Benjamin Franklin's response, "A republic, madam, if you can keep it"?

In my government class, we learned about the Constitutional Convention and how some woman asked Benjamin Franklin whether the Constitution established a republic or monarchy. He said to her: "A republic, madam, if you can keep it." I don't understand what he meant by this, can anyone explain it to me?... show more In my government class, we learned about the Constitutional Convention and how some woman asked Benjamin Franklin whether the Constitution established a republic or monarchy. He said to her: "A republic, madam, if you can keep it." I don't understand what he meant by this, can anyone explain it to me? Thank you! :)
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