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Is America a Republic or Democracy?

Updated on May 17, 2013
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Is America a Republic or Democracy?

This is big issue with most today. This is due to the current and passionate division in the political world. Some would say that we are a Republic. Others say that we are a Democracy. If you are in school you may even have a history book that tells you we are a Democracy. I would encourage you to look at who wrote that book. They may have a different opinion and want to change it from the truth. Which leaves us with a critical question, Is America a Republic or a Democracy?

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Weigh the Definitions

First lets weigh out the definition of Republic.

Republic
re·pub·lic/rɪˈpʌblɪk/ Show Spelled [ri-puhb-lik] noun
a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them

www.dictionary.com

Clearly America is a Republic but lets look at the definition of Democracy before we decide so quickly.

Democracy
de·moc·ra·cy/dɪˈmɒkrəsi/ Show Spelled [dih-mok-ruh-see] noun
1. government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system

www.dictionary.com

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State of the Union

Based on the two definitions you can see that it is both. It would be more like a democratic republic. It is curious that there are some would argue with me on this but the definitions speak for themselves. However, I would ask another question. What is the difference of the definitions? Democracy uses government in the definition and the definition of republic uses state. America uses government and state as the same. We have 50 different state governments and one federal government that is recognized as the State of the Union. So why are some history books saying that America is a democracy and not a democratic republic?

Some people support more of the idea of a stronger government while others want to limit it. This is where the democrat and republican parties originated and this is where the main issue will always divide them. However, I am concerned about our history being miscued.

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Political History

I recently had a friend that was in a college history class and in the book it called America a democracy. She looked for any other reference to a republic and could not find it. By only calling America a Democracy and refraining to teach that it is also a Republic, I question the integrity of the authors.

This is not the first time I have seen this. If you have a history book it may also say the same. I believe that a balanced definition of both we can prevent the allure of one ideology from the other. It is the concept of "yellow journalism" that has caused this dis-aray of information. If it was reversed I would be saying the same, and would still push to change it. There are several issues that are being scrutinized.

Here are some other articles about changing history by changing the books:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/17/AR2010031700560.html

http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/advocates_for_history_book_changes_slavery_not_over.shtml

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Balanced Journalism

The only problem is the lack of balanced journalism and accountability. This is an issue that has rippled into the political realm but also left the media looking for the truth. To undermine the people from the truth will only create bigger mistakes. It can only be a downward slope from here. This is why this is more than a definition problem in my opinion. Because If the defining of our nation's political terminology was discovered to be on purpose then I only hope that we can correct the error before it becomes more of a bigger issue of brainwashing our children. When that day comes I hope that we all stand up to put a stop it. No matter your beliefs freedom and liberty must be preserved. This is where the balance must hold in order to be just. If not then where it will lead is not in anyway better but worse.

Thank you for reading my article. I hope I inspired your critical thinking about our American History books.

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