, form ofgovernmentin which astateis ruled by representatives of thecitizenbody. Modern republics are founded on the idea thatsovereigntyrests with the people, though who is included and excluded from the category of the people has varied across history. Because citizens do not govern the state themselves but through representatives, republics may be distinguished fromdirect democracy, though modern representativedemocraciesare by and large republics. The termmay also be applied to any form of government in which thehead of stateis not a hereditarymonarch.

Prior to the 17th century, the term was used to designate any state, with the exception of tyrannical regimes. Derived from the Latin expressionres publica(the public thing), the category of republic couldencompassnot only democratic states but alsooligarchiesaristocracies, andmonarchies. InSix Books of the Commonwealth(1576), hiscanonicalstudy ofsovereignty, the French political philosopherJean Bodinthus offers a far-reaching definition of the republic: the rightly ordered government of a number of families, and of those things which are their common concern, by asovereignpower.Tyrannieswere, however, excluded from this definition, since their object is not thecommon goodbut the private benefit of one individual.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the meaning ofrepublicshifted with the growing resistance toabsolutistregimes and their upheaval in a series of revolutions, from theEighty Years War (15681648) to theAmerican Revolution(177583) and theFrench Revolution(178789). Shaped by those events, the termrepubliccame to designate a form of government in which the leader is periodically appointed under aconstitution, in contrast to hereditary monarchies.

Despite its democraticimplications, the term was claimed in the 20th century by states whose leadership enjoyed more power than most traditional monarchs, including military dictatorships such as the Republic ofChileunderAugusto Pinochetand totalitarian regimes such as theDemocratic Peoples Republic of Korea.

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the most appropriate name for a large-scale representative system such as that of the early United States? At the end of the 18th century, the history of the terms whose literal meaning is rule by the people

typical 13th-century city-state was a republic administering a territory of dependent towns; whether it was a democracy is a question of definition. The idea of popular sovereignty existed in political thought and was reflected in the practice of calling a

or mass meeting, of the populace in times of

as well as ideological reasons, republics were the rule during the 19th century. As leaders sought greater centralization, they adopted new forms of republicanism. Some, particularly military leaders such as Bolvar and the generals who had served under him, followed the model of a Napoleonic state. Bolvars recommendation of a

, meaning publicthus, a republic was the thing that belonged to the Roman people, the

Political system, the set of formal legal institutions that constitute a government or a state. This is the definition adopted by many studies of the legal or constitutional arrangements of advanced political orders. More broadly defined, however, the term comprehends actual as well as

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