What Is a Federal Republic?

A federal republic is a type of government made up of smaller areas such as states or provinces where the central government cedes certain powers to the individual areas for self-government purposes. The citizens of the federal republic elect their own representatives to lead them. A true federal republic does not have a reigning monarch.

Division of power exists within a federal republic, but how the power is divided is sometimes different between nations. Almost exclusively, national defense is handled by the central government, but education and local infrastructure typically belong to the more localized governments. A president or council usually heads up the central government. The United States is an example of a federal republic. Other examples include Mexico, Switzerland, Germany, Argentina and Ethiopia.