The Full Wiki

Autocracy: Wikis

Advertisements
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An autocracy is a form of government in which one person possesses unlimited power[1]. An autocrat is a person (as a monarch) ruling with unlimited authority[2]. The term autocrat is derived from the word autokratōr (αὐτοκράτωρ, lit. "self-ruler", or "one who rules by himself"). Compare with oligarchy ("rule by the few") and democracy ("rule by the people").

Today the term autocrat is usually understood as being synonymous with despot, tyrant and dictator, although each of these terms originally had a separate and distinct meaning.

Autocracy is not synonymous with totalitarianism, as the latter concept was forged in 1923 to distinguish modern regimes from traditional dictatorships. Nor is it synonymous with military dictatorship, as these often take the form of "collective presidencies" such as the South American juntas. However, an autocracy may be totalitarian or be a military dictatorship.

The term monarchy also differs in that it emphasizes the hereditary characteristic, though some Slavic monarchs, specifically Russian Emperors traditionally included the title "autocrat" as part of their official styles. This usage originated in the Byzantine Empire, where the term autokratōr was traditionally employed in Greek to translate the Latin imperator, and was used along with Basileus to mean "emperor". This use remains current in the modern Greek language, where the term is used for any emperor (e.g. the Emperor of Japan), regardless of the actual power of the monarch. Historically, many monarchs ruled autocratically but eventually their power was diminished and dissolved with the introduction of constitutions giving the people the power to make decisions for themselves through elected bodies of government.

The autocrat needs some kind of power structure to rule. Very few rulers were in the position to rule with only their personal charisma and skills, however great these may be, without the help of others. Most historical autocrats depended on their nobles, the military, the priesthood or others, who could turn against the ruler and depose or murder them. As such, it can be difficult to draw a clear line between historical autocracies and oligarchies.

See also

References

Advertisements

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

AUTOCRACY (Gr. aurorcpar€Ca, absolute power), a term applied to that form of government which is absolute or irresponsible, and vested in one single person. It is a type of government usually found amongst eastern peoples; amongst more civilized nations the only example is that of Russia, where the sovereign assumes as a title "the autocrat of all the Russias."


<< Autoclave

Auto-da-fe >>


Simple English

Autocracy is a form of government. In an autocracy, a single person has all legal and political power, and makes all decisions by himself or herself. The person who holds the power is called an autocrat.

When there is a monarch ruling a country as an absolute monarchy, this is also called an autocracy. Having an autocratic government does not mean the country is governed well or governed poorly. It is just a description on how it is set up.

In modern times, most autocrats gain power as part of a larger nationalist, communist, or fascist movement. Once in power, they eliminate all other kinds of authority in the country, such as judges, the legislature, and political parties.

Other pages



Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message