America: Is it a Democracy, Republic, or a Democratic-Republic

Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2013 09:48 pm
please explain your reasoning
cicerone imposter
Reply Tue 12 Feb, 2013 10:00 pm
It's a democratic republic.

From JerH1 from Yahoo Answers.

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker

A democracy is one where the government is directly chosen by the people (i.e., through elections); a Republic is one where government authority is derived through the will of the people. Thus, a Democratic Republic would be one where ultimate authority and power is derived from the citizens.

Some examples:

United States: The Constitution directly states that the citizens ("We the people") are the foundation of government, and that the government is chosen though democratic elections. Thus, it is a democratic republic.

United Kingdom: is a democracy but not a republic; the government is chosen democratically, but ultimate authority comes from the monarch, not the people.

China: is a republic but not a democracy. Government authority is stated to be based on the will of the people, but there are no democratic elections.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 13 Feb, 2013 02:35 am
The constitution does not guarantee democracy in the United States. It does guarantee a republican form of government in the states. Article Four, Section Four, reads, in its entirety:

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

Increasingly, in contemporary definitions, a republic is identified with democracy, and is defined as a government comprised of elected representatives. However, until recently, republic was defined by its original meaning, which is a government of laws as opposed to a government of persons. This can still be seen in contemporary definitions which often stress that such a government is distinct from a monarchy. In the eighteenth century, when the constitution was written, republic was still seen in the sense of a government of laws as opposed to a government of persons. The emphasis of Article Four, Section Four, then, was that there should be no monarchy or oligarchy. The constitution does not concern itself (in the beginning) with voter rights or the extent of the franchise. The constitution does not, in the beginning, define who may vote, nor does it prohibit property qualification tests for the franchise. The constitution only begins to take notice of voting rights with the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870. Since the, of course, the franchise has been constitutionally extended to women and persons above the age of eighteen, and a poll tax has been prohibited.

When people bandy about the word democracy, there is an assumption that everyone knows what it means, but there usually not a close examination of what it means in fact, as opposed to in theory. Athens is haled as the first democracy, and yet only about ten percent of the male population were entitled to vote, and no women were entitled to vote. Furthermore, their voting rights only extended to the approval or disapproval of propositions put to them for a vote. They did not elect a government bound by any laws. Even if on such a slim basis, Athens 2500 years ago could be alleged to have been a democracy, it certainly was not a republic.

Tell us what you think democracy is before you ask such a question.
0 Replies
Reply Wed 13 Feb, 2013 08:29 am

America is a constitutional republic based on the rule of law.

You will not find the word 'democracy' in the constitution or the bill of rights.
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