Difference Between Traditional and Constitutional Form of Government

Differences between traditional and constitutional forms of government

Constitutional form of government

  1. There is a fixed tenure of office. It means there is a definite period the government will spend. It could be four or five years.
  2. This government rules according to the provisions of the constitution. It is what the law of the land says that the government must follow when in power.
  3. Government i.e. the president, prime minister, and governors are elected by the people. They come to power through periodic elections–– elections are held at regular periods.
  4. The government can also be removed by the people through election.
  5. This is a modern form of government.

Traditional form of government

  1. This government has no fixed tenure. Rulership in this form of government is hereditary. The position is transferred from parents to children and from generation to generation.
  2. This government rules according to the tradition and customs of the people. For instance, legal limitations to the powers of the monarch did not exist in ancient times, but they do in modern constitutional government.
  3. Most traditional governments are dynasties. Only people from a particular family can have claim to the throne, i.e. become rulers.
  4. The king or monarch may not leave the throne except through death or abdication, i.e. being forced to leave, which was not common in those days.
  5. It is perhaps the oldest form of government.


  1. Identify three differences between the traditional and constitutional forms of government.
  2. What is oligarchy?



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