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What is the difference between a republic versus a democracy?

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Quick Answer

The differences between a democracy and a republic include the constraints placed on government and the sovereignty held by the people. In a democracy, the majority may impose its will on the minority, whereas in a republic the majority is unable to take away inalienable rights. Unlike a republic, a democracy is ruled by the majority and contains no protection for the minority against the power of the majority.

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Full Answer

A republic is a representative type of government, and its goal is to simultaneously control the majority while protecting the minority. For example, in the republic of the United States, the government is limited constitutionally, and power is divided between the three branches of government.

A democracy is a type of government that grants eligible citizens the right to equal participation. This right is provided directly through the creation and development of laws or through elected representatives. The interest of the majority is the most important aspect in a democracy.

A republic is a representative form of democracy. A republic has an elected head of state, such as a president, that serves for a specific period of time. In a republic, the interest of the majority rules through its elected representatives. However, a republic has a constitution that protects the minority from being entirely overruled or unrepresented.

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