Government and Politics

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form. As was noted earlier, Weber used traditional, legal-rational, and charismatic authority as ideal types. In reality, particular leaders and political systems combine elements of two or more of these forms.

Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy wielded power largely through the legal-rational basis of their authority.

At the same time, they were unusually charismatic leaders who commanded (lie personal loyalty of large numbers of Americans. TYPES OF GOVERNMENT Each society establishes a political system by which it is governed. In modern industrial nations, a significant number of critical political decisions are made by formal units of government.

Five basic types of government are considered: monarchy, oligarchy, dictatorship, totalitarianism, and democracy. Monarchy A monarchy is a form of government headed by a single member of a royal family, usually a king, a queen, or some other hereditary ruler. In earlier times, many monarchs claimed that God had granted them a divine right to rule their lands.

Typically, they governed on the basis of traditional forms of authority, although these were sometimes accompanied by the use of force. In the 1980s, monarchs hold genuine governmental power in only a few nations, such as Monaco. Most monarchs have little practical power and primarily serve ceremonial purposes.

Oligarchy An oligarchy is a form of government in which a few individuals rule. It is a rather old method of governing which flourished in ancient Greece and Egypt. Today, oligarchy often takes the form of military rule.

Some of the developing nations of Africa, Asia, and Latin America are ruled by small factions of military officers who forcibly seized power—either from legally elected regimes or from other military cliques.

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