What are the Differences between Democracy and Republic?

There are differences between Democracy and republic . Democracy is a form of government, while republic refers to a political system, which is based on the equality of all inhabitants of that state.

The major difference between a democracy and a republic is that in the case of a democracy, it is the majority of the population that makes the decisions and directs, whereas in the republic the majority is limited to what a constitution indicates.

Differences between Democracy and Republic

In this sense, the republic provides greater stability to a government, since the freedoms and rights are specifically established within the postulates of the constitution.

In the case of democracy, in turn, is that depending on who is in power, has the power to provide or remove rights, which can create uncertainty.

Definitions of democracy and republic


It is a government ruled by an omnipotent majority, which implies that an individual belonging to a minority, has no protection against the decisions that the majority and its power take.

The decisions of the majority are more relevant than the interests of a single person or group of people, however the majority can not impose their will on the majority.

Democracy consists of four basic elements:

  • A political system that changes and chooses its government through free elections.
  • A political system where citizens have an active participation, in politics and in civics.
  • A political system where the human rights of all citizens are protected.
  • A political system where laws and procedures apply equally to all people.

The principle of democracy is that all citizens have the same rights when making decisions and state sovereignty is governed by the entire population, such as the majority group. The population is the one that exercises the sovereignty and the power is transferred from the people towards its leaders, who support it of temporary form.

There are several types of democracy: parliamentary democracy, representative democracy, direct democracy and presidential democracy.

This is the most widely used political system in modern countries, more than half the world incorporated it into their states. Freedom of religion is guaranteed in democracy, as is freedom of property and the possibility of free elections. Famous examples of this system are Classical Greece and also Rome.

In democratic governments, the system of elections is free and all citizens can vote to elect their representatives. In addition, the vote is free and secret, to avoid violence or intimidation by any political party.


The republic is similar to what is a representative democracy. The difference is that it has a written and drafted constitution of basic rights that protect the minority so that it is not completely without representation in relation to the majority.

There are two types of republic: the democratic republic and the constitutional republic.

In the republic, the majority can not make decisions that alter the fundamental rights and estates that are established in the constitution.

All people can exercise their decision, as long as it does not affect the rights previously established in the constitution.

Individuals may freely make decisions, such as in matters relating to religion, sexual orientation, private property and form or lifestyle, especially if there is a clause in the constitution that specifically prohibits interference with the freedom of choice of each person. Individuals and their property rights.

All citizens have the right to freely express themselves and be treated equally by the government, since there is a specific prohibition of discrimination on the part of the government towards any person in the constitution.

The way to choose the rulers in a republic is through free elections and also using the constitution.

This can be done through indirect elections, where a polling station chosen by the states that make up the government, are those who choose the president. In this way everyone, even the smallest groups, is represented as the constitution indicates.

If there is a parliamentary system, the president is usually chosen by the parliament, being also an indirect election that subordinates the president to the decisions of the parliament, which has the greater power of decisions and government, as in the case of Ireland.

At present, a representative example of the republic as a form of government is the United States of America.

Different systems of government

While republic and democracy are two terms used to join the political systems that supported ancient Greece and Rome, none of the systems assigned legislative powers to elected representatives as rulers.

Democracy was a political community where a group of citizens exercised political power. On the other hand, the republic is related to public affairs, which were common to all people.

It is important to consider that democracy and the republic are not similar forms of government.

Democracy tends to be thought of as the most popular form of government, where genuine free elections are held involving the whole population periodically. But democracy also has a specific meaning, which must be understood to understand the differences with the system of the republic.

Both democracy and the republic use a system of representatives within their governments. This means, for example, that a group of citizens vote to choose politicians who represent their interests and their form of government. This is in the case of democracy. Most can impose their decisions over other minority groups.

In the Republic for its part, it is the constitution or letter of rights the document that protects certain inalienable rights that can not be removed by the government, regardless of whether it has been chosen by the majority of the voters. These rights also seek to protect minorities that are not represented by majority groups.

Today, most modern nations are democratic republics, that is, governments freely chosen by the majority, but with a constitution of rights and duties previously established.


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