less likely
to have successful democracies?
Where there are wide gaps between rich and
poor there is less agreement on basic issues.
III. The Soil of Democracy (pages 23–24)
A. Certain conditions or environments favor
the development of the democratic system
of government.
B. Countries where citizens participate fully in
civic life are more likely to maintain a strong
C. Stable, growing economies with a large
middle class help strengthen democracies.
D. A public school system open to all people
helps promote democracy.
III. The Soil of Democracy (pages 23–24)
E. A strong civil society in which a network of
voluntary organizations (including economic
groups, religious groups, and many others)
exists independent of government helps
democracy to flourish.
F. The people accept democratic values such
as individual liberty and equality for all in a
social consensus.
III. The Soil of Democracy (pages 23–24)
As a society, what steps do you think we
might take to encourage more people to
participate in our democratic government?
Better education about democracy, simpler
voting methods, or more direct democracy.
Checking for Understanding
1. Main Idea In a graphic organizer similar to the
one below, show who rules the state in each of
Aristotle’s three classifications of government.
autocracy—one person
oligarchy—few people
democracy—many people
Checking for Understanding
Match the term with the correct definition.
D monarchy
E republic
A. the opportunity to control one’s
own economic decisions
B. a system of government in which
a small group holds power
A free enterprise
C. a system of government in which
C autocracy
the power to rule is in the hands
of a single individual
B oligarchy
D. autocracy in which a king,
queen, or emperor exercises
supreme powers of government
E. a government in which voters
hold sovereign power; elected
representatives, responsible to
the people, exercise that power
Checking for Understanding
3. Identify “one person, one vote.”
This is the principle that everyone’s vote carries
the same weight and a characteristic of free
elections found in a democracy.
Checking for Understanding
4. What other characteristics of democracy
distinguish it from other forms of government?
Answers may include individual liberty, majority
rule with minority rights, free elections with
secret ballots, and rival political parties.
Critical Thinking
5. Distinguishing Fact from Opinion Suppose
you are assigned to interview the president of
the Republic of Mauritania. What questions
would help you determine if democracy exists
Answers may include: How many political parties
are there? Do people vote by secret ballot? Do
people have equal opportunity to develop
talents? How are minority rights protected?
Cultural Pluralism How well are the
will of the majority and the rights of
minorities being preserved in the United
States? Ask several people their
opinions. Come to class prepared to
share your findings.

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