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A People's Republic is a title used by certain republican states. Initially associated with populism (Right-wing populism, people's movements: Völkisch movement, Narodnik, others), it eventually became associated with countries adhering to communism after the creation of the Soviet Union, such as China. However, the term is not unique to communist states. Many countries adopted the title given its rather generic nature, like Bangladesh, which was founded as a liberal parliamentary republic after a popular war of independence.
Marxist–Leninist People's Republics
The motivation for using this term lies in the claim that Marxist–Leninists govern in accordance with the interests of the vast majority of the people, and, as such, a Marxist–Leninist republic is a people's republic. Many of these countries also called themselves socialist states in their constitutions; Albania, for instance, used both terms, "socialist" and "people's," in its official name from 1976 to 1991. In the West, countries governed by Marxist–Leninists are referred to as "Communist states," though they never actually used this name for themselves and used the term countries of people's democracy. In the 1990s, many of the self-styled "People's Republics" of Eastern Europe (Poland, Hungary, and Bulgaria) and Mongolia dropped the term and became known simply as "Republics" as they adopted liberal democratic systems of government — the term "People's Republic" being associated with the former Communist regimes. Western Media may sometimes use just The People's Republic to refer to the People's Republic of China. When western media cover news which is reporting about Cross-Strait relations, they may sometimes use just the People's Republic to differentiate between the Republic of China (Taiwan) and the People's Republic of China (Mainland China), though more often they simply say "Taiwan" and "China". However in Chinese media and scholars on both sides, usually refer to the People's Republic of China as "Mainland" and Republic of China as "Taiwan" to avoid referring to them directly as countries and getting caught up in a debate on their political status.
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The current communist or socialist states that include the words People's Republic in their full names:
Historical examples include:
- People's Republic of Albania (1946–1976) and Socialist People's Republic of Albania (1976–1992)
- People's Republic of Angola (1975–1992)
- People's Republic of Benin (1975–1990)
- People's Republic of Bulgaria (1946–1990)
- People's Republic of the Congo (1970–1992)
- People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (1987–1991)
- Hungarian People's Republic (1949–1989)
- People's Republic of Kampuchea (1979–1989)
- Mongolian People's Republic (1924–1992)
- People's Republic of Mozambique (1975–1990)
- People's Republic of Poland (1952–1989)
- Romanian People's Republic (1947–1965)
- Tuvan People's Republic (1921–1944)
- People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (1967–1990)
- Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia (1946–1963)
Other titles commonly used by Marxist–Leninist states are Democratic Republic (e.g. the German Democratic Republic or the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia between 1943 and 1946), and Socialist Republic (e.g. the Socialist Republic of Vietnam).
Non-Marxist–Leninist People's Republics
There are two People's Republics which do not subscribe to communism:
- People's Republic of Bangladesh
- People's Democratic Republic of Algeria
- Libya was officially called Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya between 1977 and 2011.
Anti communist states
- Ukrainian People's Republic (1917-1921)
- West Ukrainian People's Republic (1918-1919, joined the Ukrainian People's Republic)
- Belarusian People's Republic (1918–1919, non-recognized)
The term People's Republic is sometimes used by critics and satirists to describe areas perceived to be dominated by left-wing politics. Some examples are "The People's Republic of New Jersey", the People's Republic of Dublin South-Central, the "People's Republic of South Yorkshire", and "The People's Republic of Chicago".
- Welcome to the People's Republic of New Jersey, Alan Caruba, 28 June 2004, enterstageright.com