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Absolutism political system in which there is no legal customary or moral limit on the governments power The term is generally applied to political systems ruled by a single dictator but it can also be applied to seemingly democratic systems that grant sweeping powers to the legislature or executive Absolutism has taken wide-ranging forms such as military dictatorships in Latin America totalitarian communism in the USSR and Eastern Europe and dictatorships in Africa Despite the wide range of forms of absolutism most 20th-century absolutist regimes have shared a few basic traits These include centralization of power close control of social groups absence of competing political parties and the outward appearance of popular representation Louis XIV and Peter I were two monarchs that attempted to incorporate absolutism into their reigns of power Thus when one examines the absolute monarchies of both Louis XIV and Peter I it is evident that they achieved their goa ls as an absolute monarch In France around the middle of the 17th century a revolution against the current monarch Cardinal Mazarin by the various and scattered parlements who wanted the right to claim royal edicts unconstitutional and nobility who hoped to gain power by sanctioning the monarch or removing him from office threw France into chaos Nobles led bands of fighters around the country pillaging and terrorizing the lower classes at will in an attempt to weaken the Kings power They eventually hired Spanish troops to carry on their fight even though France and Spain were currently at war The movement failed but it left a lasting impression in the general public as to the value of having a powerful monarch to protect from things such as the revolt When the Cardinal died in 1661 Louis XIV whom Cardinal Mazarin had been governing for while he grew up took power and became the strong absolute ruler that France had been looking for to restore order in France Louis
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