Autocracy is a form of a political system in which unlimited power is held by a single person. Absolutism is a form of the autocratic political system. Absolutists believe that one person should hold all power. Historically, a monarch ruled in a system characterized as absolutist. Some people believed that an absolute ruler was chosen by God; in this case opposition against the monarch was equivalent to opposition to God. Therefore, rule was considered absolute in the sense that the ruler could not be challenged. Despotism is another form of the autocratic political system, characterized as having a government overseen by a single authority that wields absolute power; the authority could be either an individual or a group. A dictatorship is a form of absolute rule by a leader, referred to as a dictator, who is unrestricted by law, constitutions, or other social and political forces. Dictatorships are typically associated with single-party states, military regimes, and other forms of authoritarianism.
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Last updated: 12/29/2017
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