What is absolutism?

About what absolutism is, we can hear more in history lessons than in our daily lives. And yet, what is absolutism?

Absolutism is a form of government in which allthe supreme power in the state without restrictions belongs to one person - the monarch, the king, the emperor. The absolute monarch himself issues decrees and laws, he obeys the executive power in the person of the bureaucratic apparatus, he is also the supreme judge in the state.

Absolutism in Europe and in Russia

The classical version of absolutism was formed inFrance in the XVI-XVIII centuries under the kings of Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI. Before that, the form of government in France was a class monarchy, under which the king was only "the first among equals." In places, all the fullness of power belonged to other noble and influential feudal lords - dukes and counts. For the adoption of laws the king needed the support of the nobility, the church and city communes.

As a result of increased centralization and strengthening of royal power, the kings secured absolute and unlimited power. And already Louis XIV was able to say: "The state is me".

The absolute monarchy in France was destroyed induring the Great French Revolution. In place of absolutism came republican forms of government with the separation of power and the election of the parliament and head of state.

In Russia, absolutism was established under Peter I and existed until the overthrow of Nicholas II during the February Revolution of 1917.

Absolutism and modernity

Currently, absolute monarchs are, for example, the Pope of Rome in the Vatican, King Salman in Saudi Arabia, the Sultan of Brunei, the President of the United Arab Emirates.

Interpretation of many other terms you can find in the special section Definitions.

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