Bust of Julius Caesar, first lifetime dictator of the Roman Republic, who through a series of legal maneuvers transformed the state into a legal autocracy. Within 20 years, Julius Caesar outmaneuvered his opponents and the legal instituitions of Rome to install himself Dictator for life.
Originally an emergency legal appointment in the Roman Republic and the Etruscan culture, the term "Dictator" did not have the negative meaning it has now. A Dictator was a magistrate given sole power for a limited duration. At the end of the term, the Dictator's power was returned to normal Consular rule whereupon a dictator provided accountability, though not all dictators accepted a return to power sharing.
The term started to get its modern negative meaning with Cornelius Sulla's ascension to the dictatorship following Sulla's second civil war, making himself the first Dictator in Rome in more than a century (during which the office was ostensibly abolished) as well as de facto eliminating the time limit and need of senatorial acclamation. He avoided a major constitutional crisis by resigning the office after about one year, dying a few years later. Julius Caesar followed Sulla's example in 49 BC and in February 44 BC was proclaimed Dictator perpetuo, "Dictator in perpetuity", officially doing away with any limitations on his power, which he kept until his assassination the following month.
Following Julius' assassination, his heir Augustus was offered the title of dictator, but he declined it. Later successors also declined the title of dictator, and usage of the title soon diminished among Roman rulers.
Country ratings from Freedom House's Freedom in the World 2017 survey concerning the state of world freedom in 2016
Free (86) Partly Free (59) Not Free (50)
2017 Democracy Index by The Economist in which countries marked in different shades of red of are considered undemocratic, with many being dictatorships.
The association between a dictator and the military is a common one; many dictators take great pains to emphasize their connections with the military and they often wear military uniforms. In some cases, this is perfectly legitimate; Francisco Franco was a lieutenant general in the Spanish Army before he became Chief of State of Spain;Manuel Noriega was officially commander of the Panamanian Defense Forces. In other cases, the association is mere pretense.
Some dictators have been masters of crowd manipulation, such as Mussolini and Hitler. Others were more prosaic speakers, such as Stalin and Franco. Typically the dictator's people seize control of all media, censor or destroy the opposition, and give strong doses of propaganda daily, often built around a cult of personality.
Mussolini and Hitler used similar, modest titles referring to them as "the Leader". Mussolini used "Il Duce" and Hitler was generally referred to as "der Führer". Franco used a similar title "El Caudillo" ("the Head") and for Stalin his adopted name became synonyms with his role as the absolute leader. For Mussolini, Hitler, and Franco, the use of modest, non-traditional titles displayed their absolute power even stronger as they did not need any, not even a historic legitimacy either.
Because of its negative and pejorative connotations, modern authoritarian leaders very rarely (if ever) use the term dictator in their formal titles, instead they most often simply have title of president. In the 19th century, however, its official usage was more common:
In the former city-state of Venice, and while it was a republic resisting annexation by either the kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia or the Austrian empire, a former Chief Executive (president, 23 March 1848 – 5 July 1848), Daniele Manin (b. 1804 – d. 1857), was styled Dictator 11-13 August 1848 before joining the 13 August 1848 – 7 March 1849 Triumvirate.
Nazarov was Dictator of the Don Republic (which before, since its founding on 2 December 1917 at Novocherkassk, had been governed by a Triumvirate including the last pre-Soviet Ataman, Aleksei Maksimovich Kaledin) from 11 February 1918 till 25 February 1918 when Bolshevik troops ended their existence
Over time, dictators have been known to use tactics that violate human rights. For example, under the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, government policy was enforced by extrajudicial killings, secret police and the notorious Gulag system of concentration camps. Most Gulag inmates were not political prisoners, although significant numbers of political prisoners could be found in the camps at any one time. Data collected from Soviet archives gives the death toll from Gulags at 1,053,829. Other human rights abuses by the Soviet state included human experimentation, the use of psychiatry as a political weapon and the denial of freedoms of religion, assembly, speech and association.
Pol Pot became dictator of Cambodia in 1975. In all, an estimated 1.7 million people (out of a population of 7 million) died due to the policies of his four-year dictatorship. As a result, Pol Pot is sometimes described as "the Hitler of Cambodia" and "a genocidal tyrant".
In social choice theory, the notion of a dictator is formally defined as a person who can achieve any feasible social outcome he/she wishes. The formal definition yields an interesting distinction between two different types of dictators.
The strong dictator has, for any social goal he/she has in mind (e.g. raise taxes, having someone killed, etc.), a definite way of achieving that goal. This can be seen as having explicit absolute power, like Sulla.
The weak dictator has, for any social goal he/she has in mind, and for any political scenario, a course of action that would bring about the desired goal. For the weak dictator, it is usually not enough to "give their orders", rather he/she has to manipulate the political scene appropriately. This means that the weak dictator might actually be lurking in the shadows, working within a political setup that seems to be non-dictatorial. An example of such a figure is Lorenzo the Magnificent, who controlled Renaissance Florence.
Note that these definitions disregard some alleged dictators who are not interested in the actual achieving of social goals, as much as in propaganda and controlling public opinion. Monarchs and military dictators are also excluded from these definitions, because their rule relies on the consent of other political powers (the nobility or the army).
List of people described as dictators from the 19th to the 21st century
^Mussolini and his followers consolidated their power through a series of laws that transformed the nation into a one-party dictatorship. Within five years, Mussolini had established dictatorial authority by both legal and extraordinary means and aspired to create a totalitarian state. Mussolini remained in power until he was deposed by King Victor Emmanuel III in 1943, but a few months later he became the leader of the Italian Social Republic, a German client regime in northern Italy - Mussolini held this post until his death in 1945.
^The son of Chiang Kai-shek, he was elevated to Chairman of the Kuomintang after his father's death, later becoming President of the Republic of China in 1978, offices which he held until his death in 1988.
^Served as the fifth de facto paramount leader of the People's Republic of China, as General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Chairman of the Central Military Commission and President of the People's Republic of China before his gradual retirement in 2012-2013.
^Previously the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, in 1984 he ousted Tsedenbal from office and seized power. He served as the de facto leader of the Mongolian People's Republic, as General Secretary of the Mongolian People's Party and Chairman of the Presidium of the People's Great Khural, until his resignation in the wake of the Mongolian Revolution of 1990.
^Seized power in the October 1977 Thai coup d'état, served as de facto leader of Thailand, as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, Prime Minister and Defence Minister of Thailand, until his resignation in 1980.
^ Took power during the 1948 Salvadoran coup d'état, rewrote the constitution and became the 32nd President of El Salvador. In 1952 he implemented the Law on Defense of the Constitutional Order, which suspended individual and collective rights, established the Revolutionary Party of Democratic Unification as the country's sole legal party, and intensified the repression of the workers' movement.
^Elected unopposed as the 33rd President of El Salvador. He oversaw the repeal of sedition laws, the state control of coffee production and the repression of student protests, before being removed from power in the 1960 Salvadoran coup d'état.
^Succeeded Rivera Carballo as head of the military dictatorship and elected as the 35th President of El Salvador. He led the occupation of Honduras during the Football War, though was forced to pull out after the negotiation of a ceasefire.
^Succeeded Sánchez Hernández as head of the military and elected as the 36th President of El Salvador. He oversaw the military occupation of the University of El Salvador and repression of the students' movement.
^Seized power in the 1979 Salvadoran coup d'état, took over as the de facto leader of El Salvador, as commander-in-chief of the armed forces and chairman of the Revolutionary Government Junta.
^Served as the de facto leader of El Salvador, as President of the Revolutionary Government Junta. He oversaw the Salvadoran transition to democracy and, in 1984, he was elected as the 39th President of El Salvador. He oversaw the most violent period of the civil war and continued the violent policies of the dictatorship, until his health deteriorated and he was forced to accept a peaceful transfer of power with the 1989 Salvadoran presidential election.
^In 1898, he was elected as the 16th President of Guatemala. He allowed the entry of the United Fruit Company into Guatemala and granted them numerous concessions, including the violent repression of the workers' movement. He secured his rule through numerous controlled elections, in which he ran unopposed. In the wake of the 1917 Guatemala earthquake, a growing opposition movement began to challenge Estrada's hold on power, leading to his impeachment in 1920.
^Seized power from the elected president Carlos Herrera in a coup d'état. He ratified concessions to the United Fruit Company (which Herrera had refused to ratify), continued the practice of strike-breaking and established the Quetzal as the Guatemalan currency. He served until his death in 1926.
^In 1982, he seized power in a coup d'état, establishing a military dictatorship with himself as the 26th President of Guatemala. He oversaw the Guatemalan genocide, which massacred tens of thousands of Mayans. In 1983, he was deposed in a coup d'état and, in 2012, he was formally indicted for genocide and crimes against humanity.
^In 1983, he seized power in coup d'état and established himself as the 27th President of Guatemala. He oversaw a wave of political repression and the height of death squad activity in the country, before eventually stepping down and allowing a return to democracy.
^The son of Anastasio Somoza García, after his father's assassination he became the 22nd President of Nicaragua. In 1963, he stepped down as president, though in practice remained in control of the government until his death in 1967.
^After ascending to power during a political crisis, in 1933 he eliminated parliament and assumed dictatorial powers, with which he suppressed the Austrian socialist movement during the Austrian Civil War. He wrote a new constitution, establishing the clerical-fascist Federal State of Austria. He served as Chancellor of Austria until his assassination during the July Putsch.
^Assumed power after the death of Engelbert Dollfuss, served as Chancellor of Austria until his removal from power during the Anschluss.
^Served as the third de facto leader of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia and the ninth President of Czechoslovakia, until 1989 when he resigned in the wake of the Velvet Revolution.
^On 28 January 1918, during the Finnish Civil War, Manner was appointed Chairman of the Finnish People's Delegation. On 10 April the same year, Manner was appointed commander-in-chief of the Red Guards as well as head of state of its short-lived government, "The People's Deputation". He was given dictatorial powers.
^On 4 August 1936, Metaxas suspended the Greek parliament and implemented a totalitarian dictatorship, where he served as Prime Minister of Greece until his death in 1941.
^Seized power during the Battle of Greece in collaboration with Nazi Germany, establishing himself as Prime Minister of Greece. He oversaw policies that led to a famine and after proclaiming a mandatory work service for all Greek citizens, he was removed from power and replaced with his deputy. He was captured after the end of the war and later died in prison.
^Succeeded Tsolakoglou as prime minister of the collaborationist Greek government. After he protested against the policies of the Axis occupation of Greece, he was himself removed from power. After the war he was captured, tried and convicted, being released from prison in 1951.
^Seized power during Operation Panzerfaust, established himself as Leader of the Nation and Prime Minister of Hungary. He was overthrown by the High National Council in 1945 and sentenced to death for war crimes and high treason.
^All three men concurrently served as dictator of the January Uprising in Poland.
^After he led the absolutist April Revolt of 1824, he ascended to the throne and dissolved parliament, proclaiming himself an absolute monarch in 1828. He ruled until 1834, when he was deposed and exiled by constitutionalists during the Liberal Wars.
^Appointed Prime Minister of Portugal in 1932, assumed dictatorial powers and established the Estado Novo in 1933. Served as the de facto leader of the Estado Novo, as Prime Minister, until he suffered a stroke in 1968.
^Assumed power after Salazar was incapacitated, served as Prime Minister of Portugal until he was overthrown in 1974 during the Carnation Revolution.
^Served as the second de facto leader of Romania as the General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party and President of the State Council. In 1971 he appointed himself Conduc?tor of Romania and ruled until his execution during the Romanian Revolution.
^Established the State of Haiti and declared himself president for life. In 1811 he proclaimed himself King of Haiti and ruled northern Haiti until his death in 1820.
^Established the Republic of Haiti and was elected as the first President of Haiti. Although initially a supporter of democracy, in 1816 he modified the constitution, declared himself President for Life, and suspended the legislature in 1818. Briefly served as dictator before dying of yellow fever.
^Succeeded Pétion as president for life of Haiti and reunited Haiti under his rule with the death of Henri Christophe. In 1822 he led the Haitian occupation of Santo Domingo and ruled over a unified Hispaniola as "Supreme Chief of the Nation", until a piquet revolt forced him to abdicate in 1843. The Dominican Republic declared independence soon after.
^Deposed president Dumarsais Estimé in a coup d'état and elected unopposed as President of Haiti, a position he held until 1956, when he fled the country from strikes and demonstrations against his rule.
^Seized power from the democratically-elected president Juan Perón in a coup d'état, established a military dictatorship and served as the de facto President of Argentina, until he was himself ousted from office.
^Seized power in a coup d'état and established himself as President of Argentina. He presided over a protectionist economy and the re-imposition of the death penalty in Argentina. After renewed anti-government riots in Córdoba, he was himself deposed.
^In 1829, he was proclaimed President of Bolivia and established an authoritarian regime in the country, initiating a purge of political opponents, the strengthening of the armed forces and the introduction of a new constitution. In 1835 he invaded Peru, leading to the foundation of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation, with himself as its Supreme Protector. After the Bolivian defeat at the Battle of Yungay, he resigned as Supreme Protector and fled the country, dissolving the confederation.
^Seized power from Andrés de Santa Cruz in a coup d'état and proclaimed himself the de facto President of Bolivia. He promulgated a new constitution, repealing the 1834 Constitution, and gave rise to a new Republic of Bolivia. Later that year he was officially confirmed as Provisional President by the Constituent Congress, then finally elected as the Constitutional President by indirect vote in 1840, serving until 1841 when he was removed in a coup d'état. In 1848 he deposed the Constitutional President Eusebio Guilarte and ruled as de facto President for a year before himself being deposed.
^Seized power from the Constitutional President José Miguel de Velasco Franco in a coup d'état, acted as de facto 7th President of Bolivia until his appointment of Mariano Enrique Calvo as the country's first civilian president.
^Seized power from the civilian president Mariano Enrique Calvo in a coup d'état and served as the de facto 9th President of Bolivia. In 1843, he was confirmed as the Provisional President by the National Convention, and in 1844 he was elected as the Constitutional President in the country's first general election.
^Seized power from José Miguel de Velasco Franco in a coup d'état, establishing himself as the de facto 11th President of Bolivia. In 1850 he was confirmed as the Constitutional President by the Constituent Congress, shortly after he adopted dictatorial powers and was himself declared Dictator of Bolivia. In 1855 he resigned from office and his successor Jorge Córdova was elected the 12th President of Bolivia.
^Seized power from the elected president Jorge Córdova in a coup d'état, establishing himself as the de facto 13th President of Bolivia. In 1858, he proclaimed himself "Dictator for Life" and began to rule by decree. In 1861, he was himself deposed in a military coup.
^Seized power from José María Linares in a coup d'état, established himself provisionally as the 14th President of Bolivia. In 1862 he was formally elected as Constitutional President. After rebellions broke out throughout the country, he invoked a state of emergency and suppressed civil liberties. He oversaw the Yáñez Bloodbath, in which the military massacred dozens of opposition figures. In 1864, he was himself deposed in a coup d'état.
^Seized power from José María de Achá in a coup d'état, establishing himself as the de facto 15th President of Bolivia. In 1868 he was elected as the Provisional President by an indirect vote, he was subsequently declared Dictator of Bolivia and used his powers to suppress the political opposition and attack the rights of indigenous peoples. In 1871 he was himself deposed in a coup d'état.
^Seized power from Mariano Melgarejo in a coup d'état, establishing himself as the de facto 16th President of Bolivia. He was confirmed as Provisional President by the National Constituent Assembly and elected as the Constitutional President, an office he held until his assassination in 1872.
^Seized power from the constitutional president Tomás Frías Ametller in a coup d'état, ending a short period of constitutional rule and establishing himself as the de facto 19th President of Bolivia. In 1877 he was confirmed as Provisional President by the National Constituent Assembly. In 1879 he was deposed by the constitutionalist Narciso Campero, and 40 years of military dictatorship were brought to an end.
^After the Bolivian defeat in the Chaco War, he seized power from José Luis Tejada Sorzano in a coup d'état, establishing himself as the de facto 35th President of Bolivia, though he soon resigned due to military pressure.
^Seized power from the elected constitutional president Enrique Peñaranda, establishing himself as the de facto 39th President of Bolivia, as head of the military junta. In 1944 he received command from the junta and was confirmed as constitutional president by the National Convention. After adopting repressive measures against the workers' movement, in 1946 he was executed and lynched by an anti-government mob.
^Overthrew the elected constitutional president Víctor Paz Estenssoro and established himself as the de facto 47th President of Bolivia. In 1966 he was formally elected as the constitutional president. In 1967, he oversaw the repression of the Ñancahuazú Guerrilla and the execution of Che Guevara. In 1969 he was killed in a helicopter crash.
^Seized power from the constitutional president Luis Adolfo Siles Salinas in a coup d'état, establishing himself as the de facto 48th President of Bolivia. His rule was marked by a power struggle between various military factions, which ended with his deposition.
^Seized power in a coup d'état, establishing himself as the de facto 50th President of Bolivia. A part of the military's left-wing faction, he was himself soon deposed in a US-backed coup d'état and 5 years later was assassinated, as part of Operation Condor.
^Seized power in a coup d'état, establishing himself as the de facto 51st President of Bolivia. He banned all of the country's left-wing parties, closed the universities and harshly reppressed all political opposition. After overseeing the so-called "democratic opening", he resigned from power under military pressure. In 1997 he was elected as a constitutional president and oversaw the Cochabamba Water War, until 2002 when he died in office.
^After the results of the 1978 Bolivian general election were annulled, he seized power in a coup d'état, establishing himself as the de facto 52nd President of Bolivia, before being ousted from power in another coup shortly after.
^Seized power in a coup d'état, establishing himself as the de facto 53rd President of Bolivia. He oversaw the 1979 Bolivian general election, but after no candidate reached a majority, Wálter Guevara was appointed to serve as interim president while new elections were held.
^Seized power from the interim president Lidia Gueiler Tejada in a coup d'état, establishing himself as the de facto 57th President of Bolivia, as head of the military junta. He re-established a military dictatorship that outlawed all political parties, exiled opposition leaders, repressed trade unions and muzzled the press. He oversaw the execution and forced disappearances of over 1,000 people, including Marcelo Quiroga Santa Cruz. His involvement with drug trafficking led to his resignation in 1981, under pressure from the military and the United States.
^In 1981 he took power as the de facto 58th President of Bolivia, as head of the military junta, ceding command in 1982.
^Took power as the de facto 59th President of Bolivia, as head of the military junta. He oversaw the transition to democracy, as the results of the 1980 Bolivian general election were finally recognized and power transferred to the elected constitutional president Hernán Siles Zuazo, ending 18 years of military dictatorship.
^Seized power in a coup d'état, establishing himself as the 2nd President of Brazil. He subsequently refused to call new elections and held on to power through the rest of the presidential term. Opposition to his rule culminated in the Revolta da Armada, which he managed to suppress. He declared a state of siege, taking on emergency powers and suspending many constitutional rights. After the 1894 Brazilian general election, Peixoto stepped down, handing power to the civilian government of Prudente de Morais.
^Succeeded as the 27th President of Brazil. After a popular protest against military rule, he enacted Institutional Act Number Five, which gave him the power to dissolve the legislature, rule by decree and suspend civil rights. In 1969 he was suspended from office, due to a terminal illeness.
^In 1974 he succeeded as the 29th President of Brazil and oversaw a period of relaxation of the dictatorship. In 1978, after a wave of strikes and opposition electoral victories, he announced an end to the Institutional Act Number Five, which allowed exiled citizens to return, restored habeas corpus and political rights, and repealed the president's extraordinary powers. He subsequently stepped down in 1979.
^Elected as the 30th President of Brazil and continued to oversee the transition to democracy. After the Diretas Já protests, Tancredo Neves was elected as the new president, but never sworn in as he died soon after. José Sarney succeeded as president and oversaw the end of the dictatorship and constitution of the democratic Sixth Republic.
^After the Andean victory at the Battle of Chacabuco, he proclaimed himself the 2nd Supreme Director of Chile. In 1818, he declared independence and later lead the Chilean victory at the Battle of Maipú. In 1822, he wrote a new constitution, which centralized more power in his office, until 1823 when he was deposed in a conservative coup d'état.
^Seized power in a coup d'état that proclaimed him the 3rd Supreme Director of Chile. He abolished slavery, opened Chilean markets and instituted the freedom of press. He subsequently oversaw the transition to democracy and stepped down with the election of Manuel Blanco Encalada as the 1st President of Chile, beginning the Reconstruction Period.
^Seized power in a coup d'état, established himself as the 7th President of New Granada and ignited a civil war in which the constitutionalists defeated him militarily. He was subsequently trialed, deposed and exiled. The presidency was left vacant until the election of Mariano Ospina Rodríguez as the 1st President of the Granadine Confederation.
^Seized power in a coup d'état, establishing a military dictatorship with himself as the 19th President of Colombia. In 1957, he was ousted in the wake of mass protests and a Military Junta oversaw the transition to democracy, bringing about the National Front period.
^Seized power in the Liberal Revolution of 1895, establishing a dictatorship with himself as the 15th President of Ecuador and the Liberals as the country's governing party. After briefly stepping down, he again seized power from the elected president Lizardo García and again was proclaimed dictator. He was removed from power in 1911, and after a number of failed coup attempts, was assassinated in 1912.
^After the resignation of acting president Antonio Pons, Páez was appointed Jefe Supremo by the military and ruled as de facto leader of Ecuador. He oversaw the censorship of opposition press and the repression of political opposition, namely the Velasquistas and Communists. After re-opening diplomatic relations with the Holy See, he reconvoked the National Congress and was granted dictatorial powers, but was subsequently overthrown in a coup d'état.
^Having served as the 24th President of Ecuador on four separate occasions, in 1968 Velasco was again elected as president. By request of the Armed Forces, he seized dictatorial powers in 1970 as Jefe Supremo. He subsequently oversaw the repression of political opposition, the media and universities, including the torture of some opposition activists. After re-opening diplomatic relations with Cuba, he was removed from power in a coup d'état.
^Seized power from José María Velasco Ibarra in a coup d'état, serving as the de facto President of Ecuador at the head of a military dictatorship, until he was himself from power by the military.
^First took power in 1811 as part of a ruling triumvirate, during the May Revolution. In 1814 he was appointed as the country's sole consul, granting him absolute power as Supreme Dictator of Paraguay. His power was consolidated in 1816, when he was appointed the Perpetual Dictator of Paraguay. At first he undertook widespread social reformms, but after the repression of an uprising in 1820, he oversaw the establishment of a police state, outlawing all opposition. He ruled Paraguay until his death in 1840.
^Took power with the death of the dictator José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, being elected as First Consul of Paraguay. In 1844, he exiled his co-consul Mariano Roque Alonso and seized dictatorial powers as the 1st President of Paraguay, serving until his death in 1862.
^Succeeded his father as the 2nd President of Paraguay, serving until 1870, when he died in the Battle of Cerro Corá.
^Seized power from the elected president Eusebio Ayala during the February Revolution, establishing himself as the de facto 33rd President of Paraguay. After implementing some widespread social reforms, he was met with popular opposition following the passage of a decree which would transform Paraguay into a totalitarian state. In 1937, he was himself ousted in a right-wingcoup d'état, which returned Félix Paiva to power.
^In 1939, he was elected as the 34th President of Paraguay. In 1940, he consolidated power with the dissolution of Congress and suspended the constitution, assuming dictatorial powers in a self-coup. He oversaw the establishment of a corporatist regime in the country, until his death in 1940.
^Succeeded José Félix Estigarribia as the 35th President of Paraguay. In a self-coup, he assumed dictatorial powers, banned all political parties and suppressed the press. He established the Guion Rojo as a paramilitary police force with which to repress opposition. After the government victory in the civil war, he was succeeded by Juan Natalicio González as the 37th President of Paraguay, beginning the era of Colorado Party dominance over Paraguayan politics.
^Seized power from the constitutional president Juan Antonio Pezet in a coup d'état, proclaiming himself Commander-in-chief of the Republic. He was himself deposed by Pedro Diez Canseco who oversaw the return to constitutionalism, with the election of José Balta as the 30th President of Peru.
^Seized power from the constitutional president José Balta in a coup d'état, proclaiming himself Supreme Leader of the Republic. After he ordered the execution of Balta, Gutiérrez was captured and lynched by a mob in Lima. He was replaced by Mariano Herencia Zevallos, who oversaw the election of Manuel Pardo as the 31st President of Peru.
^Seized power from Juan Velasco Alvarado in a coup d'état, establishing himself as President of Peru. He diverged from the social programs of the previous government and oversaw the re-election of Fernando Belaúnde Terry as President of Peru.
^Seized power from the elected president José Eugenio Ellauri in a coup d'état, later also deposing his successor Pedro Varela in another coup d'état, establishing a military dictatorship with himself as the de facto President of Uruguay. He oversaw widespread social reforms and was formally elected president in 1879. He resigned in 1880, after losing both political and military support, although military rule remained in place until 1890 under Máximo Santos and Máximo Tajes.
^Took power after the assassination of Juan Idiarte Borda, serving as the de facto President of Uruguay. In 1898, he dissolved the General Assembly and seized dictatorial power in a self-coup. He oversaw the repression of two mutinies against his rule and was formally elected president in 1899. He was forced to step down in 1903 and fled to Paris, where he died soon after.
^Having been elected as the President of Uruguay, in 1933 he launched a self-coup, dissolving parliament and constituting a dictatorship with himself as the de facto President of Uruguay. He subsequently ruled by diktat and harshly suppressed the left-wing political opposition, including an attempted rebellion against his rule in 1935. He broke off relations with the USSR and Spanish Republic, moving Uruguay into alignment with the Axis Powers. In 1938, he oversaw the election of his successor Alfredo Baldomir.
^Having been elected as the President of Uruguay, in 1973 he seized dictatorial powers in a coup d'état, dissolving parliament and establishing a civic-military dictatorship. He oversaw the violent suppression of the trade union movement and the left-wing political opposition, including a ban on all trade unions and political parties, and effectively repealed the constitution. After he proposed a new corporatist constitution, with a permanent ban on political parties and the centralization of power in the military, he was himself removed from office by the military in 1976.
^Appointed by the military as the de facto President of Uruguay. He outlawed 15,000 people from political participation and held a constitutional referendum to legitimize the dictatorship, which the public largely rejected. He subsequently stepped down from power in 1981.
^Appointed by the military as the de facto President of Uruguay. He oversaw the transition to democracy and stepped down from power in 1985, bringing the dictatorship to an end. In 2007, he was indicted for human rights abuses during the dictatorship, he was subsequently convicted and lived the rest of his life in prison, where he died in 2016.
^Seized power during the Dutch-Venezuelan crisis of 1908, establishing himself as the President of Venezuela. In 1913, he transferred the presidential office to Victorino Márquez Bustillos, though Gómez remained the de facto leader of Venezuela. He formally returned to power in 1922, serving again as President until 1929. He briefly appointed Juan Bautista Pérez as his successor, but returned to the presidency in 1931 and ruled the country until his death in 1935, when he was succeeded by Eleazar López Contreras.
^Papaioannou, Kostadis; vanZanden, Jan Luiten (2015). "The Dictator Effect: How long years in office affect economic development". Journal of Institutional Economics. 11 (1): 111-139. doi:10.1017/S1744137414000356.
^"The First Philippine Republic". National Historical Commission. 7 September 2012. Archived from the original on 2017-01-27. Retrieved 2018. On June 20, Aguinaldo issued a decree organizing the judiciary, and on June 23, again upon Mabini's advice, major changes were promulgated and implemented: change of government from Dictatorial to Revolutionary; change of the Executive title from Dictator to President
^"Gulag Prisoner Population Statistics from 1934 to 1953." Wasatch.edu. Wasatch, n.d. Web. 16 July 2016: "According to a 1993 study of Soviet archival data, a total of 1,053,829 people died in the Gulag from 1934 to 1953. However, taking into account that it was common practice to release prisoners who were either suffering from incurable diseases or on the point of death, the actual Gulag death toll was somewhat higher, amounting to 1,258,537 in 1934-53, or 1.6 million deaths during the whole period from 1929 to 1953.."