ARISTOCRACY – (“aristo” = few; “cracy” = power) government ruled by an ELITE class that are “special” or “superior” in some way (e.g. rich, smart) to the masses

AUTOCRACY – rule by ONE person (“auto” = self) who has total control over all others

ANARCHISTS – believe there should be NO formal or official type of organized government

DEMOCRACY – (demos = people) government in which political power is retained by or “sourced” in all the people (“popular sovereignty”)

DICTATORSHIP – government in which ONE ruler possesses political power and control

FEDERALISM – a union of states under a central government in which the member states
keep and exercise specific powers under the central government

FEUDALISM – a medieval political system of social hierarchy (a ”pyramid”); a small, elite “privileged” class of “superiors” provide military protection and land use to the great mass of poor inferior “subjects” (peasants) in exchange for lifetime service and obligation (fealty-“faithfulness)

MONARCHY – sovereign control of a government by a hereditary (by birth) ruler, such as a king or queen (“mon” = one; archy = with power or authority)

ABSOLUTE MONARCHY – government in the king or queen has total or complete powerand authority; “rex lex” – the king is law”; their royal position is often considered “divine”

CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY – government in which the powers of the monarch are limited by and defined by a constitution (written body of laws); “lex rex” – “law” is king) 

MATRIARCHY – society ruled by females, with familial descent and/or political succession is traced through the female’s line

PATRIARCHY – society ruled by males, with familial descent and/or political succession is traced through the male’s line

OLIGARCHY – government rule by a VERY SMALL ELITE; rule by a few

REPUBLIC – a representative and democratic form of government in which elected officials exercise power granted to them by sovereign citizens

THEOCRACY – (theo = God) government led by a religious class

TOTALITARIANISM – system in which a highly centralized government controlled by a single leader and/or group that governs over all aspects of the lives of the governed; no rivals to power or disagreement is allowed; group/collective “rights” dominate individuality 

TYRANNY – government that is “abusive” or “oppressive” to those it governs over

ANARCHY (a.k.a. “chaos”) – a society with no formal or “official” type of organized government; think all government is tyranny, abuse of power