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Civilopedia Entry Edit
Cleisthenes’ Athens, Rome, Poland-Lithuania, various times in France, the United States, Texas (when it had pretentions to being a nation), Ireland and Vietnam; history is full of republics: democratic, federated, confederated, socialist, unitary, “people’s” and other sorts. In a republic, power rests with selected individuals who represent the citizenry and rule in accordance with the law as embodied in a constitution. Although one of the earlier forms of government, in the 1800s quite a few nations became republics as absolute monarchy waned (or more often was overthrown with extreme prejudice). In 2015, some 147 of the world’s 206 nations were “republics.”
Thomas Paine and Thomas Jefferson, two of those uppity British colonists, argued that a republic with a strong constitution was the “best” form of government because it has several advantages: it best represented the “will” of the people and thus had their support and service; the freedoms enjoyed under it guaranteed that citizens could reach their “full” potential; stability in its affairs insured domestic and foreign relations were beneficial and fair; that same stability and freedom allowed for steady economic growth and the highest common welfare. Of course, most of these benefits depend to a great deal on how the representatives are “selected” and the bureaucracy that grows to support them. Thus the differences between 5th Century BC Athens and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.