You have probably learned a lot about our democracy, but did you know there are other types of government? What are the four types of government? oligarchy, aristocracy, monarchy, and democracy. In this article, we will go over each type and help breakdown what the definition of each type is as well as basic functionalities.


We will start off with the most familiar one, democracy. Asking what a democracy is seems silly because we live in one so we should know, but it’s not that simple. Let’s start by discussing where the power is located within a democracy, the people. When referring to a democracy, we are usually discussing either a direct or a representative democracy. A direct democracy is where the people directly discuss and choose legislature. A representative democracy is where the people elect representatives to decide on legislature. Democracy consists of basic elements: a political system, fair elections, participation and protection of human rights by laws and regulations. That is just a brief overview of what a democracy is.


You’ve heard of the Queen of England and the Royal family, but did you know that they are part of a monarchy? A monarchy is a type of government that has a single person (family) remain in power until death or formal relinquish. Usually the succession of monarchies is through hereditary but can be voluntary. Over forty-five nations utilize a monarchy. However, most utilize limited or no political power under the nation’s constitution.


Have you ever heard of a oligarchy? A basic description of Oligarchy is that it is a type of government that is ran by few, few could be structured by businesses, individuals or families. Unfortunately, this structure is susceptible to corruption more than often or not. Essentially all legislation and policy are funneled through this one power source, an example of an oligarchy structure is Russia and China.


The last type of government we will discuss is aristocracy. This is a type of government that puts the power in small & privileged ruling. Iran, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela are all known to employ this government structure. Some people confuse aristocracy with oligarchy, according to Quora; “Oligarchy is the rule of the few in a generic way where on the other hand aristocracy is a form of governing where administration or power is in the hands of a special class of people. Aristocrats are connected to royal families through blood, whereas an Oligarchy is not”.

There is plenty more to learn about with these four types of government structures as well as how they have evolved throughout history. We encourage you to do your own research and learn more about each of these types of governments.

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