absolutist or autocratic ruler who assumes sole power over the state

The word dictator or despot in modern times is used to describe the absolute ruler (other than a king) of a country, who uses force and fear to keep himself and his friends in authority, and can effectively make laws all by himself. A country that is ruled by a dictator is called a dictatorship.

Benito Mussolini (on the left) and Adolf Hitler (on the right) were two dictators that used fear and propaganda to consolidate power.

The word "dictator" is from the Roman Republic where a man would be given absolute power for half a year or one year to handle an emergency. Julius Caesar was the last Roman Dictator.

Some dictators gained political power through violent takeover, such as a military coup, civil war or revolution. Some won an election and cancelled new ones once in power, or changed how they were run to make them unfair for opponents.

[[Pol Pot]] served as the [[totalitarian]] leader of [[Democratic Kampuchea]] between 1976 and 1979, during which his [[communist]] regime killed an estimated 1.5 to 2 million Cambodians.
Pol Pot

Kings and emperors often use force and fear too, but usually they are not called dictators. This is because those monarchs have some reason for being in power (usually their father was king or emperor), but a dictator gained power himself. Also, when someone is king or emperor of a country, usually there were several kings or emperors before them. A dictator often creates the job of dictator by gaining power.

Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler were responsible for the most amount of deaths, but Pol Pot was perhaps the deadliest dictator in history, with nearly a quarter of the Cambodian population dying under his rule.

List of Dictators change

Enver Pasha

Adolf Hitler

Benito Mussolini

Miklós Horthy

Ion Antonescu

Ante Pavelić

Hideki Tōjō

Fumimaro Konoe

Juan Perón

Augusto Pinochet

Ruhollah Khomeini

Saddam Hussein

Leopoldo Galtieri

Slobodan Milošević

Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Lenin

Joseph Stalin

Nikita Khrushchev

Leonid Brezhnev

Yuri Andropov

Konstantin Chernenko

Mikhail Gorbachev

Chiang Kai-shek

Mao Zedong

Deng Xiaoping

Xi Jinping

Kim Il-Sung

Kim Jong-il

Kim Jong-un

Ho Chi Minh

Pol Pot

Fidel Castro

Raúl Castro

Rhee Syng-man

Ngo Dinh Diem

Erich Honecker

Nicolae Ceaușescu


Wojciech Jaruzelski

Todor Zhivkov

Napoleon for five years before he crowned himself Emperor

Comment: needs to be put in order.

See also change