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.Know More
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
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 >
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 >
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 >
The principle of popular sovereignty is a method used in the 19th century, which states that the people of a given area create and sustain the power of their government through the representatives the people elect. This was enacted during the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, and it was a compromise on the slavery issue that was paramount at the time.Full Answer >