A centralized government is one in which a small group or executive at the highest level of government holds all political authority, and all other political units are subject to it. Autocracies and totalitarian governments are centralized. A centralized government is distinct from a federal government, in which local units are autonomous, not dependencies of the central government.
A centralized government is governed by a supreme political authority that has sovereignty over all other governing bodies. The central government itself may take many forms. For example, monarchies and empires are centralized governments. Although a king employs vassals and an emperor utilizes regional administrators, the monarch is sovereign and may rearrange governors and bureaucrats as he pleases.
Many democratic nations also qualify as centralized governments. In these cases, it is legislators and chief executives who constitute the central government, but the principle remains the same. In these countries, provinces, boroughs and all other political entities are merely subdivisions of the national or central government and subordinate to it.
Federal governments are distinct. Federalism is characterized by the principle of dual sovereignty, the notion that members of the state are citizens of two independent, legitimate governments. In the United States, for example, the states are not dependencies of the federal government. They existed prior to the national government and cannot be annulled by it. They create their own legislation and have their own agenda independent of federal law.Learn More
Political sovereignty refers to the highest level of absolute power through which independent states are controlled by a designated political authority. Political sovereignty is sometimes called supreme will, and includes control of a specific state granted through a constitution or other enabling law, and carried out through an established government.Full Answer >
The term "oligarchy" refers to a form of government that concentrates power in the hands of an elite group, rather than a central figure, an elected assembly or the people at large, and the primary advantages appear to exist for the benefit of that elite group, while the disadvantages apply to the rest of the citizens who have to follow laws written to benefit that small group. Oligarchies often come about as a response to social disaster, such as the fallout in Germany after World War I or the ruling group in the fictitious country of Oceania that emerged in George Orwell's novel "1984."Full Answer >
Government is a necessary measure for people to be able to protect their personal property interests. The idea stems from John Locke's "Second Treatise on Government," on which much of the United States Constitution is based.Full Answer >
A limited government is a constitutional government with limited power and checks and balances in place whereas an unlimited government is an authoritarian and totalitarian government. The United States is an example of a limited government.Full Answer >