Tyranny vs Despotism: Difference and Comparison

The terms ‘Tyranny’ and ‘Despotism’ refer to two such powerful systems of governance that were initiated by the government of that particular region in which they solely followed this system. These two governance systems were concluded in the 19th century in Greece but were initiated by different rulers at different points of periods in the 19th century. The Tyranny and Despotism systems had both advantages and disadvantages as well. Their definition, purpose of the system, ethological meanings, etc., are all different from each other.

Key Takeaways

  1. Tyranny involves oppressive and cruel rule by a single individual, while despotism refers to absolute power exercised by a ruler without legal or constitutional constraints.
  2. A tyrant may rise to power through force or manipulation, whereas a despot can inherit or seize power through military or political means.
  3. Both tyranny and despotism involve the misuse of power, but tyranny is more focused on the ruler’s behaviour, while despotism emphasizes the absence of checks and balances.

Tyranny vs Despotism

Tyranny is a form of government where the ruler exercises power without any legal limits, checks, or balances and maintains control over the people and their actions. Despotism is a form of government where the ruler has absolute power but may exercise that power more benevolently.

Tyranny vs Despotism

The Tyranny system of governance is termed to be the system where the ruler has the absolute ruling capability but with the concern of fulfilling its requirements and wants. The followers of the tyranny system were named tyrants, and these tyrants do not follow a particular rule of law. The tyranny system can be termed to have no limitations, and therefore they are cruel and unfair to the people they rule upon.

On the other hand, the despotism system of governance is the system where a particular monarchy is followed by the people of that region. The followers of Despotism were named despots, and these despots followed a particular rule and law that was enrolled by the rulers. The Despotism system can have limitations since they can not go against the rules and therefore are comparatively generous and disciplined. Also, they expect the same thing from the people they rule upon.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonTyrannyDespotism
Definition The governing system that was only initiated for the absolute power for its benefits is known as Tyranny. The governing system that was initiated and followed certain rules and regulations to run the system is known as Despotism.
Etymological Meaning of the TermThe term ‘tyranny’ has been derived from the Latin term ‘tyrannia’ meaning ‘rule of a tyrant’.The term ‘despotism’ has been derived from the Greek term ‘despotes’ meaning ‘master’.
Nature The Tyranny system had a cruel and selfish kind of nature, that was solely followed by the emperor. The Despotism system was comparatively generous.
Rule/LawThe Tyranny system did not follow any kind of rule of law. The Despotism system followed certain rules and laws and they can also be termed to be disciplined.
RulerIn a Tyranny system, only a single ruler looked after the throne and hence rules the entire empire. In a Despotism system, both an individual or sometimes a group can together run the entire empire.
PowerThe Tyranny government was more powerful. The Despotism government was comparatively less powerful.
Common Name of the RulerThe ruler of the Tyranny system is known to be a tyrant.The ruler of the Despotism system is known to be a despot.

What is Tyranny?

Tyranny is a governing system in Greece that was implemented many years ago, around the 19th century. In a tyranny system, only one person is chosen as the supreme power of the state. The ruler of the Tyranny system is known to be a tyrant. The tyrant has all the power and control of the state, and no one is allowed to go against the rules and regulations that the tyrant only sets. No other person is allowed to follow any other rule, if anyone goes against the rules of the tyrant, he/she be sentenced to jail or even killed as a punishment.

Also Read:  Rights vs Freedom: Difference and Comparison

The nature of the tyrant is considered to be cruel and selfish. This is because the tyranny system was only established to have control and have its own benefit, the ruler itself. The tyrant only set its type of rules. The term ‘tyranny’ has been derived from the Latin term ‘tyrannia’, meaning ‘rule of a tyrant’. The term tyranny itself explains the meaning of the system.

As we know, the ruler of the tyranny system did not follow any rules and regulations of others and only created of their own, therefore, the ruler gradually became heartless. Hence, the system can be termed as more powerful than any other system. They were cruel to the level where they even jailed people for minor crimes also. Everyone was afraid of the tyrant, and the tyrant got more power to show the dominance of the minors. Gradually and slowly, they became more powerful. Some examples of countries that had tyranny systems were Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Myanmar, etc.

What is Despotism?

The system of governance that had certain rules and regulations is known as Despotism. The despotism system was kind enough and not crucial as any other system in Greece. The term ‘despotism’ has been derived from the Greek term ‘despotes’, meaning ‘master’. The term itself indicates that despotism is a system where a master rules over the people. In the despotism system, there was the least amount of exploitation of the people as the rules followed certain rules and expected the same from the people of their empire.

Also Read:  Minister vs Pastor: Difference and Comparison

In the despotism system, it was not only one person ruling over the state but also a group of people collectively ruling upon the state. And these types of rulers in the despotism system were commonly known as a despot. They were generous and looked after the benefit of the other people as well. But, they followed laws and worked accordingly to the laws that were implemented by their elders.

The Despotism government was termed to be less powerful. This was because the other governing systems took advantage of the innocence of the despots and further ruled upon them as well by conquering their thrones. Also, sometimes this happens when a despot takes the wrong advantage of their power by misleading the people, and they end up becoming a tyrant.

Main Differences Between Tyranny and Despotism

  1. The governing system that was only initiated for absolute power for its benefits is known as Tyranny. On the other, the governing system that was initiated and followed certain rules and regulations to run the system is known as Despotism.
  2. The term ‘tyranny’ has been derived from the Latin term ‘tyrannia’, meaning ‘rule of a tyrant’. On the other hand, the term ‘despotism’ has been derived from the Greek term ‘despotes’, meaning ‘master’.
  3. The Tyranny system had a cruel and selfish kind of nature that the emperor solely followed. On the other hand, the Despotism system was comparatively generous.
  4. The Tyranny system did not follow any of the rule of law. On the other hand, the Despotism system followed certain rules and laws and can also be termed disciplined.
  5. In a Tyranny system, only a single ruler looked after the throne and hence rules the entire empire. On the other hand, in a Despotism system, an individual or sometimes a group can run the entire empire together.
  6. The Tyranny government was more powerful. On the other hand, the Despotism government was comparatively less powerful.
  7. The ruler of the Tyranny system is known to be a tyrant. On the other hand, the ruler of the Despotism system is known to be a despot.
References
  1. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/international-journal-of-middle-east-studies/article/from-tyranny-to-despotism-the-enlightenments-unenlightened-image-of-the-turks/554765C7D899174E034D4FC970608D28
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1474885105052703

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

dot 1
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

14 thoughts on “Tyranny vs Despotism: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The contrast between the behaviors and ruling styles of tyrants and despots is elucidated with scholarly precision.

    Reply
  2. The delineation of the ruler’s behavior in tyranny versus the absence of checks and balances in despotism is an intriguing point of comparison.

    Reply
  3. The comparison table provides a clear and concise breakdown of the differences in the nature and implementation of tyranny and despotism.

    Reply
  4. The historical background and etymological origins of the terms are particularly enlightening in understanding the roots of these governance systems.

    Reply
  5. The detailed description of tyranny and despotism provides a comprehensive overview for those interested in political theory and history.

    Reply
  6. The analysis of the ruler’s authority and power in both systems offers a compelling insight into their operational dynamics.

    Reply
  7. A well-explained comparison between tyranny and despotism and the basic differences between the two systems of governance.

    Reply
  8. The historical examples and real-world illustrations of tyranny and despotism provide a practical understanding of these governance systems.

    Reply
    • The contextualization of the systems within historical and geographical contexts enriches the examination of their impact.

      Reply

Leave a Comment

Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!