Rather than governing directly, citizens in a republic entrust their authority to elected officials who represent their best interests and those of the people as a whole.
The Latin phrase res public, which means public things, public matters, or public affairs, is the origin of the word republic. Rather than being a luxury reserved for a select few, the government in republics is seen as the responsibility and right of the whole populace.
Republicans are a political party in the United States and other nations where the term Republican is used officially. A republican government is elected by the people, whereas members of the Republican Party control a Republican government.
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There are three types of democracies: republic, representative, and direct.
Reputed democracies are also called republics. Direct democracies are those in which the state is run by the people rather than by elected officials.
A real direct democracy in which every individual voted on every government decision would be unfeasible, if not unworkable, in practice.
In addition, since most individuals lack the time to thoroughly research every option, most ballots would probably include a large proportion of poorly informed voters.
Every contemporary democratic state is a republic as a result of these issues. A dictatorship, monarchy, or authoritarian/totalitarian state in which decisions are decided by a small group of people—or even a single person—is considered the antithesis of both direct democracy and republics.
Most of the time, a republic consists of a single country. However, in certain circumstances, a republic is a union of smaller, sub-sovereign entities, sometimes referred to as a federation.
These states tend to lean Republican as well. According to Article III of the United States Constitution, every 50 states have a republican form of government.
One of the federations during this time was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or the USSR, better known as the Soviet Union. Each of the country’s fifteen countries was a self-governing republic.
The origins of the United States
A republic refers to any state that was not a dictatorship before the 1600s. Although a republic may include democratic regimes, it can also include aristocracies, oligarchies, and monarchy.
In his Six Books of the Commonwealth, French philosopher Jean Bodin defined the republic in 1576. The sovereign authority governs the well-ordered affairs between several families and the matters that interest them all.
With increasing opposition to absolutist governments and many revolutions in the 17th century, the meaning and definition of a republic started shifting.
The American and French revolutions are two examples. As a result of these events, the word republic was coined to describe regimes in which the head of state is elected rather than inherited, as in a monarchy.
Are there any countries around the world that are republics?
The term republic appears in the official titles of 159 sovereign entities across the globe. For example, the nation we often refer to as South Korea is officially known as the Republic of Korea. Making a list of the nation’s republics is difficult.
This is partly owing to the generously wide current definition of a republic and partly because the word is sometimes used in the names of nations that have potentially twisted its meaning.
Another well-known case is the DPRK, renowned for its military dictatorship and totalitarian rule rather than its formal name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
However, several of the world’s most notable actual republics, such as the US, Japan, and the United Kingdom, do not use the term republic in their titles.
Even without considering official designations, the line between what constitutes and what does not constitute a republic might be blurred at times. For example, Russia technically qualifies as a republic since its government is mostly made up of elected representatives.
There is a lot of proof that the present administration has a strong hand in the voting process, if not outright rigging the results. As a result, the integrity of the country’s elections is questioned, and the people’s representatives’ acts are questioned as to whether they represent the people.
It is unlawful for any political party other than the governing party to exist in countries like Cuba and China, which have instituted a one party system. Even if elections are conducted, only a small number of pre-selected candidates—often only one per position—can run.
Although the people elect the governing authorities, the people have no say in the process, undermining the republican ideals of representative government and usurping the people’s authority.
However, if not for a technicality, numerous more nations (mainly former British colonies) would be republics. Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom are examples of constitutional monarchies since they have a monarch in charge of the country.
Though there is a king and queen, the remainder of the government runs like a parliamentary republic, with the people picking the vast majority of their MPs in free and fair elections.
De jure and de facto are political words used to describe these situations. To put it another way, de jure describes the government as officially recognized by the law, but de facto describes how a government works.
When the de facto government is anything other than what the nation’s constitution declares, it’s not unusual for that country (or vice versa).
For this reason, it is crucial to note that a country’s constitutional status does not tell us anything about its amount of freedom or the quality of its elections, or government tyranny.
Presidential republics and parliamentary republics
Many nations around the globe have republic governments. However, the sort of republic they have varies. Presidential and parliamentary republics are the two most prevalent forms of republics. The structure and distribution of power are the main distinctions.
People elect a president under a president-elected system, where the executive arm of government functions.
There is a group of elected officials, which may or may not be referred to as a parliament, who elect a prime minister from among themselves to lead the executive branch in parliamentary republics.
These setups have many variants, including semi-presidential systems in which the president and prime minister share greater authority.
The United States of America is governed by the president’s office in a presidential republic. A federal constitutional democratic republic was established in the United States after its Revolutionary War, and subsequent independence from the British Empire was declared.
Every four years, the people of the United States above the age of 18 vote for a new President and other officials. Many countries, including the United States, are classified as hybrids, meaning they have a constitution that allows for republican and democratic forms of administration.
The United States has a republican form of governance founded on three fundamental principles:
- Power and authority are not held by a superior authority but by the people themselves (king)
- A written constitution protects people’s rights.
- The authority to represent the people is granted to elected officials by popular vote, who are tasked with acting in the best interests of the people they represent. Even more importantly, all citizens should be helped by the country’s elected officials.
A parliamentary republic like Germany’s is another example of a republic. Still, its many branches are constructed significantly differently from those in the United States because of this kind of organization. In Germany, the government is seen as a federated democratic constitutional republic.
Also See: Rebelling Countries 2022
Protecting people’s freedoms and civil rights is a top priority in Germany’s constitution. Elections in Germany must be universal, direct, free, equal, and secret (Article 38 of the German Basic Law).
Every four years, Germans go to the polls to elect members of the Bundestag, the country’s federal parliament.
Countries that are presidential republics include, but are not limited to: Angola, Argentina, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Iran, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Liberia, Malawi, Maldives, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Korea, South Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Semi-presidential republics include, but are not limited to, the following countries: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Congo (Republic of the), East Timor, Egypt, France, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Lithuania, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, So Tomé and Principe, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tunisia, and Ukraine.
Countries that fall under the category of parliamentary republics include but are not limited to Albania; Armenia; Austria; Bangladesh; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Botswana; Bulgaria; Croatia; Czech Republic; Dominica; Estonia; Ethiopia; Finland; Georgia; Germany; Greece; Guyana; India; Iraq; Israel; Italy; Kosovo; Latvia; Lebanon; Mauritius; Micronesia; Moldova; Montenegro; Nauru; Pakistan; Samoa; and the Marshall Islands.
Antigua and Barbuda, Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, Bahamas, Belgium, Belize, Cambodia; Canada; Cook Islands; Denmark; Grenada; Japan; Lesotho; Luxembourg; Malaysia; the Netherlands; New Zealand; Niue; Norway; Papua New Guinea; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Solomon Islands; Spain; Sweden; Thailand; Tuvalu; and the United Kingdom are constitutional monarchies that operate primarily as republics.
|Country||Official Name||Republic in Title||Gov't. Type|
|China||People's Republic of China||Yes||Republic - One-Party State|
|India||Republic of India||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|United States||United States of America||No||Republic - Presidential|
|Indonesia||Republic of Indonesia||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Pakistan||Islamic Republic of Pakistan||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Nigeria||Federal Republic of Nigeria||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Brazil||Federative Republic of Brazil||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Bangladesh||People's Republic of Bangladesh||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Russia||Russian Federation||No||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Mexico||United Mexican States||No||Republic - Presidential|
|Japan||Japan||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Ethiopia||Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Philippines||Republic of the Philippines||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Egypt||Arab Republic of Egypt||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|DR Congo||Democratic Republic of the Congo||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Vietnam||Socialist Republic of Vietnam||Yes||Republic - One-Party State|
|Iran||Islamic Republic of Iran||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Turkey||Republic of Turkey||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Germany||Federal Republic of Germany||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Thailand||Kingdom of Thailand||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|United Kingdom||United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Tanzania||United Republic of Tanzania||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|France||French Republic||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|South Africa||Republic of South Africa||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Italy||Italian Republic||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Myanmar||Republic of the Union of Myanmar||Yes||Provisional|
|Kenya||Republic of Kenya||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Colombia||Republic of Colombia||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|South Korea||Republic of Korea||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Spain||Kingdom of Spain||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Uganda||Republic of Uganda||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Sudan||Republic of the Sudan||Yes||Provisional|
|Argentina||Argentine Republic||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Algeria||People's Democratic Republic of Algeria||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Iraq||Republic of Iraq||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Afghanistan||Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (formerly Islamic Republic of Afghanistan)||No||Provisional|
|Poland||Republic of Poland||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Ukraine||Ukraine||No||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Canada||Canada||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Morocco||Kingdom of Morocco||No||Constitutional Monarchy|
|Saudi Arabia||Kingdom of Saudi Arabia||No||Absolute Monarchy|
|Angola||Republic of Angola||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Uzbekistan||Republic of Uzbekistan||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Peru||Republic of Peru||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Malaysia||Malaysia||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Yemen||Republic of Yemen||Yes||Provisional|
|Ghana||Republic of Ghana||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Mozambique||Republic of Mozambique||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Nepal||Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Madagascar||Republic of Madagascar||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Venezuela||Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Ivory Coast||Republic of the Côte d'Ivoire||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Cameroon||Republic of Cameroon||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Niger||Republic of the Niger||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Australia||Commonwealth of Australia||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|North Korea||Democratic People's Republic of Korea||Yes||Republic - One-Party State|
|Taiwan||Republic of China||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Burkina Faso||Burkina Faso||No||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Mali||Republic of Mali||Yes||Provisional|
|Syria||Syrian Arab Republic||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Sri Lanka||Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Malawi||Republic of Malawi||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Zambia||Republic of Zambia||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Romania||Romania||No||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Chile||Republic of Chile||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Kazakhstan||Republic of Kazakhstan||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Ecuador||Republic of Ecuador||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Guatemala||Republic of Guatemala||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Chad||Republic of Chad||Yes||Provisional|
|Somalia||Federal Republic of Somalia||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Netherlands||Netherlands||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Senegal||Republic of Senegal||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Cambodia||Kingdom of Cambodia||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Zimbabwe||Republic of Zimbabwe||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Guinea||Republic of Guinea||Yes||Provisional|
|Rwanda||Republic of Rwanda||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Benin||Republic of Benin||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Burundi||Republic of Burundi||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Tunisia||Republic of Tunisia||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Bolivia||Plurinational State of Bolivia||No||Republic - Presidential|
|Belgium||Kingdom of Belgium||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Haiti||Republic of Haiti||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Jordan||Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan||No||Constitutional Monarchy|
|Dominican Republic||Domincan Republic||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Cuba||Republic of Cuba||Yes||Republic - One-Party State|
|South Sudan||Republic of South Sudan||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Sweden||Kingdom of Sweden||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Czech Republic||Czech Republic||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Honduras||Republic of Honduras||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Greece||Hellenic Republic||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Azerbaijan||Republic of Azerbaijan||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Portugal||Portuguese Republic||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Papua New Guinea||Independent State of Papua New Guinea||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Hungary||Hungary||No||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Tajikistan||Republic of Tajikstan||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Belarus||Republic of Belarus||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|United Arab Emirates||United Arab Emirates||No||Constitutional Monarchy|
|Israel||State of Israel||No||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Austria||Republic of Austria||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Togo||Togolese Republic||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Switzerland||Swiss Confederation||No||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Sierra Leone||Republic of Sierra Leone||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Laos||Lao People's Democratic Republic||Yes||Republic - One-Party State|
|Serbia||Republic of Serbia||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Nicaragua||Republic of Nicaragua||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Libya||State of Libya||No||Provisional|
|Bulgaria||Republic of Bulgaria||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Paraguay||Republic of Paraguay||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Kyrgyzstan||Kyrgyz Republic||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Turkmenistan||Turkmenistan||No||Republic - Presidential|
|El Salvador||Republic of El Salvador||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Singapore||Republic of Singapore||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Republic of the Congo||Republic of the Congo||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Denmark||Denmark||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Slovakia||Slovak Republic||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Central African Republic||Central African Republic||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Finland||Republic of Finland||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Lebanon||Republic of Lebanon||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Norway||Kingdom of Norway||Yes||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Liberia||Republic of Liberia||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Palestine||State of Palestine||No||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|New Zealand||New Zealand||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Costa Rica||Republic of Costa Rica||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Ireland||Republic of Ireland||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Mauritania||Islamic Republic of Mauritania||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Oman||Sultanate of Oman||No||Absolute Monarchy|
|Panama||Republic of Panama||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Kuwait||State of Kuwait||No||Constitutional Monarchy|
|Croatia||Republic of Croatia||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Georgia||Georgia||No||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Eritrea||State of Eritrea||No||Republic - One-Party State|
|Uruguay||Oriental Republic of Uruguay||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Mongolia||Mongolia||No||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Moldova||Republic of Moldova||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||Bosnia and Herzegovina||No||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Albania||Republic of Albania||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Jamaica||Jamaica||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Armenia||Republic of Armenia||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Lithuania||Republic of Lithuania||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Gambia||Republic of the Gambia||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Qatar||State of Qatar||No||Constitutional Monarchy|
|Botswana||Republic of Botswana||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Namibia||Republic of Namibia||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Gabon||Gabonese Republic||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Lesotho||Kingdom of Lesotho||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Slovenia||Republic of Slovenia||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Guinea-Bissau||Republic of Guinea-Bisseau||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|North Macedonia||Republic of North Macedonia||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Latvia||Republic of Latvia||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Equatorial Guinea||Republic of Equatorial Guinea||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Republic of Trinidad and Tobago||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Bahrain||Kingdom of Bahrain||No||Constitutional Monarchy|
|Timor-Leste||Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Estonia||Republic of Estonia||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Mauritius||Republic of Mauritius||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Cyprus||Republic of Cyprus||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Eswatini||Kingdom of Eswatini||No||Absolute Monarchy|
|Djibouti||Republic of Djibouti||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Fiji||Republic of Fiji||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Comoros||Union of the Comoros||No||Republic - Presidential|
|Guyana||Co-operative Republic of Guyana||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Bhutan||Kingdom of Bhutan||No||Constitutional Monarchy|
|Solomon Islands||Solomon Islands||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Luxembourg||Grand Duchy of Luxembourg||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Montenegro||Montenegro||No||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Suriname||Republic of Suriname||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Malta||Republic of Malta||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Maldives||Republic of Maldives||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Bahamas||Commonwealth of the Bahamas||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Belize||Belize||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Iceland||Iceland||No||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Vanuatu||Republic of Vanuatu||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Barbados||Barbados||No||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Sao Tome and Principe||Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe||Yes||Republic - Semi-Presidential|
|Samoa||Independent State of Samoa||No||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Saint Lucia||Saint Lucia||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Kiribati||Republic of Kiribati||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Grenada||Grenada||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Micronesia||Federated States of Micronesia||No||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Seychelles||Republic of Seychelles||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Tonga||Kingdom of Tonga||No||Constitutional Monarchy|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Antigua and Barbuda||Antigua and Barbuda||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Andorra||Principality of Andorra||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Dominica||Republic of Dominica||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Marshall Islands||Republic of the Marshall Islands||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Liechtenstein||Principality of Liechtenstein||No||Constitutional Monarchy|
|Monaco||Principality of Monaco||No||Constitutional Monarchy|
|San Marino||Republic of San Marino||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Palau||Republic of Palau||Yes||Republic - Presidential|
|Nauru||Republic of Nauru||Yes||Republic - Parliamentary|
|Tuvalu||Tuvalu||No||Republic-type Constitutional Monarchy|
|Vatican City||Vatican City State||No||Absolute Monarchy|