Social Sciences


The autocracy is a form of government in which one person holds power. The word is made up of two Greek words: auto , from “own” or “by itself”, and Kratos , from “power”.

An autocratic state has a single supreme leader and all decisions fall on this individual, whose scope is not subject to any type of legal regulations or limitations. Dictatorships and absolute monarchies are a type of autocracy.

The autocrat is not subject to laws that regulate or control his mandate. This type of regime does not promote the intervention of the population in the decisions of the State. In addition, they will not be able to question the mandates or request changes.

This form of government is one of the oldest in history, since it was the first monarchies (absolutists) that began to practice it.


  • They are the complete opposite of democracy.
  • The public powers are unified and depend on only one person.
  • History and its protagonists have given a negative charge to this form of government, and that is that most of the autocrats have led their country to chaos, however, it should not necessarily be a bad way of governing.
  • Not all dictatorships are autocrats, since the former can be made up of several people: president, vice president, ministers, etc., while in autocracies there is a supreme leader.
  • Autocrats can rise to power through popular elections, through nepotism, or through coups.
  • Some autocratic governments are repressive and act with violence against protests or any suspicion of uprising.
  • By concentrating all the powers, it is very easy for the ruler to end up being corrupt.
  • The population tends to worship their leader. Monuments are erected in his honor and other types of art.
  • Your personality is your strength. They are charismatic and personable, and therefore people end up believing that they love him as a close relative.
  • On the other hand, they do not mind publicly punishing those close to them if they feel they have been betrayed by them.

Examples of autocracy

The Tsar in Russia. Before the October Revolution, Russia was led by the Tsar, an emperor of that country’s historical nobility.

Louis XIV in France. During the 15th century, France had an absolutist king, who could do whatever he wanted because he was not limited by regulations.

Franco in Spain. Francisco Franco was a conservative military man who became a cuidillo. It ended with the Spanish Civil War of the 20th century, implanting a dictatorship that today is remembered with great regret, since thousands of opponents disappeared.

Fidel Castro in Cuba . It is one of the longest-lived dictatorships in Latin America, and a clear example of a government that eventually became an autocracy.

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