Democracies are countries with governments elected every few years by popular vote.
Most democracies have a constitution, a written set of laws saying how a government must be run.
Democracies like France are republics. This means the head of state is an elected president. In some republics like the USA, the president is in charge; in others, the president is a figurehead and the country is run by a chancellor or prime minister.
Monarchies are countries which still have a king or queen — like Britain. But their power is usually limited and the country is run by an elected government.
In autocracies a single person or small group of people holds all power, as in China and North Korea.
Most governments are split into the legislature who make or amend laws, the executive who puts them into effect and the judiciary who see they are applied fairly.
Most countries are capitalist, which means most things capital — are owned by individuals or small groups.
A few countries like Cuba are communist, which means everything is owned by the community, or the state.
Socialists believe the government should ensure everyone has equal rights, a fair share of money, and good health, education and housing.
Fascists believe in rigid discipline and that they and their country are superior to others, like Hitler’s Germany in the 1930s. There is no openly fascist country at present.