I. Major Types of Government• A. Governments may be classified according to who governs the state.
I. Major Types of Government• B. In an autocracy such as a dictatorship or absolute monarchy, power and authority reside in a single individual.
I. Major Types of Government• C. In an oligarchy, such as a communist country, a small group holds power in the government.
I. Major Types of Government• D. In a democracy such as the United States, the people hold the sovereign power of government.
II. Characteristics of Democracy• A. Government works to secure equality for its citizens in the eyes of the law.
II. Characteristics of Democracy• B. Government is based on majority rule through the people’s elected representatives, but respects the rights of minorities. This is democracies greatest challenge!
II. Characteristics of Democracy• 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.
II. Characteristics of Democracy• D. Competing Political parties choose candidates for office, and offer voters choices during an election.
III. The Soil of Democracy• A. Certain conditions or environments favor the development of the democratic system of government and help to ensure its long-term survival.
III. The Soil of Democracy• B. Active Citizen Participation: Countries where citizens participate fully in civic life are more likely to maintain a strong democracy.
III. The Soil of Democracy• C. A Strong Economy: Stable, growing economies with a large middle class help strengthen democracies.
III. The Soil of Democracy• D. An Educated Public: A public school system open to all people helps promote democracy. Media and other sources help people understand important issues.
III. The Soil of DemocracyE. A strong civil society: Anetwork of voluntary organizations(including economic groups,religious groups, and many others),independent of government helpsdemocracy to flourish.
III. The Soil of Democracy• F. A Social Consensus: The people accept democratic values such as individual liberty and equality for all and share a belief that democracy is the best form of government.