American Government
Chapter 1, Section 2
Forms of Government
How can we classify governments?
Governments can be classified by three different standards:
1. Classification by Who Can Participate
In a democracy supreme political authority rests with who?
a. direct democracy –
b. indirect democracy –
In a dictatorship:
a. dictatorship –
b. autocracy –
c. oligarchy –
2. Classification by Geographic Distribution of Power
a. Unitary Government –
b. Confederate Government –
c. Federal Government –
Which type of government, Unitary, Confederate or Federal is the most
popular government in the world?
How does the Unitary Government differ from a Dictatorship?
3. Classification by the Relationship Between Legislative and Executive Branches
a. Presidential Government –
b. Parliamentary Government –
Study the comparison of presidential and parliamentary forms of government, then answer the
following two questions.
1. How is the Chief Executive chosen in a presidential government?
2. How is the Chief Executive chosen in a parliamentary government?
Test yourself on information from Section 2 – Answer True or False.
_____1. In a unitary government, political authority rests in the hands of both central and
local governments.
_____2. A confederate government possesses little authority to act on its own.
_____3. In a presidential government, the legislative and executive branches are independent
and co-equal.
_____4. Dictatorships exercise limited authority over the people.
_____5. The United States Federal Government is an example of a direct democracy.
6. Which of the following is NOT an especially important classification of government?
A. geographic distribution of power
B. relationship between legislature and executive
C. era during which government existed
7. Which of the following is a principal characteristic of a presidential form of government?
A. The legislature selects the members of the executive branch.
B. The executive and legislative branches each can check the actions of the other branch
C. The branches of government do not experience prolonged conflict with each other
8. A typical way for a dictator to gain power is by
A. force
B. democratic election
C. divine right
9. In a democracy, sovereignty is located with
A. one person
B. the people
C. the rich