What is a dictator?


To make laws and rules, countries have leaders who represent them and sometimes make decisions for them. Often depending on the history of a country, different places use different systems and have different types of leaders.

A dictator is one type of leader, and refers to a type of leader who has total rule over a place without any restrictions. Because dictators can end up with so much power, they often don't properly address the wants or needs of citizens.

Having this type of power can create rules or situations for a country that are not always very good. Since dictators don't always make the best leader, many countries are run as democracies, in which citizens vote to decide about the leaders and laws that they want.


Share to keep it fair!To get a better idea of why having a dictator might cause trouble, think about how the situation would occur in your own life.For example, imagine what would happen if there was one kid on the playground who always got to make the rules. This kid would tell everyone what games they could play and when, and nobody else would have a say! That probably sounds pretty unfair, right?Now imagine if your playground worked more like a democracy! In a democratic playground, everyone would get to vote on the rules and games. Even though the thing you vote for might not get the most votes, you'd at least have a fair chance to give your opinion!


Nebel, Bernard J. Ph.D. Chapter 5 Government and Leadership. Nebels Elementary Education. Maryland: Nebels Press for Learning