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Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentGovernment · 1 decade ago

Democracy versus Republic?

I am confused here. Republic means "government by elected representatives". Democracy means "government in which the power is vested in all the people". Don't we have both? We vote for people to have the power to rule over the people.

Call me stupid, that's fine. I am getting into politics more this year and I am getting confused with what my friends and parents are telling me. I understand our election process and such. But the words 'democracy' and 'republic' confuse me. Then reading the definitions of these 2 words and learning about the differences btn Democrats and Republicans and Liberals confuses me more. Can anyone suggest some reading material or websites (unbias) for me to look at to come to a full understanding on this all? I'd greatly appreciate it!

Right now the Republicans have control of the house & we are trying to set up a democracy for Iraq. How can Republicans have a democracy? and push a democracy onto a foreign country? Do we have the right to do that?

19 Answers

  • Favorite Answer

    We live in a republic (a group of states that are self governing under the umbrella of a centralized or federal government). The type of system we employ is a representative form of democracy (meaning the people vote for people to represent their views instead of directly participating in every bit of legislation). This was done to weigh the needs of the people (the house of representatives) in balance with the needs of the states (the senate).

    Republic and democracy are descriptions of two different things (one is a form of goverment, the other is the system of goverment). So, for example you have the former Soviet Union, which was a republic, but not a democracy. You also have India, which is a democracy but not a republic. The US is both. N. Korea is neither.

    The president is elected through the electoral college system instead of by direct vote so he can be a split between the senate and the house (the states and the population). The electoral college's purpose is one of the most misunderstood in political science.

    Republicans have little to do with republic, and the democrats have little to do with democracy. Both parties support a democratic republic.

    The main difference between the parties is how to go about their goals. Both parties want the same things, but disagree as to the means. In general, republicans want people and businesses to be free from government restraints, and democrats believe that government is often the best solution for our nations problems.

    For example, race relations. Republicans ended slavery, passed the voting rights act, and passed affirmative action. They thus limited the government's ability to impede someone based on skin color. Democrats have pushed for quota systems under affirmative action, dictating to schools and business who should receive admission. They thus used the government as a solution based tool.

    The same with economics. Republicans favor lower taxes as a way to limit the government and allow individuals and businesses to better the economy (capitalism). Democrats prefer to increase taxes, because they believe the goverment is better positioned to better the economic prospects of everyone with the revenues (soft socialism).

    Last, in the legal sphere republicans believe courts should rule on laws created by the representative branch of government (the house and senate). Democrats believe that the courts exist to serve society and redress wrongs, even if this may sometimes conflict with current laws.

    This is an overly simplistic answer to your question, but I hope it helps get you started. (By the way, the US goal in Iraq is to establish a parlimentarian democracy. The country will be made up of provinces instead of republics).

    Best of luck to you.

    • ...Show all comments
    • Ben6 years agoReport

      Beautiful... I re quoted [with credit to you] on another Yahoo news story comments section. The usual "We live in a Republic... not a Democracy" rhetoric. Your comments were so useful in making the rebuttal and otherwise I was so at a loss for the proper words. Thank you and keep on fighting !

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  • 3 years ago

    Republic Vs Democracy

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  • 5 years ago

    History is very misrepresented in regard to this the title democracy dose not mean rule by majority nor dose Republic mean representative government.The both mean to evoke the same concept that the citizens are the should be noted that Rome was in origin a greek colony and a democracy. Latinization of the language resulted it the use of the word republic which is simply latin for democracy. Contrary to popular history the greeks did have representative government,how representative democratic/republican government is has been a matter of evolution. The critical thing about U.S. government is that it is a Constitutional form of people government.The Constitution give unalterable rights,something not granted to its citizens before that no majority can take direct of majority of any representative body,nor even a court,this was new at the time.

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  • 3 years ago

    What Is A Republic

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  • 5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    Democracy versus Republic?

    I am confused here. Republic means "government by elected representatives". Democracy means "government in which the power is vested in all the people". Don't we have both? We vote for people to have the power to rule over the people.

    Call me stupid, that's fine. I am...

    Source(s): democracy republic:
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  • Amanda
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    No they generally don't. The Government education system teaches the kids that we are a democracy, when we actually a republic.

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  • the names of the partys don't mean anything. Democratsare liberals, meaning they want to tax and spend the money on programs that benfit the people, democrats also are strong evirnomental supporters, while republicans are conservitives, they want to tax less than democrats and reduce government benifts, repblicans belive in a strong military. we are a Democratic Republic, meaning we all vote for representivtives that make the laws for us. In a true democracy everyone has a direct say in the law making process. Now a days we tend to refer to the common government (democratic republics) as democracys, when they are not indeed true democracys. The names for the republican and democratic partys were created from an old party in the 19th century the Democratic-Repblicans, Andrew Jackson splintered off that and created the Democratic party and near the start of the american civil war the republican party (or grand old party) was created. You can read the wikipedia articles on demoracts and republicans for unbised information.

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  • 6 years ago

    Best Answer is good. very good but let me break it down further "orchidmg" Democracy only means 'majority rules' for instance a majority can vote to execute a minority (extreme case) We see that in California where they vote on propositions (direct democracy) and the Progressive Left voters "not leaders" generally support this. But in a republic (republicanism) form of government (Republican, Libertarian, Conservatives) prefer the 'minority has rights too

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  • 1 decade ago

    In a representative Republic the rights of the people...all the people including the minority are protected by a constitution. In the case of the U.S. the Bill of Rights and Constitution are suposed to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.

    A pure Democracy is mob rule. 51% of the people can deny the rights of 49% if they see fit. Read Cicero of ancient Rome or our founding fathers that considered a democracy one of the worst forms of government.

    This is the way the federal government explaned it in 1928

    This country started out a representative republic and has degraded into a democracy. This is exactly what happened to ancient Rome. Because of the inherent corruption in democracies because of the abuse of too much power, they always fall into a dictatorship, just as Rome, ancient Greece, Germany, the Soviet Union and every other democracy in history.

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  • 1 decade ago

    as a voter, you do not vote on every issue....

    have you cast you vote on the abortion issue? no, your elected official does.

    if you cast your vote for it, it is a democracy....mob rule or majority vote.... the populous has the power at all times

    if your elected official votes for you, he represents you and all other constituents... making it a Representative republic... a trust that your rep will vote in the manner you wish him/her to...or else they fail to regain your representation the next time YOU vote...

    people vs property .... liberal vs. Conservative ... dem vs. republican .. these are the issues behind the political make-up of these parties....

    its much like the federalists ... they knew the power needed to be with a strong federal system, but failed to recognize that personal freedoms needed to be protected as well as property rights.

    we have the right to allow people to be governed by a free will rather than dictatorship. When the allies met at Yalta, they perceived a new world where TRADE and the removal of colonial rule were paramount to new developing nations. We've done pretty well with removing colonial rule (exception Vietnam) and allowing nations to govern themselves that practice this form of government and free-trade policy. We are now trying to IMPOSE this ideal on the middle-east "fundamentalism" where religion has more of an impact than western secular views.

    The key to success is to allow those nations the ability to develope as THEY see fit, and not how we would create them. Their ideals must be REPRESENTED in their form of government, in their decision making and their LAWS.... as long as they allow participation from the people being governed and conform to international trade agreements.

    if this doen't answer all your questions, just try to think about why other nations we have forced a constitution on ( GERMANY & JAPAN) have multiple parties to choose from, and not just DEM or REP...

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  • 7 years ago

    We live in both a republic and/or democracy.

    Republicans tend to call the U.S. a republic as the democrats call it a democracy.

    Republican: Republic - Democrat: Democracy.

    So, I would call our country a democratic republic.

    • Democracy means "majority rule' nothing more! We do not we are a pure Libertarian Republic nothing to do with Democracy even our Presidential Elections are determined by electorial college not the direct vote

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