What is a Dictatorship Government?

Dictatorships are some of the most well-know political systems; throughout history, dictators have risen and fallen, often affecting the way the world sees their country at the time. However, if one hasn’t really lived in a dictatorship, it’s possible you’ll have the wrong idea on this type of political systems.

A dictatorship is a form of government in which one person has absolute power, often backed by the military, over the entire country and its people. Quite often, as a way to secure their power and have more control, dictators remove certain rights from people, most of the time trespassing certain human rights.

Dictators can be found throughout history and go as far back as the Roman empire, where the position of dictator was actually a military post and gave such position complete and absolute power over the empire when there were emergencies. This concept slowly started to be applied in different societies until it eventually evolved into the modern concept known today.
Some of the most notable dictators in history are directly related with World War II: Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. While usually on a dictatorship, head of states seek a single purpose and start doing everything needed to achieve such goal (they start raising taxes, revoking laws, limiting people’s rights, etc.), both Hitler and Mussolini used their absolute power to promote their message and keep control of people’s opinion.

Usually dictators rise to power as a result from democratic elections, but once they’re elected, they change the entire political system to ensure that no one else will remove them from their charge, starting with prohibiting all sorts of opposing organizations or parties, until they eventually cancel free elections or they do held elections but start tampering the results so it appears that it’s the people’s will to remain in power. Most of the time, they call themselves “head or state” or “President”, trying to maintain the appearance of being a democratically constituted government.

Quite often, if people don’t act in accordance to the government’s way of thinking, it was consider treason, an a person could be sentenced to jail or even executed for this. In the odd chance that such person was allowed a trial, most of the time it was a mockery, as in the end the sentence would be the same. Modern examples of dictatorship include Saddam Hussein in Iraq and Kim Il-sung in North Korea. Human rights organizations have kept a close watch on governments that start showing usual dictatorship characteristics, to reduce the chance of human rights violations to take place.