10 characteristics of absolutism

1 year ago

Absolutism is a political ideology that seeks to centralize power in the hands of a single ruler, who then exercises it according to his own will. Historically, it has been most commonly associated with monarchs and dictators, although it can also be applied to any type of authoritarian leadership.

The term "absolutism" was first used in the 18th century to describe the philosophy of the French kings Louis XIV and Louis XV, who sought to extend their own power through the use of the Divine Right of Kings. This doctrine was based on the belief that the monarch had been given the power to rule by God, and therefore should be allowed to exercise it as he saw fit.

In practice, absolutism was used to limit the power of the aristocracy and enforce the king's will on the rest of the population. This usually meant that the monarch had the last word on all matters of state, and the will of the people was not taken into account. It also meant that any opposition to the king's rule was quickly suppressed.

Absolutism also relied heavily on a strong system of censorship and surveillance. The king had the power to censor any book, newspaper, or other form of communication that opposed his rule. The monarch also had the power to imprison people who opposed his rule and mete out harsh punishments on those who disobeyed his orders.

Absolutism is still seen today in some parts of the world, particularly in countries like Saudi Arabia and North Korea. In these nations, the rulers have absolute power and are not accountable to any other body or institution.

The 10 most important characteristics of absolutism



  1. Absolute monarchy: Political power is concentrated in a single person, the monarch, who exercises his authority absolutely and without being subject to laws or institutions.
  2. Centralized power: The state is strong and centralized, and all major political decisions are made by the monarch.
  3. Absence of a system of representation: There are no political institutions to represent society, such as a parliament or assemblies.
  4. Strengthening of the State: The State is strengthened through the control of institutions and the repression of any opposition.
  5. Control of the economy: The State has great control over the economy, and can intervene in the production and distribution of goods and services.


  6. Active role of the State: The State has an active role in the economic, political and social life of society.
  7. Control of information: The State controls information and propaganda to shape public opinion.
  8. Repression of the opposition: Any opposition to the regime is repressed, either through the use of violence or through political repression.
  9. Cult of personality: The monarch is seen as a divine figure and his cult is encouraged among the population.
  10. Imperialism: Absolutism is accompanied by a policy of territorial expansion and control over other nations.


Despite its authoritarian nature, absolutism has been credited with some positive achievements. For example, it has been argued that it was absolutism that allowed the development of strong and unified nation-states. It has also been suggested that some of the reforms carried out by absolute monarchs, such as free trade and the abolition of serfdom, helped create the conditions for the Industrial Revolution.

However, absolutism has also been the subject of much criticism over the years. It has been accused of limiting individual liberties and restricting the right to dissent. It has also been blamed for creating a culture of fear and repression, which can be detrimental to the long-term development of a society.



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ENCICLOPEDIA DE CARACTERÍSTICAS (2024) 10 characteristics of absolutism, en 10caracteristicas.com. https://10caracteristicas.com/en/10-characteristics-of-absolutism/ (Consultado el: 12-06-2024)

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