SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

A Republic, If You Can Keep It

By Christian Peters


April 20, 2015
Monday PM

We hear it all the time, "We live in a republic, not a democracy." And like many sayings, they have a deeper meaning that is usually unknown. So what is the difference? According to the Black’s Law dictionary, a democracy is where the sovereignty is in the hands of the people, for the people, and by the people as a whole. But like Thomas Carlyle, the Founding Fathers didn’t believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance, so they established a Republic.

This idea can be found in Article IV of the U.S Constitution where it says in part, “the United States shall guarantee to every state a Republican form of government.” In fact, democracy is not mentioned anywhere in the United States Constitution, then what is a Republic?

According to the Black’s Law Dictionary, a Republic is where the powers of sovereignty are vested in the people and can be exercised by the people, either directly, or through representatives chosen by the people, to whom those powers are specially delegated. (See Minor v. Happersett on Republican Government)

If we were to study every State constitution; we would find that in all of them, the first thing established is sovereignty. Essentially the two forms of government are the same; the only difference is in sovereignty. In a democracy the sovereignty is in the entire group of People. In a republic the sovereignty is in each one of the People. It only takes one to keep the idea of self-government alive.

Christian Peters
Houston, Texas


Received April 20, 2015 - Published April 20, 2015



Viewpoints - Opinion Letters:

letter Webmail Your Opinion Letter to the Editor


Representations of fact and opinions in letters are solely those of the author.
The opinions of the author do not represent the opinions of Sitnews.

E-mail your letters & opinions to
Your full name, city and state are required for letter publication.

Published letters become the property of SitNews.

SitNews ©2014
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews may be protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper sources.

E-mail your news & photos to

Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.