What’s the Difference Between Limited and Unlimited Government? | Social Studies
Governments provide safety and structure to a country. Depending on the type of government a country has – limited or unlimited – will determine the amount of power the government has over its citizens. Understanding the difference between a limited and unlimited government is a high emphasis topic on the TASC Test Assessing Secondary Completion™ Social Studies subtest.
Let’s take a look at what makes them different:
Limited governments have established and respected laws and restraints of power.
- The power of the government is usually limited by a binding document.
- For example, the Constitution of the United States details all powers and limitations the government has.
- Citizens’ rights are protected by the constitution.
- For example, in America, freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights.
- All citizens, figures of authority, and government officials must obey established laws and restraints of power.
- Limited governments seek to improve and protect the public.
- The United States, India, and Mexico have limited governments.
Unlimited governments have no restraint of power and are typically led by a leader who is above established laws.
- The power of the government is not limited by a constitution or laws.
- These governments have total control over their citizens.
- For example, China enacted a one-child policy to control the country's population in 1979. It was recently announced that families will be allowed to have a second child, according to the NYTimes.com.
- There are two different types of unlimited governments.
- Authoritarian governments concentrate power to one person or a small group of people.
- Totalitarian governments try to control every aspect of their citizen’s lives and ban independent organizations.
- Unlimited governments seek to increase power.
- China, Russia, and Saudi Arabia have unlimited governments.