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Key People:Frederick IIArmand-Jean du Plessis, cardinal et duc de RichelieuNicholas ILouis XIVCharles XII...(Show more)Related Topics:political systemideologydictatorshipenlightened despotismneoabsolutism...(Show more)

absolutism, the politics doctrine and practice the unlimited central authority and absolute sovereignty, as vested particularly in a monarch or dictator. The essence of an absolutist system is the the judgment power is not topic to regularized challenge or inspect by any kind of other agency, be it judicial, legislative, religious, economic, or electoral. King louis XIV (1643–1715) that France furnished the most familiar assertion of absolutism once he said, “L’état, c’est moi” (“I am the state”). Absolutism has actually existed in various creates in all components of the world, including in Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler and also in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin.

A short treatment of pure follows. For complete treatment, see European history and Culture: Absolutism.



Among European claims of the High Renaissance, the republic the Venice listed the only crucial exception to princely rule. Following...

The most typically studied form of absolutism is pure monarchy, which originated in early contemporary Europe and also was based upon the strong individual leaders of the new nation-states the were produced at the breakup of the medieval order. The strength of these claims was closely associated with the strength of your rulers; to combine both, it was necessary to curtail the restraints on central government that had actually been exercised by the church, feudal lords, and medieval customary law. By declare the absolute authority the the state against such former restraints, the monarch together head that state claimed his own absolute authority.

By the 16th century autarchic absolutism dominated in lot of western Europe, and it was extensive in the 17th and 18th centuries. Besides France, whose absolutism to be epitomized through Louis XIV, absolutism exist in a variety of various other European countries, including Spain, Prussia, and also Austria.


The most common defense of autarchic absolutism, well-known as “the divine right of kings” theory, asserted the kings derived their government from God. This view might justify even tyrannical dominance as divinely ordained punishment, administered through rulers, for person sinfulness. In that origins, the divine-right theory may be traced come the middle ages conception that God’s award of temporal strength to the political ruler, while spiritual strength was given to the head of the roman inn Catholic Church. However, the new national queens asserted their authority in every matters and tended to come to be heads the church and also of state, as did King Henry VIII as soon as he became head that the newly produced Church that England in the 16th century. Their power was pure in a method that was impossible to achieve for medieval monarchs, who were faced by a church the was basically a competitor centre that authority.

More pragmatic disagreements than the of magnificent right to be also progressed in assistance of absolutism. Follow to part political theorists, finish obedience to a single will is important to maintain order and also security. The most intricate statement of this see was made by the English thinker Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan (1651). A syndicate of power additionally has been justified ~ above the communication of a presumed expertise of absolute truth. No the sharing of strength nor borders on that exercise appear valid come those who believe that castle know—and recognize absolutely—what is right. This dispute was progressed by Vladimir Ilich Lenin to defend the absolute authority that the Communist Party in Russia ~ the Bolshevik revolution in 1917.


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Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin, 1918.
Tass/Sovfoto

Absolutist rulers who arised later in the 20th century, in enhancement to Hitler and Stalin, included Benito Mussolini of Italy, Mao Zedong of China, and Kim Il-Sung of north Korea, whose boy (Kim Jong Il) and grandson (Kim Jong-Un) ongoing the sample of absolutist dominance in the nation into the 21st century.

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The editors of Encyclopaedia keolistravelservices.comThis write-up was most recently revised and also updated by Brian Duignan, an elderly Editor.