Definitions of republic on the Web
* democracy: a political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them
* a form of government whose head of state is not a monarch; "The head of state in a republic is usually a president"
* A republic, in its basic sense, is a state in which sovereignty derives ultimately from the people (However defined), rather than from an hereditary principle.
The USA was certainly founded upon republicanism but has moved much away from that since the early 1900s...
Are there any republics, even in the basic sense, on earth today? I don't know of any.
Democracies are merely the absolute power of the king devolved upon the majority (or a pretended majority ruled by demagogues as is more often the case).
Is there a land in which individual sovereignty is intact? I do not know of any.
International Level: Junior Politician / Political Participation: 100 10%
The USA is a republic because the people do not have direct rule. The people we elect can and often do vote how ever they chose. The president is not chosen by the people, it is chosen by an electorial college. The college does not have to vote the way the people do, and often hasn't. If the majority of people can vote one way and still lose that vote, then a democracy doesn't exist. When we had an election in which the lose won the majority of votes from the citizens, we are in a republic in which someone represents us and votes in our stead. In a true democracy, the people directly rule and have absolute power and it will ultimately lead to anarchy and fierce infighting amongst different sects. A republic insures that if our reps do not vote how we feel, then we have the opportunity to vote them out of office. It is a way in which we don't have to be completely informed about every single issue, but still have the power to change the government with out violence. Theoretically, every single position could be changed during an election and have a completely new set of people running the government. That power is supposed to insure that the people who we vote in, make and enforce laws in a fashion that we as a country approve of.
"Republics are created by the virtue, public spirit, and intelligence of the citizens. They fall, when the wise are banished from the public councils, because they dare to be honest, and the profligate are rewarded, because they flatter the people, in order to betray them." -- Justice Joseph Story : (1779-1845) US Supreme Court Justice 1833
The correct answer is both. To put it simply, the United States is a democracy, since we, the people, hold the ultimate political power. We’re not a “direct democracy,” but we are a “representative democracy.” The United States is also a republic because our elected representatives exercise political power. There are a few different articles and sites that go into more detail, but I won't go into such here because what matters is that we are not simply one or the other.
On which term to use? Honestly, it is up to the individual. In practice, the word “republic” has the same meaning as the term “representative democracy.” And a representative democracy is a form of democracy. Still, admittedly an annoyance to have those who correct "The United States is not a Democracy, it is a Republic" because again we are very much both. It tells me a lot about the people who try making such a correction, as it is usually those on the right who are making justifications for actions that are not really to the benefit of the people but for politicians. It is a distraction tactic, of when there are a fair few.
Edited: Thomaslee on 9th Jul, 2022 - 1:45am
International Level: New Activist / Political Participation: 23 2.3%
Ireland is a republic and a representative democracy (Except in Northern Ireland which is part of the United Kingdom, a constitutional monarchy). Ireland's president has very limited powers and the government is chosen by parliament. The constitution also limits the powers of parliament.
International Level: Politics 101 / Political Participation: 2 0.2%