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Lesson 1: Introduction

Today, many more countries in the world are marching on the road to democracy than ever before. This is also the case in Africa where many more countries are trying to exercise democratic systems.

However, it is not the only form of government. There are also other forms of government such as Monarchy, Aristocracy and Dictatorship


  • The oldest and earliest form of government
  • Is derived from the term “mono”, meaning, one or single
  • Is rule by single person
  • Is seen in the history of all states
  • Is now declined as the result of the spread of modern education and secular ideas
  • Is practiced in two forms:
  1. Absolute Monarchy
  • No constitution
  • Unlimited power by the monarch
  • The King/Queen is not ceremonial (exercises real power)
  • Source of power is claimed to be Divine, and transferred hereditary
  • The monarch is more powerful to make decisions

E.g: Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Swaziland, etc

  1. Constitutional Monarchy
  • The monarch is a figure head to exercise only ceremonial activities
  • The power of the monarch is limited by constitution
  • Power is exercised by members of the parliament
  • Source of power is constitution

E.g: Most Scandinavian countries, Belgium, Portuguese, Spain


  • Is a government by few people who are regarded as the best on the basis of birth (heredity), status (social position), education, talent, wealth, etc.
  • Is derived from the term “Aristo”, meaning, the best or few chosen people
  • Is now an extincted form of government, but partly all forms of government are aristocratic


  • Is government by few powerful persons who came to power using military force
  • Is a government where the ruler is head of state, head of government, chairman of the party, head of armed force, etc
  • Is characterized by authoritarianism, absolutism, despotism, tyranny and totalitarianism