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A DEFINING ESSAY DEMOCRACY OR REPUBLIC Many Americans have grown accustomed to hearing that the United States is a democracy when in fact its a republic Often Americans today seem to be unable to define the important difference between these two meanings By understanding the foundation and true nature of our republic system of government ones appreciation for the freedom to vote can be greatly enhanced A pure democracy by definition operates by direct majority vote of the people When an issue is to be decided the entire population votes on it the majority wins and rules Theoretically this democratic process requires the full participation of all eligible citizens The full participation of the people has never worked successfully because often individuals become so occupied with their daily tasks that they will not properly study the issues nor will they take the time to participate in extensive hearings before the vote is taken The Greeks are historical proof of a nation who tried to use democratic mass-participation in the government of their city-states and each time it ended in tyranny However a republic differs in that the general population elects men and women as representatives from each state Elected representatives from each state form the congress or more specifically the House of Representatives and the Senate These two groups form the legislative branch of government and vote on behalf of the people to pass laws and govern the nation Appropriately two other branches of government the Judicial and the Executive are in place to create a system of checks and balances The system of checks and balances was adopted to prevent the abuse of power One of the best ways to show the difference between a democracy and a republic government is to analyze the process of a presidential election Every presidential election each state calls certain representatives to form an Electoral College The Electoral College assures that every state regardless
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