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Despotic   /dɪspˈɑtɪk/   Listen
Despotic

adjective
1.
Belonging to or having the characteristics of a despot.  Synonym: despotical.
2.
Ruled by or characteristic of a despot.  "His administration was arrogant and despotic"
3.
Characteristic of an absolute ruler or absolute rule; having absolute sovereignty.  Synonyms: authoritarian, autocratic, dictatorial, tyrannic, tyrannical.  "Autocratic government" , "Despotic rulers" , "A dictatorial rule that lasted for the duration of the war" , "A tyrannical government"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Despotic" Quotes from Famous Books



... their contrasts, they are not unusual in their proportions. The balance which has been struck between his days of good and evil, is that which regulates the lot of man, whether we study it in the despotic sway of the autocrat, in the peaceful inquiries of the philosopher, or in the humbler ...
— The Martyrs of Science, or, The lives of Galileo, Tycho Brahe, and Kepler • David Brewster

... had never believed in any of the Mormon doctrines, but that, forming the opinion that their leaders were planning to set up "a despotic and religious empire" over the territory included in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri, he decided to join them, learn their secrets, and expose them. Bennett's personal rascality admits of no doubt, and not the least ...
— The Story of the Mormons: • William Alexander Linn

... however, was a dangerous situation to remain in, as, if the wind blew strong, we would have to run out to sea, and so much cable would take a long time to get in; so I ordered my two men, in a very pompous, despotic way, to heave up the anchor again. But not a bit would it budge. We all heaved at the windlass; still the obstinate anchor held fast. Again we gave another heave, and smashed both ...
— Hudson Bay • R.M. Ballantyne

... under a despotic government, you would have lines made without reference to your local wants, and perhaps from visionary views of public advantage, but without reference to your private interests. It would be the same if a democratic body were to govern. ...
— Memoirs of James Robert Hope-Scott, Volume 2 • Robert Ornsby

... friendly advances to the growing liberal forces in society, which had been brought into permanent existence by the success of republicanism in France. In spite of this nominal espousal of the liberal cause, Maria was continually trying to avoid popular concessions and to retain unimpaired the despotic power of the monarchy, but she was soon forced to see that, in appearance at least, she must pretend to advance the popular cause and give her subjects more extended privileges. Accordingly, she issued a decree in 1834 establishing a new constitution ...
— Women of the Romance Countries • John R. Effinger

... system of religion the two races were most widely contrasted. The Gauls were a priest-ridden race. Their Druids were a dominant caste, presiding even over civil affairs, while in religious matters their authority was despotic. What were the principles of their wild Theology will never be thoroughly ascertained, but we know too much of its sanguinary rites. The imagination shudders to penetrate those shaggy forests, ringing with the death-shrieks ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... of our sober clime This way of writing will appear exotic; Pulci[233] was sire of the half-serious rhyme,[dj] Who sang when Chivalry was more quixotic, And revelled in the fancies of the time, True Knights, chaste Dames, huge Giants, Kings despotic; But all these, save the last, being obsolete, I chose a modern ...
— The Works of Lord Byron, Volume 6 • Lord Byron

... letter to a friend without the consent and inspection of the Mother Abbess, who is always and invariably a female tyrant, a creature in the pay of the Bishop, and dependent upon the Bishop for her despotic office of power. The poor, unfortunate, imprisoned American female has no means of redress in her power. She cannot communicate her story of wrong and suffering to any living being beyond the walls of her prison. She may have a father, ...
— Life in the Grey Nunnery at Montreal • Sarah J Richardson

... their coats of expedient lawfulness, they reverted under the menace of Steele Weir's presence to the men they were in an earlier age—an age when a few white land and cattle "barons" dominated the region, predatory, arrogant, masterful and despotic; the age just ceasing when the elder Weir and Dent arrived; the age of their youth forty years before, the age when railroads and telegraphs and law were remote, and chicanery and force were the common agents, and "guns" the ...
— In the Shadow of the Hills • George C. Shedd

... girl by proclaiming authoritatively that all sincere opinions should be respected. However, the Countess and the wife of the Cotton manufacturer, who bore in their hearts the unreasoning hatred of all decent people for the Republic, and that predilection which all women have for the pomp of despotic Governments, felt irresistibly attracted toward this dignified prostitute whose opinions ...
— Mademoiselle Fifi • Guy de Maupassant

... invitation to Almack's. Very often persons whose rank and fortunes entitled them to the entree anywhere, were excluded by the cliqueism of the lady patronesses; for the female government of Almack's was a pure despotism, and subject to all the caprices of despotic rule: it is needless to add that, like every other despotism, it was not innocent of abuses. The fair ladies who ruled supreme over this little dancing and gossiping world, issued a solemn proclamation that no gentleman should appear at the assemblies without being dressed in knee-breeches, white ...
— Reminiscences of Captain Gronow • Rees Howell Gronow

... explains that in those latter days—his days, that is—under the rule of despotic princes, truly large subjects are not allowed to be discussed in public—confessing, however, that those large subjects, though they afford fine opportunities to orators, are not beneficial to the State at large. ...
— Life of Cicero - Volume One • Anthony Trollope

... degrading anxiety to attract worthless admiration, wealthy or titled homage, is it surprising that every young man, who has any pretensions to birth, fortune, or fashion, should consider himself as the arbiter of their fate, and the despotic judge of their merit? Women, who understand their real interests, perceive the causes of the contempt with which the sex is treated by fashionable coxcombs, and they feel some indignation at the ...
— Practical Education, Volume II • Maria Edgeworth

... number around his capital; and it is probable that the early Christians in India occasionally found such princes, and gave just cause of alarm to the Brahman priests, who were then in the infancy of their despotic power.[9] ...
— Rambles and Recollections of an Indian Official • William Sleeman

... in government that no one man can tell for much or turn affairs to his will. One of the most instructive studies a politician could undertake would be a study of the infinite limitations laid upon the power of the Russian Czar, notwithstanding the despotic theory of the Russian constitution—limitations of social habit, of official prejudice, of race jealousies, of religious predilections, of administrative machinery even, and the inconvenience of being himself ...
— Modern American Prose Selections • Various

... degrees developed the idea of political legitimacy; it is thus that it has become established in modern civilization. At different times, indeed, attempts have been made to substitute for this idea the banner of despotic power; but, in doing so, they have turned it aside from its true origin. It is so little the banner of despotic power, that it is in the name of right and justice that it has overspread the world. ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 56, Number 350, December 1844 • Various

... Easter, and Whitsuntide. The great councils of the Norman reigns which assembled at Christmas and the other great festivals, were in appearance a continuation of the Witenagemots, but the power of the barons became very formal in the presence of such despotic monarchs as William the Conqueror and his sons. At the Christmas festival all the prelates and nobles of the kingdom were, by their tenures, obliged to attend their sovereign to assist in the administration ...
— Christmas: Its Origin and Associations - Together with Its Historical Events and Festive Celebrations During Nineteen Centuries • William Francis Dawson

... fell: and what fell with her was freedom, and what reigned in her stead only tyrants and the ancient terror. The crowning of the first modern Kaiser in the very palace of the old French kings was an allegory; like an allegory on those Versailles walls. For it was at once the lifting of the old despotic diadem and its descent on the low brow of a barbarian. Louis XI. had returned, and not Louis IX.; and Europe was to know that sceptre on which there ...
— The Crimes of England • G.K. Chesterton

... country. And eventually they came to be run, like any other business, for the benefit of those who owned or controlled them. The professional labor leader evolved, motivated by his own interests and finally becoming, in his despotic control of the union, backed by goon squads and gangsters, as powerful a man as was to be found in the country. Seldom were strikes any longer held to better the condition of the individual union members. Instead, the issues were contracts ...
— Frigid Fracas • Dallas McCord Reynolds

... Count Louie, thou hast voiced my very thought! Traitors who fellowship with filthy graft And find one single virtue in the creed Of these Republicans who long have ruled These Islands with despotic, cruel hand, Until their tyranny doth smell to Heav'n, Indeed should find no place to lay their heads Within the bounds of ...
— 'A Comedy of Errors' in Seven Acts • Spokeshave (AKA Old Fogy)

... Royal was no hard-hearted, despotic woman, delighting to display her power and to 'make scenes.' She was an affectionate girl, easily touched and very grateful, and in her generosity had striven to forget her father's double dealing in the matter of her vows. That the coming interview would be a ...
— The Red Book of Heroes • Leonora Blanche Lang

... Charles II, accession of James II., and appointment of Sir Edmund Andros as viceroy over New England, with despotic powers ... 267 ...
— The Beginnings of New England - Or the Puritan Theocracy in its Relations to Civil and Religious Liberty • John Fiske

... upon this last observation, the most weighty, perhaps, of all that we have made up to this time: if you, her husband, do not break under the scourge of your will this weak and charming reed, there will be a celibate, capricious and despotic, ready to bring her under a yoke more cruel still; and she will have to endure two tyrannies instead of one. Under all considerations, therefore, humanity demands that you should follow the system ...
— The Physiology of Marriage, Part II. • Honore de Balzac

... and walked out nearly dead with shame. Liputin blamed him severely afterwards for having accepted the hundred roubles and having even gone to thank Varvara Petrovna for them, instead of having returned the money with contempt, because it had come from his former despotic mistress. He lived in solitude on the outskirts of the town, and did not like any of us to go and see him. He used to turn up invariably at Stepan Trofimovitch's evenings, and borrowed newspapers ...
— The Possessed - or, The Devils • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... but a part of that great race spirit which the Conqueror could not conquer; the lingering spirit of freedom which the iron heel of despotic usurpation could not stamp out, the memory of a lost freedom ranking in the hearts of men determined to restore in their island home those ancient rights which no man dared to question in the days of the Saxon, Edward ...
— Masterpieces of Negro Eloquence - The Best Speeches Delivered by the Negro from the days of - Slavery to the Present Time • Various

... eat together on occasions of ceremony, though not from the same dishes. No member of the tribe ever forfeited his inheritance by changing his creed. Nor did any one of them, I believe, ever change his creed, except to retain his inheritance, liberty, or life, threatened by despotic and unscrupulous rulers. They dine on the same floor, but there is a line marked off to separate those of the party who are Hindoos from those who are Musulmans. The Musulmans have Mahommedan names, and the Hindoos Hindoo names; ...
— A Journey through the Kingdom of Oude, Volumes I & II • William Sleeman

... greatest power Venice hardly ranked among Italian States. It had been her policy to confine herself to the lagoons and to the extension of her dominion over the Levant. In the fifteenth century, however, this policy was abandoned. Venice first possessed herself of Padua, by exterminating the despotic House of Carrara; next of Verona, by destroying the Scala dynasty. Subsequently, during the long dogeship of Francesco Foscari (1423-1457), she devoted herself in good earnest to the acquisition of territory upon ...
— Renaissance in Italy, Volumes 1 and 2 - The Catholic Reaction • John Addington Symonds

... experience, to meet the exigencies of life. The organization of society under chiefs and medicine men greatly increased the power of the society to serve its own interests. The same is true of higher political organizations. If Gian Galeazzo Visconti or Cesare Borgia could have united Italy into a despotic state, it is an admissible opinion that the history of the peninsula in the following four or five hundred years would have been happy and prosperous, and that, at the present time, it would have had the same political system which it has now. However, chiefs, ...
— Folkways - A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals • William Graham Sumner

... States—mostly despotic States—have sometimes applied parts of this system of doctrine; but none have proclaimed it. The Roman conquerors of the world were not a scrupulous people, but even they stopped short of these principles; certainly they never set them up as an ideal; neither did those magnificent ...
— New York Times Current History: The European War from the Beginning to March 1915, Vol 1, No. 2 - Who Began the War, and Why? • Various

... true that there is nowhere in Europe a government so despotic and so closely allied with the ruling Church. And therefore the share of the temporal power in the corruption of the people is greatest in Russia. But it is untrue that the Russian Church in its influence on the people ...
— The Kingdom of God is within you • Leo Tolstoy

... negro carrying his gun, and a huge greyhound bounds along by his side. He holds despotic sway over twelve tribes; and should any neighboring people venture to make an incursion on his territory, Bou-Akas seldom condescends to march against them in person, but sends his negro into the principal village. This envoy just displays the gun of Bou-Akas, and the ...
— The International Monthly, Volume 3, No. 2, May, 1851 • Various

... rein, will not only grow monstrous and despotic, but artificial appetites will be created which, like a ghastly Frankenstein, develop a kind of independent life and force, and then turn on their creator to torment him without pity, and will mock his efforts to free himself from this slavery. The victim of strong drink is ...
— Architects of Fate - or, Steps to Success and Power • Orison Swett Marden

... rule; and Boris knew well enough that no usurper, however strongly intrenched in their affections he might be, could hope to win those superstitiously loyal people to his support against any prince of the right line, however brutal, unjust, and despotic that prince might be. He knew, in brief, that so long as any descendant of Rurik should live, no other man could hope to seat himself upon the Muscovite throne. Feodor had no children, but he had one brother, the lad Dmitri, who would be his successor ...
— Strange Stories from History for Young People • George Cary Eggleston

... proudly arrayed in manners, gallantry, splendor, magnificence, and even covered over with the imposing robes of science, literature, and arts, it was, in government, nothing better than a painted and gilded tyranny,—in religion, a hard, stern intolerance, the fit companion and auxiliary to the despotic tyranny which prevailed in its government. The same character of despotism insinuated itself into every court of Europe,—the same spirit of disproportioned magnificence,—the same love of standing armies, above the ability ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. III. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... but common sense alone is sufficient to convince any one that unfavourable chances must long be dreaded. The ancient system being re-established, the occupation of the throne will then be only a family question, and not a question of government between liberty and despotic power. Why should not France, if it ceases to be free, prefer the race of her ancient kings? You surely know it. You had not been married two years when, on returning from Italy, your husband told me that he aspired to royalty. Now he is Consul for life. Would he but resolve to stop there! ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... under a French protectorate. French armies overran Artois, Hainault and Picardy, and were threatening Flanders, where there was in every city a party of French sympathisers. Gelderland welcomed the exiled duke, Adolf, as their sovereign. Everywhere throughout the provinces the despotic rule of Duke Charles and his heavy exactions had aroused seething discontent. Mary was virtually a prisoner in the hands of her Flemish subjects; and, before they consented to support her cause, there was a universal demand for a redress of grievances. But Mary showed herself possessed ...
— History of Holland • George Edmundson

... system of government which had driven them and thousands of their compatriots from the land and friends they loved, and from the estates they owned, into resigned and determined agitation for popular government and the amelioration of their people. The upholders of this despotic system of government are now engaged in a life-and-death struggle, and all civilized nations are looking forward to the time when, for the first time in its history, Right and not Might shall prevail in Russia. It has been said, "Happy is the nation that has no history." Russia ...
— Looking Seaward Again • Walter Runciman

... end. Here they pitched their camp, and here as time went on the wonderful city of Tenochtitlan arose, the centre of the strange Aztec civilisation. Thus, fable records, was first established the site of Mexico City; prehistoric, despotic, barbaric, first; mediaeval, dark, romantic, later; ...
— Mexico • Charles Reginald Enock

... had the power of life and death over his large family, but it was a power seldom used. A chieftain might be cruel to his enemies, but never to his friends. Nor were those paternal rulers by any means so despotic as they have been represented to be; of all monarchs their power was the most limited, being allowed to take no step without permission of their friends, or the elders of their tribe, including the most distant branches of their family. The kind and conciliatory system adopted towards their ...
— Memoirs of the Jacobites of 1715 and 1745. - Volume I. • Mrs. Thomson

... gave me very great pleasure in this tale of a man of politics is that politics really have little, very little place in the novel; it is love that dominates it and in the most despotic and pleasant way possible. This great man of Grenoble who arrives at Paris in order to reform everything, repair everything, elevate everything, falls at once under the sway of a most charming Parisian adventuress. See Sulpice ...
— His Excellency the Minister • Jules Claretie

... 1841. This has been the usual rallying site of the Democratic party for centuries. Here occurred the tragedy of St. Bartholomew in 1572; here mob-posts, gallows, and guillotines did the work of a despotic misrule until 1789. (As we left for Brussels on the evening of the 13th of July, all Paris was gayly decorated with red, white, and blue bunting, ready to celebrate the event of July 14, 1789, the fall of the Bastile.) On this date, ...
— Questionable Amusements and Worthy Substitutes • J. M. Judy

... yet say nothing either of the combats of the gladiators, or of the abominations which sullied other spectacles; they unceasingly call to mind the reciprocal relations of husbands and wives, of parents and children, yet say nothing of the despotic authority which the Roman law conferred upon the father, or of the debasement to which it condemned the wife. The evangelical method is this: it has not occupied itself with communities, yet has wrought the profoundest of the ...
— The Uprising of a Great People • Count Agenor de Gasparin

... others. Thus many from too great impatience of spirit, or from misguided religious zeal, have preferred to live among brutes rather than among men; as boys or youths, who cannot peaceably endure the chidings of their parents, will enlist as soldiers and choose the hardships of war and the despotic discipline in preference to the comforts of home and the admonitions of their father: suffering any burden to be put upon them, so long as they may spite ...
— Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata - Part I: Concerning God • Benedict de Spinoza

... exercises the same authority over the Ainos as over its other subjects, but probably it does not care to interfere in domestic or tribal matters, and within this outside limit despotic authority is vested in the chiefs. The Ainos live in village communities, and each community has its own chief, who is its lord paramount. It appears to me that this chieftainship is but an expansion of ...
— Unbeaten Tracks in Japan • Isabella L. Bird

... invidious distinctions, than in any other nation with whose manners and customs I am familiar. It is this, perhaps, more than any other circumstance, which has tempered and made sufferable the oppression of unequal and despotic institutions, illustrating 'the advantage to which,' in the words of a philosophic writer, 'the manners of a people may turn the most unfavourable position ...
— The trade, domestic and foreign • Henry Charles Carey

... Indies. On the evening of September 21, 1797, the men were on drill, reefing topsails. The captain, Pigot, was a rough and daring sailor, a type of the brutal school of naval officer long extinct. The traditions of the navy were harsh; the despotic power over the lives and fortunes of his crew which the captain of a man-of-war carried in the palm of his hand, when made the servant of a ferocious temper, easily turned a ship into a floating hell. The terrible mutinies which broke ...
— Deeds that Won the Empire - Historic Battle Scenes • W. H. Fitchett

... of men who have sworn eternal war against oppression and corruption—who detest a despotic monarchy and demand a free ...
— The Son of Monte Cristo • Jules Lermina

... it is almost impossible for a contemporary writer quite to evade the services of the free-lances whom one encounters under so many standards. {4} But it is at any rate curious to note that the literary revolution against the despotic diction of Pope seems issuing, like political revolutions, in a despotism of ...
— Shelley - An Essay • Francis Thompson

... Marguerite Island, opposite Cannes. Here he was treated with great rigor. He was not allowed to correspond, or even to speak with any persons but those on duty within the fortress. Monsieur was exceedingly irritated by this despotic act. He ventured loudly to upbraid his brother, and bitterly accused Madame of having caused the arrest of his ...
— Louis XIV., Makers of History Series • John S. C. Abbott

... and Achitophel he hit upon a new and rich vein, which he worked with signal success. They ancient satirists were the subjects of a despotic government. They were compelled to abstain from political topics, and to confine their attention to the frailties of private life. They might, indeed, sometimes venture to ...
— The Miscellaneous Writings and Speeches of Lord Macaulay, Vol. 2 (of 4) - Contributions To The Edinburgh Review • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... some thirty years after 1806 was perforce despotic, but for the most part, with some exceptions, it was a benevolent despotism. "They had the difficult task of controlling a straggling white community, at first almost exclusively composed of Boers, ...
— Native Races and the War • Josephine Elizabeth Butler

... compel concession by terror. Can not the brute observe at each of his exploits a tightening of "the reins of power?" Through the necessity of guarding against him the mildest governments are becoming despotic, the most despotic more despotic. Does he suppose that "the rulers of the earth" are silly enough to make concessions that will not insure their safety? Can ...
— The Shadow On The Dial, and Other Essays - 1909 • Ambrose Bierce

... physical restoration unless we fulfill nature's imposed conditions. There can be no salvation unless sin be discarded, and so there can be no redemption from the bad effects of a practice, so long as it is continued. It is no easy task to master a despotic passion. Appetite is often stronger than the will. The treatment must begin with moral reformation. Every manly impulse, and all the higher qualities of the patient's nature, must be enlisted in the ...
— The People's Common Sense Medical Adviser in Plain English • R. V. Pierce

... watched him. But Cigole's whole soul was apparent to Brandon; and by his small arts, his low cunning, his sly observation, and many other peculiarities, he exhibited that which is seen in its perfection in the ordinary spy of despotic countries, such as used to abound most in Rome and Naples in ...
— Cord and Creese • James de Mille

... of government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered; and believe further, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other. I doubt, too, whether any other Convention we can obtain may be able to make a better Constitution. For when you assemble a number of men to have the advantage of their joint wisdom, you inevitably assemble ...
— Civil Government in the United States Considered with - Some Reference to Its Origins • John Fiske

... ten in number. The subaltern houses were incessantly checked in their career by the privileges granted to the Comedie Francaise, which company alone enjoyed the right to play first-rate productions: it also possessed that of censorship, and sometimes exercised it in the most despotic manner. Authors, ever in dispute with the comedians, who dictated the law to them, solicited, but in vain, the opening of a second French theatre. The revolution took place, and the unlimited number of theatres was presently decreed. ...
— Paris As It Was and As It Is • Francis W. Blagdon

... could imagine. That is true, but it is true also that the sex which reads the most novels reads the fewest newspapers; and, besides, the reporter does not command the novelist's skill to fix impressions in a young girl's mind or to suggest conjecture. The magazine is a little despotic, a little arbitrary; but unquestionably its favor is essential to success, and its conditions are not such narrow ones. You cannot deal with Tolstoy's and Flaubert's subjects in the absolute artistic freedom of Tolstoy and Flaubert; since De Foe, that is unknown ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... his destiny, and he never could have avoided it, to be in opposition to the dominant public sentiment around him. Had he been born in Russia, he could hardly have escaped a visit to Siberia; had he been born in Austria, he would have wasted some of his best years in Spielberg. Under a despotic government he would have been a vehement Republican; in a Catholic country he would have been the most uncompromising of Protestants. He had full faith in the institutions of his own country; and his large heart, hopeful temperament, ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 09, No. 51, January, 1862 • Various

... Laberius complained of this in a prologue, which is still extant, and in which the painful feeling of annihilated self-respect is nobly and affectingly expressed. We cannot well conceive how, in such a state of mind, he could be capable of making ludicrous jokes, nor how, with so bitter an example of despotic degradation [Footnote: What humiliation Caesar would have inwardly felt, could he have foreseen that, within a few generations, Nero, his successor in absolute authority, out of a lust for self-degradation, ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel

... militate with a double effect and stronger purpose against the poor whites of the North and of the South, against the German, the Irishman, and the poor and oppressed of every race, who come to our shores to escape the oppression of despotic governments, and to seek the protection of a Government the true theory of which reposes in every citizen a portion of its sovereign power. Against this attempt to deny or abridge in any way the rights of the weak, the poor, and ...
— History of the Thirty-Ninth Congress of the United States • Wiliam H. Barnes

... Aviz, with none of the Plantagenet blood in them. Only one prince of the line, Pedro II., can be said to have attained anything like greatness. Another, Joseph, had the sense to give a free hand to an able, if despotic, minister, the Marquis of Pombal. But, on the whole, the history of the Braganza rule was one of steady decadence, until the second half of the nineteenth century found the country one of ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Vol. 21 - The Recent Days (1910-1914) • Charles F. Horne, Editor

... Dessalines and later Christophe were actuated by a clear insight into the social history and peculiarities of their people. There was nothing in the constitution which did not have its companion in Africa, where the organization of society was despotic, with elective hereditary chiefs, royal families, polygamic marriages, councils, ...
— The Negro • W.E.B. Du Bois

... one of the most despotic and, at the same time, one of the ablest monarchs that ever ruled the destinies of Sweden. History represents him as brave and enlightened, but of a harsh and inflexible disposition; regulating his opinions by positive facts, and wholly ...
— The Haunters & The Haunted - Ghost Stories And Tales Of The Supernatural • Various

... about a month at Butaritari they moved to Apemama, ruled over by the strong and despotic king Tembinoka, who, although usually unfavourable to whites, admitted the Stevensons to his closest friendship. He said he was able to judge all people by their eyes and mouths, and, they having passed his examination successfully, he proceeded at once to do all in his ...
— The Life of Mrs. Robert Louis Stevenson • Nellie Van de Grift Sanchez

... a ready fluency in discourse, and a penetration and sagacity in unravelling the little intricacies of their disputes, are qualities which seldom fail to procure to their possessor respect and influence, sometimes perhaps superior to that of an acknowledged chief. The pangean indeed claims despotic sway, and as far as he can find the means scruples not to exert it; but, his revenues being insufficient to enable him to keep up any force for carrying his mandates into execution, his actual powers are very limited, and he has seldom found ...
— The History of Sumatra - Containing An Account Of The Government, Laws, Customs And - Manners Of The Native Inhabitants • William Marsden

... member of the Church of England, and conducts his services in accordance with the Anglican form of worship, but it is understood declines ordination, although qualified for it. He is an autocrat among his people, but his rule, though despotic, is benign, and leaves them as full freedom as the members of any white community enjoy, except that the use of intoxicants is prohibited, as is also their introduction into the place, and the villagers are consequently teetotalers "willy nilly." He is a Justice of the Peace ...
— Metlakahtla and the North Pacific Mission • Eugene Stock

... the company in the hands of the crown. At all events, it was agreed, with little dissent, that under the new charter the company should nominally retain the reins of power, checked, however, by Pitt's "board of control," the president of which, in reality, shared a despotic authority with the governor-general of Bengal, who was hereafter to be in name what he had long been in fact, governor-general of India. The bill strengthened his council, and enabled him ...
— The Political History of England - Vol XI - From Addington's Administration to the close of William - IV.'s Reign (1801-1837) • George Brodrick

... or Boston which contained two such bright intellects, two such fine characters. It did not seem right that they should both have left their mother, who was bereaved already by a faithless husband, to fight the battles of their country, however much they were needed for this. Even in the most despotic period of European history the only son of a widow was exempt from conscription. Then to lose them both in a single day! Mrs. Lowell became the saint of Quincy Street, and none were so hardened or self-absorbed as not to do ...
— Cambridge Sketches • Frank Preston Stearns

... was emphasized in every way. The law of lese-majeste (majestaetsbeleidigung), by which all criticism of the despotic head of the State or his actions is made a heinous criminal offence, to which severe penalties are attached, it is not too much to say is a law which brands the ruler who accepts it as a coward and a cur, and the Legislature ...
— German Culture Past and Present • Ernest Belfort Bax

... spirits, and indefatigable in the faculty of labour. She is a great and a good woman; of course not without peculiarities, but I have seen none as yet that annoy me. She is both hard and warm-hearted, abrupt and affectionate, liberal and despotic. I believe she is not at all conscious of her own absolutism. When I tell her of it, she denies the charge warmly; then I laugh at her. I believe she almost rules Ambleside. Some of the gentry dislike her, but the lower orders have a great regard for ...
— The Life of Charlotte Bronte • Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

... room was a little sanctuary of free speech pitched by an odd chance in the heart of a despotic court, but his loyalty was known to be as sterling as his patriotism, and Louis himself would come round and listen to his economic parables, and call him the king's thinker?-as indeed he was, for he was no believer ...
— Life of Adam Smith • John Rae

... two vessels, which might in time increase to a little fleet, Captain Bonnet's ideas of his own importance as a terror of the sea increased rapidly. On the Revenge he was more despotic and severe than ever before, while the villain who had been chosen to command the tender, because he had a fair knowledge of navigation, was informed that if he kept the bark more than a mile from the flag-ship, ...
— Kate Bonnet - The Romance of a Pirate's Daughter • Frank R. Stockton

... not dare to murmur at the proceedings of the General Government, lest they should lose their supplies; all would be merged in a practical consolidation, cemented by wide-spread corruption, which could only be eradicated by one of those bloody revolutions which occasionally over-throw the despotic systems ...
— State of the Union Addresses of Andrew Jackson • Andrew Jackson

... long as he could hear it. It sounded in his ears as he descended the hill. It came again and again to him as he was seated at his comfortable breakfast. It rang in the chambers of his consciousness for hours, and only a firm and despotic will expelled it at last. He knew the voice, and he never wished to hear ...
— Sevenoaks • J. G. Holland

... from Mr. Kemble and Sir H. Maine. The former is almost outrageously angry at Alfred for attributing the system of bts or compensations to the influence of Christianity; while in the strong terms wherewith treason against the lord is branded, he can only see "these despotic tendencies of a great prince, nurtured probably by his exaggerated love for foreign literature."[96] It is positively refreshing to come out of this heat and dust into the orderly and consecutive demonstration of Sir H. Maine, who concludes ...
— Anglo-Saxon Literature • John Earle

... not a chattering crowd. To avoid the possible chance of hereditary diseases or such things, we have abandoned hereditary monarchy. The King of England is chosen like a juryman upon an official rotation list. Beyond that the whole system is quietly despotic, and we have not found ...
— The Napoleon of Notting Hill • Gilbert K. Chesterton

... said than done; for the count was not the man to be led openly, nor was he willing to listen to good advice, simply because it was good. Irritable, jealous, and despotic, like all weak men, he dreaded nothing so much as what he called an insult to his authority. He meant to be master everywhere, in every thing, and forever. He was so sensitive on this point, that his wife had only to show the shadow of a purpose of ...
— The Clique of Gold • Emile Gaboriau

... forward to it; part of the dreadfulness of the past month had been their separation; now they were to be alone again, without that anarchic and despotic pack. On the morning, before he left, he wished the nurse good-bye with a false heartiness and handed her, breezily, a cheque. He would see her no more, God be thanked! When he came home that evening his place would be his own, his wife his own, the baby their own; there would be no stranger ...
— Married Life - The True Romance • May Edginton

... anything should exist under the name of a religion that held it to be irreligious to study and contemplate the structure of the universe that God had made. But the fact is too well established to be denied. The event that served more than any other to break the first link in the long chain of despotic ignorance is that known by the name of the Reformation by Luther. From that time, though it does not appear to have made part of the intention of Luther, or of these who are called Reformers, the sciences began to revive, and liberality, their natural associate, began to appear. ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books, Volume XIII. - Religion and Philosophy • Various

... of serfs, trial by jury, local self-government, popular education. And when an autocratic reaction arrives, it comes with the same storm-like rapidity and ubiquity. From a free country Russia is changed in one night, through the pistol-shot of a Karakozof, into a despotic country, just as if some Herman had waved his magic wand, and with his "presto, change," had conjured up the dead autocracy into life again. When finally aristocratic youth is fired with the noble desire to help the ignorant peasant, home, family, station, fortune, career, all ...
— Lectures on Russian Literature - Pushkin, Gogol, Turgenef, Tolstoy • Ivan Panin

... school, He bears despotic rule; His word, Though absurd, Must be law. Even Fate, Though so ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... seek for Him in that immensity, see where He hides His littleness. But even if you were immortal you might spend millions of years passing from one star to another without ever finding the corner where He hides His deposed despotic majesty. This vindictive and capricious God arose in men's brains, and the brain is a human being's most recent organ, the last to develop itself. When man invented God the world had ...
— The Shadow of the Cathedral • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... encroached a good standard inch, full measure, on the liberty of Joe, and having snipped off a Flemish ell in the matter of the parole, grew so despotic and so great, that his thirst for conquest knew no bounds. The more young Joe submitted, the more absolute old John became. The ell soon faded into nothing. Yards, furlongs, miles arose; and on went old John in the pleasantest ...
— Barnaby Rudge • Charles Dickens

... of the republic this irresponsible power of the soldiery was peculiarly despotic and harassing. There, two causes contributed to establish and keep it in the ascendency. One of these was the revolutionary condition of the country, which, as elsewhere, had become chronic. The contest ...
— The Lone Ranche • Captain Mayne Reid

... "I am not an easy woman to deal with. I am a little despotic, I know. I have been in the habit of commanding during the last thirty-five years. Business was heavy, and required a strong will. I had it, and the habit is formed. But this strong will, which has served me so well in business will, I am ...
— Serge Panine • Georges Ohnet

... the world. Her houses are far more effectually closed to the stranger by their paper shutters than are ours by walls of brick or stone. What we call "society" does not exist there. Her people, though smiling and courteous, surround themselves by an atmosphere of reserve, centuries of despotic government having rendered them suspicious and reticent. True, when a foreigner of importance visits Japan—some British M.P., perhaps, whose name figures often in the newspapers, or an American editor, or the president of a great American ...
— The Invention of a New Religion • Basil Hall Chamberlain

... Sweden was one of the most remarkable of the world's historic boys. Elevated to a throne founded on despotic power and victorious memories, at an age when most lads regard themselves as the especial salt of the earth, he found himself launched at once into a war with three powerful nations, only to become in turn the conqueror of each. A ...
— The Junior Classics • Various

... as he pleased. As is observed by the historian who first threw the light of reason on Hindoo society,[19] the king, though in dignity, to judge by the written code, he seemed vastly inferior to the Brahmins, had always the full power of a despotic monarch: the reason being that he had the command of the army, and the control of the public revenue. There is no case known to authentic history in which either of these belonged to the sacerdotal caste. ...
— Auguste Comte and Positivism • John-Stuart Mill

... all despotic natures liking to exercise their strength are full of tenderness for physical sufferings, Brigitte took such real care of her sister-in-law as to satisfy Celeste's mother when she came to see her daughter. After Madame Thuillier recovered, however, ...
— The Lesser Bourgeoisie • Honore de Balzac

... wrought during my lifetime in the political affairs of Germany I can merely indicate here. I was born in despotic Prussia, which was united to Austria and the German states and small countries by a loosely formed league. As guardians of this wretched unity the various courts sent diplomats to Frankfort, who interrupted their careless mode of life only to sharpen distrust of other courts or suppress ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... When, after Richard's death, he had to do with John Lackland, cowardly and insolent, knavish and addle-pated, choleric, debauched, and indolent, an intriguing subordinate on the throne on which he made pretence to be the most despotic of kings, Philip had over him, even more than over his brother Richard, immense advantages. He made such use of them that after six years' struggling, from 1199 to 1205, he deprived John of the greater part of his French possessions, ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume II. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... and enterprise. The ground he had lost in the favor of his people was completely regained, and he found himself even placed at the head of affairs. He was, in truth, their ruler; and, so long as he could maintain his popularity, no monarch could be more despotic, especially while the tribe continued in a hostile country. Throwing off, therefore, the appearance of consultation, he assumed the grave air of authority necessary to support ...
— The Last of the Mohicans • James Fenimore Cooper

... unfortunate King of Prussia. It was a sad and difficult duty, for he had lost happiness, love, greatness, and even his royal independence. It is true, he was still called King of Prussia, but he was powerless. He had to bow to the despotic will of Napoleon, and scarcely a shadow of his former greatness had been left him. The days of Tilsit had not yet brought disgrace and humiliation enough upon him. The Emperor of the French had added fresh exactions, and his arrogance became daily more reckless and intolerable. In the ...
— NAPOLEON AND BLUCHER • L. Muhlbach

... the shape of bravery, prowess, magnanimity, occupies the place of the previous despotic pomp goes through the same cycle of decline and subsidence. And this subsidence, therefore, is not really such; for through all this restless change no advance has been made. History passes at this point—and only outwardly, that is, without connection with the previous phase—to Central Asia. ...
— The World's Greatest Books—Volume 14—Philosophy and Economics • Various

... for that despotic beauty, Sylvia Landis, whose capricious perversity had recently astonished those who remembered her in her first season as a sweet, reasonable, and unspoiled girl, was always friendly with him. That must be looked upon as important, ...
— The Fighting Chance • Robert W. Chambers

... adventurers of this character, through the folly and heedless impulses of the masses. Fifty years hence, and a condition of society will probably exist among us that would effectually have carried out the principle of despotic rule which is beginning to show itself in the bud amongst us, and which is nothing more than the shadowing out ...
— New York • James Fenimore Cooper

... and interests as diverse as those of Spain and Scandinavia, England and Russia. You and your descendants have to ascertain whether this great mass will hold together under the forms of a republic, and the despotic reality of universal suffrage; whether state rights will hold out against centralisation, without separation; whether centralisation will get the better, without actual or disguised monarchy; whether shifting corruption is better than a permanent bureaucracy; ...
— American Addresses, with a Lecture on the Study of Biology • Tomas Henry Huxley

... his helpers. Here he was absolutely despotic. And in less than half an hour he had ascertained several important facts. He learned that a team had come in from Crowsfoot the previous afternoon, bringing a passenger for the farm. The team had remained at the farm, likewise the teamster. Only ...
— The Golden Woman - A Story of the Montana Hills • Ridgwell Cullum

... more frequently in want of the divine advice, than one united under a single monarchy, or submitted to the rigid austerity of castes and priestcraft; and in which the inhabitants felt for political affairs all the languid indifference habitual to the subjects of a despotic government. Half a century might pass in Egypt without any political event that would send anxious thousands to the oracle; but in the wonderful ferment, activity, and restlessness of the numerous Grecian towns, every month, every week, there was some project or some feud for which the advice ...
— Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... conduct were scarcely more intelligible to the British, or indeed to the European mind, than those of the yellow-skinned Hottentot or the brown-skinned Kafir. A century and a half of the Dutch East India Company's government—a government "in all things political purely despotic, in all things commercial purely monopolist"—had produced a people unlike any other European community on the face of the earth. Of the small original stock from which the South African Dutch are descended, one-quarter were Huguenot refugees from France, ...
— Lord Milner's Work in South Africa - From its Commencement in 1897 to the Peace of Vereeniging in 1902 • W. Basil Worsfold

... few years, he said: "They may say what they like of me, but I have lived and will die republican"—a curious boast which is justified only by the earlier years of Alexander's reign. In the beginning of his rule the Czar reversed the despotic tendencies of his predecessors. Free travel was permitted; foreign books and papers were allowed to enter; the better classes of the community were exempted from corporal punishments; the emancipation of serfs was begun, and the collegiate organization of the administration was supplanted by ...
— A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year - Volume Two (of Three) • Edwin Emerson



Words linked to "Despotic" :   despot, undemocratic



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