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Difference Between Republic and Democracy

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The main difference between a republic and a democracy is that a republic is a state that defends the common good before individual interests, while a democracy is a state that advocates equality of all; it is the law of the majority that counts. The republic and democracy are two different political systems, yet they are often equated with each other. The purpose of this article is to help you see more clearly the main points of difference between the two.

What is a Republic?


Republic comes from two Latin words, "res" meaning "thing" and "publica" meaning public. In other words, republic means "public thing". This government is based on the law, to protect the interest of the people.

The republic is the political system where the people put the power in the hands of a representative that they themselves would have chosen. This representative, also known as the "President of the Republic", is elected by a vote. He or she will therefore be the head of state for a certain period of time. This representative has the power to make decisions, but he or she must respect the rules of law.

For example, China is a republic, that's why it is called People's Republic of China.

What is a Democracy?


Democracy comes from the Greek "demos" meaning "people" and "kratos" meaning power. Democracy is therefore a political system based on the power of the people by the people and for the people. It is the rule of the majority that prevails or "mass system". The government is run by the citizens of the country. They have authority in the politics and decision making of the state.

In a democratic state, the law is the law of the people. In this case, it is the same for everyone, moreover, citizens have the same rights. All citizens can vote, but it is the majority that prevails.

Differences between Democracy and Republic


The republic is a government of Latin origin that applies the rules of law to protect the common interests of all citizens without exception. Democracy is a political system of Greek origin that is based on the law of the people so that equality among citizens is established.

How the system works

The republic is a system where the people vote to choose a head of state who represents them. This representative has executive powers according to the rules of law. However, he can not change the basic rights of citizens, that is, the right of the person can not be removed, even by the majority. This government is based on the protection of the common good of the whole population. In other words, the common good before any other interest. It is a system that protects even the rights of minority groups.

Democracy is a system where the people take power. Citizens have sufficient power to participate in the decisions that must be made in government. The law that applies in this society is the law of the people. Only the voice of the majority counts, the minority is not taken into account. Therefore, there is an equality of rights between all citizens. They are bound by the same laws and have the same rights.

Financing of the State

The system of financing the state coffers in a democracy and in a republic has differences.

In a democracy, the state is financed by taxes, fines, and illegitimate fees collected by the state. For the republic, only legitimate taxes and fees collected are used to finance that government.

Comparison Chart: Republic Vs. Democracy

RuleRule of law (law)Law of the people (majority)
FunctioningProtects the rights of minority groupsMajority rules
GovernmentSelects representatives to make decisions on their behalfMass system
InterestCommon good before individual interestMajority interest
FundingTaxes, legitimate feesIllegitimate royalty, fine, license fee


These two political systems have evolved over time. Thus, the republic and the democracy advocate the freedom of individuals, let the citizens participate in the establishment of the law and in the political commitment of the country.


What is the best political system to drive development?

Development depends on the discipline of the people and the governance of the state. Many countries are "democratic republic", thanks to the evolution. This, in order to establish laws for the proper functioning of freedom and respect within the state. But also so that the population can contribute to the decisions taken by the State, in order to preserve their right.

Does Democracy lead the population to follow only their own law?

No. Democracy allows the population to express itself and to bring new changes that contribute to the improvement of the country and the functioning of the State, not to incite it to be undisciplined.

Can a Republic be Democratic?

Yes, a country can adopt both a republican and a democratic system. But it is not an obligation.


Republic and democracy are two systems that many states in the world use to conduct the business and good governance of the country. Different from each other, these systems both emphasize the participation of citizens: in democratic countries, in making the country's decisions, and in republican countries, in choosing the representative who would speak on their behalf.

Some countries may opt for a mixed system, as in the case of France, which is both a democracy and a republic, or the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Many countries that are still governed by a monarchy are very democratic, such as Norway, which is a constitutional monarchy with parliamentary tendencies. Norway is now considered the most democratic country in the world, according to a study by the American organization Freedom House.

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About the Author: Tom Vincent

Tom Vincent graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics and social studies. He then started his higher education at the University of François Rabelais in Tours with a DUT Information Communication. To expand his knowledge, he also followed a professional degree in e-commerce and digital marketing at the Lumière University of Lyon. On this project, he is in charge of articles covering language, industry and social.
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