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Despotism   /dˈɛspətˌɪzəm/   Listen
Despotism

noun
1.
Dominance through threat of punishment and violence.  Synonyms: absolutism, tyranny.
2.
A form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator (not restricted by a constitution or laws or opposition etc.).  Synonyms: absolutism, authoritarianism, Caesarism, dictatorship, monocracy, one-man rule, shogunate, Stalinism, totalitarianism, tyranny.






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"Despotism" Quotes from Famous Books



... Britain? He knew that they were a vicious, worthless crew, and that Britain was a degraded country as long as they swayed the sceptre; but for those facts he cared nothing, they governed in a way which he liked, for he had an abstract love of despotism, and an abhorrence of everything savouring of freedom and the rights of man in general. His favourite political picture was a joking, profligate, careless king, nominally absolute—the heads of great houses paying court to, but in reality governing, that ...
— The Romany Rye • George Borrow

... are the four greatest naval battles of history and of these Lepanto was perhaps the greatest. Salamis turned back the invasion of the East; Actium created the Roman empire; Trafalgar was the first heavy blow dealt against a despotism that threatened to strangle Europe. Lepanto, however, saved Europe from a worse fate—the domination of the Turk. The name of this great victory is derived from the picturesque town, with its mediaeval ...
— Donahoe's Magazine, Volume 15, No. 1, January 1886 • Various

... personal freedom,—personal freedom existing in its social form,—it includes every unit of will, and gives to each equivalence. Democracy thus establishes the will of society in its most universal form, lying between the opposite extremes of particularism in despotism and anarchy; it owns the most catholic organ of authority, and enters into it with the entire original ...
— Heart of Man • George Edward Woodberry

... to the sacredness of human life and the sanctity of home. They, too, must be taught to keep the peace, and to become loyal to the institutions of the free land where they had sought asylum from despotism and oppression. And nothing but consummate tact, endless patience along with unvarying coolness and courage, enabled the men of the old corps successfully ...
— Policing the Plains - Being the Real-Life Record of the Famous North-West Mounted Police • R.G. MacBeth

... of the Aryan race shows everywhere a king, a council, and, as the necessity of early conflicts required, the king in much prominence and with much power. That there could be in such ages anything like an oriental despotism, or a Caesarean despotism, was impossible; the outside extra-political army which maintains them could not exist when the tribe was the nation, and when all the men in the tribe were warriors. Hence, in the time of ...
— Physics and Politics, or, Thoughts on the application of the principles of "natural selection" and "inheritance" to political society • Walter Bagehot

... American writers, a man of tremendous force and convictions, who, when he hit, hit hard. I have come to America to get acquainted with the American people and ask their aid for my suffering countrymen who are fighting for liberty. The despotism must be overthrown now, and what is needed is money, money, money!' Mark said he was glad to meet Gorki, adding, 'If we can help to create the Russian republic, let us start in right away and do it. The fighting may have to be postponed awhile, ...
— Essays on Russian Novelists • William Lyon Phelps

... general; and it must be supposed that the reader is very little wiser at the end than at the beginning. But two governments in the world fulfil their mission: the one government, which is no government; the other, which is a despotism. The duty of France is IN ALL TREATIES to place her sword of Brennus in the scale of civilization. Without quarrelling with the somewhat confused language of the latter proposition, may we ask what, in heaven's name, is the meaning of all the ...
— The Paris Sketch Book Of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh • William Makepeace Thackeray

... mitigation—suspended sentence, parole, indeterminate sentence. In the intention of their originators they may have appeared beneficent; in practise, they proved sinister and abominable means to cruelty and despotism. There can be no compromises ...
— The Subterranean Brotherhood • Julian Hawthorne

... barrier against the despotism of public opinion, whether it be of the many or of the few, is enlightened individual freedom and purity of personal character. Without these there can be no vigorous manhood, no true liberty in a nation. Political ...
— Character • Samuel Smiles

... General McClellan, and we shall have to choose between constant warfare, as a consequence of having approved of Secession by approving of the Chicago Platform,—which is Secession formally democratized,—and despotism, the only thing that would save us from anarchy. Anarchy is the one thing that men will not, because they cannot, long endure. Order is indeed now and forever Heaven's first law, and order society must and will have. Order is just as compatible with constitutional ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 85, November, 1864 • Various

... faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge natural to party dissensions, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result, gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; ...
— Southern Literature From 1579-1895 • Louise Manly

... to suppress the monks in Belgium, and to seize upon their revenues. There was seen on him a mask only of philosophy, covering the hideous countenance of a greedy despot; and the people ran to arms. Nothing better than another kind of despotism has been seen in the ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. V. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... bear on them. After some hundreds of years of internal trouble, barbaric quarrels, and fresh arrivals from the north, Greece began to wear an aspect of civilisation. Many of the Greeks passed to Asia Minor, as they increased, and, freed from the despotism of tradition, in living contact with the luxury and culture of Persia, which had advanced as far as Europe, they evolved the fine civilisation of the Greek colonies, and reacted on the motherland. Finally, there came the heroic struggle against the Persian invaders, and from the ashes of their early ...
— The Story of Evolution • Joseph McCabe

... June 17, 1852.—Every despotism has a specially keen and hostile instinct for whatever keeps up human dignity, and independence. And it is curious to see scientific and realist teaching used everywhere as a means of stifling all freedom of investigation ...
— Amiel's Journal • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... despotism; His harp falls shattered; for it still must be The instinct of great spirits to be free, And the sworn foes of cunning barbarism: He who has deepest searched the wide abysm Of that life-giving Soul which men call fate, ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of James Russell Lowell • James Lowell

... sacrifices include the surrender, for the time being, of the essential principle of the government. Personal independence in the soldier, like personal liberty in the civilian, must be waived for the preservation of the nation. With shipwreck staring men in the face, the choice lies between despotism and anarchy, trusting to the common sense of those concerned, when the danger is over, to revert to the old safeguards. It is precisely because democracy is an advanced stage in human society, that war, which belongs to a less advanced stage, is peculiarly ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 83, September, 1864 • Various

... for science; and wherever they carried their victorious arms abuses were abolished, ameliorations of all kinds followed and the arts of life were improved. Our government, since the accession of George III, has never raised its arm except in favour of old abuses, to uphold despotism and unfair privileges or ...
— After Waterloo: Reminiscences of European Travel 1815-1819 • Major W. E Frye

... commission with whom the evidence of the guilt of the prisoners was apparently of less weight than the desire to gratify the court by their condemnation. The first president of parliament, Christopher de Thou, again headed the commission. The same pliant tool of despotism who had signed the death-warrant of Prince Louis of Conde, just before the sudden close of the brief reign of Francis the Second, and had congratulated Charles the Ninth, twelve years later, in the name of the judiciary of the kingdom, on the "piety" he had displayed in butchering his ...
— History of the Rise of the Huguenots - Volume 2 • Henry Baird

... war with the sea. Holland has been called a land enclosed in a fortress reared against the sea. For generations her people have warred with angry waves; but, as Motley has said, they gained an education for a struggle "with the still more savage despotism of man." Let me not forget here Holland's great school of art—comparable only to that of Spain, or even to that ...
— Seeing Europe with Famous Authors, Volume 3 • Various

... Wolverton is a pure republic—equality reigns. There are no rich men or men of station: all are gentlemen. In theory it is the paradise of Louis Blanc, only that, instead of the State, it is a Company which pays and employs the army of workmen. It is true, that during work hours a despotism rules, but it is a mild rule, tempered by customs and privileges. And what are the results of this colony, in which there are none idle, none poor, and few uneducated? Why, in many respects gratifying, ...
— Rides on Railways • Samuel Sidney

... it's a benevolent despotism. Well, mother wants Adela to accept him. In fact, she asked me if I didn't think you'd help us. Of course I said ...
— Demos • George Gissing

... once the idea that the native is suppressed by military despotism, for the Posts are isolated and the number of troops in them merely sufficient to guard property and stores, that is to say, to fulfil the duties of policemen in England. At any moment the thousands of natives who live in or near the Posts, could overwhelm these small forces long before help could ...
— A Journal of a Tour in the Congo Free State • Marcus Dorman

... "Bergeret lui-meme," who, in all the glory of a red scarf and tassels, waved his hat and struggled to be heard above the general hubbud of music, voices, and battering of bronze. "Citizens," he said, "the 26th of Floreal will be memorable in our history. Thus we triumph over military despotism, that bloody negation of the rights of man. The First Empire placed the collar of servitude about our necks—it began and ended in carnage—and left us a legacy of a Second Empire, which was finally to end in the ...
— The Insurrection in Paris • An Englishman: Davy

... mere social enjoyments are to many women. Grey Pine—the house, the flower and kitchen-gardens, the church to be built—and the schools at the mills, all were as she liked it, having been bred up amid the kindly despotism of a great plantation ...
— Westways • S. Weir Mitchell

... fallen in high place. The spirit of Anarchy, always the servant of the spirit of Despotism, aimed its shaft at him, and his life for this world is over. But there comes from his fresh grave a voice of lofty triumph: 'Be of good ...
— Autobiography of Seventy Years, Vol. 1-2 • George Hoar

... this influence,—still so new even in Europe,—not able to support their political ideal, with a press, as it were, gagged by the censor, engaged in the struggle along the line of customs. They attacked the prejudices which clog the relations among men, and rose up against family despotism and the inferior position of women from a civil and economic point of view. But, between 1860 and 1870, when the enfranchisement of the serfs reduced the power of the censor, all that had been confined ...
— Contemporary Russian Novelists • Serge Persky

... devotion, defiant courage the women of New Orleans had no rival, save the women of Baltimore. I know no other place where the fiery furnace was so hot, the martyrdom so general or so severe. In both instances the iron hand of despotism failed ...
— Memories - A Record of Personal Experience and Adventure During Four Years of War • Fannie A. (Mrs.) Beers

... that generation from former ages as so many burdens of humanity, for help in the removal of which the new nation was in the providence of God perhaps called into existence. The whole matter in its broader aspects is part of that persistent struggle of the centuries between despotism and individual freedom; between arbitrary wrong, consecrated by tradition and law, and the unfolding recognition of private rights; between the thraldom of public opinion and liberty of conscience; between the greed of gain and the Golden ...
— Abraham Lincoln: A History V1 • John G. Nicolay and John Hay

... will say something on this. A misunderstanding of this may do serious harm. Let me first say that our heavenly Father, God, is not a despot or tyrant. There is no element in his nature or essence that in the slightest degree savors of despotism or tyranny. Jesus says: "He that seeth me seeth the Father: the Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. And from henceforth ye have both seen the Father and know him." Jesus was ...
— Life and Labors of Elder John Kline, the Martyr Missionary - Collated from his Diary by Benjamin Funk • John Kline

... The termination of the civil war between Caesar and Pompey forms a new epoch in the Roman History, at which a Republic, which had subsisted with unrivalled glory during a period of about four hundred and sixty years, relapsed into a state of despotism, whence it never more could emerge. So sudden a transition from prosperity to the ruin of public freedom, without the intervention of any foreign enemy, excites a reasonable conjecture, that the constitution in which it could take ...
— The Lives Of The Twelve Caesars, Complete - To Which Are Added, His Lives Of The Grammarians, Rhetoricians, And Poets • C. Suetonius Tranquillus

... marked not only by the continuance of royal despotism, by brilliant literary production, and by the struggle of the established church against the Catholics on the one side and the Puritans on the other, but by difficult and ...
— An Introduction to the Industrial and Social History of England • Edward Potts Cheyney

... same Posts and Honours were equally attainable by the Citizen and Gentleman, there was no material Distinction betwixt them. The Government which had flourished as Monarchical, was become an absolute Despotism. And whereas the King in all important Transactions, was dependant on the Assembly of the States, who were look'd upon as the Defenders and Interpreters of the Laws; both Laws and States were now only mere Phantoms, which he could raise ...
— The Amours of Zeokinizul, King of the Kofirans - Translated from the Arabic of the famous Traveller Krinelbol • Claude Prosper Jolyot de Crbillon

... may perhaps be doubted. These elections served, however, to keep alive the feelings of the people on public questions, and tended to increase those discussions and enquiries which support the arterial circulation of the body politic. The deadly plague of despotism, and the equally fatal disease of ministerial corruption, find victims of their influence only among people who are devoid of moral energies and public spirit, and whose stagnant and torpid condition generates morbid ...
— A Morning's Walk from London to Kew • Richard Phillips

... before the Norman conquest of England, the evening of the battle of Sticklestead. St. Olaf's corpse is still lying unburied on the hillside. The reforming and Christian king has fallen in the attempt to force Christianity and despotism on the Conservative and half-heathen party—the free bonders or yeoman-farmers of Norway. Thormod, his poet—the man, as his name means, of thunder mood—who has been standing in the ranks, at last has an arrow in his left side. He breaks off the shaft, and thus ...
— Historical Lectures and Essays • Charles Kingsley

... wouldn't be a real true woman if you weren't!" she accused. A reluctant dimple tugged at Nina's pouting mouth. She did not dislike the idea of potential despotism, of the travelled, experienced woman of the ...
— Harriet and the Piper - (Norris Volume XI) • Kathleen Norris

... servitude. Their duties require unflagging attention and never-ceasing vigilance, which must be a heavy tax on the brain, and the twelve hours must be passed in standing or walking about. In fact, they are subjected to military discipline, or rather despotism, and any known infraction of the rules subjects them to penalties according to the nature of the offense. Leaning against a wall, sitting down, etc., for a first offense, they are mulcted in a small sum—12 to 60 cents, usually—and are put back in the line of promotion. ...
— Bidwell's Travels, from Wall Street to London Prison - Fifteen Years in Solitude • Austin Biron Bidwell

... living so contrary to my own, that her hour of going to bed was almost mine for rising; her unbounded passion for low wit, the importance she gave to every kind of printed trash, either complimentary or abusive, the despotism and transports of her oracles, her excessive admiration or dislike of everything, which did not permit her to speak upon any subject without convulsions, her inconceivable prejudices, invincible obstinacy, and the enthusiasm of folly to which this carried her in her ...
— The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Complete • Jean Jacques Rousseau

... ardent temper was stirred by this struggle for independence, and his rhetorical nature could not resist the opportunities for fervid and brilliant oratory presented by this struggle for freedom against mediaeval despotism. Real convictions were sometimes diluted with rodomontade, and a true feeling was to some extent stimulated by the ...
— John Quincy Adams - American Statesmen Series • John. T. Morse

... conduct of the provincial magistrates was not, however, regulated by the practice of the city, or the strict maxims of the civilians. They found the use of torture established not only among the slaves of oriental despotism, but among the Macedonians, who obeyed a limited monarch; among the Rhodians, who flourished by the liberty of commerce; and even among the sage Athenians, who had asserted and adorned the dignity of human kind. The acquiescence of the provincials ...
— The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire - Volume 2 • Edward Gibbon

... most purified worships always retain some portion. The grand defect of the religions of which we speak was their essentially superstitious character. They only threw into the world millions of amulets and charms. No great moral thought could proceed from races oppressed by a secular despotism, and accustomed to institutions which precluded the ...
— The Life of Jesus • Ernest Renan

... additional grandeur to the civil system that should be allied with it. Pure Zoroastrianism was too spiritual to coalesce readily with Oriental luxury and magnificence, or to lend strength to a government based on the ordinary principles of Asiatic despotism. Magism furnished a hierarchy to support the throne, and add splendor and dignity to the court, while they overawed the subject-class by their supposed possession of supernatural powers, and of the right of mediating between heaven and man. It supplied a picturesque worship which at once ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 3. (of 7): Media • George Rawlinson

... subjects; yet he saw in such passions as these a fixed limit to the power of the Prince. "It makes him hated above all things to be rapacious, and to be violator of the property and women of his subjects, from both of which he must abstain." And if Machiavelli's despotism meets its master in the undercurrents of human instinct, governments of less determined stripe, whether of states or of persons, would hardly do well to treat these ultimate data with ...
— Introduction to the Science of Sociology • Robert E. Park

... The people who, under all phases of government—despotism, constitutional monarchy, and universal-suffrage republic—coolly tolerate, nay, they admire and vindicate, this atrocious system of personal restraint and espionage, are totally unfit for the enjoyment of civil liberty. In conclusion, we can hardly recommend ...
— Chambers' Edinburgh Journal, No. 421, New Series, Jan. 24, 1852 • Various

... When we turn the next page of the sacred story we read that King Omri, with the same powers as King Asa had had, turned them to evil account and oppressed the people in many ways and got himself terribly disliked. Despotism seems to work well or ill according to the despot, and so, as a form of government, it ...
— The Next of Kin - Those who Wait and Wonder • Nellie L. McClung

... such a complication of difficult circumstances, no nation or body of men can stand in preference to the General Congress at Philadelphia. * * * All attempts to impose servitude upon such men, to establish despotism over such a mighty continental nation, must be vain, must be fatal. We shall be forced ultimately to retreat. Let us retreat while we can, not ...
— An Historical Account of the Settlements of Scotch Highlanders in America • J. P. MacLean

... tyranny, at this day, is by no means the chief danger to which men are anywhere exposed; and that subject has been so thoroughly understood in modern times, that books are hardly required now to be written upon it. It is social despotism—the tyranny of custom and opinion—which chiefly enlists the intellect of our philosophical and interesting author, though he does not fail to lay down the true limits of the legislative authority as well. He is thoroughly versed in the history of ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol III, Issue VI, June, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... the cloven foot of despotism. I boasted to you that they had no viceroy in Norway, but these Grand Bailiffs, particularly the superior one, who resides at Christiania, are political monsters of the same species. Needy sycophants are provided for by their relations and connections at Copenhagen as at other courts. And though ...
— Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark • Mary Wollstonecraft

... him, that "his knowledge of the science of parliamentary defence resembled an instinct." He is the acknowledged leader of the Tories or Conservatives in England, and dictates the policy of his party with absolute despotism. Belonging to one of the oldest peerages in the kingdom, having already filled some of the most important offices in Her Majesty's Government, occupying the highly honorable position of Chancellor of the University of Oxford, (as successor of the first Duke of Wellington,) an exact and ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 12, August, 1863, No. 70 - A Magazine of Literature, Art, and Politics • Various

... forewent the freedom from fear that they had gained by their journey across the Atlantic; they turned back in their tracks to smite again with renewed strength and redoubled hate the old brutal Fee-Fo-Fum of despotism, from whose clutches ...
— Out To Win - The Story of America in France • Coningsby Dawson

... yet failed of its hated purpose was pronounced in vain. Edwin had heard it unappalled. He wore the amulet of Madoc. He opposed to it the unconquered shield of spotless innocence. Even in the midst of the lordly despotism and the imperious haughtiness of his rival, he had been conscious to the triumph which nothing but the calmness of fortitude and the serenity of virtue can inspire. He was mindful of the precepts of the Druid. While Roderic was overwhelmed with disappointment and despair, he seized the wand ...
— Imogen - A Pastoral Romance • William Godwin

... Webster consistently followed during the first years of his public life. The address concluded by pointing out the French trickery which had provoked the war, and by denouncing an alliance with French despotism and ambition. ...
— Daniel Webster • Henry Cabot Lodge

... hollow and curious when probed by foreign war, but had combined the popular energy arising from a rough republican simplicity, and something even of republican freedom, with the artificial energy for war of a despotism lodged in a few hands. Of all oriental races, the Affghans had best resisted the effeminacy of oriental usages, and in some respects we may say—of Mahometan institutions. Their strength lay in their manly character; their weakness in their inveterate disunion. But this, though quite incapable ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Vol. 56, No. 346, August, 1844 • Various

... trials, and beneficial tendency. But they know that when you make a step forward you keep it. They know that there is reality and honesty, strength and substance, about your proceedings. They know that you are not a monarchy to-day, a republic to-morrow, and a military despotism the day after. They know that you have been happily preserved from irrational vicissitudes that have marked the career of the greatest and noblest among the neighbouring nations. Your fathers and yourselves have earned this brilliant character for England. Do not forfeit it. ...
— The Life of William Ewart Gladstone, Vol. 1 (of 3) - 1809-1859 • John Morley

... did not need to feign his slumber. But sinking slowly down into unconsciousness his native gentleness would return and a smile would rest upon his lips; I doubt not that in his dreams the Green-Gray troops of Despotism were ridden down by the Blue and Red ...
— In the Claws of the German Eagle • Albert Rhys Williams

... is short. And its rage is the fiercer because of the symptoms of rebellion against its despotism which it discerns among the white men of the South, who from poverty or from principle have no share in its sway. When we speak of the South as distinguished from the North by elements of inherent hostility, we speak only of the governing faction, and not of the millions ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 1, Issue 2, December, 1857 • Various

... among nations to which the genius of its inhabitants entitled it. He admitted that the dominion of the English was less oppressive than that of their native princes; but said, that there was this great difference between foreign and domestic despotism,—that the former completely extinguished all national pride, which is as much the cause as the effect ...
— A Voyage to the Moon • George Tucker

... had sought friendship with Artaphernes at Sardis; but since he demanded earth and water they broke off. But because Athens was waxing in strength, the Spartans bethought them of restoring the despotism of the Pisistratidae. But Sosicles, the Corinthian, dissuaded the allies of Sparta from taking part in so evil a deed. Then Hippias sought to stir up against the Athenians the ill-will of Artaphernes, who bade them take ...
— The World's Greatest Books, Vol XI. • Edited by Arthur Mee and J.A. Hammerton

... from the wars and the military despotism in which other republics have perished, and all can unite now in the following beautiful tribute ...
— Buchanan's Journal of Man, August 1887 - Volume 1, Number 7 • Various

... in reason, or the faculties common to all men, must therefore apply to each,—than an astronomer can explain the movements of the solar system without taking his stand in the sun. And let me remark, that this will not tend to produce despotism, but, on the contrary, true tolerance, in the critic. He will, indeed, require, as the spirit and substance of a work, something true in human nature itself, and independent of all circumstances; but in the mode of applying it, he will estimate genius ...
— Literary Remains, Vol. 2 • Coleridge

... its dignity, and shall be consecrated here among other monuments of that bewitching period, and amongst which one loves to lose oneself, and drink oblivion of an era so very unlike; for the awkward bigots to despotism of our time have not Madame de S'evign'e's address, nor can paint an Indian idol with an hundred hands as graceful as the Apollo of the Belvidere. When will you come and accept my thanks? will Wednesday next suit you? But do you know that I must ask you not ...
— Letters of Horace Walpole, V4 • Horace Walpole

... Government. His attitude is revealed, for instance, in the opening words of his first speech on the floor of the Virginia Convention, to which he had been chosen a member from Richmond: "Mr. Chairman, I conceive that the object of the discussion now before us is whether democracy or despotism be most eligible.... The supporters of the Constitution claim the title of being firm friends of liberty and the rights of man ....We prefer this system because we think it a well-regulated democracy.... What are the favorite maxims of democracy? ...
— John Marshall and the Constitution - A Chronicle of the Supreme Court, Volume 16 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Edward S. Corwin

... supposed compacts, which are altogether chimerical, which must be admitted to be false in fact, which if they are to be considered as fictions, will be found to serve no purpose of just reasoning, and to be equally the foundation of a system of universal despotism in Hobbes, and of universal anarchy in Rousseau; but on the solid basis of general convenience. Men cannot subsist without society and mutual aid; they can neither maintain social intercourse nor receive ...
— A Discourse on the Study of the Law of Nature and Nations • James Mackintosh

... acrimonious in the extreme. The principles there contended for, involved the very existence of anything like American liberty. For fifteen years the pen and voice of Franklin were influential in this controversy. He probably did more than any other man to prepare the colonists to resist the despotism of the British court, and to proclaim ...
— Benjamin Franklin, A Picture of the Struggles of Our Infant Nation One Hundred Years Ago - American Pioneers and Patriots Series • John S. C. Abbott

... him as in his two intimates, Gallatin and Madison, there was a touch of that philosophy which colored the thought of reformers on the eve of the French Revolution, a naive confidence in the perfectability of man and the essential worthiness of his aspirations. Strike from man the shackles of despotism and superstition and accord to him a free government, and he would rise to unsuspected felicity. Republican government was the strongest government on earth, because it was founded on free will and imposed the fewest ...
— Jefferson and his Colleagues - A Chronicle of the Virginia Dynasty, Volume 15 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Allen Johnson

... compass of the human mind. Several phenomena appear in each period, and it would be easy to give any one of these as marking its tendency: as, for instance, we might describe one period as having a tendency to despotism, and another to licentiousness: but the true answer lies deeper, and can be only given by discovering that common element in human nature which, in religion, in politics, in philosophy, and in literature, being modified by the subject-matter of each, assumes in each a different form, so that ...
— The Christian Life - Its Course, Its Hindrances, And Its Helps • Thomas Arnold

... organized a regular navy (1512) the encircling arms of the ocean have been her closest and surest friend. They have exempted her from keeping up a large standing army and so preserved her from the danger of military despotism at home. They too have made her the greatest sea power,[1] and, at the same time, the greatest colonizing power[2] the world has yet seen. They have also made her the greatest commercial ...
— The Leading Facts of English History • D.H. Montgomery

... fortified the city and port, connecting them by long walls, and put them in security. The occupation of Megara by Philip must have been most perilous to Athens, especially while Euboea and Thebes were in his interest; he would thus have inclosed her as it were in a net.] by his setting up despotism in Euboea, by his present advance into Thrace, by his intrigues in Peloponnesus, by the whole course of operations with his army, he has been breaking the peace and making war upon you; unless indeed you will say, that those who establish batteries are not at ...
— The Olynthiacs and the Phillippics of Demosthenes • Demosthenes

... the Tower of London; the confusion and dispersion of his adherents; the ecclesiastical finesse and conjuror-tricks of Dunstan; the king's rescue and temporary success; the murder of Elgiva, and Edwin's own death in the essay to avenge her. It is around Dunstan, the representative of spiritual despotism, that the interest centres. The character of this 'Saint,' like that of Hildebrand and a Becket, has been made one of the problems of history. Mr Taylor's reading of the part is masterly, and we think correct. His Dunstan is not wholly sane; he believes himself inspired to read the ...
— Chambers' Edinburgh Journal - Volume XVII., No 422, New Series, January 31, 1852 • Various

... his mind that for the present he would yield to his despotism, but afterwards, in the future, what was ...
— The Champdoce Mystery • Emile Gaboriau

... [all overthrowing (47 a) or that was precious in] the liberty overmastering the law, and (47 and property of the subject, a) subjecting it to an if the laws were to be made arbitrary (47a) power, and by subservient to despotism, and countenancing Popery to the if Popery was to be encouraged subversion of the Protestant to the subversion of the Protestant religion," and then, by religion." infusing terrible apprehensions into ...
— How to Write Clearly - Rules and Exercises on English Composition • Edwin A. Abbott

... means," as it was termed; and from his tenth year up to his twenty-fifth, this gentleman had been either a president, vice-president, manager, or committee-man, of some philosophical, political, or religious expedient to fortify human wisdom, make men better, and resist error and despotism. His experience had rendered him expert in what may well enough be termed the language of association. No man of his years, in the twenty-six states, could more readily apply the terms of "taking up"—"excitement"—"unqualified hostility"—"public opinion"—"spreading before the public," or any other ...
— Homeward Bound - or, The Chase • James Fenimore Cooper

... submarines will cut the thread which holds the English Damocles' sword over weak sea powers and that for eternity the "gruesome hands" of English despotism will be ...
— Germany, The Next Republic? • Carl W. Ackerman

... England and Philip of Spain. On earlier occasions he had followed Calvin in deprecating such sanguinary measures. The Scot, after a stormy period of quarrels with Anglican refugees in Frankfort, moved to Geneva, where the city was under a despotism of preachers and of Calvin. Here Knox found the model of Church government which, in a form if possible more extreme, he ...
— A Short History of Scotland • Andrew Lang

... were introduced in order to curb the power of the Irish chieftains. We see also the beginning of the feud between Ulster and the other provinces in Ireland, which has continued in a modified form to the present day. Strafford found that, in order to bolster up the despotism of the Stuarts, he had not only to invade England, but to expel the Scottish settlers from the Northern province. The Irish Parliament in the time of Tyrconnel again began to prepare for the invasion of ...
— Against Home Rule (1912) - The Case for the Union • Various

... of life; and subordinating each to the whole, gives to every particular situation a new character, as qualified by all the rest. Every good novel, therefore, does something to check what may be called the despotism of situations; to prevent that ossification into prejudices arising from situation, to which all feel a tendency. The general novel literature of any age may be regarded as an assertion by mankind at large, in its then development, of its claims, as against the ...
— An Estimate of the Value and Influence of Works of Fiction in Modern Times • Thomas Hill Green

... himself, and to shake off the weight of the hand which had been pressing him down. Even before this he had remarked how different were his father's deeds from his words; the wide and liberal theories he professed from the hard and narrow despotism he practiced; but he had not expected so abrupt a transformation. In his old age the egotist revealed himself in his full nature. The young Lavretsky was just getting ready to go to Moscow, with a view to preparing himself for the university, when a new and unexpected misfortune fell on ...
— Liza - "A nest of nobles" • Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev

... that is not a patent usurpation and a robbery—a robbery perhaps more criminal in the eyes of God than waylaying on the highroad, or piracy on the high seas—more criminal, because more extensive in its fatal effects. Anglo-Saxons wish to destroy despotism, lest they or their descendants might again become what their ancestors once were—its victims. This, then, is one motive of their conquests, and it is nothing more than the naked instinct of self-preservation. ...
— The Boy Hunters • Captain Mayne Reid

... facts, I was persuaded that it was a premeditated and systematized plan of the British council to destroy the youths of our land, with a view thereby to deter the country and make it submit to their despotism: but as I could not do them any material service, and by any public attempt for that purpose I might endanger myself by frequenting places the most nauseous and contagious that could be conceived of, I refrained going into the churches, but frequently conversed ...
— American Prisoners of the Revolution • Danske Dandridge

... progress that matchless valor had won through the blood and carnage of a thousand battle-fields. He lived, through all the storm of war, to see, at last, America rejuvenated, rescued from the grasp of despotism, and rise victorious, with her garments purified and her brow radiant with the unsullied light of liberty. He lived to greet the return of "meek-eyed peace," and then he gently laid his head upon her bosom, and breathed out there his ...
— Oration on the Life and Character of Henry Winter Davis • John A. J. Creswell

... appeared to have no other object than to shew how liberty suddenly acquired could degenerate into despotism. It was, for the most part, composed of men, who were not only united by family connections and private friendship, but who were nearly allied, as members of one influential family. No sooner had they been invested with power, than they dismissed all civil and military ...
— Narrative of Services in the Liberation of Chili, Peru and Brazil, - from Spanish and Portuguese Domination, Volume 2 • Thomas Cochrane, Tenth Earl of Dundonald

... had possessed no voice in the administration of their own affairs. The Governors exercised an absolute power, which to progressive minds appeared to be an indifferent and unnecessary despotism. So far as Newfoundland affairs were concerned they almost invariably adopted an ultra-conservative attitude, and were hostile to proposals for amelioration called for in the changing circumstances of the colony. Thus the demand for self-government ...
— The Story of Newfoundland • Frederick Edwin Smith, Earl of Birkenhead

... of Italy to other nations—Spain, England, and France; but had to find their career and resources not in their own commercial republics, but at the Courts of the new centralised kingdoms of the West, where a paternal despotism gave the best hope of guiding any popular movement, social or religious or political or scientific,—so in the earlier fifteenth century, mariners like Cadamosto and De Nolli, scientific draughtsmen like Fra Mauro and Andrea Bianco, ...
— Prince Henry the Navigator, the Hero of Portugal and of Modern Discovery, 1394-1460 A.D. • C. Raymond Beazley

... painted by Hallam. 'To govern according to law may sometimes be an usurper's wish, but can seldom be in his power. The protector abandoned all thought of it. . . . All illusion was now (1655) gone, as to the pretended benefits of the civil war. It had ended in a despotism, compared to which all the illegal practices of former kings, all that had cost Charles his life and crown, appeared as dust ...
— The Visions of England - Lyrics on leading men and events in English History • Francis T. Palgrave

... give up every fact, except that he propped up the roof of his house and built downwards, and to generalise all; to make him a man of expedients, of ingenious substitutes, such as any clever Irishman in middle life is used to. I was obliged to retain, but soften, the despotism, and exalt the generosity, to make it a character that would interest. Not one word I ever heard said by the living man, or had ever heard repeated of his saying, except "Drop what you have," etc., went into my King Corny's mouth—would not ...
— The Life and Letters of Maria Edgeworth, Vol. 2 • Maria Edgeworth

... burning in thy soul, breaks out uncontrollable! Probity, honor, treaties, duty: feeble considerations these, to a heart letting loose its flamy passions; determining to rob the generous Germans of their liberties; to degrade thy equals; to extinguish 'Schism' (so called), and set up despotism ...
— History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XVIII. (of XXI.) - Frederick The Great—Seven-Years War Rises to a Height.—1757-1759. • Thomas Carlyle

... treachery with the utter want of any inner nobleness of character. Yet he was a pious emperor, too, in his own way. He loved the ecclesiastical game, and was easily won over to the Eusebian side. The growing despotism of the Empire and the personal vanity of Constantius were equally suited by the episcopal timidity which cried for an arm of flesh to fight its battles. It is not easy to decide how far he acted on his own likings and superstitions, ...
— The Arian Controversy • H. M. Gwatkin

... of Henri IV., seeking to get free from Richelieu's insolent despotism, withdrew to the Duc de Lorraine, the Cardinal uttered a cry of joy, and remarked to Louis XIII., that vindictive, jealous prince, "Oh, what a good turn the Duc d'Orleans has just done you to-day! By going to stay with M. de Lorraine, ...
— Marguerite de Navarre - Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois Queen of Navarre • Marguerite de Navarre

... going on. There appears to be no suspicion that the question is not properly stated. Doubtless the assertion will excite surprise, if heeded at all, that in fact the great struggle here and now is not between aristocracy or despotism on the one hand, and democracy on the other. Most people in the United States have come to entertain the fixed idea that the only natural political antagonisms are democratic as opposed to despotic in any and all shapes. And this idea has become so ingrained ...
— The Continental Monthly, Volume V. Issue I • Various

... and justify his high office before Him that consigned the trust; and ever deeper and deeper we sank in the slough of corruption, until was brought about this pass—that naught but some scourging despotism of the Church should acquit us of the fate of Sodom. That such, at the eleventh hour, was vouchsafed us of God's mercy, it is my purpose to show; and, doubtless, this offering of a loop-hole was to account by reason ...
— At a Winter's Fire • Bernard Edward J. Capes

... influence on the parish at large is a far more delicate question. To the outer world a parish seems a sheer despotism. The parson prays, preaches, changes the order of service, distributes the parochial charities at his simple discretion. One of the great cries of the Church reformer is generally for the substitution of some constitutional system, some congregational council, some lay co-operation, for ...
— Stray Studies from England and Italy • John Richard Green

... "Talk of despotism! Commend me to an invalid! Ah! how delightfully you contrive to keep your hair in order! I am always scolding Lenore for coming in dishevelled, and you look so fresh and compact! Here is my sanctum. You'll find Mrs. Duncombe there. She drove over in the ...
— The Three Brides • Charlotte M. Yonge

... exhibited here as in France.' The habitants and lower class of townsfolk had beers well worked up 'to follow France and the United States by destroying a throne which was the seat of hypocrisy, imposture, despotism, greed, cruelty' and all the other deadly sins. The first step was to be the assassination of all obnoxious officials and leading British patriots the minute the promised invasion ...
— The Father of British Canada: A Chronicle of Carleton • William Wood

... our playwright address himself seriously to his task than his imagination began to break over the bounds he had set for it. Even at Bauerbach, as his letters show, his mind was occupied with the thought of 'avenging mankind' by scourging the gloomy despotism of Philip, the monstrous cruelty of Alva, the dark intrigues of the Jesuits and the hideous crimes of the Inquisition. That he made any progress in the spring of 1783, further than to cogitate upon his general plan and to fall in love with his hero, is not probable; nor do ...
— The Life and Works of Friedrich Schiller • Calvin Thomas

... great intelligence. Commercial control brought in its train territorial sovereignty, over Java and many of the neighbouring islands; and this sovereignty was exercised by the directors of the company primarily with a view to trade interests. It was a trade despotism, but a trade despotism wisely administered, which gave justice and order to its native subjects. On the mainland of India the Dutch never attained a comparable degree of power, because the native states were strong ...
— The Expansion of Europe - The Culmination of Modern History • Ramsay Muir

... especially active. 'Now,' he said to the people, 'is the time to strike. If, at my brother's death, his son succeeds him, we shall have a regency, and the regent will be a foreigner and a woman. Now is the time to terminate this petty despotism forever, to repudiate the suzerainty of the Pope, and to join in the great movement of Italia Riunita. To the Palace! Let us seize the Englishwoman and her son, and banish them from the island. Let us hoist the tricolour, ...
— The Lady Paramount • Henry Harland

... of that grim prison, the Bastile, sent to Washington by Lafayette as a symbol of the overthrow of despotism and triumph of free government in France. That symbol is today one of America's most treasured mementos, carefully guarded in the ...
— See America First • Orville O. Hiestand

... inseparable in this case," Amelius answered gravely. "If I am to speak of Miss Mellicent, I must speak of the Rules; you will soon see why. Our Community becomes a despotism, gentlemen, in dealing with love and marriage. For example, it positively prohibits any member afflicted with hereditary disease from marrying at all; and it reserves to itself, in the case of every proposed marriage among ...
— The Fallen Leaves • Wilkie Collins

... assembly organized on principles so defective, so rotten? Though we might give to such a government certain powers with safety, yet to give them the full and unlimited powers of taxation and the national forces would be to establish a despotism, the definition of which is, a government in which all power is concentrated in a single body. To take the old Confederation and fashion it upon these principles would be establishing a power which would destroy the liberties of the people. These considerations show ...
— Standard Selections • Various

... pavilion were darkened by long lines of the Ethiopian guard, each of height which, beside the slight Moorish race, appeared gigantic; stolid and passionless machines, to execute, without thought, the bloodiest or the slightest caprice of despotism. There they stood; their silver breastplates and long earrings contrasting their dusky skins; and bearing, over their shoulders, immense clubs studded with ...
— Leila or, The Siege of Granada, Book II. • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... not answer. He went out. He felt almost sick with humiliation, the humiliation of having to ask and the humiliation of the curt refusal. He hated the headmaster now. Philip writhed under that despotism which never vouchsafed a reason for the most tyrannous act. He was too angry to care what he did, and after dinner walked down to the station, by the back ways he knew so well, just in time to catch the train to Blackstable. ...
— Of Human Bondage • W. Somerset Maugham

... consequence of the position of the clergy in Spain and Portugal is, that they have no sooner confounded the cause of religion with that of despotism, than this error, producing its consequences, leads to a monstrous abuse of the word of God. Political fury has invaded the pulpit and stained it with abject and sacrilegious adulation.... The lips, whose mission is to speak peace, charity and mutual love, have spoken the language of hatred ...
— The Christian Foundation, June, 1880

... guardian of Scottish freedom. But that is a vague phrase, and there are special accusations against the Kirk and its doctrines which imply that it has cared for other things than freedom. Narrow, fanatical, dictatorial, intrusive, superstitious, a spiritual despotism, the old priesthood over again with a new face—these and other such epithets and expressions we have heard often enough applied to it at more than one stage of its history. Well, I suppose that neither the Kirk nor anything else of man's making is altogether perfect. But let ...
— Short Studies on Great Subjects • James Anthony Froude



Words linked to "Despotism" :   dominance, tyranny, ascendancy, police state, authoritarianism, monocracy, ascendance, ascendency, autocracy, control, ascendence, autarchy



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