Democracy VS Republic - What is the difference?

With time, America has slowly drifted into new areas that take away more rights of individuals. One of these cases is America's drift into a "democracy" rather than a "republic".

by Quinton on September 29th, 2009

Although in this day and age the two may be used interchangeably, they both have unique attributes which distinguish them and clearly show the intention that the framers of the Constitution had in mind.

While both forms of government elect people, only one of them is directly ruled by them. In a democracy the people rule. The word comes from demos (common people) and kratos/cracy (rule), common people rule. In a republic there is limited rule by Constitution. Republic comes from res (affair, matter, thing) publica (public), the public thing. Just by the etymology of the words you can see that one of these has to do with rule while the other has to do with the public. This is exactly right. A democracy has to do with unlimited government while a republic has to do with limited government. A democracy is concerned with majority ruling while a republic is limited rule by constitutional law.

So what does this mean? It means that in a democracy 51% of people can tell the other 49% of people what to do. It means that the majority has greater say over the minority. That's one way to handle things, and the way we handle things today in America, however, this is another method that was developed by America's founding fathers.

In a Republic power is limited by a Constitution. This Constitution consists of God given rights which can not be taken away and which everyone is entitled to.

 Filed under: Countries / Civilizations, United States of America


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