True Republicanism; Or, the Real and Ideal in Politics

True Republicanism; Or, the Real and Ideal in Politics

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True Republicanism; Or, the Real and Ideal in Politics

True Republicanism; Or, the Real and Ideal in Politics

Read FREE!

Excerpt

There is a common misconception that republicanism and democracy are convertible terms. The difference can best be explained, perhaps, by examples. A late writer on politics spoke of Venice and Rome as democracies; but Venice was never a democracy, at least within historical times; and Rome only became a democracy during the ten years while Cæsar was in Gaul. Likewise, Holland was a republic in the time of Cromwell, but it did not become a democracy until it was revolutionized by Pichegru. Great Britain is now more democratic in some respects than the United States of America; that is, public opinion acts upon the government there more quickly and forcibly than it does here. Republicanism is a form, and democracy would seem to be more like a political condition. All that one can say of a government is that it is more or less democratic. Even in Germany there is universal suffrage, and the people control the financial budget. Republicanism means that the chief magistrate of a nation is an elective and not a hereditary ruler.

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