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Etymology Section[edit]

This section is highly problematic. Firstly I don't think "res publica" came from "politea" the terms are native to latin and it seems unlikely that are derivative. All of the authors discussed in this section from from the late republic or the renaissance. It seems some pretty significant anachronism is going on in this section. It needs to be cleaned up because as written it is either confusing or wrong. Zoratao (talk) 03:01, 27 April 2014 (UTC) Zoratao

Republic vs Democracy[edit]

What's the difference? --Περίεργος (talk) 20:26, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Most commonly a republic is considered a form of representative democracy, which is a type of democracy. I have tried to clarify this in the article. --TeaDrinker (talk) 18:15, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
That distinction has no real scholarly basis. A democracy is a country where the rulers are chosen by peoples in elections. A Republic is a country which is not a monarchy. The Netherlands is a democracy but not a republic. China is a republic but not a democracy. The US is both. Morocco is neither. I hope that clarifies things. — Blue-Haired Lawyer t 18:45, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
Most sources recognize representative democracy in the definition (MW,; OED says this: "The term is often (esp. in the 18th and 19th centuries) taken to imply a state with a democratic or representative constitution and without a hereditary nobility, but more recently it has also been used of autocratic or dictatorial states not ruled by a monarch. It is now chiefly used to denote any non-monarchical state headed by an elected or appointed president." I tend to use the older definition and despite this, is what I hear most often. If there's universal agreement in academic circles, I am unaware of it. A democratic republic is certainly the sense used in the US Constitution. --TeaDrinker (talk) 22:50, 28 August 2011 (UTC)
By older definition you are apparently referring to what your describes only as something implied. Personally I have no problem saying that democracy is implied or that the two concepts are associated, but it needs to be stated in a way which does not imply that there is a simple equation.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 05:42, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

There is a very big difference between them both! Here is schema that demonstrates that: WHEELER (talk) 20:30, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

I think the problem here is that the word "republic" has had so many definitions that it is impossible to nail it down to a specific meaning. The modern tendency is for people to choose the definition or synthesize a new one just for the virtue of calling their government a republic. For example, the People's Republic of China doesn't have much in resemblance with the Republic of China, or the republic of the United States of America for that matter. Democracy has problems of its own. People aren't always willing to distinguish between direct democracy or representative democracy, or the innumerable forms of the concept.-- (talk) 21:33, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Isn't it true that Republic has at least these two pre-requisites?

1) Every strata of society has representation and 2) The Head of State is under law (or no one is above the law)?

Democracy is more than just a form of selecting a leader, however election is a defining characteristic of Democracy. BlueHairedLawyer said a Republic is a country that is not a Monarchy. Every historical discussion of Republic also rejects Tyranny, where the Head of State rules to his own benefit, rather than the benefit of the country. A Tyrant can only be challenged (without coup or violence,) if he is answerable to law. Democracy does not define the Head of State as being subject to law. Presumably, he is subject to the consensus, because that is how he is elected. Democracy has no rule to decide what to do, when the Commander in Chief turns to exploitation. Republic resists that event, (when the Head of State turns his attentions from befitting the citizenry to benefiting himself,) by challenging him on the basis of law. Whenever the exchange of power requires coup or violence, it is arguably not definable as a form of government. Infodater (talk) 13:38, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

Post Script: Having a 3) Constitution might be another defining characteristic of Republic. By analogy, NFL football has regulations; goal posts shape and position, size of pitch, size and shape of ball, time of play. If you change these, it isn't football anymore. By contrast, there are also rules; no late hits, no taunting, no spearing, no moving before the ball is hiked. I suppose these observations might offer an entry point to a discussion of what a Constitution is, and how it differs from Criminal and Civil Code. Infodater (talk) 13:44, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

A Republic in theory has a set of governing principles that cannot be voted on by the public. These principles are usually enshrined in a constitution. The U.S allows the constitution to be amended as long as it does not violate the original principles. So, a Republic is a form of Democracy with some rules. Democracy (in it's pure form) is mob rule, a vote is a vote a majority is a majority and majority rules. -- Most modern 'Democracies' are technically Republics. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ‎ (talkcontribs)

Feudalism vs Civic Humanism: Shouldn't the introduction be clearer?[edit]

The introduction contains the sentence (partially reproduced,)

 The Italian medieval and Renaissance political tradition today referred to as "Civic Humanism" is sometimes considered...

I feel like it would be better to describe Renaissance Government as Feudalism, than Civic Republicanism, as the linked article more particularly denotes. Feudal Lords did not seek the highest good of their fellow man, and they were appointed by a system of monarchic Nobility. "A Republic is a State which is not a Monarchy," would be a good rule to illustrate why Nobility and Aristocracy differ from Republic. I don't have a convenient high school textbook, for a citation, but Feudalism is a well accepted definition for the characteristic form of government during the middle ages.

This comment calls in question much of the second paragraph. May I advocate a change?

14:06, 28 August 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Infodater (talkcontribs)

I have to disagree. Feudalism isn't a term much used by modern historians, and when it is used it is linked to monarchies, not republics.- SimonP (talk) 16:57, 4 September 2013 (UTC)


I don't yet know how to use Wikidata, so I think this is the next most appropriate place. You may notice that a Greek interwiki link is conspicuously missing from the language bar. This is because the Greek word δημοκρατία dimokratia means both "democracy" (as an abstract noun) and "republic" (as a common noun) – wikidata:Q7174. I think therefore that this article should link to el:Δημοκρατία, while the Greek article should have two interwiki links – to both English articles: en:Democracy and en:Republic. What think you? BigSteve (talk) 11:26, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Problem Paragraph[edit]

In the example of the United States, the original 13 British colonies became independent states after the American Revolution, each having a republican form of government. These independent states initially formed a loose confederation called the United States and then later formed the current United States by ratifying the current U.S. Constitution, creating a union of sovereign states with the union or federal government also being a republic. Any state joining the union later was also required to be a republic.

Is it accurate to describe the United States as simply a (personal) union of sovereign states? Are states considered sovereign in their own right, or subdivisions of the US with certain inalienable rights? And how often are the states themselves considered and referred to as "republics"? This whole paragraph seems POV, unsourced, and factually inaccurate.

I'll removed in a bit unless anyone has anything else to say. (talk) 02:31, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Republic -- different definitions[edit]

Funny, (and some people I have talked to) claim

    The United States is, indeed, a republic, not a democracy. Accurately defined, a democracy is a 
    form of government in which the people decide policy matters directly--through town hall meetings 
    or by voting on ballot initiatives and referendums. A republic, on the other hand, is a system in 
    which the people choose representatives who, in turn, make policy decisions on their behalf.

According to this definition, The UK (which is not a republic) is a republic since they elect a parliament who are basically their representatives. The UK (United Kingdom) obviously by its name IS a monarchy which means by another definition it is NOT a republic.

Confusing — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:30, 28 April 2014 (UTC)

No. This (the definition you've proffered) is a popular conspiracy theory originating with the John Birch Society and based on a fundamental misunderstanding of several related terms in political science. Democracy and Republicanism are not mutually exclusive. BlueSalix (talk) 19:15, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Actually under UK law it is a Monarchy which by a series of laws and conventions is administered as a two chamber Parliment. The parliment has signed into the European Union and has ratified conventions on human rights from the UN and European union. In theory these could be challenged by the Monarch or one of the chambers and over turned, that is why many prefer more formal constitutions. In practice so far, we have a formal constitution from UN expanded by the EU's, the EU recognises states rights to devolution but not to exist the EU. Socialy the UK is like the child that always asks questions of the teacher if the teacher is the EU annoying most of the class mates (other EU states). If the UK attempts to exit the EU or scotland becomes independant of the rest of the UK it will require significant work to clarify the EU's constitional. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:29, 2 May 2014 (UTC)