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What Is the Difference Between a Republic and a Democracy?

The White House, home of the president of the United States.
Technically the United States is a republic, although it is commonly considered a democracy.
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By definition, a republic is a representative form of government that is ruled according to a charter, or constitution, and a democracy is a government that is ruled according to the will of the majority. Although these forms of government are often confused, they are quite different. The main difference between a republic and a democracy is the charter or constitution that limits power in a republic, often to protect the individual's rights against the desires of the majority. In a true democracy, the majority rules in all cases, regardless of any consequences for individuals or for those who are not in the majority on an issue.

Variations

Adding to the confusion over the difference between the two forms of government is the fact that, in practice, there are many variations of each. For example, a representative democracy is one in which, like a republic, officials are elected to vote on behalf of the people on most issues, rather than having all of the citizens vote on every issue. Furthermore, a constitutional democracy is a representative democracy in which the government's power is restricted by a constitution. In essence, this is a republic, so for practical purposes, the difference between a republic and a constitutional democracy is often largely one of semantics.

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Government by the People

In both types of government, decisions are made by the people or their representatives rather than by a monarch. The head of state, in most cases, is referred to as a president and is elected by the people, directly or indirectly. Government representatives in either type of government also are elected by the people. In a direct democracy, in which people themselves vote on all issues, government officials or representatives merely carry out the will of the majority rather than voting on behalf of the people.

Protecting Individuals' Rights

A true democracy is rare because of the potential for it to turn into what might be called "mob rule." This occurs when the majority makes decisions that benefit itself at the expense of the minority. For example, a racial, religious or socioeconomic class that consists of more than 50% of the voting population could — theoretically — vote to give itself certain benefits or to oppress or restrict those in the minority. In a true democracy, there is no legal power that protects minorities.

In a republic or a constitutional democracy, however, the charter or constitution typically guarantees certain rights to individuals or minority groups. This prevents those rights from being taken away or infringed upon by the will of the majority. This protection is fundamental for the republican form of government.

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porillio
Post 77

In my opinion, the US began as a republic but has now migrated to a full democracy.

In a republic, learned men (or women) are elected to represent the people with the knowledge and intellect that they possess. During the first years of the country, our representatives were up in congress, far away from their constituents. When issues came up, they could not call home, take a poll or write to get their states' opinions of the issue at hand. Instead, if they were able to get some kind of feedback, it was in the form of their state legislatures, not from the masses who were less educated and not learned in foreign affairs, economics and other issues brought to the table. Representatives were charged to listen to the issues at hand and vote according to their opinions, not to run back on every issue to see how they needed to vote to be re-elected.

We are now a full democracy with every person out to just get what they want. They don't care about the nation or the people as a whole. All democracies will ultimately fail because of this.

williamqbert
Post 76

The problem with the US is there is no longer a clear separation between public and private affairs. It means anything is up for the vote, and slimy politicians stand ready to profit from the demands for "social justice" and "a fair share", or the expansion of the warfare/surveillance state to combat "terrorism". Everyone is up in each other's business.

Each special interest, whether it's a corporate lobby or union, is rushing to force their will on the country before the other group can. We are slipping into mob rule, out of which a populist dictator will emerge to "get things done". The same thing happened to Rome, and prewar Germany. It can happen again if we don't wake up.

anon318243
Post 73

It also needs to be clarified the Republican party and the Democratic pary got their names after the split up of the Democratic-Republican party in 1824. The names of the parties have nothing to do with the form of government they represent.

anon318242
Post 72

I hear people call the United States a democracy all the time, these people are confused by the words "type" and "form." A republic and a democracy are both Democratic types of government in which the people hold generally free elections, where representatives are elected to make decisions concerning government actions. As forms of government, not only are a republic and a democracy dissimilar, they are antithetical to each other.

In a democracy, it is the majority unlimited, with no safeguards in place for the protection of an individual or groups of individuals comprising a minority. Any actions decided by elected representatives cannot be appealed within the legal system. In a democracy, the majority is absolute.

In a republic, on the other hand, it is the majority strictly limited by a written constitution, with safeguards in place for the protection of an individual or groups of individuals comprising a minority. Actions taken by elected representatives can be appealed within the legal system. In a republic, the majority is always subject to the protections of the individual outlined within the written constitution.

In a republic, it does not matter how loud the majority shouts for something; that something will always be subject to the protection of the individual. If this were a democracy, women wouldn't be allowed to vote, because the majority view at the time of the women's rights movement was that women shouldn't be allowed to vote. If this were a democracy, Blacks wouldn't be allowed to vote, because the majority view at the time of the Civil Rights movement was that Blacks shouldn't be allowed to vote. Because this is a republic and not a democracy, the whims of the majority were subject to the protections of the individual, and now women and Blacks have the right to vote. Thank God I live in a republic!

anon310790
Post 71

I agree with jeezygalaxy. The same is the case with Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which is running a democracy with absolutely corrupt people and drinking away the blood of the already wretched farmers.

anon310436
Post 70

The etymologists say the origin of "republic" is Latin, from res publica, which means the public thing, the same basic meaning as democracy.

In the US, you will currently find a group that have grafted along on this "rule-of-law", "constitutional", "representative" and want to exclude democracy from the definition. Most in the US, and the rest of the world, and the US at the time of the revolution view/viewed a republic as just a country without a king and aristocracy.

The "republic not a democracy" line of thought has lost in a number of cases in the US courts but still persists in the thoughts of a few.

jeezygalaxy
Post 69

Tell me, if a democracy and a republic are two different kinds of government, why do some countries like the Federal Republic of Nigeria still run a democratic system of government?

anon302290
Post 68

Here is the real difference between our Republic and a generic democracy: Each citizen has a vote, and each state has a vote. That is what the Electoral College is all about.

Look at it this way: Wyoming has a population of 568,158, while California has a population of 37,691,912. California is 66 times the size of Wyoming - but they both have two Senators. The US House (congress) is proportioned based on how many people live in each state. Thus, Wyoming has one congressman and California has 53. And when it comes time to vote for a president, California casts 55 votes, and Wyoming casts 3. Each citizen in each state, effectively, gets a vote plus the state gets to vote, as if it were a citizen.

All this talk for many many years about "States Rights" is part of this. Had the United States been founded prior to the colonies, there is no doubt that we would have a "republic" that is a simple representative democracy, with the same type of constitution, the same type of government, minus treating each state as a "citizen" in its own right.

anon301578
Post 65

You can call what is in place whatever you want, but it is not working. The people in power can do whatever they want. They have different laws, rules, benefits and rights from the people who vote them in. Is this a democracy or republic? The rich just keep getting richer.

Have you ever seen a government official that was not rich? People are giving millions of dollars to political parties for their person to win, and there is a reason for that. They will get their money back. I would like to see open statements for all banking records of these officials. I will bet that their deposits are much greater than their salaries.

Our presidential race is a mess. Do we have any honest, believable candidates? They mislead, lie and make up facts every day. Then, they joke about as the news commentators do a "fact or fiction" comparison. The people have lost any control they ever had. Our government officials are not accountable to the people.

Is this a republic or a democracy? Our Constitution and Bill of Rights were forgotten a long time ago. We have the right to work and provide for ourselves and families. That has changed, too. If you want to work, you get to provide for all of the people who did not care to work, do not care for an education and think that if they have many children without being married they are owed all of the benefits that the government can think of.

Again in the current situation, whatever you want to think the correct term might be, it is not working. Maybe all of these posters should stop trying to name it and come up with ideas to change it.

anon299898
Post 64

Your statement that both democracies and republics are ruled by presidents instead of monarchs is not entirely correct. Just as some democracies have a charter to limit the powers of the elected representatives of the people, several monarchies have a charter that limits the powers of the monarch and places these powers in the hands of the representatives of the people and the judiciary.

Effectively, these nations are monarch-headed constitutional democracies that in practice, operate in similar fashion to many constitutional republics.

anon256460
Post 62

@Anon106042: You are absolutely right. The only comment I agree with.

anon248421
Post 61

Our founders went to great lengths to ensure a republican form of government. They abhorred democracy, which allows tyranny of the majority. Individual rights of people and states are guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, but that guarantee has been violated many times.

For instance, the Second Amendment clearly states that the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. Yet there are laws among the states that restrict this right. Laws banning the carrying of firearms, or denying permits to carry firearms, are clearly unconstitutional, as they infringe the right to bear arms.

Social programs such as welfare are also unconstitutional. For instance, let's say a taxpaying individual does not want to enable a mind altering substance abuser to buy those substances. That individual's right is violated, in that he is forced to pay a tax that will be distributed to people who will use the funds to buy mind altering substances.

anon241527
Post 60

What would their town be like how would they be treated in this government.

anon210193
Post 58

A "union" is not a form of government, a republic is.

"In order to from a more perfect union" was referring to the collection of states and colonies.

I hate it when liberals have no idea what they are talking about.

anon206383
Post 57

The sheep may be well armed but are restricted by the wolves in what arms they may have to the point that the sheep may as well not be armed. the wolves have no such restriction.

anon201146
Post 56

The article makes a quote from the Pledge of Allegiance about "and to the republic for which it stands...". The only problem with that is that the United States is governed by the US Constitution and I believe the first line goes something like, "we the people, in order to form a more perfect union." Union! Not republic.

I hate it when republicans write crap and then spew it as the truth and then they get busted.

anon194033
Post 55

Actually 26767, a true oxymoron would be a "Fascist communistic state."

anon168457
Post 54

It is disturbing to me to see this distortion. All I have to say is the natural rights of the individual are paramount. The government's power is from the people. It is that basic.

Perhaps all should re-read "Animal Farm," "1984" or "Road to Serfdom." The point is that pure democracy is nothing more than "mob rule," often by a misinformed population. "Lord of the Flies?" As a society we change with every generation but we don't evolve. The nature of mankind hasn't changed in recorded history. That is why the repeat of tyrannies from Ceasar to Milosevic. We see the hijacking of democracy, not in small ways but in larger and larger ways because of the misinformed public's mindset of looking for quick solutions or someone to blame. This has shown a total lack of critical thinking and despite more information ever accessible to the masses it is overwhelmed by opinion, lies and populist views not very well thought out.

This certainly has narrowed the ability to seek facts, like it or not, and make your own conclusions. Or just keep drinking the koolaid or become one likened to that of Stalin's useful idiots.

anon164381
Post 52

Deep down, human governments have always been and will always be plutocracies. The confusion of varying political terminologies is mainly an issue of semantics, that is, language pandering to our need that life has meaning outside our constructs, and it does; the origin of our problems lies inside.

The answers are not that complex if we search the rich variety of tyrannies within our heart. Take a look at James 4:1-4. Governments are, for the most part, a necessary evil to regulate our basic drives, yet, being human, are doomed to fail, and they always do, to reinvent themselves, which is nothing but a shift of power into new hands. Religious or not, God allows all this theater to take place until we learn that only His rule pleases our contradictory hearts.

anon156522
Post 50

"Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms." - Aristotle

anon154660
Post 49

It's sickening how many ignorant Americans posting comments here don't even realize that the terms used here (Democracy and Republic) have absolutely nothing to do with the political parties (Democrats and Republicans).

Seriously. Go take a civics class somewhere. Please. I beg you.

anon152422
Post 48

I think if you do some research, particularly on Wikipedia and in dictionaries you'll find that strictly speaking a republic is quite similar to a democracy in that both involves the people choosing the government i.e. no monarchy, autocracy etc.

Republics tend to be characterized by reference to a charter/constitution or established laws. It would seem that in US history/thinking that this includes protection of individual rights.

Democracies stress equal participation and can be divided into several categories including "direct" where the people vote on everything, "representative" where the people vote for representatives who vote on the issues and "consensus".

With regards to individual rights, it is easy for me to see how a democracy could be a mobocracy however I think this would require the majority to be somewhat selfish/self centered and narrow-minded.

There is no guarantee that a republic would protect individual rights if they were not explicitly protected in the charter/constitution.

In summary, there are many flavours of democracy/republican government (each with advantages and disadvantages).

The US is a republic and a representative democracy. Australia is a representative democracy, but not a republic because our head of state is the queen. Most people in both countries get a say in how the country is governed, although when you add into the mix people who live in multiple disadvantaged situations and also the influence that rich and powerful individuals and corporations have, I wonder how "equal" it is.

tea111865
Post 46

So the head of a republic could be a dictator? Is a republic a republic if the sheep never have an opportunity to decide what's for dinner? I am referencing the Arab Republic of Egypt. Julius Caesar's Rome was also a republic, but they (the senators) were sure concerned the sheep wanted a monarch.

anon146971
Post 45

So in short, a republic ensures that the democracy used to create change cannot usurp human rights etc.

So let's say, we cannot vote to remove the process of democracy and place a king, or take freedom from people. It constrains democracy so that the people cannot legally elect to destroy the general system by which we operate.

anon146273
Post 44

Then what's a democratic republic? viz. India?

anon146220
Post 43

What an absurd discussion. For one thing, the author's usage of the repb. and dem parties as examples of the definition of the two words is all wrong. They seem to ignore the fact that when these parties formed and were named, their positions were completely the reverse of today.

Secondly, and clearly, a republic is a form of democracy, just like whole wheat is a form of bread. Please read just a bit further into the meanings of the words. This is a classic example of the cart driving the horse. So sad to see such ignorance. no wonder our country is tanking.

anon141759
Post 42

According to your definition it is clear that India is not following either a Republic or Democracy.

anon136754
Post 41

Amazing the way American conservatives have hijacked this word, or at least feel that how they feel their founders used the word defines what the word is.

The classic definition of a republic is simply a form of government whose head is not a monarch. Since the founding fathers were trying to break that method of government, it isn't surprising they were so determined to make sure their government was called a republic and behaved that way.

There is nothing in the definition of republic, outside of the American right wing, that says anything about the requirement of protections for the individual by some form of charter.

Like most developed countries, the USA has a form of democracy that is constrained by a constitution so that individual rights are protected. The USA may have been one of the first but it has been copied by countries that aren't republics.

I think this is simply a misinterpretation that comes from the need on the right to believe in American exceptionalism.

anon136168
Post 40

This was a helpful article. Thanks for posting it.

anon132484
Post 39

honestly none of this helps me. i still don't know what's what. can someone put it in simple terms without all the big words because i must be stupid to understand. Thank you and please use little words. if it's a big word then give the definition please.

anon111247
Post 37

In a Republic the individual rights are preserved, including property rights. In a true Republic there is no direct taxation, as America was for its first 100 years. This is all that is wrong with America today. All the direct taxation buys us is corruption.

anon109723
Post 36

To the guy with the "Fat sheep" analogy. If the government was running smoothly prior to us getting fat, then the wolves would have never taken over in the first place.

anon108655
Post 35

I agree with you, "anon95488".

We need to take it back! If we aren't satisfied with how our present government is functioning, we have the right to overthrow it. There are reasons why our founders made the rules they way they did. They knew what would happen, and in some ways, we can say it's a test of human will and spirit.

How much are you willing to sacrifice so people won't be enslaved?

anon106042
Post 34

One problem in America, one of the main reasons our government has so much say on "what's for dinner", is that most of the "sheep" have become fat (meaning spoiled) and unobservant because our government ran so efficiently for so long.

The "sheep" became placid and lazy deciding they would rather graze than watch the fence for wolves that were crossing the line. Now that the wolves have well crossed the line all the "sheep" are upset that the wolves have taken charge and now make most of the decisions; but what did the sheep do? They allowed it to happen because they would rather reap the benefits of the land instead of putting in their fair share of watching after the flock.

I am sure the same thing happened in Rome. Too much power and wealth made the people feel that they no longer needed to keep an eye on the people placed in charge. The people thought the country’s government could run itself, but then, without a watchful eye and swift hand the way the country was ruled evolved into something else, something that was not in the best interest of all the people, because all the people quit taking care of it. Instead, they thought it would always take care of them.

It is like a spoiled child that never has to do chores, when they grow up, they have no ethics in the realm of responsibility. Unfortunately this is what has become of many Americans.

anon103280
Post 33

Republic or democratic, it all boils down to one thing: government is run by the wealthy and their lobbyists. Since the Civil War i don't think the US can call itself a republic. It turned into a representative democracy, which is slightly better than the other two forms of government: communism and socialism.

anon102551
Post 32

Where do these people come from? While i agree that a republic is slightly better than a pure democracy, the republic is still democratic! It’s supposed to be “we the people...” Not “we the representatives of the people...!” It’s still supposed to be the will of the majority, but within a framework of rules that, theoretically, preserve the rights of the individual against the self interests of the majority.

Of course, no one but the wolves wants 200 wolves and 100 sheep deciding what’s for dinner. So, a republic has a rule that says “no sheep can be eaten for dinner.” But what is happening in this country today is not a democratic republic as it’s supposed to be. Rather it is ruled by a minority of politicians (wolves) who, even though elected by a majority, are still wolves, and there aren’t any sheep in the mix! Also, even though there is a rule that says “no sheep can be eaten for dinner,” the minority of wolves totally disregard the rule. On the other hand, the great argument against a pure democracy is that “it’s mob rule” and/or “it’s two wolves and one sheep deciding what to have for dinner.” Neither is true. The idea is that the majority will always consist of the exact same individuals, but this is ludicrous! The majority will constantly change with the issue, since it’s not always going to be about “what’s for dinner!”

The type of representative government put in place by the founders was done so because it was difficult, if not impossible, to get the majority of the people’s will because it was a big world, travel was difficult, news travelled slowly, education was limited and communication was stifled. However, since the beginning of the 20th century and especially since the latter part of that century, the world is now a small place, travel is easy, education is the norm, and communication is nearly instantaneous. There is, therefore, no longer any need for us to have these “representatives,” a minority, with the ultimate authority to theoretically speak for “we the people” (since the rules we live by are well established) deciding what is good for everyone.

Since more than 99 percent of homes have access to the internet, the issues should be decided directly by “we the people.” The only function of the representatives should be to discuss the issues, proposed by the people, and then formulate “bills” (that can actually be understood by the average citizen) that have alternative solutions that can then be voted on by the people! If nothing else, this would put an effective end to “lobbying” by special interest minorities and actually better reflect the will of the people. And the rules that have been in place for centuries will still protect the rights of the individuals as they were designed to do.

anon100557
Post 31

A democracy is mob rule - it's two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner.

A republic holds those in power accountable to a set of rules, no matter how many wolves there are or how loudly they moan.

anon95488
Post 29

I believe in simplicity. Our forefathers made America a republic so as not to be oppressed by government. Simply stated: a Democracy allows us to vote for a representative that we believe will represent us (as a minority) and our interests, but ultimately give those representatives (government)the right to dictate what is best for us.

A republic allows us to vote for a representative permitting them to only have limited power of making the rules. Ultimately, a republic is "We the people" and we have the rights under the Constitution to over power our government's dictate. They are supposed to be working for us, not for their own means. So, as of today, our government (composed of lawyers and their mumbo jumbo) rule under a democracy making "We the People", our republic and our forefathers a mockery!

We need to take our country back from these money grubbing, self centered officials we call our government. God bless America! Let's take it back. And, Rome did fall under a democracy, that's why it fell. Let's not let this happen to us.

anon95362
Post 28

Either way, the people under this rule get the shaft. sadly not much out there is better. The foundation for which our government was based is ideal, but we have lost the sense of what that was too long ago.

anon88992
Post 27

Democracy is 4,000 sheep and one wolf voting on what to have for dinner. In a republic the wolf still has the right to eat as many sheep as he wants until they're all gone.

anon87722
Post 26

"Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms." - Aristotle

anon81409
Post 25

One other thing. a republic does not necessarily give rights to the individual and minority. The U.S. Constitution limits the federal government, and gives the power to the states. The Constitution says what specific powers the federal government has, while all others are expressly reserved for the individual states.

anon81406
Post 24

By the way there is no confusion about the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance when it says and to the republic. The U.S. is a republic. The confusion comes from people thinking the U.S. is a democracy, which it is not.

anon78325
Post 23

Would not freedom provide "choice"?

To "choose" - to choose which school to send your child to: public, religious or private?

To choose - ObamaCare, MyCare, or Othercare.

The benefits we want from a government, provided by our government, and supported by our taxes (and not so many).

"Majority rule" can and does remove or limit freedoms. But a democracy or republic that promotes "Choice" - that is a government by the people and for the people.

Individual choice is exercising freedom.

anon76360
Post 22

This is ridiculous. In a republic, the majority is limited and constrained by a written constitution which protects the rights of the individual and the minority. But the majority are the people who write the charters and the constitutions.

anon74805
Post 21

Republic is based on charter. Who creates this charter and on what basis?. If this charter is created by majority, then they will create the charter without considering minority interests. So what use is a republic?

anon74697
Post 20

A Democracy is subject to rule by emotion where a Republic requires the people to carefully think about the rules before they change them.

anon73771
Post 19

Who cares whether we are this or that... the bottom line is we (Americans) vote for who we want to represent us in congress. It is up to the people in congress to act upon our wishes.

Thus the real problem.

It shouldn't matter in Congress whether your Republican or Democratic (Americas obsession for stereotyping). What matters is that they do what they are there to do: represent the people, not themselves

anon70175
Post 18

Seek the truth, and the truth will set you free. We live in a time where nobody cares about the real truth; they wish to believe the lies that others twist into the truth.

We owe is to ourselves as Americans to read the actual documents our forefathers left for us. Democracies in the past have always failed. Look at the Roman Empire. It became corrupt, lost its moral codes of conduct, and worse became arrogant of it's power. Hmmm, sounding kind of familiar?

anon62339
Post 17

anon12484, With all due respect, you are absolutely wrong when you said: "And the term Republican dates back to Abraham Lincoln and those who were committed to preserving the republic, rather than allowing it to dissolve." The term 'republic' goes back hundreds of years before Lincoln was born. But more important, Lincoln was committed to preserving the 'Union' so as to not let it dissolve. Anon43074 (8) was correct in his/her description. However, the quote they gave was a little off.

The correct quote, by Benjamin Franklin is: "A democracy is two wolves and a small lamb voting on what to have for dinner. Freedom under a constitutional republic is a well armed lamb contesting the vote".

anon62250
Post 16

shakabob wrote, in part, "Scary thought if the Power of the People were not ruled by the Constitution..." No, shakabob, the power of the government is ruled, or at least is supposed to be, by the Constitution. The power of the people is absolute; they are the real "sovereigns"(source of power, individually and collectively) from whom government derives it's just power. So it's not the government being sovereign as they constantly claim to be.

In effect, that claim by government suggests that government is superior to the people, which they are not supposed to be, but, of course, we have permitted them to become.

anon61171
Post 15

The United States is a republic. A republic is a government run by written law such as our Constitution.

The United States is not a democracy, and our Congress and Senate are bound to follow the constitution of the United States.

Most news media, school teachers, and even government officials do not know this. In 1776 Ben Franklin said we gave you a Republic. Thanks for reading. --Phil

dontgivein
Post 14

anon43074 I agree with what you are saying.

anon55875
Post 13

Is there any nation today which can call itself democratic but not a republic or vice versa? I guess not. Truth is, Republic alone without democracy will turn out to be a dictatorship or a monarchy, and a democracy without a republic will become anarchy.

anon48094
Post 10

America is the best damn nation on this earth.

anon45474
Post 9

What would the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)be classified as?

anon43074
Post 8

In a Republic, such as the United States, the people do not vote on specific issues. We elect representatives to prepresent our views and they, limited by the rules of the Constitution (insert laugh track here) vote on the issues. My favorite quote is, "In a Democracy, two wolves and a sheep vote on what's for dinner. In a Constituional Republic, the wolves cannot vote on dinner and the sheep are well armed."

anon42119
Post 7

The article states, "In a democracy, to decide on an issue, the question is put to the vote of the population and the majority of those votes determine the outcome." How are issues decided in a republic?

anon36113
Post 6

It is true. The United States is a republic with democratic traditions; one cannot argue against that as it is apparent in many aspects of America's way of dealing with central issues. Now, to the United States' luck...this practice and/or social-political tradition has protected their land from internal coup d'etats...

shakabob
Post 5

Scary thought if the Power of the People were not ruled by the Constitution and the power of Ethical Law. I believe that only true Freedom is a Republic formed for the people and by the people with Laws that bind us together and a justice system that is blind.

Conservative Moderate

anon26767
Post 4

An oxymoron that I found is that I have seen an area on the map labeled as a "Democratic Republic".

anon12484
Post 3

Democracy is simply one-person, one-vote. A republic is a government comprised of democratically-elected representatives. And the term Republican dates back to Abraham Lincoln and those who were committed to preserving the republic, rather than allowing it to dissolve.

rjohnson
Post 1

The World CIA Factbook cites the United States as a "Constitution-based federal republic with a strong democratic tradition." But it doesn't say that the United States is a democracy or even a democratic republic.

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