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A Study Guide for the Ohio Ninth-Grade Citizenship Proficiency Test
Political Parties and Party Candidates Civic Involvement

N. Political Systems
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Each nation has a government, but not every nation has the same form of government. In general, there are three types of government: Democracies, Monarchies and Dictatorships.

The government of the United States is a democracy in which the citizens elect representatives to run the government. This type of democracy is called a republic.

A monarchy is a government in which a king or queen is the chief of state. That position and title are inherited from a member of the family. A monarchy ruled by a king or queen who has unlimited powers is called an absolute monarchy. In many monarchies today the powers of the king or queen are limited by a constitution which provides for a legislature elected by the citizens. Such a monarchy is called a constitutional monarchy.

Some countries are governed by a ruler who has absolute power and usually holds office and rules by force. The citizens have no power to be represented in the government and the ruler often disregards the rule of law. Such a ruler is called a dictator and the government is called a dictatorship.

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