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There are many forms of political systems which are prevalent in

different countries of the world for a long time like monarchy, oligarchy,
anarchy, democracy and republic. Of these forms of government, democracy
and a republic are quite often juxtaposed, but there is a fine line amidst the
two. Democracy refers to the system of masses, i.e. a political system
dominated by citizens of the country. Under this system, the general public
possess a certain degree of power and authority and takes part in the
decision making process of the state.
Republic refers to the state wherein the ultimate power lies in
the hands of the people and their elected representatives.
Definition of Democracy
The word democracy is a combination of two Greek words
demos means people and kratein means, to rule. In short, it means the
rule of people. It is the government which is ruled by the citizens of the
country, also known as the system of masses. Majority rule is the essence of
this system.
In the democracy, there is active participation of the general public in
the political and decision-making process of the state. Free and fair elections
are held to choose and replace the government. People get equal rights in a
democracy, and the law applies to all the citizens of the country in an
equal manner.
Definition of Republic
The term republic is a Latin origin, made of two words res means a
thing and publica means public, that refers to the public thing i.e. law. It
is considered as the standard form of government, which is ruled by the
citizens representative chosen by them through voting. The government
leaders can exercise their powers as per the rule of law.
The Republic is the representative democracy where there is an
elected chief of the state, who serves the state for a certain period, known as
the President. In this political system, the government cannot take away the
inalienable rights of the individual. In other words, the right of an individual
cannot be overridden by the masses.
Key Differences between Democracy and Republic
The major differences between democracy and republic are provided in the
points given below:
Democracy is defined as a political system which is made by/of/for the
people. The republic is the representative democracy with the chief of the
state known as president.
In a democracy, the rule of majority people prevails whereas in the case of
the republic the rule of law prevails.
The term democracy is derived from two Greek words demos and
creating that means the rule of the people. On the other hand, the term
republic comes from a two Latin words, i.e. res and publica that refers to a
public thing, which is the law.
In a democracy, minority rights are overridden by the majority.
Conversely, Republic system protects the rights of minority groups
or an individual.
In a democracy, the power rests with the population, however in the
case of the Republic the power is in the hand of law which are created to
safeguard the interest of the people.
The Democratic system gets finance through illegitimate taxes, fees,
fines and licenses. Unlike Republic, where legitimate taxes and fees.
Democracy amounts to mobocracy which is not in the case or the republic.

Democracy vs Republic

Definition Rule by the omnipotent majority. In a A republic is similar to a


democracy, an individual, and any group of representative democracy except
individuals composing any minority, have no it has a written constitution of
protection against the unlimited power of the basic rights that protect the
majority. It is a case of Majority-over-Man. minority from being completely
unrepresented or overridden by
the majority.

Constraints on No; the majority can impose its will on the Yes; the majority cannot take
the minority. away certain inalienable rights.
government

Philosophy All eligible citizens get equal say in decisions. All eligible citizens get equal say
in decisions with protection of
unalienable rights to individuals.

Famous Classical Greece, Rome Rome, France, United States Of


Examples America

Sovereignty is the whole population (as a group) the people (individuals)


held by

Common People commonly confuse The US is actually a Republic. It is


confusion in direct democracy with representative governed by rule of law. The
the USA democracy. The US officially has a elected are bound by oath to the
representative style, though many have written governing limits (ie
suggested the US is closer to an oligarchy or constitution) yet vote "together"
plutocracy. and create laws to address
concerns of the represented in a
democratic way

Free Choice Individuals may make decisions for themselves Individuals may make decisions
except insofar as a majority faction has limited for themselves, especially insofar
individuals. as there is a constitutional
prohibition on interfering with
freedom of choice.

Political Democratic. [Note: this is not meant as a Republican. [Note: this is not
System reference to a Democratic Party.] meant as a reference to a
Democracy vs Republic

Republican Party.]

Social Class distinctions can become pronounced due Class distinctions can become
Structure to capitalist society. Varies from state to state. pronounced due to capitalist
society. Varies from state to state.

Religion Generally, freedom of religion is permitted, Generally, freedom of religion is


although a majority faction may limit religious permitted, especially insofar as
freedom for a minority faction. there is a constitutional
prohibition on interfering with
freedom of religion.

Economic Elected by the voters or their elected Elected by the voters or their
System representatives. Usually capitalist or elected representatives.
Keynesian. Usually capitalist or Keynesian.

Private Generally, private property is permitted, Generally, private property is


Property although a majority faction may place limits on permitted, especially insofar as
property rights. there is a constitutional
prohibition on interfering with
property rights.

Discrimination In theory, all citizens have an equal say and so In theory, all citizens have an
are treated equally. However, often allows for equal say and so are treated
the tyranny of the majority over the minority. equally by the government,
especially insofar as there is a
constitutional prohibition on
government discrimination.

Variations Direct democracy, parliamentary democracy, Democratic republics,


representative democracy, presidential Constitutional republics.
democracy.

Modern More than half of the world, including the US, The United States of America is a
Examples Canada, Western Europe, Australia, New republic.
Zealand, Japan, etc.

Key Elements Free elections. Free elections, constitution.

Way of Voting. Voting.


Change

Observation People commonly confuse direct democracy The U.S.A.'s Constitution clearly
in practice with representative democracy. The US has a shows the U.S. as a Republic,
representative style. But the will of the people Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S.
shouldnt easily decide to change the rules that Constitution
limit power to the government.