A democracy is a government in which the people possess the ultimate power, while a dictatorship is a government in which the ruler possesses all the power. The exercise of power in a democracy varies, as the people may exercise their own voting power directly or through elected representatives through a free system of voting.Continue Reading
The Greek city-state of Athens was known for being the first major democracy. Citizens would come together and vote on the decisions that faced them. In representative democracies like the United States, Great Britain and other countries, people elect representatives to make their decisions for them. These representatives gather in legislative bodies to make decisions for them. The British House of Commons and the American House of Representatives all consist of elected officials who represent specific voting districts in making their nation's decisions.
Perhaps the most infamous dictatorship of the 20th century was Nazi Germany, governed by Adolf Hitler. As long as he was alive, the entire nation followed his lead, as the country attempted to conquer all of Europe as a first step toward global domination, in addition to purging Europe of such "undesirables" as the Jews, Gypsies and homosexuals. The entire nation followed the lead of one man, which fits the definition of a dictatorship perfectly.Learn more about Types of Government
Although it may sound foreign to many living in the Western world, not all people have historically believed that democracy is the best form of government. Advocates for dictatorship or similar systems often argue that democracy is unreliable, particularly because the will of the people is at best an abstract idea and popular opinion cannot be trusted to make rational, informed policy choices.Full Answer >
An indirect democracy is a government system in elected representatives govern in the interest of the people. This form of government is also known as a representative democracy or a republic.Full Answer >
The people hold political power in a democracy. The system lets people choose their leaders through a competitive process and hold them accountable for their policies and conduct in public office. The people elect their representatives in law-making organs of the government, and those who lead them at national and state or local levels.Full Answer >
There are arguably few advantages and more disadvantages of military dictatorship governments, with advantages including the possible deposition of a prior, ineffective government and disadvantages including a totalitarian and oppressive government whose authority derives from military power and intimidation rather than democratic choice of the people. Because a military dictatorship typically evolves from a coup d'etat in which a nation's military takes over the government and remains in power due to superior force, it is generally not considered to be a fair and equitable form of government.Full Answer >