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A Republic or a Democracy: What’s the Difference?

What’s the Difference between a Republic and a Democracy?

  • Republics and democracies both provide a political system in which citizens are represented by elected officials who are sworn to protect their interests.
  • In a pure democracy, laws are made directly by the voting majority leaving the rights of the minority largely unprotected.
  • In a republic, laws are made by representatives chosen the people and must comply with a constitution that specifically protects the rights of the minority from the will of the majority.
  • The United States, while basically a republic, is best described as a “representative democracy.”
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