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That form of government in which the administration of affairs is open to all the citizens. A political unit or "state," independent of its form of government.

The word republic, derived from the Latin res publica, or "public thing," refers to a form of government where the citizens conduct their affairs for their own benefit rather than for the benefit of a ruler. Historically republics have not always been democratic in character, however. For example, the ancient Republic of Venice was ruled by an aristocratic elite.

In the U.S. historical tradition, the belief in republicanism shaped the U.S. Revolution and Constitution. Before the revolution, leaders developed many political theories to justify independence from Great Britain. Thomas Paine, in his book Common Sense (1776), called for a representative government for the colonies and for a written constitution. Paine rejected the legitimacy of the monarchy to have a part in government. This attack on the king was echoed the following year in the Declaration of Independence, where Thomas Jefferson proposed that colonists reject the monarchy and become republican citizens. Framers of the U.S. Constitution intended to create a republican government. Article IV, Section 4, states "The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…." Though the language was vague, the authors of the Constitution clearly intended to prevent the rise to power of either a monarchy or a hereditary aristocracy. Article I, Section 9, states, "No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States," and most state constitutions have similar provisions.

The guarantee of republican government was designed to provide a national remedy for domestic insurrection threatening the state governments and to prevent the rise of a monarchy, about which there was some talk at the time.James Madison, the author of many of the essays included in The Federalist Papers (1787–88), put forward a sophisticated concept of republican government. He explained in Number 10 that a republic must be contrasted with a democracy. In the eighteenth century the term "democracy" meant what is now called a pure or direct democracy, wherein legislation is made by a primary assembly of citizens, as existed in several rural Swiss cantons and in New England towns. In a pure democracy, Madison argued, there is no check on the majority to protect the weaker party or individuals and therefore such democracies "have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention," where rights of personal security and property are always in jeopardy.

By a republic, Madison meant a system in which representatives are chosen by the citizens to exercise the powers of government. In Number 39 of The Federalist Papers, he returned to this theme, saying that a republic "is a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people; and is administered by persons holding their offices during pleasure, for a limited period, or during good behavior." Generally, such leaders as Madison and John Adams believed that republicanism rests on the foundation of a balanced constitution, involving a Separation of Powers and checks and balances.

The republican form of government has remained a constant in U.S. politics. State constitutions follow the federal constitution in dividing powers among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. Likewise, states have adopted the various checks and balances that exist between the three branches, including the executive Veto power and Judicial Review.

The U.S. Supreme Court has stayed out of controversies that involve whether the government of a state is republican in character. For example, in Pacific States Telephone and Telegraph Co. v. Oregon, 223 U.S. 118, 32 S. Ct. 224, 56 L. Ed. 377 (1912), the Court declined to rule whether state legislation by initiative and Referendum (legislation approved directly by the people through the ballot) was inconsistent with republicanism. The Court refused to rule because it considered this issue a Political Question outside its jurisdiction. It is now well established that it is the province of Congress and the president, not the courts, to decide whether the government of a state is republican in character.


Constitution of the United States; Federalist Papers; Locke, John.

See: polity

REPUBLIC. A commonwealth; that form of government in which the administration of affairs is open to all the citizens. In another sense, it signifies the state, independently of its form of government. 1 Toull. n. 28, and n. 202, note. In this sense, it is used by Ben Johnson. Those that, by their deeds make it known, whose dignity they do sustain; And life, state, glory, all they gain, Count the Republic's, not their own, Vide Body Politic; Nation; State.

References in periodicals archive ?
Each Google project manager who has led a project with the Republica team has reported stellar delivery and professionalism.
Sabemos que nao e de fato nenhuma novidade assinalar os vinculos entre a construcao de um pensamento autoritario no Brasil e as criticas ao liberalismo, encarnado e identificado na politica e nos politicos "profissionais" da Republica "velha e oligarquica".
As Andy dropped the current Republica anthem to finish the night, Afrika Bambaataa & Westbam's guitar-fused Agharta - City of Shamballa, you could sense a feeling of unity in Bakers that is so seldom found in many of today's clubs.
But Republica agreed that it was necessary for them to do their own video.
On Spanish immigration to Cuba in the early twentieth century, see: Juan Perez de la Riva, "Los recursos humanos de Cuba al comenzar el siglo: inmigracion, economia y nacionalidad (1899-1906)," in La republica neocolonial, vol.
My spies tell me Republica are about to hire a new drummer and will continue recording their second album due out later this year.
Plasencia, Republica co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer.
Also in June, Aero Republica increased frequencies into Panama City from Bogota and Medellin.
Copa Holdings SA (NYSE:CPA) reported on Monday that its Copa Airlines and Aero Republica subsidiaries posted a combined load factor of 76.
Banco de la Republica Oriental de Uruguay said net profits last year jumped 355% from a year earlier.
La Republica said the aide, identified simply as a former government official, made the allegation in testimony to special prosecutor Jos Ugaz and Attorney General Nelly Calderon.
In 1655 an anonymous "society" of printers in Embrun republished the New Discourse in yet another pirated edition, as part of a volume entitled De imperii Germanici republica acroamata sex historico-politica (Six Historico-Political Lectures on the Commonwealth of the German Empire).