Absolutism (Political)

Absolutism refers to any government where the ruler maintains complete and total power over his subjects making the ruler almost indistinguishable from the state. As Louis XIV of France, the most famous absolute monarch once said, "I am the state!" (L'état, c'est moi!) Absolutist states have ranged from cruel despotism, to enlightened despotism, to theocratic despotism.

1,686 Questions
Absolutism (Political)

Is absolute monarchy a good or bad thing?

It depends on the culture, the nation, and the ruler. For example, if the nation is very small (IE: a small island in an archipelago), then there is little need of a fragmented government system. In a larger nation (IE: France in the 1700s), an absolute monarchy would not work as there are just too many people to rule over without delegation.

Again, it also depends on the ruler itself. A just, compassionate absolute monarch will put his or her people above personal gain. However, this does cause problems when the throne passes to someone else, someone who may not be as good as the previous ruler.

Further answer

It also depends on what powers the monarch has. In today's England the monarch has very little actual power and is largely a figurehead. But in say Henry VIII's day the monarch had very much more power.

It would also depend on the monarch - some were good, some were bad. Just like governments and dictators!

Absolutism (Political)

What is Rationalistic Absolutism?

Absolutism (Political)

How is power transferred in absolute monarchy?

Power is transferred in absolute monarchy by the death or overthrowing of the current leader.

Absolutism (Political)

Is Hitler a despot?


Absolutism (Political)

Why did Jefferson felt that it was not the right but also the duty of a people to overthrow a despotic government?

His philosophy came from an earlier enlightenment thinker John Locke who had a big influence on also the way the Constitution was written. Go Google "John Locke" for a better understanding.

Religion & Spirituality
Ethics and Morality
Absolutism (Political)

Why is absolutism a helpful rule?

A:Absolutism is a moral stance that is a helpful rule to some, because it entirely removes the need to make moral decisions. The basic premise of unqualified absolutism is that all moral conflicts are only apparent; they are not real. Sin is always avoidable. There are moral absolutes that admit of no exceptions and these never come into conflict with one another. Lying to ward off rape, or even to save a life, is strictly forbidden by unqualified absolutism, for one's choice is really between the permission of another's sin or the commission of his own sin. It is the other person's business if he wishes to sin and go to hell, so one should never commit a sin to prevent evil. Augustine was an early proponent of unqualified absolutism, although in later life he found ways for himself to work around what he taught.

Conflicting absolutism is essentially the same, but assumes that if we commit a sin to avoid a greater evil, we can ask God for forgiveness afterwards. This is a helpful rule because it gives us all the flexibility of a non-absolutist position, while holding to absolutist values, and then seeking forgiveness. At the extreme, it is closer to dissembling than to a moral position.

Absolutism (Political)

What are pros and cons about absolute monarchy?

Absolute monarchy has largely fallen out of favor, and is rarely practiced anymore (one could argue that the Kim dynasty of North Korea is an absolute monarchy in all but name). The advantage is that an absolute monarch is able to act very decisively without having to debate his or her policies, or gain legislative support for them, so if he or she is a wise and benevolent ruler, there is tremendous scope for accomplishing good things or for responding effectively to emergencies. The disadvantage is that there is equally great scope, if the absolute monarch is not wise or is not benevolent, for despotic and tyrannical government which will do immense harm. Unfortunately, the historical record shows that harmful consequences are much more likely than beneficial ones.

Absolutism (Political)

What is absolute dictatorship?

It is when someone has total control over their country and decides what to do in the country totally

Absolutism (Political)

How did enlightened despots contribute to the enlightenment?

The Enlightened Despots used their power to bring about some political changes as well as social.

Age of Enlightenment
Absolutism (Political)

What is the meaning of 'despotic'?

The common meaning of "despotic" is an adjective referring to the tyrannical use of power, such as many dictators are known to do. It is also used, to a lesser degree, to refer to non-political authority figures who have an oppressive method of maintaining order (such as company bosses who are belligerent).

The word comes to us from the Greek word "despotes" which referred to a lord within the Byzantine Empire, often who ruled over a European country-sized piece of land for the Byzantine Emperor. Some despotates eventually became independent. At that point, the word had no negative connotation, but would gain it as these despotates would become increasingly autocratic prior to the Ottoman conquest.

Absolutism (Political)

Give you a sentence for the word despotic?

meaning of despotic

Absolutism (Political)

What is a totalitarian government?

The two main things of a totalitarian government are that:

  1. There is no opposition - There were no other political parties than the main government party.
  2. The government regulates as much of life as possible - The state controls freedom, will, and nearly all aspects of public and private life.

The best example of a totalitarian government is the government under the Nazi regime during WWII. Hitler was a dictator; he had total command. Hitler ran a totalitarian government. The Nazi government ruled almost every aspect of life.

Absolutism (Political)

Definition of ethnic absolutism?

Ethnic absolutism is the idea that all ethnic minorities have the same norms and values. This view is usually held by ethnic majority groups in the UK. The term was described by Gilroy (1993) in his book "The Black Atlantic".

Absolutism (Political)

What are some disadvantages of absolute monarchy?

Monarchs have a difficult job. They have to walk the fine line of being strict enough that the subjects won't throw a fit when they don't get what they want but at the same time not being too dictatorial (or else the people will rebel)

For some monarchs, this too much to ask. They will do what they want, no matter how many toes they step on. They do this because they feel worthy and their subjects are unworthy. The worst part of that is, if your current king is not like that, his son could be. So with monarchies you're taking a big chance.

Power mad, that's the only down side. As long as they keep the countries best interest in sight they will always do there best and not care for money.

Cons -

  • Unilateral decision-making can lead to rash decisions with undesirable consequences
  • Citizens' interests may not be represented
  • Succession is not based on a person's fitness as a leader
  • Change of government is typically achieved through violent and bloody means
  • Experts and adviser may not be given a proper chance to give honest advice about ruler's policy decisions


  • The advantages of an absolute monarchy are highly dependent on the nation state in question. Where the national identity is fractured a single enduring head of state can provide a focus for a sense of national consciousness and pride. Where a nation lacks a tradition of the peaceful hand over of power, infrequent changes of government can provide stability. Where these advantages have been sought outside of monarchy, warlords, political strong men and such have never been able to achieve the political legitimacy conferred on a reigning monarch.
  • Monarch can also assist in development through the suppression of official corruption. Where the citizenry (or subjects) lack the power to defend property rights these same property rights can be vested in the person of the monarch. Corruption by lower officials becomes a personal crime against the monarch which in theory the monarch has the power to respond to. The monarch can not him or herself engage in theft since in theory everything already belongs to him or her.
  • The list of nations for whom the lack of civil society and stability make the only alternative to single person rule, chaos and anarchy can be readily culled from the bottom of the index of failed nations states. For these nations, which may aspire to other more representative forms of government, monarchy may provide an attractive interim solution of national governance.
  • More developed nations may benefit from monarchy where ethnic identity is stronger than national identity. Under these circumstances representative forms of government have a tendency to be develop into a "spoils" system, which divides resources and power among politicians with little incentive to serve the nations as a whole. In theory the monarch can stand above the fractions and administer the nation fairly, efficiently and move quickly to address national crises.
  • As long as they have the best for the country in mind can't go wrong really, maybe a few mistakes but that always happens and will be easy to fix. if not will be forgiven much more easier than if its was a group of people.
  • Allows for quick and decisive decision-making

    Good for military command

    Allows for long-term stability of leadership

    Can create a higher sense of nationalism & national identity

    Avoids inefficiencies of poly-cameral legislative bodies.

  • Political stability, predictable diplomatic pattern, ruler stabilty because the head of monarchy does not change.

It should be noted that all of the advantages listed here are highly dependent on finding a single person able and willing to nurture the power of the monarchy over a significant portion of his or her lifetime. Under the best circumstances the monarch will act to legitimize his or her rule through the building of a strong civil society, strong political institutions and the management of factions through power sharing arrangements that make long tenure in office acceptable to the various fractions of the political establishment.

Absolutism (Political)

What is the abstract noun for despot?

The word despot is an abstract noun. A despot is a person who rules with absolute power, a tyrant, or oppressor. You can see, hear, or touch the person, but you can only know or understand that the person is a despot.

Absolutism (Political)

What is an absolute monarchy?

An Absolute Monarchy is when a monarch has absolute power over state and government.

Some examples: Louis XIV of France, Emperors of Japan, Sheiks of Middle east, and King of Saudi Arabia.
An absolute monarchy is where a monarchical form of government where the monarch has complete power.
When one person has complete control over the people.

Two of the most known absolute monarchs are Louis XIV of France and Phillip II of Spain. The Monarch (King or Queen) can still appoint the Parliament, Prime Minister, etc, but they would act as advisers.
Where monarchy has full control. So in an American Colony, the English monarch would still control most of it. Basically, absolute monarchy means that there is nothing but God that has more power than a monarch.
The rise of absolute monarchies dates back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when several monarchs in western and eastern Europe increased the power of their central governments. In doing so, these kings, emperors, or sultans secured their position as the supreme ruler and possessor of all power. They surrounded themselves with followers and advisors who were strong advocates of royal absolutism. For those that opposed their behavior and seizure of power they replied that they had been granted the divine right of kings.

In several countries an absolute monarchy appeared to be the only viable solution to dealing with the problems that plagued it.France, for example, had been torn apart from religious wars, the citizens had no respect for law and order, the feudal nobility had seized control and the finances of the central government were in chaos. Furthermore, French prestige was at an all time low and when Henry of Navarre became king he was determined to change all of this. Once in power he restored the authority of the central government, curtailed the power of the nobility, launched a comprehensive program of economic reconstruction and dealt with the religious turmoil that had been tearing the country apart. His goal was to strengthen France and then have it become the supreme power in Europe. Unfortunately, he was never able to fulfill these dreams because he was assassinated as he was preparing for war. His vision for the future, however, was not entirely lost.

After the death of Henry IV, his wife and son, Louis XIII, became the new rulers of France. Although they proved to be very incapable leaders a prominent figure did emerge during their reign, Cardinal Richelieu. Similar to Henry IV, he sought "to make the royal power supreme in France and France supreme in Europe"(Sullivan 422). He followed this policy strictly and crushed any perceived threats to royal absolutism. However, it was not until the rule of Louis XIV that the French monarchy was able to secure formidable power. It was also during this time that the idea of divine right monarchy emerged. It was argued that the royal monarch was not only inspired by God, but also the image of God and was therefore only accountable to God. This idea soon spread throughout Europe and remained dominant during the late seventeenth and much of the eighteenth centuries.

Although quite different from western Europe, this same pattern became evident in eastern Europe. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, most of the countries in eastern Europe were economically less developed than their western counterparts, the landed aristocracy was the dominant power, serfdom was more harsh than ever, and most areas lacked the strong central governments that were prevalent thorughout much of western Europe by this time. All of this made the idea of an absolute monarchy even more favorable, especially in countries such as Prussia, Austria, and Russia. These countries strengthened their standing armies, gained new territories, improved commerce, dealt accordingly with religious problems, and made important compromises with the nobility and aristocracy. This was all made possible after the development of a strong national government and powerful monarchy in each of these countries.


Sullivan, Richard E. A Short History of Western Civilization. (New York; Mc Graw Hill, Inc., 1994).

World Book Encyclopedia. Volume 1. (Chicago: Childcraft International Inc., 1979).

Edited, Researched and Written by: Zoki Vidljinovic

November 17, 1997

Text copyright 1997 by David W. Koeller. All rights reserved.
Where the ruler has absolute power. The King (or Queen) is all powerful & dictates all

legislation. An Autocracy. Britains Charles the 1st claimed the divine right and was

opposed by Parliament: It cost him his head ! 1649. does any one even use this sight

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Absolutism (Political)

Why is absolutism bad?

reason why is if you have a government that runs on an absolutism system you and everyone else in the nation would be subject to the rulers ideas without a say in anything that is done. The ruler has absolute power.

Absolutism (Political)

What does absolute monarchy mean?

Absolute monarchy is a ruler who is NOT restrained by laws, a constitution, custom or elections. He/she controls both the lives of the government and his/her subjects. The monarch may appoint the "prime minister" but that position is just a figurehead and it serves as a adviser to the monarch. Also, the monarch can dismiss/dissolve his/her parliament on his/her free will without the advise of the prime minister. Another thing, the monarch may dismiss all of his/her cabinets/advisers/council-members and even the prime minister.

Absolutism (Political)

Did Enlightenment Despots share the power with their subjects?


Absolutism (Political)

Definition of absolutism?

A form of government in which all power is vested in a single ruler or other authority.

Absolutism (Political)

Is Plato's ideal form of government absolute monarchy?

yes no As written in history books Plato's ideal form of government is aristocracy which is a government ruled by an upper class. an aristocracy not of birth or of wealth but one based on intelligence, reasoning, education, and high ideals.

Absolutism (Political)

What do an absolute monarchy and an autocracy have in common?


Absolutism (Political)

How does a constitutional monarchy differ from an absolute monarchy?


power concentrated/consolidated to one monarch/ruler/person


-rulers share power/authority with representative institutions

-a written constitution is not necessary

-harness popular support+use it to magnify state power

-recognize rights of individuals and representative institutions

-claimed limited powers

French Revolution
Absolutism (Political)

What are the advantages of Louis XVI as an absolute monarch?

Reportedly, the most successful absolute monarch in France was Louis XIV. Absolute monarchy in France was also credited to Charlemagne, "Father of Europe", in the early 9th century.

Absolutism (Political)

Is absolute monarchy a good thing?

Having a absolute monarch is a huge gamble, because they do not answer to anyone. It some cases, it could be like having a good dictator.


its sometimes can be if its the right person but over all its not so good.

probably better if just monarchy


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