Military Governments

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 11th gradeB+, January 1997

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Military governments have been around since the days of feudalism. It is the oldest and most

common political state. According to Shively, a military government is one in which a group of officers

use their troops to take over the governmental apparatus and run it themselves. Military governments

are usually weak in appeasing the masses for they are known to be brutal and power hungry and are

also rather fragile, both internally and externally.

In its primitive state, existing as feudalism, the high ranking officials/nobility and the military

itself was composed solely of the elite ruling class. But as society became more complex, the role of the

elite was slightly altered as technology progressed and the nobility and kings no longer controlled

weapons nor could prevent the disintegration of the feudal society.

Modern military governments usually occur after the military stages a coup. A coup is the

forceful deposition of a government by all or a portion of the armed forces and installation of a new

military government.

Coups ordinarily take place when the present government poses a threat to the

state or the status quo. Because the military controls more armed power than anyone in a state, they

have the ability to take over the government at any given time. In Power and Choice, Shively questions

the notion of the infrequency of military governments. Yes, they are common, but why aren't they more

common? The reason being that as societies advance and become more complex, it is necessary for the

ruling elite to be more knowledgeable of the processes by which a government is operated. This explains

the recurrence of civilian-run governments. The military may have a few leaders who are skilled

politically, but the armed forces are not customarily trained to run governments. Recall that the role...