Difference Between Democracy and Republic

To govern a country, a system is required that allows the smooth functioning of the state. Two of the most prominent systems are democracy and republic.


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In both of these systems, the participation of the citizens is empowered to represent the political system. These governing systems allow people to elect officials to represent their political interests and opinions. This way, the government functions according to the will of the commoners.

In a pure democracy, laws are made according to majority opinion suppressing the minority vote.

While in a republic, the laws are made by elected representatives that must follow the constitution. Here the rights of the minority are guarded by a constitution.

Key Takeaways

  1. Democracy and Republic are both forms of government in which the people hold power.
  2. In a democracy, decisions are made by the majority through direct or representative voting.
  3. In a republic, power is held by elected representatives who the people choose.

Democracy vs Republic

In a democracy, citizens vote through regular, accessible, and fair elections. The success of democracy depends on the active participation of citizens. A republic operates under a constitution, and the power is separated among different branches of government, like the executive, legislative and judicial. In a republic, the President is the head of state.

Democracy vs Republic

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Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDemocracyRepublic
DefinitionIt is stated to be the rule of the majority. In this system, minorities have no protection against the power held by the majority.A republic is, in a way, comparable to a representative democracy. Here a set of rules called the constitution ensures equal power distribution among the minorities and the majority.
Ruled byThe majority of the population.The elected representatives make the laws.
Political SystemDemocraticRepublican
Economic SystemDemocracy is a free-market economy that allows policies that govern economies to be chosen by the voters or the representatives.Republics are almost free-market economies that allow policies governing economies to be chosen by the voters or the representatives.
DiscriminationAll the citizens are treated equally as they have an equal say. But somehow, the majority seems to suppress the minority.The government treats all citizens equally as they have an equal say.
Sovereignty is held byThe population as a whole.Individual citizens.
DisadvantageThe majority overpowers the minority.There are deadlocks and constant debates faced in the functioning.


What is Democracy?

Democracy originates from combining two Greek words, “demos” and “kratia.” Here, “demos” means “the people”, and “kratia” means the “power of authority.”

In a democracy, the ruling power of the government rests with the country’s people instead of the ruling family or an individual. 

A democracy allows the citizens to exercise control over how the government functions by majority votes.

The eligible population is allowed equal participation directly or through elected representatives.

This system allows people to choose their government, create laws, and operate according to the majority opinion.

The concept of democracy originated back in 500 BCE in Athens, Greece.

It was stated to be a true democracy or “mobocracy,” which stressed public participation in every decision-making. The majority had total control over the rights, rules, and freedoms.

There are three significant types of democracy known:

Direct Democracy

Direct democracy is also called a pure form of democracy. Here each qualified citizen can shape the governing structure with a vote.

This system allows each person to have a voice irrespective of class, race, or economic position.

Representative Democracy

Representative democracy is an indirect form of democracy. In this system, the citizens are made to elect their representatives who vote on their behalf.

The grouping can be based on the neighbourhood, the city, the province, or the country.

Constitutional Democracy

Constitutional democracy differs from the rest two in that it limits the power of the majority.

Here the government systems help regulate the power distribution by making a set of governing rules or constitutions.

Democracy 1

What is Republic?

The term “republic” originates from the Greek word “politeia,” which means the “rights of the citizens.”

This governing system ensures that the governing power rests with the individual citizens of the nation. There is a fair distribution of power between the majority and the minorities.

To implement this, the republics allow the citizens to elect officials who can represent them in the government.

These elected officials voice the vote and opinion of their group. It is a symbolic form of government, similar to a representational democracy.

A democratic republic and a constitutional republic are two variations of a republic.

The Roman Republic, which existed between 500 BCE and 27 BCE, is one of the most famous republics of ancient times.

During that period, Rome switched from a monarchy to a constitutional government.

This is where they adopted a republican government where the legislative assemblies elected consuls to power.

A republican government thus ensures that law-making and decision-making are done indirectly via representatives.

The power is so distributed that the majority cannot overpower the minorities in terms of rules and rights.

The elected head of the state can be a monarch like that of Canada and the United Kingdom or an elected president like that of Germany or France. 


Main Differences Between Democracy and Republic

  1. Democracy establishes a rule of the majority, whereas a republic assures the Individual rights of the people of the state,
  2. In a democracy, the majority overpowers and suppresses the minority. However, In a Republic, the rights of the minority are protected by a set constitution.
  3. The participation of the citizens in a democracy is ensured by individual participation or through elected officials. While in a republic, the elected representatives only participate in the decision-making by voicing their groups.
  4. In a democracy, minorities are prone to face abuse by majorities. While in a republic, there are constant debates and deadlocks in the operations.
Difference Between Democracy and Republic
  1. https://hdsr.mitpress.mit.edu/pub/1g1cbvkv/release/2?readingCollection=03f9b00c
  2. https://media.gradebuddy.com/documents/3138616/68db8154-97ff-4540-8dd0-81400c449caf.pdf
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