A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a "public matter" (Latin: res publica), not the private concern or property of the rulers, and where offices of states are subsequently directly or indirectly elected or appointed rather than inherited. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of state is not a monarch.
Both modern and ancient republics vary widely in their ideology and composition. In classical and medieval times the archetype of all republics was the Roman Republic, which referred to Rome in between the period when it had kings, and the periods when it had emperors. The Italian medieval and Renaissance political tradition today referred to as "civic humanism" is sometimes considered to derive directly from Roman republicans such as Sallust and Tacitus. However, Greek-influenced Roman authors, such as Polybius and Cicero, sometimes also used the term as a translation for the Greek politeia which could mean regime generally, but could also be applied to certain specific types of regime which did not exactly correspond to that of the Roman Republic. An example of this is Sparta, which had two kings but was not considered a normal monarchy as it also had ephors representing the common people. Republics were not equated with classical democracies such as Athens, but had a democratic aspect.
In modern republics such as the United States, Russia, and India, the executive is legitimized both by a constitution and by popular suffrage. Montesquieu included both democracies, where all the people have a share in rule, and aristocracies or oligarchies, where only some of the people rule, as republican forms of government.
Most often a republic is a sovereign state, but there are also subnational entities that are referred to as republics, or which have governments that are described as "republican" in nature. For instance, Article IV of the Constitution of the United States "guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government". The subdivisions of the Soviet Union were described as republics and two of them – Ukrainian SSR and Byelorussian SSR – had their own seats at the United Nations. While the Constitution of the Soviet Union described that union as a "unitary, federal and multinational state", it was in reality a unitary state as each Soviet Socialist Republic was dominated by the Communist Party.
Other articles related to "republic, republics":
... A distinct set of definitions for the word republic evolved in the United States ... In common parlance a republic is a state that does not practice direct democracy but rather has a government indirectly controlled by the people ... democracy was not an idea mentioned by Machiavelli and did not exist in the classical republics ...
... For more details on this topic, see Weimar Republic ... German history from 1919 to 1933 is commonly referred to as the Weimar Republic, as the Republic's constitution was drafted here ...
... and Barbuda, Sultanate of Brunei, Cook Islands, Republic of Gambia, Niue, Republic of Palau, Solomon Islands, Republic of Vanuatu and the states with limited recognition ...
... itself an independent state with the same boundaries as the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1991 as part of the dissolution of the Soviet Union ... The nation is a parliamentary republic with a president as head of state and a prime minister as head of government ...
... The forerunner of the Republic of Vietnam Marine Corps (VNMC) was established by Ngo Dinh Diem, then prime minister of what was then the State of Vietnam on October 13, 1954 ... The Republic of Vietnam was established in October 1955 after Diem used a fraudulent referendum to topple Bao Dai ...
Famous quotes containing the word republic:
“While the Republic has already acquired a history world-wide, America is still unsettled and unexplored. Like the English in New Holland, we live only on the shores of a continent even yet, and hardly know where the rivers come from which float our navy.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“I date the end of the old republic and the birth of the empire to the invention, in the late thirties, of air conditioning. Before air conditioning, Washington was deserted from mid-June to September.... But after air conditioning and the Second World War arrived, more or less at the same time, Congress sits and sits while the presidentsor at least their staffsnever stop making mischief.”
—Gore Vidal (b. 1925)
“History in the making is a very uncertain thing. It might be better to wait till the South American republic has got through with its twenty-fifth revolution before reading much about it. When it is over, some one whose business it is, will be sure to give you in a digested form all that it concerns you to know, and save you trouble, confusion, and time. If you will follow this plan, you will be surprised to find how new and fresh your interest in what you read will become.”
—Anna C. Brackett (18361911)