Des"po*tism (?), n. [Cf. F. despotisme.]
The power, spirit, or principles of a despot; absolute control over others; tyrannical sway; tyranny.
A government which is directed by a despot; a despotic monarchy; absolutism; autocracy.
Despotism . . . is the only form of government which may with safety to itself neglect the education of its infant poor.
© Webster 1913.