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Absolutism is a political doctrine and practice of unlimited, centralized authority and absolute sovereignty as vested in a monarch. Its essence is that the ruling power is not subject to regular challenge or check by any judicial, legislative, religious, economic, or electoral agency.

During the Age of Absolutism, the monarchs of Europe used this form of rule as a means of securing their thrones and gaining control over the people. Louis XIV, for example, is considered the father of European absolute monarchy.

It is a system in which all sovereignty resided in the king and he had no real partners in power. This was a huge departure from medieval monarchy, where the king shared the power with his nobles and was answerable to parliaments and national assemblies.

Kingship was also based on religion and the concept that God gave a divine right to the king (see divine kingship). The king claimed to embody the state, and the king’s powers were often considered to be unrestrained and virtually limitless.

Absolutism is a kind of ethical theory that endorses the claim that some actions are intrinsically right or wrong, while the consequences of these acts can never override their inherent rightness or wrongness. It is opposed to deontological ethical theories that hold that some actions are intrinsically right or wrong but can be justified by the consequences of these actions, such as lying.