A republic (fromLatinres publica'public affair') is a "state in which power rests with the people or their representatives; specifically a state without a monarchy" and also a "government, or system of government, of such a state." Previously, especially in the 17th and 18th centuries, the term was used to imply a state with a democratic or representativeconstitution (constitutional republic), but more recently it has also been used of autocratic or dictatorial states not ruled by a monarch. It is now chiefly used to denote any non-monarchical state headed by an elected or appointed president.
Countries where constitutional provisions for government have been suspended
Countries which do not fit any of the above systems (e.g. provisional government or unclear political situations)
As of 2017[update], 159 of the world's 206 sovereign states use the word "republic" as part of their official names. Not all of these are republics in the sense of having elected governments, nor is the word "republic" used in the names of all states with elected governments.
The word republic comes from the Latin term res publica, which literally means "public thing", "public matter", or "public affair" and was used to refer to the state as a whole. The term developed its modern meaning in reference to the constitution of the ancient Roman Republic, lasting from the overthrow of the kings in 509 BC to the establishment of the Empire in 27 BCE. This constitution was characterized by a Senate composed of wealthy aristocrats wielding significant influence; several popular assemblies of all free citizens, possessing the power to elect magistrates and pass laws; and a series of magistracies with varying types of civil and political authority.
Most often a republic is a single sovereign state, but there are also sub-sovereign state entities that are referred to as republics, or that have governments that are described as republican in nature. For instance, the United States Constitution "guarantee[s] to every State in this Union a Republican form of Government". Another example was the Soviet Union, described by its authoritarian and extremely centralised government as being a federation of voluntarily united "Soviet socialist republics" with equal rights and an ostensibly high degree of internal autonomy. The Russian Federation is similarly a state that is composed partly of several "republics".