Dictatorship - Research Article from Governments of the World

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Dictatorship

The term "dictatorship" has a long history, encompassing a wide array of polities—empires, states, nations, and the like. Used extensively since ancient times, the term is derived from the word "dictate," which means to command expressly; to impose or give orders with or as with authority; to give orders or instructions arbitrarily. The word "dictate" has its root in the Latin word dictatum (plural, dictata), meaning things dictated, lessons, or commands.

In ancient Rome, an official known as a dictator (meaning commander) was appointed as magistrate by the Senate in times of emergency or crisis and invested with absolute authority. This is the historical source for the English word "dictator," meaning a ruler who has absolute power and unlimited authority.

Dictatorship thus refers to the position or office of a dictator; a dictatorial government; a state ruled by a dictator; absolute power or authority. Various synonyms...

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This section contains 2,793 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Dictatorship Encyclopedia Article
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Governments of the World
Dictatorship from Governments of the World. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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